Sunday, 26 December 2010

The new camera

Santa Claus (as represented by my wife Jane) brought me a new camera - my first DSLR.  It is an Olympus E450. It has two lenses: a 14 - 42 and a 40 -150. I have started the process of learning how to use it, which is not going to be easy! It just has so many settings and features. To begin with I will be mostly using the automatic settings I think, and gradually learning a bit more about what works and what doesn't, through the time-honoured Trial-And-Error approach. I find that the User Manual is not partucularly helpful for the real beginner. OK, it tells you how to change Feature X to Setting Y; but not necessarily why you would want to do that! Perhaps the best thing is that the memory card I have got will store about 3500 photos, so I'm less likely to hear that dreaded bleep that signifies "Memory Card Full".

Anyway, just to prove that I have mastered Lesson 1, here are a few of my first attempts. More work required, methinks.

I started with some relatively easy subjects - ones that didn't move


Callicarpa berries

Frosted leaves of a bay tree

Cavolo Nero

Sprouting Broccoli

Then some rather more difficult (i.e. mobile) subjects...


Our Grey Squirrel eyeing-up the sunflower seeds

This Thrush has been helping himself to the bread I put out

Bluetit and Goldfinch race to see who can eat most sunflower seeds

At last - a decent picture of the elusive Blackcap

I can see already that I'm not going to be satisfied with the lenses I have now! I'll need at least a telephoto zoom lens for those long-distance views if I'm to adequately capture the wildlife shots I want.

Note to self: must remember that I am primarily a Veg gardener, not a wildlife photographer!

11 comments:

  1. Great pressie Mark, an allotment blog is useless without a camera to photo document it all, and by look of them pics, it's a good'n! My camera is the one possession in my life I love to bits, I decided to bulk down last year and have a Panasonic Lumix DMC ZX1 which because of it's size I am forever misplacing. Ah you win some, you lose some.

    Recently published a few of my little xmas surprises this year too, to find out read the blog :D

    Have a good one my friend, looking forward to see your skills developing with the cam.

    All the best, Craig.

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  2. My new camera is a Canon. I find the same problem with the user manual. The manual is 200 pages and it was on a disc that I had to load on to the computer. It really doesn't explain why...so, I decided to take a class at the camera shop.

    I think your photos are great!!

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  3. Nice photos. Santa give you a nice gift.

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  4. A really good start Mark. I so agree about camera manuals - I just don't get why I have to do certain things and most of the time I want to take photos fairly quickly. I use the burst facility quite a lot for things that move. I don't think you are ever really satisfied with how close you can get to wildlife.

    I thought my lens didn't magnify emough 'til I went back to taking a photo with a previous camera and saw the difference. I think the main accessories you need to photograph wildlife are persistence and patience! At least with a digital camera your can take hundreds of photos on the off chance that you may just get a good one!

    Anyway enjoy learning!

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  5. Oh yes, he tried patience this afternoon, but the doves still didn't come - so there will be ostriches tomorrow instead. He reads the photography sites to find out what the camera can do, and how. Still learning ... What we are missing is a macro 'ring'.

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  6. What a fabulous Christmas gift Mark, you'll have to try photographing some snow, I know you were having trouble with it before.

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  7. You must have been a very, very good boy for Santa to bring you such a lovely present. I am a little green with envy...maybe I should just try being good and will be rewarded next Christmas. I agree with Robin..nothing beats a class. Every one I know who has taken a class has turned into ace photographers after...you can really see the difference.

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  8. Great present, you're getting hang of it already! Good close up of the squirrel.

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  9. Birds are so difficult to photograph! They are the only reason why I think I need better camera.

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  10. that's a pretty impressive practice run Mark.
    It's easy to get carried away with a new camera and document everything to within an inch of your life. I find my eyes stop working if I snap everything and of late I've even stopped taking my camera out and about with me.

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  11. really nice Christmas gift!
    I am sure you will really enjoy it.

    Hope you had a nice and very merry Christmas and also that you have a Happy new year!

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