Getting to Know You…

Three weeks ago I got home to find a package at my door. I wasn’t too excited: we’ve all been experiencing a year of random packages showing up almost every day with stuff you ordered who knows when, while you were thinking god knows what, drinking scotch in the dark and surfing the internet (or is that only me?) Surprise, surprise, though: it was something I actually remembered ordering and had been looking forward to: a reconditioned Olympus OM-D E Mark 5ii with a 14-150mm lens.

2021.02.08: Shooting through a metal pipe – 10mm, f/5.6, 1/25sec, ISO 1600

I found it cheap on eBay, having gone on a search after seeing it listed as the equipment used in someone’s blog post (wish I could remember whose. I’ve gone back looking, but can’t find it. As I said, scotch in the dark and surfing the web).

I unwrapped the package, put the battery in the charger (so glad they included one, because I hadn’t thought about it) and loved forward to taking it out the next morning. Immediately I liked its look and feel: it more closely resembled the film cameras from my past – it even looked more like my old Canon AE-1 than any or my more modern Canons – its size and weight also felt great in my hand: smaller, but a little heavier than my Rebel, and … I don’t know… more fun to swing around.

2021.02.08: Jim Enters Lugano – taken using the WiFi remote (16mm, f/4.1, 1/60sec, ISO 500)

Many things on cameras are easily understood at first glance – here’s the shutter release, there’s the wheel you turn to set the picture-taking mode, here’s the button to release the lens, etc. Other things take some reading and getting used to. For example, setting for manual focus: with my Canons there’s a switch on the lens, itself; with this camera it’s software driven and I have to go into the settings menu – already, I can tell this will be a pain in the ass since I’m used to switching from auto to manual focus ‘on the fly,’ as it were.

2021.02.10: Morning at Aux Delices (14mm, f/4, 1/60sec, ISO 500)

To get to know the camera I did what I do with a lot of things: I downloaded the manual to generally ignore, but look at from time to time, and started carrying it everywhere and taking pictures, feeling my way through the different settings.

Generally I like the camera – I love the lens! – and the pictures it takes. There really are only two things I don’t like about it:

  • First, the so-called ‘super control panel.’ To me, its not so super. Perhaps this may be because it’s a reconditioned camera, but I find it hard to use the touch-screen functions. The first time I tried to select ISO setting, I tapped and tapped and tapped until I almost didn’t want to take the picture anymore. Finally I typed somewhere else, magically activating the White Balance setting, then used the arrow pad to move to the ISO setting.
  • Second, the aforementioned switching from auto to manual focus.
2021.02.11: A Bird in the Bush is Worth 1/2 A Bird in the Hand – MANUAL FOCUS MODE (150mm, f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO 250)

The WiFi functions are fun – clunky, but fun – this being my first camera with built-in WiFi. I like the ability to transfer pictures directly to my iPad for editing instead of waiting to get to transfer from camera to laptop to iPad. I’ve also used the WiFi remote a few times.

2021.02.24: Shopping Cart Under the Bridge (15mm, f/4.1, 1/60sec, ISO 640)

All-in-all, happy with the purchase and the pictures. I sort of feel bad for my Canon, though: it’s been sitting on the shelf for the past three weeks, only getting sun a couple of times when I wanted to use a camera I was a little more comfortable with.

iPhone XR Front Camera, 2.87mm, f/2.2, 1/121sec, ISO 64

3 Comments

      1. Thank you. I appreciate your comments especially because I admire your photographs so much. I also very much appreciate the tips and pointers you add to your posts.I read them all with great interest.

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