Thursday, 1 August 2019

This and That

Purple and Green 
E-M5 II, Sigma 19mm f2.8 DN Art

I've now settled into a basic shooting kit for the E-M5 II, I've got the 12-50 & 40-150 R from Olympus, the Panasonic 25/1.7 and the Sigma 19/2.8. That covers me from 24mm-e to 300mm-e, as well as a fast normal and fastish/wideish prime. Three of the four I've owned before (the P25/1.7 is the first copy I've owned) and all are good choices for competent but inexpensive lenses. None of these really is a standout optically except the Sigma 19. I've said bad things about the 12-50 before, but that was in comparison to its $600+ list price. For what I paid for my new copy (about half that before counting the trade-in, next to nothing with the trade-in) it's more than good enough. I just never thought the performance matched the cost.  And it really is good in macro mode.

That kit will last me for a while, and really is a lot more functional than what I had with the X-T1 (which mostly ended up being 35mm-e and 85mm-e primes, supplanted on occasion by a 24-75mm-e kit zoom. Good glass, but much less flexible than what I have now). the only real 'I want it now' items are a UWA zoom and a fast tele prime. Those will be the Oly 9-18 and the Sigma 56/1.4 almost assuredly as both are quite reasonably priced, compact and good.

As such, I've been shooting a lot of late. I'm also past 1300 exposures on the E-M5 II, and just under 4000 total for the year.

The grip on the E-M5 II is definitely lacking, although it's better than the original E-M5 mostly because of the more pronounced thumb grip. Due to this, I picked up a Fotodiox grip, which adds some real meat to the foregrip. For $40 it's a no-brainer. I would like an ECG-2 however, as that has the grip and an Arca-Swiss L bracket integrated. Much more expensive though.

I definitely miss the power switch of the X-T1, the left-side switch on the E-M5 II is annoying because it makes powering on the camera a 2 hand procedure. Given that the E-M5 II will totally power itself off when left on for a set period, this means that a camera that appears to the eye to be on can actually be off. The X-T1 would sleep, but still chew battery, when left on, leaving you with a dead battery eventually. Both are annoying, but the X-T1 was always in the state that you saw visually, the E-M5 II can lie to you and need a power cycle before shooting.

I've gotten a definite handle on the button setup, settling on using the Lever for the 2x2 interface on controlling AF mode. It selects between MF and C-AF modes, and I have S-AF on Fn1 in MF mode and AF-On on Fn1 in C-AF mode. Fn2 switches the dials to ISO & WB in push on/push off, instead of the useless Multimode. Fn3 is stock (display mode, switches between Info and LV modes for the rear LCD) and Fn4 becomes Magnification instead of HDR. DoF preview on the front remains stock and the Movie button is set to AF point mode/selection. I've yet to take the camera out of Aperture Priority and the locking Mode Dial is a godsend, at least one I realized the lock was push on/push off, not hold & twist. I've also not used any JPEG modes other than Vivid

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