Olympus E-M1 MarkII

I’m going to do an extensive review of this camera. The micro four-thirds sensor format is a unique beast, and there is a fair bit of “bigger sensor” snobbery out there, so the m43 cameras tend to get ignored by the more prominent websites.

The considerable advantage of shooting m43 is the smaller lens and camera sizes, at least compared to Canon and Nikon which still cling to traditional brick sized DSLR sizes. Sony cameras have thrown a bit of a monkey wrench in the size advantage of m43 because they are full frame sensor but extraordinary small, rivalling m43 cameras.However, physics is physics and their lenses have to be big in order to cast a large enough image circle to the bigger sensors. M43 has no such disadvantage and you get in return, lenses that are much smaller. In addition, the smaller sensor provides an effective focal length “multiplier” effect so a 300mmf4 m43 lens gives the FOV of a 600mmf4 monster lens from Canon or Nikon without the 10-pound weight penalty.

Strangely, marketing for m43 largely ignores these advantages. I’ll be exploring this in great detail in future articles.

I live and breathe science fiction stories. I will be posting original short flash fiction type stories and periodically excerpts from three novels I’m currently working on. They will be mostly unedited, at least by a professional, and will be a bit rough around the edges since it is impossible to see apparent goof-ups in your own work. Those pesky little typos, word omissions, author intrusions and such, sneak in and without another set of eyes or beta readers, I’ll likely miss things.

But feel free to pipe in and point them out. I’ll fix them!

And, if anyone has a story they want to share, send it along to me, and I’d be happy to post it. Copyright will be yours and if Ridley Scott or Christopher Nolan purchase the movie rights, be sure to mention that you got your big break on PenandPixel.ca!! Ha Ha…

Sony A7RIII

A few days ago, I picked up the brand new Sony A7RIII mirrorless camera. I’m not going down the usual goat path of well-worn attribute lists that most review sites cover, instead, I hope to look at features that are home runs, fails and make comparisons with other gear in such a way that other places never do. To give you an idea of what I mean, consider this upcoming comparison.

I’ve wondered how a small sensor using pixel shift would compare to a native high-resolution sensor. The cameras I will analyze will be the Olympus E-M1 MarkII in high-resolution pixel shift mode to the Sony A7RIII at its native resolution. The question I hope to answer is, how well does the pixel shift of the smaller sensor of the Olympus compare to a state of the art full frame camera? Is it a blowout, or is the Olympus the “little camera that could” challenge the big boys?

Some would argue that it’s not a fair test, that the Sony full frame will have a two stop light gathering advantage and so on. Of course, I will not be using the same lenses for the comparison, and the Olympus pixel shift depends on no movement of the subject matter while it completes the pixel shift. So it will be a bit of apple to oranges comparison, but then again, there’s no other option, and if I was making prints or sending the images to an editor for consideration, they could care less about all that. How the picture looks on the screen is what’s important, and that’s the way it should be.

So in the end, I’m going to pick top quality glass for both systems and shoot those lenses at their best aperture values. Identical field of views and histograms optimized. I will take a bit different tack when I process the files. I will apply sharpening, and I will tune each image with a few quick adjustments, and then we’ll see how it looks!

Of course, there is that little aggravation about posting to the site, web compression and so on to deal with. I’ll try to post a small relevant jpg saved at maximum quality so the comparisons will be informative, but I’m not sure yet if WordPress will apply some other funky compression and wreck the detail. Hopefully, in the next few days, I’ll load some comparisons and see how it goes.