atn 35: my first olympus dslr, an e520


_1180131About the photo at left: every photographer / studio has their own way of doing certain things, little tricks that help their particular workflow. At our studio we sometimes have multiple photographers working out of multiple camera bags so things like media cards can end up floating around loosely. A couple years ago we realized that the slots in a 35mm slide protector page fit our compact flash cards perfectly. Ever since then there’s been a slide page taped to the side of our camera cabinet, providing a perfect home for loose media cards. After we download the data on a card it gets put back here as a “home base”. This way they’re accessible to everyone and not hidden in the pocket of a camera bag somewhere.

Are you ready to start looking back at 2008? A number of prophotolife readers have identified The Boston Globe’s “Big Picture” section as a favorite for photojournalism. The Globe has just published the first part of  “the year 2008 in photographs (1 of 3)”. There are 40 photographs in all and I admit to viewing each photo and reading every caption. Thanks to the working photographers that captured these images I know more about the world than I did before viewing them. I’m looking forward to the next 2 parts of the series.

Guess who just got a new camera? After talking about getting a new point and shoot I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a camera (actually, a DSLR) I’ve been curious about for some time:  the Olympus E-520 w/ 14-42mm lens. Why the E-520? The small size, the 4:3 aspect ratio, built-in image stabilization and some really great discount prices. As a long time Nikon and Canon user I just really wanted to try something different. Various reports of the camera’s relatively limited dynamic range and high ISO noise had me hesitant but, hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’m looking forward to giving it a good workout as my 2009 photo a day blog camera. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out.

While thinking about getting a new camera I went to some resources that are often overlooked, the camera manufacturers own websites. It’s obviously a competitive marketplace and the camera makers are trying to run special promotions and provide information that brings added value to their consumers. If you haven’t checked out the manufacturer sites in a while they have more info these days than just camera and lens specifications. There are also shooting tips, special promotions and rebates aplenty. Here are some highlights from the major camera makers:

That’s it for this week, time to do some last minute Christmas shopping and charge up the battery on this Olympus! Have a good weekend and we’ll see you next week…

- Jim T.