More playing around with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 today. I
was particularly concerned with the quality of the photos that I took yesterday, which
seemed far too dark as processed by Olympus Viewer 3.
Spent some time looking for documentation, but I've come to the conclusion that here, too,
there is none:
This was immediately after a fresh install. Searching the web found nothing. Searching the
file system found only a README written one line per paragraph, something that even
the Microsoft tools don't seem to be able to handle:
It's hardly believable that people can provide software with no documentation at
all. Maybe it's a bug: that file does contain the line: “For more information, refer to the
online Help after installation.” So maybe they just forgot to include it.
To its credit, DxO
Optics “Pro” does have quite an extensive manual. But it refuses to process the
photos because it's not leet enough. It's a little silly: if I didn't have it already, I
could install a trial version and run it for 30 days. But since I do have it, I can't run a
trial version in parallel, since it's the same program. So I had to install on a different
machine, and the only other Microsoft “box” I have is a virtual machine that I stopped using
last year. For some reason I can't set the date, so it's still stuck in October 2012, with
Running the program brought another surprise: although the “standard” version refuses to run
because the body is only supported by the leet version, the leet version claims that it's
not supported—now you see it, now you don't. So I had to run without correction for
distortion and chromatic aberration. The results were significantly better. But running in
the VM is a real pain, and it occurred to me that the E-M5 is a very similar camera,
and it's supported by the standard version. What happens if I fake an E-M5? According to
DxO, the results will be very different, because they calibrate each camera with each
supported lens. Still, it was worth a try, and in fact there's very little (but still some)
difference. Here the results from “Viewer 3”, DxO leet (E-M1) and DxO standard
(E-M5). Running the cursor over either image shows the next in
The difference in the pizza oven, in particular, is so great that at first I thought I had
the wrong photo. On the other hand, the second photo shows the effect of geometry
correction by Viewer: there's significant barrel distortion in the DxO output. So once
again I need to check how to process with both packages in sequence.
Also spent a lot of time reading the pitiful excuse for a manual. Even the 165 page PDF
version is terrible, and there are still many things I don't understand. One thing that did
become clear is the meaning of the icons on the tablet app: they do, indeed, relate to
focus. From page 27 of the manual,
sets “focus and shoot” mode: press on the image in a place corresponding to a focus
sensor, and it will focus and then take a photo. On the other hand,
selects only focusing; you can still take the photo with the
in the mid-right. And that works well.
Understanding the buttons is another issue that is handled badly in the manual. In addition
to the two wheels, there are two buttons with programmable meaning, sometimes referred to as
“Multi-function button” and sometimes as Fn1 and Fn2. Still, I'm gradually getting to
understand it. One thing that I was looking for yesterday, exposure compensation, has been
solved well: it's directly on the front wheel in most modes. On the E-30 I first needed to
find a well-hidden button before I could adjust it, again with the front wheel. Clearly
some thought has gone into the camera. I wish I could say the same for the documentation.
Finally got the documents about the Stones Road property from Jarrod Hodgson today. The
most interesting thing was that it's one of 3 parcels on a single property of 6 ha in a zone
where land must be at least 8 ha (like ours). Can I build on the property? There's nothing
obvious in the documents that says I can, and Jarrod, who sounds incredibly bored by the
whole thing, couldn't tell me either. Called up the SAI Global, the people who did the planning
certificate, and they didn't understand it either. At least that was reassuring.
Finally called up the council and spoke to Steph Durant, who told me that basically there
should be no problem, gave me the information that the planning permit would take up to
three months and that the building permit should then come more quickly. There's a
vegetation reserve in front of the property that could cause issues with the placing of the
driveway, but that's about that. So things are looking good. In the evening got a call
from Garry Marriott, the seller, and we've arranged to meet up tomorrow and come to an
agreement to buy the land.
Yes, there is an image there (displayed half normal size), but it's completely burnt
out. It proved that I had forgotten to reset the camera after playing around with
the HDR functionality,
and this was the fifth of a 5 exposure bracket. The funny noise was the shutter going off 5
times at a speed I've never heard before. But it shows up a basic problem understanding
HDR: you don't just take images bracketed about the “normal” exposure. As
taken, the individual images looked like this:
And yes, there are five images there, as you can see by running the
cursor over the last “image”. A couple of months ago I had a
discussion of this with Reinhard Wagner, who seems to think that this is the correct way to
expose images for HDR. I disagreed then, and I think this proves my point. The obvious
workaround is to set the exposure compensation to -5 EV (maximum) underexposure, but it's a
nuisance that you have to do that.
Putting the images together worked surprisingly well, considering that they were taken
hand-held, and the last one had 10 seconds exposure. But since there's nothing on
it, it can't add any camera shake. It just serves to water down the resultant image (first
image). Just using the other four looks better, though in this case a single image (third
image) works best. But that's probably because of the way it was taken.
Also more playing around with the flash substitute in the evening. It's not good. I had
accidentally set the camera to settings I normally wouldn't, aperture priority f/10 at
20,000/44° ISO. At that sensitivity it worked well enough:
High time to get something else, maybe a smaller external flash unit.
Another sign of the times, while processing images:
Warning: MakerNotes too large to write in JPEG segment - /Photos/00-Oly/PC070031_DxO.jpg
That's from exiftool, and I'm not sure what to do about it.
Also more insights into why the camera stores both a raw image and
a JPEG when I use a tablet for remote
control. It seems that in some modes the camera overrides the settings and does just this.
From page 29:
If [RAW] is currently selected for image quality, image quality will automatically be set
The remote control wasn't set for iAuto, so it seems to be a bug. An alternative hypothesis
is that it's necessary because the tablet app will only transfer JPEG images. But this
doesn't seem to be the case.
Over to see Garry and Diane Marriott today and agree on the purchase of the land. It's
done! Well, of course we need to complete the paperwork and pay money and things, but we
have an agreement.
This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have
a horror of reverse chronological documents, so
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