Skip to main content

DSLR vs compacts/micro four thirds

I'm what the marketing department at camera companies call an 'enthusiast'. Previously I would be called an amateur, but I guess 'enthusiast' doesn't have the stigma of 'clueless' that amateur now has. I don't make money of photos and I take photos for pleasure and for memories.

I bought my DSLR when DSLR prices were plunging off a cliff, that is after all the professionals had subsidized sensor and lens development. I bought the D40. I got a DSLR for the following characteristics:
  1. Low shutter lag. This was probably the biggest deal for me. I like to capture the fleeting expressions on human faces and the compact was very frustrating with the long lag between focusing and then taking the picture.
  2. Good low light performance. The D40 works just fine for me upto 1600 ISO. ISO 3200 is very noisy and adding a nice prime lens that goes out to f1.8 added a lot of artistic scope and improved low light performance.
The downside of even a small DSLR like the D40 is that it is large and conspicuous and not that quick to whip out when you need it.

This has turned my attention to the micro four thirds family. The larger sensor sizes are a great step up from compacts, but the form factors are so small! They also have interchangeable lenses.

Shutter lag is still a concern, but one thing I realised after using the D40 is that in low light (when a lot of my people portraits are done, round dinner tables and indoors) I have a long effective shutter lag because the focusing in low light is an issue.

What I depend a lot on in such situations is to focus on a sharp edge and then shoot a burst. Instead of waiting for the right moment, I estimate when the moment is going to come up and then hope that one of the images in the burst will carry the hidden expression.

The new 4/3 cameras I am seeing do bursts, do better ISO than the D40, are smaller/lighter AND they do movies, so I'm pretty sure my next camera is not going to be the D5100 (I was waiting for the price to drop steeply, or to find a refurbed one) but rather one of the 4/3s family.

UPDATE: I just found Thom Hogan's guide to m4/3. The guide is very useful.


Popular posts from this blog

Python: Multiprocessing: passing multiple arguments to a function

Write a wrapper function to unpack the arguments before calling the real function. Lambda won't work, for some strange un-Pythonic reason.

import multiprocessing as mp def myfun(a,b): print a + b def mf_wrap(args): return myfun(*args) p = mp.Pool(4) fl = [(a,b) for a in range(3) for b in range(2)] #mf_wrap = lambda args: myfun(*args) -> this sucker, though more pythonic and compact, won't work, fl)

Flowing text in inkscape (Poster making)

You can flow text into arbitrary shapes in inkscape. (From a hint here).

You simply create a text box, type your text into it, create a frame with some drawing tool, select both the text box and the frame (click and shift) and then go to text->flow into frame.


The omnipresent anonymous asked:
Trying to enter sentence so that text forms the number three...any ideas?
The solution:
Type '3' using the text toolConvert to path using object->pathSize as necessaryRemove fillUngroupType in actual text in new text boxSelect the text and the '3' pathFlow the text

Drawing circles using matplotlib

Use the pylab.Circle command

import pylab #Imports matplotlib and a host of other useful modules cir1 = pylab.Circle((0,0), radius=0.75, fc='y') #Creates a patch that looks like a circle (fc= face color) cir2 = pylab.Circle((.5,.5), radius=0.25, alpha =.2, fc='b') #Repeat (alpha=.2 means make it very translucent) ax = pylab.axes(aspect=1) #Creates empty axes (aspect=1 means scale things so that circles look like circles) ax.add_patch(cir1) #Grab the current axes, add the patch to it ax.add_patch(cir2) #Repeat