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INSPIRATION

Pet city

Expert advice for taking memorable shots of your four-legged friends

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Welcome

WILL CHEUNG FRPS, EDITOR

Will has worked in photo mags for nearly 30 years and been taking pictures for even longer. His photographic interests are very broad, from nature to portraits.

A very warm welcome to another exciting, inspiration and technique packed issue. Summer is so busy with events for our cameras that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to feeding our passion for taking pictures, but our big inspiration feature shows what can be done at home. As a nation, we Brits love our pets and they can make for great models too, so we have a multitude of ideas on how you can make the most of your furry friends. Setting yourself goals is a great way to improve your work. It gives you a target and getting independent critical and constructive feedback from fellow photographers can only help in the long run, even though at times it might be painful. So in Project Distinctions part 2, we’ve advice on how you can earn letters after your name, looking at awards from FIAP, the PAGB and the BPE. If those letters mean nothing to you, turn to our feature to be enlightened and motivated. The third and final part of our huge APS-C DSLR test is the backbone of Photo Kit this month. We try out four entry-level models and declare the winners of our major hands-on test. It’s essential reading if you’re in the market for a new camera. We also take a look at two exciting new cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M10, the third member of the OM-D family, and the Nikon D4S, £5000’s worth of pro DSLR with a top ISO that shows that light isn’t needed for photography. Both, in their own ways, are amazing cameras. We hope to see you again next issue.

Will Cheung FRPS, Editor

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Contents

10 INSPIRE: Posing pooches

18 CAPTURE: Pet portraits

The cover story... BOVISAND SUNSET “I took this looking west towards the setting sun at Bovisand, South Hams, Devon,” says Gary King. “It was at the end of a stormy day and the clouds began to part, revealing some wonderful light as the sun dropped below the distant headland. A slightly longer exposure enabled the capture of the retreating tide.” Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40mm f/4, 0.6sec at f/11, ISO 100, Lee Filters 0.9 ND grad soft on the sky

WWW.GARYKINGPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

SEE PAGE 58 FOR DETAILS

50

LIGHTING ACADEMY: High-speed flash

Inspiration, technique, opinion 7 UPFRONT Whatever your budget, there’s a possible purchase to be made. Plus news of our 24-hour shoot!

10 IT’S A DOG’S LIFE: INSPIRE It’s not so much

a case of man’s best friend being a dog, as dogs being this photographer’s favourite model. Find out how Rhian White made mutts her ideal subject.

18 BRIGHT EYES: CAPTURE As a nation of

pet lovers, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to barking and purring subjects. Better brush up on the technique then…

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24 AWARD-WINNING: PROJECTS Photography

can be a rewarding pastime in more ways than one. Getting letters after your name from the BPE, PAGB and FIAP is certainly gratifying.

35 EXPOSED Editor

Cheung honed his craft through making mistakes, but how do today’s learners acquire their skills?

36 TOP SPOT The Big Smoke, London Town, however you like to describe it, our capital is the perfect destination for a day’s shooting – you could even meet us there for Photo 24.

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Contents

61

24

GROUP TEST: APS-C DSLRs part 3

PROJECTS: Awards

WIN!

A SUPERB B S G SAMSUNG N DY NX30 BODY & LENS See page 75

86 6 ROUND-UP: ND-UP: Travel tripods el tripo ds

36

TOP SPOT: Capture the capital

Photo Kit: the latest gear tested 40 TRAINING DAY It’s

50 LIGHTING ACADEMY

never too late to learn, but where are the best places to do so? We have the answers. This issue, we’re at school with teacher, Joe McNally.

Step outdoors and learn some magic tricks with highspeed sync flash.

46 RAW MASTERCLASS

plus Lowepro and Joby goodies. 2. A Samsung NX30.

Straight out of the camera your pet photos might not be the best in show, but with a little help from Lightroom they will be.

