Really disappointed with my new E-M10IV

RAH

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I’m somewhat conflicted over the plastic build of the E-M5.3 (never used the 10.4). Putting a big lens on it is possible, but it’s not a confident feeling to use the shoulder strap with something like the 100-400 or 40-150 pro on there. If you steer clear of the huge lenses, then the light build is incredibly liberating. Our local zoo is rather expansive, and by far the best packing experience I had was the E-M5.3, 12-45, and 75-300 and a spare battery. The stuff I wasn’t using easily rode in a jacket pocket. It didn’t feel like I was carrying a camera at all.
I agree that the E-M5.3 plus a 75-300 is a fantastic combo for zoos. It's also just about a perfect birding combo, IMHO, because of the light weight and compact size. You hardly know you are carrying it and you can still carry your binocs, spotting scope and tripod, etc. It's fantastic!

However, concerning the use of the E-M5.3 with large lenses, I don't agree that there is any worry as far as the plastic build, as long as you aren't dealing with the somewhat worrisome tripod socket on the bottom of the camera. If you are not using that, then I don't see any problem at all with using the camera with just about any lens no matter how large.

What I mean is that with a lens of any substantial size, doesn't good technique pretty much dictate that you support most of the weight with your LEFT hand (i.e. under the lens)? You really shouldn't be holding the camera by the grip alone and waving it around anyway, right?

Granted, it is nice to have a good grip on the camera and it does help you position the camera when it is on a tripod (to get some leverage), but otherwise even the smallish grip on the E-M5.3 should be plenty, IMHO. I usually have the Megagear half-case, but that is all.

Just as an example, I have an E-M1.3, but I almost always use my E-M5.3 instead with the 75-300 lens, and even with the Oly 100-400 (which I usually mount on a tripod, but sometimes handhold). I like the weight savings over the E-M1.3 (even though the E-M1.3 is certainly a more substantial, satisfying camera to hold - I mean, it's wonderful!).
 

Darmok N Jalad

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What I mean is that with a lens of any substantial size, doesn't good technique pretty much dictate that you support most of the weight with your LEFT hand (i.e. under the lens)? You really shouldn't be holding the camera by the grip alone and waving it around anyway, right?
Yes, when shooting with the camera, that's what I do, but how do you carry that camera and lens combo when you aren't shooting with it? That's when I get worried, for the same reasons as the tripod socket. Using the strap works, but it's not confidence inspiring.
 
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The Panny G-9 is one of the best out there. The E-M10 Mark IV is cheaply made. The battery door is always falling off and so is the view finder cushion. No us replacing them as they will do the same thing.
 
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I think of the EM10 line as the entry level camera to Olympus m4/3, much like the lower half of the Nikon APS-C line, the D3xxx and D5xxx cameras.

The dumbed down Nikon D3xxx and D5xxx are what SELLS to the people who coming from a cell phone camera, want a "real" camera. And that is what SELLS at Costco, not the high dollar FF stuff.

I have trouble teaching the high school kids to use the rather simple D5600 (and Canon T7i). They are used to point and click with their phones. Some are able to get it, some have trouble.

I had one student shoot an entire game "out of focus." On investigating, I found the focus point moved all the way to the left. So she was aiming the camera in one direction (like her cell phone), while the camera was focusing in another. So now, one of my basic lessons that I spend time on is, how to use the auto focus; be aware of where the focus point is (did it get moved to the side and how to move it back to the center), and to put the AF point ON the subject.

Some people don't "get it," that "the AF point has to be ON the subject, for the subject to be in focus." So the mfg has to dumb down the AF, so the camera will choose what to focus on, just like on a cell phone camera, because the photographer can't.

I remember talking to a parent who was carrying a set of pro level Canon gear, and he had his camera in "Auto" mode, cuz he did not know how to set and use it in any other mode. :eek:

So much as I hate the dumbing down of the EM10 line, I see the logic, to get the cell phone users.

But, I do wish there was an optional firmware for those of us that don't want a dumbed down EM10, to get us back to the mk2 level of control, rather than be pushed up to the EM5. I got my EM10-mk2 as a small/light option to my EM1.
I am not sure the objective of the EM10.4 is to get the smartphone users at all.

