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State of the art technology melded with Olympus Pen tradition, the E-P1 digital camera is a new breed of DSLR featuring HD video, Raw format, micro 4/3rds, in a stylish stainless steel compact body. In this podcast, I walk you through the feature set of this latest innovation by Olympus.

Pros

  • Well-crafted, attractive stainless steel body.
  • Raw, JPEG, and 720p recording formats.
  • Excellent image quality with 12.3 MPs resolution.
  • Good combination of manual controls and automation.
  • Many creative features such as multiple exposure.
  • Clear menu system and easy to use camera controls.
  • SD and SDHC memory card instead of xD Picture Card media.
  • HDMI output.

Cons

  • Motion JPEG AVI codec instead of MPEG-4.
  • No external microphone jack.

The Olympus E-P1 kit with 14-42 mm lens will be available at Amazon.com for $799 US.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Splash is the June 2009 Photo Assignment. You can capture anything from a child jumping in a pool to an olive dropping into a martini. You can read more about how to submit on our Submissions page. Deadline for entry is June 30, 2009.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (24 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our new Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


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The Olympus E-P1 digital SLR camera blends traditional looks with modern capability. Visually, it celebrates the styling of the original Olympus Pen camera that was introduced in 1959. But at its heart, it features the latest Olympus technology, including a micro four-thirds lens mount, 12.3 megapixel capture, and Raw, Jpeg, and AVI recording formats. In many ways, it's the most exciting Olympus release in recent history.

On June 19, 09, a handful of photographers will be testing more extensively the Olympus E-P1 in New York City. This will give us a chance to drill down into its features, examine the images it captures, and share those pictures with you. In my case, I already have opinions about the things I like and don't like about the camera. This shoot will help me better articulate those thoughts.

More to report soon. In the meantime, if you want to get the scoop on the feature set for this camera, listed to my podcast titled, Meet the Olympus E-P1 digital SLR camera.


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It's almost as if the Eye-Fi folks heard our grumbling. No Raw file transfer, no selective uploads, no Ad Hoc connections. Well, they've fixed all of that with the new Eye-Fi Pro 4GB SD WiFi memory card.

The $149.99 card provides you with both Jpeg and Raw upload capabilities, the option to send-up only the pictures you want to transfer, and still includes Geotagging and widespread HotSpot access. You'll need a SDHC compatible camera, and of course some sort of WiFi access. The uploading can work in the background while you continue shooting.

If you have a hankering to transfer images directly from your camera, and you sometimes shoot Raw, this might be one of your most affordable choices.


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"Graduation" - Grab Shot 178

"I was trying some low-light candids during a high school graduation last week." writes Joann Wilson. "It was a little frustrating because the graduates looked bored and fidgety much of the time, making it hard to get a group shot where everyone looked alive."

"The fidgeting was a particular problem since the low light forced me to shoot at about 1/15 sec. I was about to pack up and leave when they announced the last thing on the program: a music slideshow with pictures of the graduates through the years. Suddenly they all woke up and sat in rapt still attention for the whole 5 minute slideshow, allowing me to finally get a decent shot."

Joann used her Canon 20D with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L on a monopod. Settings were: ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/15 sec., and 70mm focal length.

Photo by Joann Wilson. Click on image to zoom to larger size.

If you have a candid you'd like to share, take a look at our Submissions page, then send us your Grab Shot. We'll try to get it published for you on The Digital Story.

And you can view more images from our virtual camera club in the Member Photo Gallery.


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Does the just-announced iPhone 3G S finally qualify as a reasonable compact camera? In addition to its resolution bump to 3 megapixels, the new device includes autofocus with "tap to focus" control, VGA video recording with editing, auto-macro, and improved battery life. I take a closer look at this device to see if it's the mobile camera we've been waiting for.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Splash is the June 2009 Photo Assignment. You can capture anything from a child jumping in a pool to an olive dropping into a martini. You can read more about how to submit on our Submissions page. Deadline for entry is June 30, 2009.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (21 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our new Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


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Podcast Sponsors

SiteGrinder lets you take ownership of your websites. Effortlessly output pages right from Photoshop.

Red River Paper -- Try the $7.99 Sample Kit.

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Good timing for new camera owners. Apple's Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 2.6 brings Raw support to the new Canon T1i (500D), Canon EOS Kiss Digital X3, Nikon D5000, and the Olympus E-30. Since the update is implemented system-wide, the upgrade applies to Aperture, iPhoto, and Preview applications.

I had Canon T1i and Olympus E-30 Raw files already in my Aperture library. This meant that I could look at thumbnails, but if I tried to view anything larger, I would get a "file not supported" message with no image. After applying the 2.6 update, the message went away, but Aperture still had a hard time generating full size previews from the Canon T1i Raw files.

When I uploaded new T1i Raw files to Aperture after the update, however, everything worked great, and the new Raw decoding for the camera was quite attractive.

So I guess the moral of the story is not to add Raw files to Aperture until the camera is officially supported.

