Olympus Makes Really Good Cameras

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The internet is awash with debate about the health of the Olympus camera division, with many predicting the imminent death of their micro 4/3 system, and many predicting Olympus will march on.  It does appear they are losing money, and logically they can’t continue to do that indefinitely.  It appears that the world is moving on to full-frame sensors and sales are down even in the APS-C market.  This has reminded me of my Olympus experience.

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I bought my Olympus E-620 camera in 2011.  That was while the company was still making DSLRs with 4/3 sensors – before their mirrorless micro-4/3 cameras.  I have fond memories of my Oly E-620.  It was a very capable and well-designed camera.  And pictures from it still hold up today.  My processing of some of them. . . well, less so.  But the RAW files themselves  can still deliver what is needed for quality pictures.  I had received an Olympus E-420 for Christmas in, I believe, 2010.  That was a 10 megapixel camera and was outshown by the E-620 by an additional 2 million pixels and by, more importantly, it’s in camera image stabilization.  The 620 also featured an articulating screen which is handy but not indispensable.

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The Zuiko lenses for the Oly DSLRs were good to excellent.  Certainly they were good enough for the megapixels of the day.  I eventually had a good number, from the excellent 14-54mm lens and 9-18mm lens, to the optically excellent but cheap 40-150mm zoom.  That covers the gamut from 18mm to 300mm in full-frame equivalent.  Plus I had the 25mm pancake.  Today I look back on pictures I made with this system and wonder why I sold it.  Partly I moved on for the promise of better pictures from larger sensors, and partly because it was a dead system – Olympus released no more DSLRs after 2010.  Of course, being a dead system is what allowed me to buy into the system for a reasonable price.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found the system quite versatile, producing “pretty” pictures with it.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI even took engagement pictures of my daugher and future son-in-law.

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I suppose most today would turn up their noses at the camera’s 12 megapixel, smallish sensor, and at it’s dynamic range and noise and aggressive anti-aliasing filter.  I can’t say much as I sold mine in 2013 based on those very concerns.  Well, mostly the dynamic range and noise as I still think 12 megapixels is probably as much as we need most of the time unless we are making huge enlargements.  But sometimes I wonder if I was too hasty in walking away.

Back to the current financial troubles of Olympus.  I don’t know how that will wash out, but I know the company has a history of embracing, and walking away.  They did with film cameras in 2002.  They did it with their 4/3 system in 2010.  So if they are indeed losing money, I have no doubt they will do it again.  And then likely reinvent themselves again.

My Labor Day Walk at Paintsville Lake

I finally hauled myself out of bed early this morning for a short walk at Paintsville Lake.  It was quiet and beautiful, with the early  morning light, calm water, woods, and fog.  Beauty, like Art, like Literature, like God, is a mystery, and one that we should strive, not necessarily to understand, but simply to appreciate and experience.  And, of course, if we have a camera handy. . .

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The Dam
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The Copse in the Fog
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The Dam Control
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The Cone
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The Shore
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The Floating Leaf
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The Path

Late October

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It’s late October and the glory of fall colors has past.  I’m frankly tired of the over-saturated pictures that have flooded my Facebook page anyhow.  Hey, pretty much everyone with a digital camera has done it at one time or another, including me, so I’m not casting stones here.  But as the colors fade, my thoughts tend to turn more to local history.

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This airstrip is built in Blockhouse Bottom, the spot of the original blockhouse in this part of the world.  It was to this blockhouse that Jenny Wiley fled after being captured by natives in 1789.  A raft had to be constructed and taken across the Levisa Fork of the River to get her and bring her back to the blockhouse, just before her captors appeared.  It was here that the Auxier family settled.  And it was here that three year old Elijah Auxier disappeared into the forest in 1796 and never returned.

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Beside the airstrip is a small pond, surrounded by cattails.late-october-4

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Nice farmland near the river.
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The Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River in Johnson County

Morning in October

I love October.  The cool mornings make coffee extra good.  Spiders apparently agree.  When I pulled a bag of coffee from the special dark cubbyhole in my kitchen yesterday, I felt a tickling in my hand.  It was a big spider.  I took him outside (after I stopped screaming), to join his mates, like those that made these webs.

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Another good thing about October mornings – fog!  I went to one of my favorite places today, near Printer here in Floyd County.

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For some reason, autumn always kindles my interest in building a model railroad layout.  I had not felt the urge yet this year.  That may have changed this morning.

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I had forgotten that the Red White and Blue Festival was this weekend in Martin.  It wrapped up yesterday, but there were still reminders.october-16-13october-16-15october-16-16

After I took that overlook shot of Martin above, I turned around and was reminded of one of the most important rules in photography.  When you have finished taking the picture, turn around!

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May Showers and Flowers

It seems like it has rained most of the month.  A landslide across US 23 between Prestonsburg and Pikeville has sent me on one and a half hour detours to get to and from work this week.  One of the detours, on John’s Creek, revealed a good number of lovely farms, and this interesting church:

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One of the interesting features of my Fujifilm X-T1 camera is the ability to replicate, more or less, numerous Fujifilm films.  That’s right, the company’s cameras have built-in settings to emulate, more or less, the company’s films.  Probably no film was more used by landscape and National Geographic photographers in the 1990s than Velvia, with its rich, sharp, punchy slides overflowing with color and contrast.  I shot these pictures of some flowers in Ann’s garden using the Velvia setting on the camera, as one of several rain showers on Saturday was receding.

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And I took these pictures a little later just below the dam at Paintsville Lake.

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