You don't dumb down the software side if smartphone users are your target audience. Software enhancements is exactly how simple cameras on smartphones eviscerated the P&S market and took the entire dedicated camera market to mid-80s sales levels.

Crippling the EM10s and even the EM5s is the only tool available for price differentiation and is done by established business tradition and 1980s thinking rather than testing the market. It's an example of market decline, not new market appeal.
 

archaeopteryx

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All dedicated camera makers do exactly the same. It has to do with the parochial, institutional culture of the Japanese dedicated camera industry. They have nothing else in the toolkit to differentiate price tiers.
I would suggest the lack of differentiation resulting from the convergence to single sensor, single processing engine lineups is primarily caused by a collective failure of ILC manufacturers to anticipate the intersection of chip manufacture economics and declining unit volumes well enough to get ahead of it. Parochial corporate cultures make innovation, risk taking, and adaptation harder but reorienting a hardware engineering workforce to software differentiation on a declining budget would likely be a challenging transition for any business.

Whilst resorting to crippling is an acknowledgement opportunities for differentiation increasingly lie in software it seems to me describing crippling as the only available tool ignores ongoing delivery of autofocus increments in firmware as well as hardware-based differentiations such as throwing processing power into the E-M1X for autofocus and throwing ADCs into the A9 for a faster electronic curtain speed. I'd also be cautious of ignoring processing engine unlocks from moving from manufacturer proprietary ASICs to phone processors. Yuongno, Alice, Zeiss, and previously Samsung may not have the greatest execution on that idea but phone capabilities suggest that's more likely an indication of the cost of creating software than a hardware limitation.

It does appear likely the product line JIP acquired from Olympus is most suited to software differentiation by crippling. But that it doesn't preclude processing power repositioning for differentiation of, say, an E-M1 V and E-M5 IV. So it's probably more realistic to say the toolkit exists and the question is how effectively OM-D makes use of it. We'll have to wait to find out the answer.
 

Replytoken

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I am going to ask the obvious as to the microphone issue, but I am assuming that you tried a full reset of the body to clear out any settings (accidental or otherwise) that could have caused this issue? And regarding an external microphone, there are many that are quite compact and can live in your hot shoe. The sound quality that you would get should be worlds better than what the internal mic captures, so it is not as if you are not gaining something for having to use an external mic. In either event, I hope you can get things worked out. And, last thought, have you considered a used E-M1 Mk I? Dirt cheap these days and still an excellent camera. Might be a good backup until you get things resolved.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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I would suggest the lack of differentiation resulting from the convergence to single sensor, single processing engine lineups is primarily caused by a collective failure of ILC manufacturers to anticipate the intersection of chip manufacture economics and declining unit volumes well enough to get ahead of it. Parochial corporate cultures make innovation, risk taking, and adaptation harder but reorienting a hardware engineering workforce to software differentiation on a declining budget would likely be a challenging transition for any business.

Whilst resorting to crippling is an acknowledgement opportunities for differentiation increasingly lie in software it seems to me describing crippling as the only available tool ignores ongoing delivery of autofocus increments in firmware as well as hardware-based differentiations such as throwing processing power into the E-M1X for autofocus and throwing ADCs into the A9 for a faster electronic curtain speed. I'd also be cautious of ignoring processing engine unlocks from moving from manufacturer proprietary ASICs to phone processors. Yuongno, Alice, Zeiss, and previously Samsung may not have the greatest execution on that idea but phone capabilities suggest that's more likely an indication of the cost of creating software than a hardware limitation.

It does appear likely the product line JIP acquired from Olympus is most suited to software differentiation by crippling. But that it doesn't preclude processing power repositioning for differentiation of, say, an E-M1 V and E-M5 IV. So it's probably more realistic to say the toolkit exists and the question is how effectively OM-D makes use of it. We'll have to wait to find out the answer.
I suspect maintaining 2 AF systems is costlier than converging on PDAF. But to do so would converge more than the sensor and complicate price tiers and purchainsc decisions.

Take the TG-series. GPS, IBIS, RAW, latest TruePic processor, etc. If the sensor is different, they pack it all in, single model.

