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[OM] New Blood - RX10 IV [was Friday's Flowers]

Subject: [OM] New Blood - RX10 IV [was Friday's Flowers]
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2020 22:42:00 -0800
On 3/2/2020 5:03 PM, Mike Gordon via olympus wrote:
An excellent collection.  I had not remembered you had Olde Fashioned  bleeding 
heart.

There are native, or long acclimated, varieties hereabouts, but we like "Olde Fashioned", and often have one or more in the garden. They don't last there, for whatever reason, so we replace them, this one is recent.

We have one plant of that and a ton of native Dicentra (I think) AKA Squirrel 
Corn.   I have a hunch some from  the woods we planted may be escapees of the 
Formosa variant from the West coast.

You seem to have take to the RX10. The images reminded me that you had decided 
to get that guy.

It all started when I was contemplating two weeks in NYC in mid April. I recalled what I carried, in what bag, and how that was, last time there. Big city walking, subway, ULyfter, museums and so on, are quite a different environment than most of my photography.

Last Oct., I tried Dublin with 1" sensor Panny ZS200, rather than the two GX9s with 12-60 and 100-400. While generally pleased with the results, I did miss the reach; the ZS200 is 24-360 mm eq. I also carried one GX9, with 7-14 and 8 mm fishy, which I used to good effect.

The RX10 will fit in the bag I happily carried around NYC last visit, and has as much reach as I had then. There's also room in the bag for another camera. Why doesn't anyone make a tiny, fixed lens camera with a 14 or 16 mm eq. lens? Lots of useless fixed 35 mm eqs. Meh. So perhaps a GX9 with 7-14 and fishy will go along.

The RX10 is just huge, next to the ZS200. OTOH, it's not only much longer, but faster, as well, which is a big deal for the small sensor. The RX10 is 0.75 to 1.0 stops faster up to about 100 mm eq., then 1.5 stops faster from 100-360 mm eq. and then goes well beyond, still @ F4.0

DPR's comparator shows the RX10 to be a lot sharper on their standard subject. But I think they may have had a bad ZS200, as it's distinctly softer than the ZS100 they tested earlier, with the same lens. In any case, the RX10 also tested as more and cleaner resolution than the ZS100. I've not done any formal comparisons as yet. (Booorrring!)

I'm not so sure I've yet "taken to" it. I've shot a fair amount with it, and will be doing more. These cameras are complex, highly customizable things, and it takes a lot of use to get used to how to work them - and to what they will and won't do and/or do well.

The subjects most easily at hand have been flowers, and they are tough subjects in several ways. I was not all that impressed by my first few shots. I was especially confused about C-U. I was trying with and without an achromatic C-U lens, and getting seemingly contradictory results.

Fortunately, it turns out Ken Rockwell had been using them in his commercial work, and has answered a lot of questions in his review and Guide. It turns out he already did the testing I thought I would have to do - the lens has greatest mag. at widest and longest settings, and almost to as good at 50 mm eq. 24 mm eq. is useless, as the subject is practically touching the FE. Set it to 50 or 600, and I get good, sharp C-U shots - except . . . Shooting the very 3D Red Current flowers at the long end, its PDAF focused very nicely - a few mm deeper than the small florets on the surface. Nice, sharp, clean branchlets, and soft little flowers in front of them!

OK, so it does have a setting to allow manual fine focus adjustment, with mag. Ah, good images! And at least I don't need to carry an aux C-U lens for my usual subjects.

So much to learn! It has a setting for min. shutter speed with Auto ISO. Lovely, but how do I change it for different circumstances, on the fly, without diving into endless menus? Ah, the so called "Fn" quick menu is customizable, and I can put that setting there.

How do the custom sets work? What settings for tracking birds in flight?

The BIG thing I miss is Focus Bracketing. Esp. true with C-U and flowers. But I really didn't miss it in Dublin and Galway, and hardly at all in rural Ireland, so NYC will probably be fine.

Yes, these 1' sensor cameras are pretty good. But it's the improvements in post processing capabilities that really make them shine. I just processed an RX10 image shot  @ ISO 800. Pretty noisy. Topaz Denoise AI @ 21, 0, 10 just did magic to it! I was in awe.

You might get a chance to play with it . . .

Learning Challenged Moose

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