It’s For the Birds

After spending all summer trying to capture some half way decent images of the hummingbirds in my yard, I think I might have found a better solution than the OMD on a tripod with a wireless shutter release. Really what I would like is the Bird Photo Booth to house my OMD with a wireless shutter release controlled by my iPhone. None the less for $150.00 Bird Photo Booth has produced some pretty amazing sample images.


I love the retro design styling, and the fact that this can hold the GoPro Hero 3 as well as any iPhone, or iPod Touch. I also like the fact that is not software dependent allowing you to use your app of choice to talk to the camera you are using.

I just hope I can get some shots like the ones below in the future if I buy this.



Shooting Wirelessly.

So a few days ago I received my shiny new wireless shutter release for the OMD EM-5. The reason for getting it was pretty straight forward. I want to be able to trip the shutter from a remote location so I don’t scare off the birds I want to get photos of. I have to say for the most part the RFN-4 does exactly what it is supposed to do (although the hummingbirds aren’t being very cooperative).

One issue I am having though involves black frames, especially if the camera is in rapid fire mode set to shoot at 9 frames per second. I’m not exactly sure what is going on. It almost feels as though the camera is out running the shutter release, recording data before the shutter can open but that doesn’t really make sense. This is probably a camera setting, and not the fault of the wireless rig.

For the most part the RFN-4 has worked really well. I’ve used it at a range of about 40 feet. There is a bit of a lag at times but nothing to bad, and it mostly happens when the receiver is coming out of standby mode, or the camera is waking up from sleep mode. The quality of the build is OK. The device is all plastic and the switches feel a bit flimsy at times, and for $70.00 I really did expect higher quality parts. Even though it feels a bit cheap this gets a thumbs up from me. It didn’t break the bank, and it preforms like it is supposed to. If you are an OMD EM-5 owner and you need a wireless release this is a good investment.

I Love Intials. OMD EM-5… RFN-4.

Most of the summer I have been trying to get photos of the humming birds that have taken up residence at our house. I’m using the Olympus OMD EM-5 with a 40 to 150mm 4/3 lens (80 to 300mm equivalent on a 35mm camera) with the micro 4/3 adapter. A hummingbird flies at an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour and can do a fast dive at up to 60 miles per hour, which makes them a bit hard to catch. In addition to their speed they are easily scared off by movement. Their wings flap 12–80 times per second, and at just 3 inches long, even with the lens zoomed all the way in they don’t fill up much of a 16 megapixel shot.

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All of the shots here, were taken with the camera on a tripod on 15 to 20 feet from the subject. I’ve been setting the camera up on a tripod and then using a cable release so I won’t scare them off. The problem is the zoom lens is pretty slow, and while it’s a good lens, it’s not a great lens. I’m getting some OK shots, but the reality is I need to get closer with a better lens. This is where my new wireless release comes in. With a range of up to 80 meters, the RFN-4 Wireless release is going to allow me to tripod mount the camera with the very fast 45mm f 1.4 lens right by their favorite flowers.

The 45mm lens will give me enough light when wide open to be able to crank the shutter speed way up and freeze the action (something that has been hard to do with the 40 to 150mm at f5.6 ). The wireless release will let me pre-focus the camera, then hide out inside waiting for the hummingbirds to show up.

The Olympus OMD vs Canon 5D MkII at Greaserama 2012.

A couple of Sunday’s back my friend Tim and I took his Canon 5D MkII and my Olympus OMD EM-5 to Kansas City’s Greaserama hot rod show that takes place every memorial day weekend at the Boulevard Drive-In. Aside from shooting video of some pretty amazing rat rods, hot rods, and vintage bikes, we wanted to do another comparison between the cameras.

The video below was shot all hand held with no steady rigs, or other camera mounts. Like the video from the Kauffman Preorming Arts Center, this is a mix of footage from both cameras. The 5D was stabilized with Adobe After Effects using the Warp Stabilizer. The Olympus used the 5 axis image stabilization built into it with just a few of those clips getting the Warp Stabilizer.

There are a couple of things that bug me about some of the Olympus footage. When the camera is not in manual focus mode, it tends to shift focus when tracking a moving object. The shift is subtle but there on some of the clips. Overall though, I think the OMD EM-5 holds it’s own with the 5D MkII, and beats it for in camera image stabilization.