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Olympus Pen cameras - our hands on review

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by Damien_Demolder, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I would argue that for modern street photography you don't need any sort of viewfinder at all. What you need is a camera on a neck strap. The camera has face recognition and auto everything except the shutter release. The shutter release is controlled from a wireless controller in you pocket. You also have a wide angle lens and enough good megapixels to crop ninety percent of them away. You wouldn't need to do much to a Pen to achieve that.
  2. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    If you want crap quality (which is what you'll get if you toss away 90% of your pixels) why not just grab CCTV frames?
  3. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Then you'd show a remarkable lack of understanding about street photography if you did.
  4. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    And that is exactly what camera makers want. They want everyone to be able to get amazing shots easily with the camera doing all the work so if someone wants to do something they don't have to spend three years learning it all. Since the arrival of digital or even since the arrival of automatic modes in film bodies, the act of capturing light is more and more in the hands of the camera, not the brain of the photographer. At the dawn of photography the Kodak Eastman advertising slogan was "You press the button, We do the rest". I don't think that statement has ever been more relevant.

    It could be argued that ignorance of the tools available is a remarkable lack of understanding about the current and future direction of photography, as evidenced in concepts such as the Light Field camera replacing mechanics with software.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  5. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I think that only applies to snappers. Not photographer trying to create art. Why you might ask?

    Well photographers use DOF and shutter speed as a creative part of the image process. One person might be able to hold a 200mm lens and get a shot with motion blur at 1/30 second. While another person would just get load of camera shake. You might use a slow shutter speed to blur water in a shot or a high speed setting to freeze. These are not technical decisions they are creative.

    If you use AUTO on a existing camera they tend to be geared toward high shutters because of shake issues. I have shake warning on my camera which is way off. Tells me that I might get shake at 1/40 on 28mm focal length with IS as well.

    Only if I am jumping up and down. :)

    So you would need the creative knowledge of the photographer in the camera to get the right decision. Yes, you have scene modes but I have found even those don't alway workout right. But the bottom line is the right decision is the creative taste of the photographer.

    How can a camera know that unless it had a learning system inside. Maybe one day but probably along way off. :)
  6. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    I think the exact opposite is the case. In pre digital photography most people didn't control a thing about the image making. They popped a film in their compact camera, (or as someone pointed out here a few weeks ago got the bloke in the shop to do it) put the camera to the eye and snapped. No control over shutter speed or aperture, maybe just whether the flash should fire or not.

    Now, even the most basic of cameras have so many settings and functions that the cameras are far more complex than they ever were. Snappers can still opt to go for 'P' mode, but that's only after they've discounted all the scene modes first. Then there's the various files saving options, white balance etc.

    The market for those who don't give a stuff about photography but just want to take a half decent snap of their friends and family has always been far larger and more profitable than that for those interested in it. That's just a fact of life, but it seems to be one that irks many photographers greatly.
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    It is Exactly the same in most trades... anyone can buy a No 4 wood plane and make a complete hash of sharpening and using it. It takes skill and knowledge to fettle, set and sharpen it so as to be able to produce a polished finish on a piece of timber, with out any further action, even more skill to finish all four sides that are equal and square to each other.

    There are amateurs and Amateurs in both fields, joinery and photography. Only the Serious Amateurs bother to learn all the skills.
    A high end DSLR in the hands of a plonker never gets much out of it. For them automation is a Godsend.
  8. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I thought the point was less about automation and more about 'seeing' a picture, which in street photogrpahy is made more difficult by the speed at which opportunities develop and indeed pass. It isn't about capturing a random scene and then discarding whatever part of it doesn't suit.
  9. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    True, but it doesn't mean that there is no market for cameras for photographers (as opposed to snappers), and photographers don't need automation - in fact they very probably don't use auto anything anyway. Once you've learned to focus manually it's a damn sight easier than using the auto function, as well as infinitely more satisfying when you get it right.
  10. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    That might work if you wished to do the kind of thing which Walker Evans did in his book "Many Are Called"; a series taken on the New York Metro where he sat with a Contax rangefinder and a long air release routed through his jacket sleeve into his hand and shot pictures of the passenger opposite (a pain to wind-on to the next frame though! ;)), otherwise as has been eloquently said its nonsense.
  11. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

  12. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

  13. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    The interchangeable lens version has been stolen by Pentax as the Q...:eek:
  14. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    The leica M series has always been considered the ideal street camera.
    This is still true with the digital version. In black with the red dot taped over.
    I wish I could afford one.

    I am not sure why people seem so frightened of being seen.
  15. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Maybe the modern version would be wireless liveview from a camera onto a phone with full control over exposure and focus as well as the shutter. Did that Samsung compact ever come to anything?
  16. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Someone sitting on a tube train is going to be about 6 to 8 feet from you, at least their face will be. Zone focusing is the street photographer's norm, same as it was in Evans day
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Sometimes. I also used them without a viewfinder often enough.
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Pay extra and you can have the new M9-P without the red dot!

    I'm not frightened of being seen; I will even approach people on the street and ask them to pose. What I don't want are people seeing the camera and starting to respond to its presence. I've taken chances raising the camera to my eye in underground railway carriages that are somewhere between almost empty and full to crowded. The pics that work are generally where my presence is not acknowledged. But, not only that, with a finite time for taking photographs (most of the time on the street) I am choosing to work quickly - whether my street photos have people in them or not - hence the choice of kit and the 35mm approach most of the time.

    Seems something has really got going on this thread despite being a tad off-topic! Sorry!! All I want for Christmas (apart from as many teeth as possible - not just two at the front) would be a Pen with an opti-zoom finder built in.
    1. Its a logical extension of the Pen range in three different ways, and
    2. It would suit me!
  19. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    shurely one precludes t'uther...unless I'm being particularly dim
  20. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I do know how to fettle a plane and put a scary sharp edge on the iron ... but most of the time use the planer/thicknesser. Same with a camera, I've been taking photos for the last 50+ years and know how to use most cameras but now I use "P" and the thumb wheel most of the time on my computer with a lens on the front :)

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