56 & 75 TWO CHANCES TO WIN 1. A location shoot,

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61 APS-C TEST: PART 3

The only way to find out which APS-C DSLR is best for you is to test them all. Thankfully, we’re doing it for you. Over three issues, resident techie Dr Fyfe has put 11 to the test. This issue it’s the last four contenders: the entry-level models. Plus we name the medal winners.

77 TAMRON LENSES

With more firsts to its name than you can shake a lens cap at, Tamron now has rather a reputation for its superzooms, but there’s more to the brand than that, as these hands-on reviews of six specimens reveal.

86 TRAVEL TRIPODS

The best three-legged friend is the one you have with you; one of these should fit the bill for a day’s urban shoot.

88 OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 All good things

come in small packages, so just how good is this one?

98 NIKON D4S Everything about this DSLR is big – its size, the ISO range and the price tag. So let’s see if it gets a big rating…

114 NEXT ISSUE City or country? Canon or Nikon? We ask the big questions – and answer them!

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INSPIRATION

Pawfect pets

MODEL MUTTS

Dogs, outdoors and photography – it reads more like an impossible challenge than a job. Not for dog-mad Rhian White who’s carved a career for herself out of this seemingly calamitous combination WORDS MEGAN CROFT PICTURES RHIAN WHITE

BOO ON THE BEACH “This picture of Boo was taken on Hove beach. We are treated to some fine sunsets down here and I always try and go down to the beach to practise with Boo if there is an opportunity like this. It was just Boo and I so getting her in the right position and playing with her toy was not so easy. I had to throw the toy with my left hand and handle the camera with my right. I wasn’t looking through the viewfinder for this shot so when I saw it I was especially pleased.” Nikon D4, Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, 1/2000sec at f/3.5, ISO 2000

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INSPIRATION

Pawfect pets

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CAPTURE

Pawfect pets

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CAPTURE

Pawfect pets

HEAVY PETTING Pets are great company and also wonderful subjects for your camera. You’ve probably got some great snapshots of your furry friend, but now is the time to get more serious with your pet photography

WORDS & PICTURES WILL CHEUNG

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PROJECTS | DISTINCTIONS

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PROJECTS | DISTINCTIONS

A spoonful of alphabet soup Last issue we covered one of the oldest and most renowned distinctions organisations, the RPS. This month we take a look at three more awards bodies: BPE, PAGB and FIAP WORDS MEGAN CROFT PICTURES VARIOUS

© ANGELA ADAMS DPAGB BPE4 AFIAP

The curious collection of letters that sometimes congregate after a worthy photographer’s name may look unequivocally impressive, but what on earth does it all mean? The culprits of this alphabet soup are photographic awards bodies who challenge photographers to stretch their skills and prove their worth, rewarding the successful amongst them with a set of highly coveted appending letters. It can take blood, sweat and occasionally tears to earn a distinction, but it also provides a qualitative target for photographers to aim for. Whether you’re an advanced enthusiast or a fledgling photographer, there is an award out there for you to aim for. Last month, we covered the RPS distinctions, this time it’s the turn of FIAP, the BPE and the PAGB, and we set about demystifying the meaning behind all those letters and see how you can earn your own.

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British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE) If you are wanting to start venturing down the photographic awards trail, the BPE is a great place to set off from. Its Crown Awards are achieved by entering into BPE-affiliated camera club exhibitions, of which there are currently 21. Each photo accepted into an exhibition earns you one point; to earn the first of the five Crown Awards, BPE1, you must have accumulated 25 points. You’ll have to up your exhibition game to gain the 300 points required to append your name with BPE5. Following that, there are two further distinctions: the Associateship and Fellowship, both of which require a number of awards as well as a set number of points. “One of the beauties of the BPE is that it costs nothing for people to obtain the awards,” explains BPE chairman Roy

