So… in terms of updates, there are many. However, I’ll start off with the usual apology: sorry, Nick and I are very busy and have been completely inactive on iMD for months. Now that that’s finished, I’ll continue.
As I said earlier, I preordered the Oculus Rift DK2. Not only did I preorder it, but I just received it a few days ago. Now… since I’m not Nick, I wasn’t able to make a great unboxing video, however, from here on, there will be Oculus Rift content. I’ve already tried it out on a few simulators (ie. Matrix simulator, Live For Speed 2, Tron Light Cycles Simulator, etc.).
To clarify, since the Oculus Rift is a one person headset, Nick and I will somehow figure out how to record content of both of us playing, whether it be turn-based or whatever. But don’t worry, there WILL be videos of us falling off our chairs as we use the headset…
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So, here comes the full-fledged review. I’ll break it down into 3 main parts, as follows: Overall Picture Quality, Ease Of Use, and Compatible Lenses.
1. Overall Picture Quality
The overall quality of the camera is very impressive. As a 4/3 camera should be (having practically the same technical specs as an entry-level DSLR), the Olympus PEN E-PL1 (which I’ll refer to as the Olympus PEN) created stunning stills (some which can be found on the photography page here). Colors were vibrant, edges were crisp, and blurred backgrounds looked fantastic. However, this camera only performed well at very low ISO settings due to a Noise Reduction feature at ISO settings under 200. When at any setting higher, the camera, even in auto mode, had trouble with lighting, focusing, and a lot of noise in photos.
Example of “No Noise” and “Noise”:
No noticeable noise in the photo.
There is lots of noise and grain in the photo zoomed in.
2. Ease Of Use
Ease Of Use was a major setback when taking pictures with the Olympus PEN. There were loads of issues I had with the GUI and menu configuration as well as the actual LCD screen and electronic viewfinder. Disclaimer however, since I received the camera second-hand, I didn’t get to see its manual and therefore don’t know if some of these issues were discussed in the original guide to the camera. Continuing, the camera’s menu is very convoluted (Check out a picture of it here) and appears in a high contrast blue-yellow theme. A larger problem, however, is the fact that the 2.7″ LCD screen and electronic viewfinder (available separately as an accessory) both don’t accurately show you what you’re taking a picture of. While it appears on the screen as good lighting and an optimal ISO-shutter speed configuration, once you take the picture, you see that it is in fact so dark that you can’t make out any details whatsoever. Because of this flaw with the live view feature, your pictures can end up as high quality black or white boxes at 4032×3024 resolution. The best method of configuring your settings in manual mode is by taking at least 5-10 versions of the same picture, each time adjusting ISO, shutter-speed, and whatever else.
3. Lens Compatibility
Let me just start by saying that there are many, many different lenses available for use on this camera, however i’ll be talking about standard, not specialty or filter lenses, such as the camera’s kit lens. Alright, the kit lens (the lens you receive on purchase, unless of course you buy it body-only)… This lens is decent. It can’t be considered amazing, yet it doesn’t completely suck. Here’s what I mean. The kit lens is a 14-42mm zoom lens (which is a lens that can zoom in and out between these two sizes). The minimum f-stop number (or the largest size for the aperture) is f-3.5 , which isn’t that bad, pretty standard for kit lenses. While this lens may work for a casual photographer, many who want to broaden their variety of pictures and also significantly improve the quality of their photos will look to buying new lenses, some of which will include FFL (Fixed Focal Length) lenses, which while they can’t zoom will have much better maximum aperture, an f-stop of usually 1.8 . Olympus Zuiko, a line of lenses compatible with the Olympus PEN series, sells FFL lenses at 20mm to even 45mm. There are more zoom lenses which, at a much higher price, will also have an f-stop of 1.8 . But, these higher quality zoom lenses and larger FFL lenses (20mm or larger) can cost over $500, much more than the original cost of the camera of about $350. Even the kit lens itself is only available for between $150-200, a ridiculous amount. Another issue with this camera, the overly expensive extra lenses.
As a last thought, I should say that this camera is a very solid choice among other Interchangeable lens and 4/3 cameras, however it in no way can stand up to DSLR cameras, even entry-level ones, such as Nick’s Nikon d-5200.
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So, I’ve recently received an Olympus PEN E-PL1 micro 4/3 camera as a gift, for my birthday, which was on July 29th. I’ve already taken many test shots, some of which were actually good. Since it’s my first time using a DSLR, or rather a hybrid DSLR. The definition of a 4/3 camera, basically a very portable DSLR. I’ve been practicing in both Manual and Automatic, usually trying comparing f-stop (aperture), shutter speed, and ISO settings specifically. I’ll be doing a more thorough review of the camera in nearby future. But for now, many of the pictures I take will be posted here.
Yes, I’m actually still doing the signature still…
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So, February Break is on its way, and WOW, we’ve been lazy…
Nick and I, most likely, will do something productive over the break. Personally, I’ll shorten my anime-watching in order to work on a cool project. Now onto the few, VERY few, updates that I have to offer…
- Prashant may, or may not, be making some more art for iMD
- There will be a few test clips with the DSLR video camera Nick bought
- My watched anime list now exceeds 1,000 hours (or was it 10,000?)
- I’m thinking of getting my hands on Rust, a new survival type game, loosely based off of Minecraft
- I’ve “acquired” an Ethernet cord which is around 50ft long. Now we’ll be able to get two computer running in the HQ (a Windows desktop for me and Nick’s Macbook Air)
- I have bought a PS4, with which I may record video, and maybe even with Nick
Now that the small list of updates is over, I’ll share a story. A few weeks ago, I installed an Ethernet switch. Somehow, I managed to make a wired connection more unreliable than WiFi…
Also, one last thing, I’m taking out my signature in order to minimize the time it takes to type/format it, while in hope of a signature feature in WordPress.
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Nick and I truly sorry for the extreme lack in content from iMD. Though, we promise to start working on something insanely great after midterms.
On the topic of midterms, mine and Nick’s schedules have truly mangled, I’ve been so busy as to not even see Nick for weeks on end, mostly due to lots of studying, which I guess is a plus.
Now on the topic of new content, I’ve actually found another good topic for videos to be made with Nick’s newly bought DSLR camera. Which sadly doesn’t have an unboxing video, I guess due to the fact that he was too excited? I thought about doing creative shorts, as we both did the first year at Renbrook, where the video’s main focus was the cool and usually funny editing over the original clip. Of course, because Nick and I don’t own a Hollywood lighting studio and green screen, don’t initially expect some kind of inter-galactic spaceship fight scene. The closest thing we have is just a room lamp and a green sheet. Maybe as a start, we will do a few edited clips here and there and try our best to make the editing as professional as possible. Also, the Lost parody episodes, most likely, will come before, after or, in between these other edited clips as we make more and more. Keep checking the Videos page here and look out for more updates!
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