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Saturday, 25 February 2017 Dereel Images for 25 February 2017
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E-M1 Mark II: finally!
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Saturday is house photo day, and now I have the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, so finally I got round to using it.

Things didn't start off well. Part of the setup is to attach the wireless remote shutter release. But it no longer fits! It fits into the USB connector of the older bodies (all five that I have had), but the Mark II has a different USB 3 connector. So I had to use the shutter manually.

Then there's the issue of the position of the tripod mount. I've already established that it's 12 mm further forward than on the Mark I, but it's also offset slightly to the side—enough for it not to fit on the rail properly. A mounting screw that wasn't previously an issue now offsets the body sideways. Not a big issue (I can remove it), but another surprise. And the difference in the tripod mount position had another effect: the side rail sticks further into the image. Here last week (Mark I) and today:


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All images taken on Saturday, 18 February 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 18 February 2017, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 18 February 2017 Complete exposure details

 
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All images taken on Saturday, 25 February 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 25 February 2017, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 25 February 2017 Complete exposure details

 

The end of the rail is visible on bottom right of both images, but it's now much more pronounced. Fortunately Hugin ignores it. Today's photo also shows my shadow, needed because of the issue with the remote control. The tripod is behind the shadow of a tree, so it's not visible.

And then there's the images themselves. This camera can take up to 60 full-resolution (20 MP) images per second. But like its predecessor, it won't do that for HDR images: there it wants to use the mechanical shutter (why?), so it takes “only” 15 images a second. The sound is quite impressive, though; it's significantly quieter than the Mark I, and the difference in rate is also very obvious. Not surprisingly, there was no difference in the processing.


More flowers
Topic: gardening Link here

One of the plants that we brought with us to Stones Road was a Hedychium gardnerianum, which for years I have confused with a species of Helichrysum. We planted it next to the cannas, but unlike the cannas it barely grew, and didn't flower.

Until today:


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All images taken on Saturday, 25 February 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 25 February 2017, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 25 February 2017 Complete exposure details

 

And the Tropaeolum near the water tank that has been struggling all year (including last winter) has finally produced a single flower:


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They're not exactly difficult plants to grow. Why were they so reticent? Partially water (a problem now solved), but has the soil something to do with it? We've been here for nearly 2 years; hopefully the garden will take off soon.


Wireless remote control
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Reading the online “instructions” for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (the toy guide only has an invalid pointer), found that the camera has a dedicated input for a shutter remote control, something that sounds financially suboptimal. It requires a dedicated remote control from Olympus, the RM-CB2 Remote Cable, with the information that it is a “mini-plug type (2.5Φ)”.

I suppose that means a 2.5 mm phone plug. That's very plausible. On closer examination, that's the connector to my remote control:


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All images taken on Sunday, 26 February 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 26 February 2017, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 26 February 2017 Complete exposure details

 
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Image title: Remote control 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1855 kB
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Diary entry for Sunday, 26 February 2017 Complete exposure details

 

So all I need is a short cable with 2.5 mm connector at each end. That must be available, right? Off to eBay to take a look. Yes, 2.5 mm cables available starting at $1 including postage. Oh, but the other end is 3.5 mm. Always! I finally found a single cable with 2.5 mm connectors at each end—and it was 5 m long, clearly not what I need here.

What do I do? I don't even know how many contacts the connector should have. My guess is that the 3 contact connector on my remote control is only there because nobody does 2 contact connectors any more, so it should work. But do I look for a pre-made cable or build one myself? In the Good Old Days, it was cheaper to build one yourself, but nowadays that wisdom no longer holds.


Horse photos with the E-M1 Mark II
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

What's the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II like for horse photos? The 15 shots per second should be useful in looking at gaits. So I took a series of photos at the highest mechanical repeat rate of 15 fps. It wasn't fast enough. Here three successive photos:


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All images taken on Saturday, 25 February 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 25 February 2017, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 25 February 2017 Complete exposure details

 
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There is only one intermediate photo per leg change. More to the point, though, in this second I only got 8 images. Why? I can go up to 60 images per second with the electronic shutter, and some time I will, though I'm mainly concerned about the data flood that it entails. Do I stay true to form and keep every image? That's 1.2 GB per second!


Australia Post delivery issues
Topic: politics Link here

It seems that I'm not the only person to have issues with Australia Post charges and delivery times:

Ahmed Fahour Actually Quit Australia Post Years Ago. But His Resignation Letter Only Arrived Today

Interestingly, this is also the first I had heard of the resignation, though I had commented about the affair a couple of weeks ago.


Sunday, 26 February 2017 Dereel Images for 26 February 2017
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More E-MI Mark II discoveries
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Didn't do much with my new camera today: I was too busy checking things, and I still haven't really explored the new features. About the only thing I have decided is that I need better instructions. And if nobody else does them, maybe it's time for me to do so. Started working on a framework, but it'll be a long time before they're finished, if ever.

I've already established compatibility issues with the remote flash trigger. Are there others? Last month I found that the Olympus VF-2 viewfinder fits the E-M1, giving it the choice of no less than 3 viewfinders:


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It even has a use: as a viewfinder from above in situations that are too bright for the LED screen. Does it work on the Mark II? No! It fits into the accessory port between the flash shoe and the real viewfinder:

 
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And the Mark II doesn't have an accessory port:

 
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So that doesn't work. And neither do the other accessories for the port, notably the toy flash units, but also the PENPAL, a device for sending mutilated images via Bluetooth (“The image size can be selected from 640x480 (default setting), 1280x960 and 1920x1440”). That almost makes Olympus' broken wireless networking look good, and it's not surprising that the Mark II doesn't support it. On the positive side, it meant that the Mark II came with a more flexible and powerful external flash. I never used the toy flashes, so the only real impact is the viewfinder.

And the remote shutter release? How does it work, anyway? Found a splitter cable and tried both the output of the remote shutter:


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I couldn't measure any output from the shutter release, but there was no measurable resistance from the camera contacts either. I wonder how this thing really works. Then I found a couple of threads on the subject. This one confirmed that the standard connectors for Canon cameras work, though another (which I can no longer find) claimed that a similar cable for Panasonic cameras doesn't work. In passing, also discovered the real reason for the three contact plug:

The ring closest to cable is ground, 2nd ring (middle) is focus and the tip is shutter release.

OK, off searching eBay. Yes, they're available, but the lengths vary widely. More investigation needed.

In passing, it seems that the very cheapest cable ($2.55), is only just cheaper than the cheapest (cabled) remote control ($2.71). Cables can cost me up to $12 or so, and the wireless remote controls are a little over $20. I couldn't find an Olympus RM-CB2 Remote Cable on eBay, presumably because at its recommended price of $79 it just doesn't sell. Why does Olympus even bother to make it?


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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