Millett. “With the BPE, you’ve just got to submit a list of your acceptances into exhibitions to our awards officers who will verify it and send you your certificate.” There’s no limit on the time taken to accumulate enough points for an award, enabling photographers to progress at their own pace. Of course though, the thrill is often in the chase and once you’ve achieved your first Crown Award, you’ll likely be setting your sights on the next. “It’s a bug that gets you into the exhibitions; each acceptance is another step on the rung to getting a certificate or medal,” adds Roy. BPE exhibitions offer a great scope of categories to enter into, from open colour to natural history, all in a mix of print and digital format. Exhibition selectors can go through hundreds if not thousands of images in one sitting, sometimes deciding if an image is worthy of inclusion within a matter of seconds. “Initially, I would say that impact is what gets your image noticed by the judges, but then a good subtle landscape can do well also, so it isn’t always an image that smacks you in the face,” Roy advises. “Generally speaking though, like in any competition, you need good technical ability and an interesting subject.” Crown Awards are an ideal gateway into competitive photography and allow you to test your mettle in a supportive environment. “Your starting point in competitions is your monthly competition in a club, it’s a stepping stone from there all the way up to international level. Awards and competitions give you a great opportunity to test yourself at different skills,” concludes Roy. See the BPE website for comprehensive information on the exhibitions and how to submit an application for a Crown Award. The

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TOP SPOT

London

London If you fancy a day out with your camera, head to London, one of the world’s most photogenic cities with subjects to satisfy all tastes WORDS & PICTURES WILL CHEUNG

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TOP TO T OP P SPOT S SP POT PO OT T

London Lon Lo L ond on ndo nd don do on n

Make use of London’s wealth of bridges and mix of old and new buildings. This cityscape was taken from the Millennium Bridge with the sun rising behind the Shard. Nikon D800, 28mm f/1.8mm lens, 1/200 sec at f/13, ISO 200

www.advancedphotographer.co.uk w ww www ww w.a ad dva van anc nce ed dp pho hot oto og gra rap ph her er.c r.co o.u .ukk

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EXPERIENCE DAYS JOE MCNALLY ..

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JOE MCNALLY EXPERIENCE DAYS

BIG LIGHT,

SMALL

FLASHES

On his recent visit to the UK, Joe McNally hosted a day’s workshop at the Nikon School in London before a stint at the hugely successful The Photography Show in Birmingham. Advanced Photographer grabbed the chance to spend a day with him in London

© JOE MCNALLY

WORDS WILL CHEUNG PICTURES WILL CHEUNG & JOE MCNALLY

J

oe McNally’s Facebook page has over 171,000 ‘likes’, he has been listed as one of the most important 100 people in photography, has shot for National Geographic for over 25 years. His CV is impressive, both in quality and in length, and this morning he’s preparing for a speedlight workshop called Big Light, Small Flashes at the Nikon School. I get there early to introduce myself before the 19 delegates arrive. I stroll in ever so slightly nervous yet there’s no reason for it. After all, during my career

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in photographic publishing I have met a great many photographic luminaries. The nerves vanish when we shake hands and he offers me a warm welcome. I hand over a copy of the magazine and I outline what I want, ie. to be a fly on the wall of his workshop, take pictures and record the proceedings. “Yes, fine, do whatever you want,” he says, “and this is my first assistant, Cali [as in California, Cali explains to me later] so he can help too.” With that Joe excuses himself and continues to get ready. Looking at the

array of kit on show I can understand why. There is literally a tabletop full of kit – a laptop, cameras, lenses, flashguns, modifiers, chargers and much more. And this is just a small portion of the kit for this session. There are several heavyweight C-type lighting stands and reflectors and in the corner of the training room, there is an astounding array of lighting modifiers, reflectors and yet more flash kit – this is kit for the delegates during the practical session. Most of it has been brought over from the States for his tour here..

