Cameras and Such

Olympus is leaving the camera market.

Pretty huge. Also, Olympus has a dark history of Yakuza style corruption.

Their rationale seems to be expected. There’s no market for any camera except high-end prosumer and professional cameras. Anything below that is 100% covered by smartphones.

I expect high-end cameras over time will get more expensive, similar to how video cameras and audio hardware have gone. Top-end for pros, near-top but cheaper for hobbyists, and a bottom tier (smartphones in this case) for literally everyone else.

The JIP that have purchased the division are going to determine the future of micro 4/3. Panasonic is still keeping it going, but has also put a lot into their newer full frame L-mount system. If they don’t actually make more cameras and lenses and push it forward, that’s likely the end.

Not a problem for existing micro 4/3 users, though. I haven’t had to buy any new camera anything, and definitely not anything m43 specific, in many years. It will take a lot of years for the GH5 to become obsolete for a non-pro like me. It will be a world where like, everyone has an 8K TV and 4K isn’t good enough anymore. It could even mean good things, like huge price drops on existing stuff. Grab some formerly expensive lenses on the cheap.

The analog SLR cameras I use are all Canon FD system, and are from the early '90s. That system has been completely dead for decades, but it’s all still good.

However, for someone who doesn’t already own a camera system, it could look one of two ways. Do you pick up some used m43 gear on the cheap because the value you get for the price is insane, and it’s good enough? Do you avoid it because there’s no support for it going forward?

For actual professionals, I think you have to consider it a dead platform. You need to have the support of a company that is actively manufacturing and repairing the gear you are using. A pro can’t rely on something like an Olympus OMD when the only backup would be to find some used ones on the market somewhere.

Olympus is dead. Corrupt even at the end.

This is a great idea for a camera. The problem is the price. Not only are they charging $3k for an APS-C rangefinder, but Leica mount lenses are not cheap either.

Considering that a Fuji X-Pro 3 costs $1800, anyone who buys this Pixii is either a fool, or is so rich we should eat them. The Fuji will also automatically send photos to your phone if you use the Fuji app. Pretty much all major camera brands have this feature nowadays. The Fuji also has over 26 megapixels, and this Pixii offers less than half that. You gain features and save $1200 by going with the Fuji.

The only difference is Leica mount instead of Fuji mount. Ok, so let’s say you inherited an amazing Leica lens from someone and you want to use it on a digital camera. A new Leica M10 is going to cost like $8k. Suddenly the Pixii looks like an option, right? Nope! You can pickup a used Leica M9 for less than the cost of the Pixii, and it has an 18+ megapixel full frame sensor. Actually, that sounds like a good buy for someone who is maybe standard towards the back of the line for the guillotine. Leica M8 is cheaper, but is not a good choice for anyone. No reason to pay over $1500 used for < 11 megapixels and a very old sad sensor.

Now Pixii could offer this identical camera for say, $500 or less, we would be onto something. The ability to use Leica lenses on a digital camera at an affordable price to counterbalance the Leica lens prices.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that I have used many cameras over the years from different brands that have had the feature to automatically transfer photos to your phone via Bluetoot/wi-fi. The feature works, but never perfectly and seamlessly. Even for the newest cameras and phones, it’s usually, faster, more reliable, and just better to connect the phone or its memory card to your phone with a cable or adapter of some kind. Since on the Pixii, wireless phone transfer is the only option, it had better fucking work perfectly. For $3k I expect to press the shutter and see that photo on my phone immediately. If it could, it still wouldn’t be enough to save it, but is merely the bare minimum to not be worthless. It’s lower megapixel count will actually probably help since file sizes will be smaller and transfers will be faster.

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Oh look, a new small full frame camera that isn’t SONY.

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Despite appearing all but dead, Olympus still has a couple of new products. They got the E-M10IV and and 100-400 lens. Will this be the last we see from them?

In other news, I’ve always wanted an anamorphic lens. When I go out taking photos my eyes naturally create wide anamorphic frames. I’m often frustrated or disappointed to look in the viewfinder and find that the sides of the world have been cut off.