Olympus/OMDS spent $$ to cripple the EM10 and EM5s software, design $$ to physically alter the models less than previous versions, and manufacturing $$ at factory and materials to cheapen the products. Try doing that with smartphones.

This suggests that the EM10s and even the EM5s are not making money and must endure cost cuts simply to stay in the product matrix and give the brand some product at certain tiers.

No Starry Sky AF in the EM1X? Speaks to a lack of consolidated software design and marketing, especially given the EM1X has a superior heat sink for astro. Again, try that with a smartphone where the flagship model is software excluded. Maybe they just don't have the resources. Bizarre.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Software enhancements is exactly how simple cameras on smartphones eviscerated the P&S market and took the entire dedicated camera market to mid-80s sales levels.
I think it’s simpler than that. Smartphones destroyed the P&S market once the picture quality reached “good enough,” bringing about the mere convenience of having a decent, easy to use camera on a device you already carry around. Many people don’t want to learn the intricacies of photography, but they want to take and share pictures. A smartphone is the superior tool for that group. I can share a photo or video I just took on a smartphone within seconds. No P&S can rival that.
 
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I think it’s simpler than that. Smartphones destroyed the P&S market once the picture quality reached “good enough,” bringing about the mere convenience of having a decent, easy to use camera on a device you already carry around. Many people don’t want to learn the intricacies of photography, but they want to take and share pictures. A smartphone is the superior tool for that group. I can share a photo or video I just took on a smartphone within seconds. No P&S can rival that.

Right. Smartphone makers incrementally improved hardware and massively increased software and networking, across all models in lockstep, year after year, every brand. Result: their user base dominates photography revenues and [sic] exposure.

Meanwhile, the EM10 series crippled software, making the current model less capable even though the hardware has incrementally improved. They even cripple the AF array to a much older, obsolete tech. This doesn't make the EM10 more appealing to the smartphone crowd. It makes the product much LESS appealing.

Difficult to retain or grow sales with that business strategy, or avoid critical social media like this thread.
 

ac12

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I am not sure the objective of the EM10.4 is to get the smartphone users at all.

You don't dumb down the software side if smartphone users are your target audience. Software enhancements is exactly how simple cameras on smartphones eviscerated the P&S market and took the entire dedicated camera market to mid-80s sales levels.

Crippling the EM10s and even the EM5s is the only tool available for price differentiation and is done by established business tradition and 1980s thinking rather than testing the market. It's an example of market decline, not new market appeal.

Well maybe dumb down is not quite accurate.
The camera has to be smarter to do all the stuff that it does, so that the camera can have a simpler/dumber interface.
And dumbed down in that functionality has been removed, so the mk3/4 does less than what the prior mk2 could do.

Marketing in MANY companies have always had issues defining and differentiating their products.
It is not simply software crippling of the lower models.
There has been and still is hardware differentiating among the models.
  • PDAF, was previously only in the EM1, but that has move down to the EM5-mk3. But not the EM10.
  • Weatherproofing, only with the EM1 and EM5, not the EM10.
  • BIG battery; only the EM1-mk2/mk3 and EM1X have the large battery. EM10 and EM5 have the smaller battery.
  • Grip; only the EM1.
  • Card slots; EM1-mk2 has two, EM10 only one.
  • Control buttons on the left deck; EM1 yes, EM10 no.
  • etc.
I am thankful that the EM10 has TWO control dials, same as the EM1. Makes it so much easier for me to use the camera.
Unlike the entry level Nikon D3xxx and D5xxx and the Canon T series, which only have ONE control dial.
 
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pake

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Most people here complaining about the E-M10.4 are those who already use more advanced models and were looking for something small or cheaper but still expected all the same bells and whistles in the menu system as they have on their E-M5 or E-M1 model.
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EXACTLY the opposite what I said. The camera models shouldn't take steps backwards. Instead they took a giant leap with the mk4 compared to the mk2. I will repeat myself. I'm not asking for an E-M1X in a E-M10 form. I expect the camera models to EVOLVE when the new generation comes. What is now happening is the opposite.