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RAW MASTERCLASS INTO THE LIGHT FOR IMPACT

START IMAGE

RAW MASTERCLASS

CONQUER BACKLIGHTING Photographing a pet at play in strong backlighting is child’s play, if you harness the power of Adobe Lightroom WORDS & PICTURES WILL CHEUNG

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RAW MASTERCLASS INTO THE LIGHT FOR IMPACT

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LIGHTING A C A D E M Y

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LIGHTING A C A D E M Y Part 44

Using flash beyond the indoor studio environment is very popular nowadays and for the best results understanding how to successfully mix daylight with flash is crucial. Here we look at high-speed flash sync using the latest PocketWizards WORDS & PICTURES DAN PLUCK

Most DSLRs sync with flash within a shutter speed range of 1/100sec to 1/250sec, and this is the fastest speed at which the sensor is fully revealed to record the flash exposure. Shoot indoors and the actual flash sync speed of your camera is of little consequence because studio flash is the dominant light source and, mostly, that’s all you want to record. However, venture outdoors with your flash, and daylight is the dominant light source – any flash is a secondary or fill-in light. Now, in this situation, the camera’s sync speed is very important, even more so if you want to enjoy your sparkly new fast aperture lens. Let’s take a practical example. Say you want to shoot a portrait at f/4 to make the most of the lovely bokeh out-of-focus highlights that you get at this wide aperture. So you take a meter reading at ISO 200 and determine that to shoot at f/4 means a shutter speed of 1/2000sec – even moving the ISO to 100 means a shutter speed of 1/1000sec. Shoot with daylight only and it’s simple enough. However, if you decide a blip of flash is needed to add some sparkle to your subject’s eyes, your camera only syncs at a maximum of 1/250sec so you have a problem. You can’t shoot at 1/250sec because the image will be overexposed by 2EV, but shooting at 1/1000sec means the flash element of the exposure will be incorrect. And setting an aperture of f/8 to allow using 1/250sec gives an effect you don’t want. So, how do you solve your dilemma? One way is to fit a 4x ND filter, reducing your exposure to the required 1/250sec at f/4. Another way is to use highspeed flash sync and by fortunate foresight you have a DSLR and flashgun that offers this feature. High-speed sync (Canon, Sony) or Auto FP flash sync (Nikon) is usually available on the more expensive cameras and flashguns, so unfortunately that means not everyone has the option to enjoy this very useful feature. High-speed sync that means correct flash synchronisation is available at every shutter speed, even 1/4000sec or 1/8000sec. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. What happens to a flashgun in its high-speed sync mode is that it pulses very, very rapidly – so rapidly that you think it’s one single burst of flash. This means that as the focal plane shutter travels across the sensor to make the exposure, the flash is pulsing continuously to give a

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correct exposure. The flashgun pulsing continuously inevitably consumes more battery power, the flashtube gets warm and can even cause the flashgun to overheat and there is a big drop-off in output, which limits working range – a speedlight can’t pulse at high output settings. High-speed sync capability is a very handy feature, and one not available with mains flash units – if you have it, it’s not one to be underestimated. Action photographers might shoot with the speedlight on the camera for much of the time, but portrait workers will prefer to get the speedlight off the camera for better modelling. And that’s where you need a compatible wireless radio trigger. Independent products that offer remote highspeed sync include the Phottix Odin, Yongnuo YN622C and PocketWizard MiniTT1/Flex TT5, which I used here. If using flash at every shutter speed appeals, you need to check compatibility with your camera and speedlights. For this feature I used the PocketWizard in combination with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 430EX Speedlites. These PocketWizards work differently from the pulsing method of high-speed sync, using a mode called HyperSync. HyperSync gives one burst of flash but with precision timing to allow syncing at high shutter speeds. The MiniTT1 transmitter sits in the camera hotshoe, while the FlexTT5 receiver has a hotshoe that you slide the flash into. The Flex itself has a hotshoe and a 1/4in thread, so it can be attached to a lighting stand with an adapter. A PocketWizard app for your PC or Mac allows you to download firmware upgrades and tweak settings. The app lets you set up the PocketWizards to suit your kit – you have the option of saving the settings to Configuration 1 or 2, and you can pick the one you want to use on the units by picking C1 or C2. The PocketWizard Wiki has plenty of information – just as well, because there are many options and the changes have to be made via a computer so it’s not hugely convenient. For example, there are two HyperSync optimisation methods: Reduced Clipping (default) or Highest Energy. Both have pros and cons. The power output of the flashguns reduces incrementally as you increase shutter speed. But the flash compensation feature of your camera can

The flashgun pulsing continuously inevitably consumes more battery power, the flashtube gets warm and can even cause the flashgun to overheat

LEFT Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and an 85mm lens at an aperture of f/1.4. The sun is providing a strong backlight that I could only rein in with a shutter speed of 1/640sec. The flash lighting comes from two flashguns on PocketWizard FlexTT5s, both mounted inside an octa softbox. Beth Chambers is the model, www.modelmayhem. com/2506472.