The Difference is Night and Day

I've been in rapidly changing light the last few days. I could literally stand before a scene at Mono lake, take a picture every two minutes, and have five completely different images without ever moving a step. I had a similar experience in Bodie when the early morning was clear providing vivid colors, then as a storm moved in, the light completely flattened out.

But you don't have to be on a road trip to take into account how the passage of just a few hours can completely change a shot. I have two examples for you to consider. The first shot, captured in Bridgeport, was recorded at 4 pm on June 6 with a Canon Rebel T1i. I love retro signs, and some of the motels in the Eastern Sierra have that great 50s look that I'm such a sucker for. I always make sure I go street shooting, even if the main street is only a half mile long.

Then around 8 pm, I noticed that the sunset had completely changed the appearance of this little Eastern Sierra town. This time I grabbed the Canon G9 and went for another walk, photographing again some of my favorite landmarks.

As you can tell from the examples, the difference is night and day. This effect is something I try to keep in mind, whether on the road or in my home town. These images aren't exactly Monet's haystacks, but I'm glad to have them in my library.

Top photograph captured with a Canon T1i, 24-105 mm f/4 L zoom, ISO 200 at f/8. The bottom image taken with a Canon G9, ISO 100 at f/4. Both pictures processed in Adobe Camera Raw 5 (part of Photoshop CS4). For more information about image processing with CS4, check out my book, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers.


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I started paying attention to Canon Picture Styles about the time they put a button for them on the back of the camera. I figured if they got their own button, this must be important. When you go to the Picture Styles menu, you choose from a handful of settings: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Faithful, etc., or you can create your own. Each Picture Style is determined by four parameters: sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone. This gives you more control over how the image is processed in the camera.

I've been running field tests with this function to decide how I feel about it. During the latest experiment, in Yosemite National Park, I shot in Raw+Jpeg mode on a Canon Digital Rebel T1i (500D) with a 24-105 mm L f/4 lens. I used the Landscape Picture mode, which affected the Jpegs, and then processed the Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw to my tastes, then compared them.

Yosemite Falls captured with Canon T1i using the Landscape Picture Style. Photo by Derrick Story. Click to zoom.

As you see in the sample photos, the greens and yellows were really pumped up in the stock Landscape Picture Styles Jpeg, almost like a Velvia film slide. Even though the Raw and the Jpeg versions were captured at the same split second, their unique processing renders them much different.

The Raw file was processed using the Adobe Standard profile as the starting point in ACR (Camera Calibration > Color Profile). A lot of people don't realize that all of the Canon Picture Styles are also there in the Camera Calibration tab when you process Canon Raw files in ACR. So if you want, you can switch among the different Styles in post production and choose the starting point you like best. I went with Adobe Standard for this shot.

Yosemite Falls captured with Canon T1i in Raw format then processed in ACR. Photo by Derrick Story. Click to zoom.

So the question is, if you're shooting Jpegs, is Picture Styles worth considering? I would say yes if you did a little pre-work to create your own Styles settings. I think that's where their best value resides. The presets are fine, but they don't really express your photography. Of course, the ultimate control comes with Raw shooting. But if you have a Picture Style that you trust waiting for you in the Picture Styles menu, then you have a reasonable alternative to Raw shooting for those times that need it.

More About the Canon Rebel T1i

"Hands On Review of the Canon T1i (500D) - Digital Photography Podcast 179

Street Shooting with Canon 500D/T1i


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"Workflow" is the kind of word that makes most hobbyist photographers cringe. But the fact of the matter is, if you've taken great photos with your digital camera, don't you want to find the easiest way to organize them and share with others?

If this sounds appealing to you, then you might be interested in my workshop later this month titled, I've Taken Great Photos, Now What?. You'll learn about the coolest photo management applications including Adobe Lightroom, Apple iPhoto, Photoshop CS4, Photoshop Elements, and Apple Aperture. We'll build a workflow tailored specifically for your needs. And by the end of the day, you'll see that managing your images can be as fun as taking them in the first place.

The workshop begins at 10 am on Sat. June 20 at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa, California. You can sign up for the class online, or call for more information at 707-527-4372. The course fee is $63.

You can listen to the podcast that gives you a nice overview of the course by checking out Show #176.

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The Canon Rebel T1i is known for its HD video recording and 15 megapixel CMOS sensor. But this camera contains refinements in nearly every category. I recently published a field report with sample images tited, Street Shooting with Canon 500D/T1i, but I wanted to spend a little more time talking about the specifications and usability of the DSLR. And that's exactly what I do in this week's podcast.

Photo by Derrick Story with Canon Rebel T1i using the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM zoom lens. ISO 100, 1/640 at f/4.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Splash is the June 2009 Photo Assignment. You can capture anything from a child jumping in a pool to an olive dropping into a martini. You can read more about how to submit on our Submissions page. Deadline for entry is June 30, 2009.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (29 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our new Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter

-


Podcast Sponsors

SiteGrinder lets you take ownership of your websites. Effortlessly output pages right from Photoshop.

Red River Paper -- Try the $7.99 Sample Kit.

Add Magic to Your Slideshows -- FotoMagico presentations are so amazing that your audience will be asking how you did it.


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