However, I’ve eventually reconciled myself to the swivel and although I still have an EM10.2, if I had to replace it, losing the tilt only shouldn’t be a deal breaker. @pake - why do you say macro demands a tilt-only screen?
I'm not doing macro inside in a controlled environment - I'm shooting in the wild. That means I will stick my camera in the bushes etc to shoot the subjects in their natural habitat. It's hard enough with a camera + flash + diffuser as it is but try imagine doubling the camera's width and trying NOT TO hit any branches/leaves etc so that the subject won't fly away scared. Also, the bigger the gear used, the more intimidating it will look in the eyes of my subjects.

Why not shoot in portrait mode? The flash would move from up to the side. The lighting would be f'd up introducing shadows. Also that would triple the camera's width so... yeah, not an option.

I am going to ask the obvious as to the microphone issue, but I am assuming that you tried a full reset of the body to clear out any settings (accidental or otherwise) that could have caused this issue? And regarding an external microphone, there are many that are quite compact and can live in your hot shoe. The sound quality that you would get should be worlds better than what the internal mic captures, so it is not as if you are not gaining something for having to use an external mic. In either event, I hope you can get things worked out. And, last thought, have you considered a used E-M1 Mk I? Dirt cheap these days and still an excellent camera. Might be a good backup until you get things resolved.

Good luck,

--Ken
Heck no! I'm not going reset the settings! Tons of settings I'd have to change again - and for nothing. I have restored MySet2 (my default settings) which didn't help and it's the furthest I'm willing to go regarding resetting things.

Like said - I'm 100% sure the mic is broken. I know these things. The audio level indicators are dead while recording. The audio track is intact in the files. I haven't changed my settings. Audio settings are as they should be in the camera. The camera won't make a sound when playing the files, and the same applies to 2 different computers and 2 different video players.

I had previously considered E-M1 but I want the camera to be lighter, not heavier. And I in fact had my dad's E-M1 a couple of weeks during the summer as my E-M10II visited Portugal for shutter exchange. The AF was quicker and some usability things were better but the IQ was pretty much the same (ie. no upgrade) and it felt heavier/more unbalanced to hold so I'd rather keep my E-M10II than get an E-M1.
 
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Replytoken

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Heck no! I'm not going reset the settings! Tons of settings I'd have to change again - and for nothing. I have restored MySet2 (my default settings) which didn't help and it's the furthest I'm willing to go regarding resetting things.

Like said - I'm 100% sure the mic is broken. I know these things. The audio level indicators are dead while recording. The audio track is intact in the files. I haven't changed my settings. Audio settings are as they should be in the camera. The camera won't make a sound when playing the files, and the same applies to 2 different computers and 2 different video players.

I had previously considered E-M1 but I want the camera to be lighter, not heavier. And I in fact had my dad's E-M1 a couple of weeks during the summer as my E-M10II visited Portugal for shutter exchange. The AF was quicker and some usability things were better but the IQ was pretty much the same (ie. no upgrade) and it felt heavier/more unbalanced to hold so I'd rather keep my E-M10II than get an E-M1.
I hope you find some resolution that works for you.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

pake

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Found a (suspected) flea on our dog yesterday and wanted to take a macro photo to make sure it really was a flea. So I grab my E-M10IV with the O60mm and two Raynoxes attached and start firing away. Well... At least I tried to fire away. The AF just wanted to hunt and hunt and not lock on the target. It went back and forth but just couldn't do it. I had to switch to manual mode and try to determine myself when the flea was in focus.

I'm pretty sure my old mk2 would have managed to focus on it as it had done it thousands of times before. One reason why I haven't done macro work with my E-M5III is that the AF hunts and hunts. And I see the E-M10IV with its new CPU (and sensor) even the AF has taken a step backwards. I'm starting to fear this E-M10IV isn't the right camera for me after all. Although it did a great job on Sunday at the event I was photographing. But the main purpose of this camera is shooting macro so...
 
