New user with dumb questions

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dulaney22, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    My E-P1 is on the way and, quite frankly, I'm new to everything photography related. I have read and re-read many posts and blogs, but wondered about a few beginner aspects. I got the zoom lens kit, a 50mm OM and 58mm Minolta legacy off ebay (along with adapters) and plan on ordering a spare battery. Other than a case and lcd protector, is there anything essential that I'm missing? I know some people use a UV filter, but I haven't ordered one and wondered if they are necessary? I don't have a tripod, but plan on this being a hand-held shooter.

    I hope this hasn't been beaten to death already. I looked for a beginners thread but didn't find one.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    Almost forgot . . . I'm a Mac user. Will iPhoto be ok for RAW files, or do I need to step up to something better?
     
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  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    lee

    spare battery is a good thing to have - one is enough unless you are planning to go shooting for days at a time. You should get at 300 shots from a single charge, but batteries being batteries they will run out at the most crucial moment :)

    I personally use a UV filter on all my lenses - I never use a lens cap , and it is easier and safer to clean a filter than he front element of your lens.

    I never use a case or a LCD protector, and i don't baby my cameras and I have never had a problem with damage to the LCD, sometimes i use a small bag if I am going out with several lenses or I am travelling.

    The only accessory i bought for mine was a wrist strap, which i find the best way for me

    gordy's camera straps

    iphoto will be fine for your photo needs - sounds like you will have enough of a learning curve with the camera - I think you will need the latest version of iLife - iLife 09 if you want to shoot RAW, but older versions will work fine with JPEG.


    good luck and enjoy the camera

    K
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Lee, I think Kevin gave you excellent advice.
     
  4. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    iPhoto does support RAW, but Aperture does a better job of it.

    I got a UV filter not because I thought I needed one (I actually like the slightly blue cast), but because I am a klutz and it's a first line of defense for the more expensive glass behind it.

    Most filters can be emulated in post anyway, but the one that is most essential that can't is a polarizing filter.

    I use a case for transport, but I prefer using a leather half case for walking around presuming I'm only using a single lens. (I now have five, which is too many in too short a time, but I'm going on vacation next week.) I added an LCD screen protector simply because, well, I'm a klutz.

    Oh, I think the leather half case is too thick and heavy and not the right color, but thick means it's more protection against me, so maybe it's all good.

    I've considered finding some metallic pink leather that'll coordinate with my GF-1 and making my own case, though, because I'd rather have battery door access without taking the thing off.

    Even if you don't want a tripod, a collapsible monopod (I like a 4-segment, though I have a Slik, which isn't my favorite brand) with a monopod head (I have an inexpensive Manfrotto) may come in handy.
     
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Deidre

    not to get off topic here... but RAW conversion for iphoto and Aperture is exactly the same as it handled at the OS level. Aperture offers more controls, and better image management... For the original poster iphoto will offer the best solution at this point.

    there is little to no blue cast with a UV filter... well none i have ever seen. It does offer excellent protection for the lens

    your advice is well meant .. but the OP said he was new to all this... don't fill his head with more complications

    K

    kevin
     
  6. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Thank y'all for the advice. I am fairly familiar with iPhoto and know, somewhat, about using the simple adjust features it employs. Only thing like Aperture I've used was a program I think called Gimp. I needed to something that would allow erase and cloning and it was a free download . . . worked pretty well. I'm sure I'll move on to more advanced software fairly soon. :)

    Thanks for the rec on gordy straps. Got one ordered now. I'm looking at filters and trying to decide if the B+W is necessary, or if a cheap Tiffen will suffice for now.
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I've used Hoya without any problems whatsoever...but there are those who only use B+W and will consider me a heretic.:wink:
     
  8. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Gimp is like photoshop in that its an image editor that allows you to make changes at a pixel level...its more a graphics art tool than a photographers tool.

    aperture and lightroom are more like iphoto on steroids.. tools designed for photographers to make the whole import,catalogue,edit and deliver cycle as easy as possible. They do the same functions as iphoto, but with more control

    personally i favour Aperture.. but that has more to do with my past working in product marketing for Apple and helping launch it in europe :)

    cheers

    K
     
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    Sorry I was unclear. I prefer the look without a UV filter as it is slightly bluer generally, but got one anyway.

    I have tried Aperture, but I'm an iPhoto user primarily because I don't have the spare hard drive space at present (I'm a laptop-only user) to convert my extensive photo library to Aperture.

