On with my trying to understand the Olympus OM-D E-M1 today. How
I wish it had a manual.
The first thing I continued with was to try to work out
the entrance pupil of the lens.
My intention had been to use the remote control Android app. But I quickly ran into a
serious problem: while the resolution of the electronic viewfinder on the camera is
excellent, I couldn't say the same thing about the remote viewfinder:
That's appalling! A little searching showed that one of the few interesting knobs I can
tweak is the choice between “fast” and “high quality” viewfinder. When I switched to the
latter, things got marginally better:
But that's still terrible quality, and the speed leaves a lot to be desired. I'm left with
the impression that there are significant speed problems with the network connection, which
might also explain the lack of functionality for transferring files to computers.
Also investigated the other functionality of the remote control. There seems to be
really no documentation, and I'm still left wondering what the button at top right
means; maybe I'll find the icon in some other context. There seems to be no explanation for
why it stores the image in both raw and JPEG
formats when run remotely, even though the camera is set to raw only. In general I'm quite
disappointed by the quality of the remote app control. I can only hope that they improve it
Also today, the news that
DxO Optics “Pro” now supports the E-M1—and not a
single Four-Thirds lens, as promised.
What software can I use instead? No idea. Olympus Viewer 3 is
really pretty bare-bones, and the results I get from the default settings don't compare
Also tried out the flash for the first time. Also not very inspiring. It seems to
underexpose greatly, and it seems that the flash exposure compensation doesn't work. In any
case, these two photos were taken first with no compensation, then with +3 EV compensation,
but there was almost no difference:
Strangely, the EXIF data showed the flash
exposure information in a different format from the E-30, requiring tweaks to my
exposure compensation functions: instead of “Flash Comp” it's now “Flash Exposure Comp”.
And some of the values are Just Plain Strange:
Another try with the pizza oven today. This time I preheated the stones in the kitchen
oven—I'm concerned about the heavy gas consumption of the pizza oven. That certainly
helped: without the stones, the oven heated up to 320° in less than 10 minutes. I had hoped
to get the stones a little hotter, but I only partially succeeded, with the stone
temperatures round 280°. The pizza on the upper shelf was done after about 12 minutes, but
it had stuck to the stone, so it took me a couple of minutes to get it out. After that, the
one below was still quite pale, so I remove the upper pizza and put the lower one on that
shelf, after which it browned pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, the result was not as good this time. Not the oven's fault: for some reason
the dough had not risen as much, and with the longer baking time it was rather hard. I need
more experience, as well as a way of keeping things consistent from one time to the next. I
don't have any good idea how to do that with allowing the dough to rise.
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.
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. I try to leave the pages here for two days;
you'll find them all in the archive, so if I fall
behind a day or two, you may find more here. Note that I often update a diary entry a
day or two after I write it.
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