Olympus Europe is organizing a three week long series of little workshops in Ireland. The theme is, of course, E-M1. Workshops are held at the beautiful Castle Leslie in Glaslough, close to border with Northern Ireland. People attending there are mostly journalists and Olympus dealers from various European countries. I visited there last Friday and Saturday in a group of some 30 people from Finland, Russia and Baltic states.
Castle Leslie seen across the little lake. During our workshop it was a little rainy as seen here.
Workshops are divided into five stations. Of them most publicity in the internet blogs and forums seems to get horses in shallow water.
A 100% detail. Olympus E-M1; M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 @f/1.8.
While horses trotting in water and plashing it high in the air is quite flashy, it is actually not too demanding for any decent C-AF. Only maybe when horses are close by and there is a veil of water in front of them.
At least for us there was no real chance to get familiar with the camera. So people got quite different results. Some had their cameras at 10 fps which means no C-AF, some had their single focus point with no C-AF lock focusing at where ever it happened to point. Some shot video, which has no PDAF at all. I would suggest being cautious with results seen in the internet.
As I luckily had previous experience, it was possible to try things differently than before. Now I used 3x3 focus group and set C-AF lock at Standard to prevent erratic focus changes. All cameras here were set at no focus lock by default. To see better how focusing behaves I shot mostly with M.Zuiko 75mm lens wide open at f/1.8. Minimal DOF shows mistakes better. Horses turned to the shore in font of people shooting and then gallopped up the hill. I asked the riders to do one especially fast one and took the series below. Shown are the last 6 frames of the series shot at 6 fps.
These frames are inside the same second. Oh, and don´t mind my bad framing in the beginning... Below one more picture to show that they really did what I asked. Sorry horses!
It gets all the time more difficult for the camera when the subject comes closer as the pace in change of distance gets faster. Below are 100% crops from the last four frames of the series.
Depth of field is short, no IBIS at this fps and lots of movement in all directions as horses and riders and hands are bouncing. I think the E-M1 hit it quite satisfactorily. At least I was happy to see this result. Surely there was no retake. (They rode the hill up a few times but the other ones were taken more leisurely.)
Of the other stations, below is an example of Live Time.
On the couch Michael Guthmann (from Olympus Europe, on the right) and I hard at work following the evolving Live Time exposure in our respective cameras on iPad Mini screens. When exposure was satisfactory we stopped it via iPad. This is naturally seen by "my" E-M1. Happy Birthday here is light painted for Michael´s father. Live Time gives real new possibilities to control camera, mainly others than self portraits for me. And ghosts don´t do photography.
Every workshop has models. I missed the best one because of my inteview with Toshiyuki Terada. Of the others more later.