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!


  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.

  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, I decided to take a class at the camera shop.

    I think your photos are great!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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'.

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

  6. 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 can really see the difference.

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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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