    So if you already use iPhoto, unless there's a compelling reason to switch, might as well stick with iPhoto. I use Photoshop for editing more complicated than straightening and basic cropping.
     
  10. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

    The thing I like about Aperture coming from years use of iphoto is that the format is very similar. I tried others like LR, the panasonic 'silkypix' Nikon's suit and one other I can't remember. But as soon as I got Aperture 3 it all 'clicked' and I love it. Similar to iphoto but it has a ton more useful adjustments and is great for raw as you can assign a custom 'preset' which adjusts the image as you import them. After adding the preset I very rarely need to adjust the image further. Like for examle I have a preset I made called 'My GF1 preset' and when I connect my GF1 I just select it and it adds it to my RAW images and makes them really great. Same with my D90 I have a preset made for most general photos and another made for photos taken at night.
    Although Aperture takes a bit of Grunt to run:) If you have a G4 it might be worse than a wet weak.
     
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  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Stuff

    You've gotten some great advice. I'd like to add a few things. I would suggest getting a small tripod (and I do mean small) like an Ultrapod II. It fits into a small bag, can be attached to stuff via its built-in velcro strap and the "once in a blue moon" that you need it you'll be glad you have it.

    I agree that a wrist strap is a better option of something the PEN cameras but I like the CooLanyards ones a bit more than the Gordy Straps but that's just personal preference. The Gordy straps are really nice.

    iPhoto is fine if you know it and are comfortable with it. Aperture gives you more control but the UI isn't quite as user friendly as iPhoto. Aperture and Adobe's Lightroom both offer 30 day trials so it's easy to try them out.

    I suggest that even if you stick with iPhoto, set it up so that it does NOT copy your photos into the iPhoto library but leaves them in their original location. Should you have any issues with the library getting corrupted (which can happen) you still have your originals (it located in PREFERENCES under ADVANCED). It does mean that you need to copy the files to a hard drive BEFORE importing them into iPhoto but it also gives you a bit more control.

    [​IMG]
     

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  12. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Another question. Is it better to just buy an adapter for each legacy manufacture or by the one that accepts 4/3 lens then an adapter from that? I read on another board something about the Panasonic one to 4/3 being cheaper and easier.
     
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    personally i bought a 4/3 to micro4/3 adaptor because I already had a 4/3 camera and had invested in legacy to 4/3 adaptors.

    i dont have the panasonic or olympus 4/3 to micro4/3 adaptors - these are more expensive becuase they are designed to support the electrical contact between native 4/3 lenses and the camera body.

    if you are never going to use native 4/3 lenses, only legacy manual focus lenses then a simpler adaptor will work fine


    K
     
  14. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Thanks, Kevin. Of course I don't know what I will ultimately use, but I have read some on the Oly and Panasonic 25mm 4/3 and the Oly macro. I don't know enough to know if they are "must have" lenses. I just didn't want to invest in several (I've only bought one so far) m4/3 adapters when I might be better off with one for 4/3 and then an adapter for legacy.
     
  15. bethmcmillen2@mac.com

    bethmcmillen2@mac.com Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Aug 5, 2010
    Mena, AR
     
  16. shinobi

    shinobi Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Aug 11, 2010
    My favorite RAW reader is the free Olympus Viewer 2 (works for Mac). Once downloaded and processed individually or in batch, it retains the look of the jpeg, which is important to me.

    I then process the resulting Tiff file further with other software if needed. One can also process into a jpeg directly.
     
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  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
  18. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Got the little beauty in today and have been playing with the kit lens (all I have right now). I'm glad I've been reading up on this, because the control options appear to be extensive, to say the least. Right now I'm just having fun playing with shutter speed and aperture settings in my house. I'm amazed at how much light this picks up in the afternoon indoor light. According to the camera, with this lens I can shoot like 1/60 at current lighting conditions. I can't imagine how quick the panny lens must be at this light.
     
  19. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    613
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Yes! You've either forgotten to order, or forgotten to mention you already have, memory cards.

    You should have 2 SDHC cards of either 4 or 8 gig to start with. You should also have a card reader that supports SDHC (not just SD) cards.
     
  20. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Picked up an 8G SDHC today!! I went ahead and got the fastest one from Sans, although it was dang expensive. I haven't gotten a reader yet, but I can tell that plugging in this cord every time isn't gonna fly for long.