My camera, the GH5, has great support for anamorphic lenses. The problem is that the lenses are absurdly expensive and extremely unwieldy. I’d want to walk around town shooting photos and video with it, but they’re really only practical if you put them on a rig and add some motorized focus control and such. They were designed for actual film productions, not for one person walking and biking around.

Well, I just found out about these new(ish) lenses from SIRUI.

They are still quite expensive. We’re looking at around $700 here. But the prices are much more reasonable than the other options. By comparison an SLR Magic Anamorphot costs hundreds more than this, and that’s just an adapter. You have to put one of those in front of an existing lens. To focus you have to adjust both the taking lens and the adapter by hand. Not practial at all, although the results are very high quality.

The SIRUI is a complete lens. Manual focus, but that’s not a huge problem. The size is large, but not so large it can’t be carried while walking. The main issue is that it’s only a 1.33x anamorphic. That means the camera is still going to record in the 16:9 sensor area and then you stretch it back out in post. The GH5 supports a full 2x anamorphic covering the entire 4:3 sensor area at 6k resolution. I won’t be getting the full benefits of the camera’s anamorphic capabilities with this lens.

The lens is available in focal lengths of 35 and 50. The newer 35 is a larger lens, though still acceptable size. However, on micro 4/3 those are equivalent to 70 and 100. They are long lenses. You can’t get close to anything. The minimum focusing distance is 2.5 feet to begin with, unless you use diopters which bring back the infinity. This means you’re going to need to get somewhat far away from the subject. Fine for shooting outside. Not so fine indoors where the room might not be large enough to be able to put the camera so far away.

Even so, this lens still provides all the benefits of shooting anamorphic. You’ll have a wide cinematic frame, much wider than 16:9. It provides great separation of subject and background with ovular bokeh at a very wide 1.8 aperture. Of course, the lens flare will be in full effect.

Maybe if I was going outside more, I could be convinced to get this, but I’ll probably pass. I think if I’m going to spend on cameras now, I’m better off investing in a LiveU Solo. It’s more expensive, at $1000, but the live streaming capabilities it offers would provide a lot more possibilities. I would definitely use it much more often than an anamorphic lens.

Then again, who is live streaming anamorphic content? Anyone? I’ve never seen it. For the low low price of around $1700 I could get both, and it could be me, lol.

$700 is less than I spent on either of the two lenses I use most of the time on my DSLR. I’ve used both for about 10 years now, and for many thousands of photos and thousands of videos. If you think it’s something you’ll use a lot, lenses last forever and that cost spreads over years and years of use.

How much do you use your current two main lenses?

I would use an anamorphic lens way less than that. It’s definitely a tool for special scenarios.

So your iPhone has a panoramic mode.

Anamorphic is primarily a video tool. Panning exposure (iPhone), stitching, and other methods of taking wide still photos obviously don’t work for video. And even for stills, they are imperfect, as the entire frame is not captured in a single exposure. Unless maybe you want to spend $3K+ for something like a Hasselblad XPan or carry around a Fuji GX617, but probably not.

I actually have a Sprocket Rocket which exposes two side by side 35mm frames of film in a single exposure, including the sprockets (hence the name). But obviously a cheap plastic manual camera like that isn’t really comparable. I like it for the beach, and that’s about it. Although it takes wide photos, it’s still not the same visual effect as anamorphic compression.

I know, I was making a joke.

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Looking for some recommendations for an affordable and decent webcam. Or least which one are shit and to stay away from.

What do you mean by affordable? The Logitech 1080p ones are all really good and popular. They cost around $80 I think?

It’s for my cousin his budget is half that so 40 bucks.

There are a lot of off-brand 1080p USB webcams on Amazon/Newegg for about $40, but I can’t attest to their quality. Maybe an on-brand used one?

Yeah he is a teacher so I presume realabity is priority first and foremost. Logitech does have a 40 dollar model though.

Yeah, I don’t know how the quality is, though. Not because it’s 720p, but more because the cheaper ones are usually get all pixelly and artifacty if there isn’t a ton of light.

Good to know. I’ll let my cousin know.