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RAH

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I'm pretty sure my old mk2 would have managed to focus on it as it had done it thousands of times before. One reason why I haven't done macro work with my E-M5III is that the AF hunts and hunts. And I see the E-M10IV with its new CPU (and sensor) even the AF has taken a step backwards. I'm starting to fear this E-M10IV isn't the right camera for me after all. Although it did a great job on Sunday at the event I was photographing. But the main purpose of this camera is shooting macro so...
If both the E-M5.3 and the E-M10.4 "hunt and hunt" with the 60mm macro lens, I think maybe you shouldn't be blaming the cameras. I mean, they have different sensors, different AF specs, etc. Although it sounds like you have a lot of experience with macro AF, I do think you should try to narrow the culprit down better. It could very well be that ALL m43 cameras are not good at what you are trying to do. It certainly sounds that way if both those cameras misbehave the same way, IMHO.
 

PakkyT

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with the O60mm and two Raynoxes
Probably focusing at only a few centimeters away? What was your DoF? Down to less than a millimeter? I would image under those conditions you would kind of have to use manual focus and mostly just rock back and forth to get the focus in the right spot.
 

archaeopteryx

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I would image under those conditions you would kind of have to use manual focus and mostly just rock back and forth to get the focus in the right spot.
If the subject is within the focus throw of the coupled lens (DCR-150+250+Oly 60 in this case) autofocus should pick it up without too much fuss. I routinely do similar things the 45-175 or 45-200 II as the rear of a coupled lens on my G7 with similar front focal lengths (stacking the DCR-150+250 gives 78 mm).

It could very well be that ALL m43 cameras are not good at what you are trying to do.
I find it hard to tell to what extent ILC manufacturers knowingly underinvest in macro autofocus versus subscribe to the mindset macro autofocus has to be slow and inaccurate but, whilst neither the Panasonic-Leica 45 and the G7 are known for their autofocus abilities, based on five years of experience with that combination I'd be pretty surprised if it couldn't eventually manage to autofocus in a case like this. I don't have a suspected flea available to replicate @pake's test conditions but usually what happens is the autofocus algorithm just racks back and forth across the target without ever seeing it to be in focus even though the lens is getting pulled through the correct focus distance. So, at least in the Panasonic version of this, there is some problem with focus confirmation. The update frequency in the autofocus control loop appears to be a contributing factor since overruns are less of an issue with 240 fps 45-200 II and 100-300 II as rear lenses in a photomacrographic coupled lens, more of an issue with the 45-175, and most common with the 45 macro on its own. (A testable prediction from this would be the 480 fps L mount lenses would overrun less than the 240 fps lenses but, being neither rich or much of a bodybuilder, it's quite unlikely I'll ever have the hardware to test with.)

I've found I can mostly avoid macro autofocus overruns by manually focusing somewhat close and then asking for a shorter autofocus pull to target. No idea if this would also work with Olympus bodies as I've never come across an Olympus user mentioning about the technique but it's easy to try. I do find it interesting, albeit entirely unsurprising, CDAF (E-M10 IV), DFD (G7), and CDAF+PDAF hybrid (E-M5 III) autofocus algorithms all struggle with such an entry level task and that Olympus managed to make both the E-M5 III and E-M10 IV worse. So far as I know Olympus/OM-D hasn't disclosed update rates of the autofocus control loops but a hypothesis might be the E-M10 IV is somewhat differentiated by crippling it down to a lower update rate. Not that I can think of a way to test which doesn't involve probing the circuit boards. It's maybe also worth noting the E-M5 III failure here indicates CDAF isn't the magic bullet some folks seem to think. I don't know there's a way to discriminate among sensing limitations (the effective aperture in this case is probably smaller than f/5.6), control loop limitations, and firmware limitations in acting on focus information unless you're an OM-D firmware programmer though.
 

PakkyT

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If the subject is within the focus throw of the coupled lens (DCR-150+250+Oly 60 in this case) autofocus should pick it up without too much fuss. I routinely do similar things the 45-175 or 45-200 II as the rear of a coupled lens on my G7 with similar front focal lengths (stacking the DCR-150+250 gives 78 mm).
Which will work if you have a stationary subject and tripod (or other non-handheld) operation of camera. But under these conditions the DoF is going to be sub-mm so if you try and hand hold the shot or your subject is moving then even if AF nails the focus, but the time you fully press the shutter you have likely moved the camera ever so slightly and even if you only move is a mm your focus is now off the target point. With a flea this probably means off (before or after) the subject distance. So I don't think this particular setup (assuming hand held shooting as I think was implied) is a fair assessment of the AF of the E-M10.4 since there is no way to assure after AF that the distance doesn't change more than a half-mm with breathing, heartbeat, and the natural sway of our bodies to balance.