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Photo Kit

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS OF ALL THINGS PHOTOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT IS naturally very important to advanced photographers and therefore it’s also very important to Advanced Photographer magazine – so every month we’ll be reviewing a wide variety of the latest photo kit. We’ll be including items that are relevant to the main technique features in each issue so cameras and lenses will feature heavily, but so too will accessories and software.

BEST IN TEST

Look out for this badge of honour in our comparison tests

61 APS-C TEST: PART 3 It’s the conclusion of our APS-C DSLR test. Our resident techie Dr Fyfe is putting the final four contenders, the entry-level competitors, of our 11 to the test. Plus we name all three medal winners.

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77

TAMRON LENSES With a

number of firsts to its name, this lens maker has rather a reputation for its superzooms, but there’s more to the brand than that, as these handson reviews of six specimens reveal.

86 TRAVEL TRIPODS The best

three-legged friend is the one you have with you; one of these should fit the bill for a day’s urban shoot.

88 OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 All

good things come in small packages, so just how good is this one, the third member of the OM-D family? At a little over £500 it promises great value too.

98 NIKON D4 Everything about this S

DSLR is big – its size, the ISO range and the price tag. So let’s see if it gets a big rating…

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Photo Kit

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10

Olympus OM-D E-M10 There’s a new OM-D in town, and it’s smaller and cheaper than the others. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less of a camera. In fact, it’s an impressive machine WORDS & PICTURES IAN FYFE

KEY FEATURES £529 BODY ONLY 16.1-MEGAPIXEL LIVE MOS SENSOR ISO 100-25,600 (EXTENDED) 8FPS WWW.OLYMPUS.CO.UK

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FLASH The E-M10 is the first OM-D with a pop-up flash rather than a hotshoe accessory version. Its guide number is a mere 8.2 at ISO 200, and the sync speed is 1/250sec, the same as with an external flash. Even though this is built into the viewfinder housing, this is still smaller than on the E-M5.

GET A GRIP To go with the E-M10, there’s an accessory grip that screws into the bottom and adds more support for your right hand. It’s not a battery grip, so doesn’t add any power. It’s designed cleverly though, and clips off so you can get to the battery and card slot easily.

SUPER CONTROL The Live Control menu offers quick access to many settings, but it requires scrolling, which slows things down. Turning on the Live Super Control Panel means settings are presented all together on-screen, eliminating scrolling and allowing you to make selections by touch.

