A weekend with micro 4/3

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  • 08-25-2009, 12:20 PM
    A weekend with micro 4/3
    I took the Olympus E-P1 and the Panasonic GH-1 to Zolder for the 24h race.
    A mixed bag of results, and no clear winner or loser.
    I expected the cameras to be different, and have definite strengths.
    What I didn't expect was for them to be unreliable, they're only two weeks old.

    GH-1: claimed my new Panasonic 4G class 6 SDHC card was faulty before formatting.
    GH-1: claimed my new Panasonic 4G class 6 SDHC card was faulty after formatting and used for an hour or so.
    GH-1: failed to AF while shooting, telling me to check lens connection.
    E-P1: overheated and IS stopped working.

    It was a hot weekend, temperatures 28C and I was out in the sun with the E-P1 in my hand not on a neckstrap. So maybe that explains the overheating, certainly the grip/battery area felt hot in my hand. I'm glad it was the white "stormtrooper" edition not a black body.

    Both cameras struggled at times with motorsport, pretty much as I expected.
    I did not expect the E-P1 to be so unresponsive. Shoot in continuous mode, and then try to change the mode dial. Nope, sorry, it doesn't work. Turn it all you like, while the orange light is flashing writing to the card you can't do anything else. Except take more photos.
    I wanted to switch to video mode to capture the car leaving the pits.
    But no the camera was too busy saving files for the controls to work.

    I did not expect the GH-1 display to be so poor at night. It seems to be in an integrating mode, where it slows the frame rate on the display as it gathers enough light to show the scene. That makes panning using the viewfinder almost impossible.
    I admit I was trying to shoot racecars in the dark, panning as they accelerate out of the chicane, so it's a hard test. But I almost found it easier not looking through the viewfinder!
    Good technique was key, if the car wasn't acquired centre frame at the start, give up; otherwise keep the pan smooth and shoot normally.

    There is definitely a market for clip-on finders for action shooting.

    Night focussing was interesting to say the least. AF was going to be a non-starter, if I couldn't get the car in the frame how was I going to focus on it?
    Back to technique, pre-focus on the track where you expect the cars to be.

    Now there's a thing, I don't like Nikon design with that control wheel on the front by the shutter release. Panasonic copied it and I don't like it on the GH-1 either.
    Trying to change the size of the MF assist zoom while half-pressing the shutter (on SAF+MF mode) was impossible for me. I can't pat my head and rub my belly either.
    Try that on the E-P1 and it's a breeze, the roller on the back can be thumb operated while pressing the shutter button and focussing the lens.

    Flash on the GH-1 is disappointing. Set it to red-eye preflash and the viewfinder blanks the entire time from pressing the shutter button to taking the picture !
    Yes that's right, about a second of blank, preflash, calculate, adjust exposure, flash ... oh dear did your hand shake, or your subject move ?

    It seems both cameras lack processing power to do enough things at once in difficult circumstances. Like using the built-in flash, or saving a buffer-full of photos.

    But having said all that, what are the pictures like?
    I'll let you know, I still haven't caught up on my sleep from the weekend !
  • 08-25-2009, 06:25 PM
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    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Interesting use for a Camelback ...
  • 08-25-2009, 06:27 PM
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    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Gatorade bottle, washer pump, some tubing ...
    ... is that a low tech drinks system ?
  • 08-25-2009, 06:28 PM
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    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Making their way to their grid slot while it was full of VIPs on the gridwalk.
    Hear engine (hard not to) turn, frame, shoot.
    I don't think I could have framed that any closer, there may be a pixel each end of the car.
  • 08-25-2009, 06:31 PM
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    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Zolder isn't normally this sunny, must be global warming.
    Another grab shot, this time while walking into the circuit.
    Not bad for "P" mode is it?
  • 08-27-2009, 06:23 PM
    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Hey at least a couple of the girls were good looking! Good shooting Tex! The *ss end of the Mustand looks a pixel or 2 out of frame to me. LOL
  • 09-30-2009, 11:42 PM
    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Last pic has a beautiful composition :D
  • 08-01-2011, 08:04 AM
    Re: A weekend with micro 4/3
    Hot chicks always work for me.