However reading his post again, maybe he did set it up on a tripod with a dead flea. But still it would seem that with the DoF so small, this would be a job for manual focusing with the magnify focus aid. I don't own the Raynox add on lenses and do not do a lot of macro work so I am assuming (perhaps wrongly) that the use of the Raynox kind of implies one is working outside of the handheld abilities of even the most steady people.

I do feel however if @pake is not liking the mark 4 he should return it if he still can. With cameras you need to have a connection and comfort with them and any reason you may not like a model is a valid reason to return it even if it is something as seemingly benign as "the pebbly texture of the body paint feels icky". Though it has nothing to do with its operation, if it makes you dissatisfied with your purchase you should get what makes you happy.
 

archaeopteryx

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I don't own the Raynox add on lenses and do not do a lot of macro work so I am assuming (perhaps wrongly) that the use of the Raynox kind of implies one is working outside of the handheld abilities of even the most steady people.
Given @pake's overall experience and better experiences with other bodies I made less conservative assumptions about the use case. I'm sure he can clarify.

More generally, yes, with submillimeter DoF it's challenging to maintain adequate camera stability and the degree of challenge increases with magnification. The Raynox DCR-150 and 250 are regularly used handheld for insect macros and you'll find quite a bit of discussion, both here and elsewhere, of their use. Primarily stopped down with flash and diffuser rigs but also with reduced amounts of lighting, autofocus bracketing of a few frames, and various methods of stabilization which may or may not involve a tripod but usually don't include classic, everything's static tripod setups. Pushing those methods beyond about 3x magnification is rare but the DCR-150+250+Oly 60 doesn't go that high. There's a great deal of dead bug photomacrography done too with entire sites and forums essentially dedicated to it. Magnifications around 4x are low in that context with 10-20x being common. Magnifications of 50 to 100x are less common but not rare despite the optics getting into the same price tier as lenses like 500 f/4s.

I don't personally work much above 10x, so don't usually deal with depths of field much shallower than about 7 μm. Autofocus from a tripod does pretty much fine in this range. I would be happy if tripod based autofocus with the Panasonic-Leica 45 macro managed to be as reliable with the hundreds of μm to a few millimeters of depth of field available at 0.5-1x. I also personally use the 45 macro handheld at 1x without flash or IBIS and wouldn't say it's difficult to get acceptable image quality results or make use of back button autofocus so long as you can get into a reasonably stable body position. I do prefer to use a tripod when there's time as that gives me somewhat better results.

Typing the above made me curious, so here is a pencil with 0.5 mm lead (IIRC) handheld at 2.75x. No flash, no moving in and out to find focus (I wobble several hundred microns along the optical axis easy, so it's press the shutter button and let the autofocus do its thing before I move too far), no tripod or other mechanical stability assist. Also no IBIS (because G7) but I did turn on OIS. Not saying its a great photograph or stellar image quality but it is a demonstration of adequate results from point and shoot of capture of a single frame using DFD based AF-S. And, prior to this image I'd never tried something like this above 1x, so I can't claim having any directly relevant practice. It'd probably be adequate to get a look at a possible dead flea.
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PakkyT

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Typing the above made me curious, so here is a pencil with 0.5 mm lead (IIRC) handheld at 2.75x. No flash, no moving in and out to find focus (I wobble several hundred microns along the optical axis easy, so it's press the shutter button and let the autofocus do its thing before I move too far), no tripod or other mechanical stability assist.
Looks good to me and some random online Raynox calculator I found shows that the 60mm macro lens with both Raynox 150 & 250 at a minim focus distance of about 8cm gives you about a 2.5x macro which is close to what you just demonstrated. So handheld very possible at these numbers. Unless of course the flea is alive, then all bets are off.
 

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