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Photo Kit

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 The original OM-D, the E-M5, had such success with professional photographers that Olympus responded by producing the E-M1, a higher-end model designed specifically to meet the needs of professionals – the trouble was that the price tag reflected this too. With the E-M10, Olympus is now catering for the other end of the market, and the new model slots in below the E-M5 at the bottom of the OM-D range, with a price little more than £500 for the body alone – very attractive to anyone who knows what an OM-D is capable of. In fact, taking a closer look at what the E-M10 is capable of, it becomes clear that much of its specifications are a match for the E-M5 despite it being smaller and cheaper, and it seems that the bottom-ofthe-range billing of the E-M10 may not tell the whole story. The E-M10 is certainly small, and when it comes to holding it, perhaps too small. For me, it’s a little too thin, and the grip isn’t quite enough to get hold of – I could barely get two fingers on the front, and as a result my palm started to fold in under the camera, making my hand feel cramped. There’s a very good solution to this – an accessory grip that gives you more to get hold of at the front and supports your hand at the side, and the camera feels much more balanced with this attached. Once I’d used this, it was almost impossible to go back – if you have smaller hands, it might not be a problem, but I’d say the grip is almost an essential accessory – the only drawback is that it costs an extra £54. Besides this, handling of the E-M10 is excellent. A small number of buttons gives you plenty of direct control, and it’s extremely flexible. Particularly good is the incorporation of Olympus’s 2x2 control, seen previously on the E-M1 and E-P5. On those cameras, a lever changes the functions of the command dials from aperture and shutter speed to ISO and white-balance – on the E-M10, an assigned button can do this, and I preferred this to the lever since it leaves less scope for unintended changes. In total, six buttons can each be assigned to one of 25 functions, including things like custom white-balance, HDR, bracketing and activating custom setups. You can also assign multi-function capabilities to one button, meaning it can be used to access Highlight & Shadow control, Color Creator, magnification and ISO/white-balance. Holding this button down while turning the back dial lets you switch between functions. Even the configuration of the command dials can be customised for each shooting mode independently. The OK button accesses the Live Control menu for any settings

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ANATOMY OF...

Olympus OM-D E-M10 FROM THE TOP The mode dial 1 is smaller than that on the E-M5, but includes one extra mode – Photo Story. Tucked beneath this is a push button 2 to open the pop-up flash. To the right of the command dials, the movie record button 3 and Fn2 button 4 can be reassigned – by default, the latter is a multi-function button. Behind these, the Fn1 and Playback buttons 5 sit on a ledge that’s been added since the E-M5 making them easier to press. The flat and wide shutter button 6 is in the centre of the front command dial, and the back command dial 7 sits up higher than the front one, well positioned for your thumb. Tucked in next to this on the side of the EVF housing is a button that manually turns the LCD screen on and off 8 .

4

6

1

3

7 2

5

8

FROM THE FRONT The styling of the E-M10 is almost identical to the E-M5, and it has the same ridge-style finger grip 1 . The front command dial 2 hangs a long way over the body, making it easy to reach and operate with your shutter finger. The main difference from the E-M5 is the shape of the pentaprism-type viewfinder housing, which is more rounded and sits lower – it also houses the pop-up flash 3 . At the top right is the AF assist lamp 4 . The Micro Four Thirds sensor 5 is the same as the E-M5’s, without the phase detection pixels of the E-M1.

3 2

4

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FROM THE BACK The electronic viewfinder 1 is the same as the E-M5’s, and has an eye sensor that activates it as you bring it to your eye. It displays exactly the same as the LCD screen 2 , which is also a touch panel – you can use your fingers to focus and navigate shooting menus, as well as for playback. The OK button at the centre of the directional buttons 3 opens the Live Control menu, while the directional buttons offer direct access – two can be customised. The on/off switch 4 is at the bottom right like on the E-M5. On the right hand side where you’d expect to find the memory card slot 5 , there are cable connections – the card slot is accessed via the base.

AT-A-GLANCE SPECS PRICE £529 body only CONTACT www.olympus.co.uk SENSOR 16.1-megapixel Live MOS with TruePic VII IMAGE DIMENSIONS 4608x3456 pixels ISO RANGE 200-6400 (100-25,600 expanded) AUTOFOCUS MODES Single AF, continuous AF, AF tracking, manual EXPOSURE COMPENSATION +/-5EV in 1/2

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or 1/3EV steps, AEB 2, 3 or 5 frames in 1/2, 1/3 or 1EV steps SHUTTER 30secs-1/4000sec METERING PATTERNS ESP, spot, centre weighted, highlight, shadows SHOOTING SPEEDS Single, sequential L, sequential H 8fps, self-timer 2 or 12secs LCD SCREEN 3in tiltable touch panel STORAGE MEDIA SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I compatible) DIMENSIONS (WXHXD) 119.1x82.3x45.9mm WEIGHT 396g (including battery and card)

ISSUE 44 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 89

25/04/2014 15:44

Advanced Photographer Magazine  

Issue 44 - Sample Issue