* Posts by Stephen Allan Swain

6 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

Stephen Allan Swain

Bolted to skull

I suspect that the 'glass' is bolted to his head in order to keep it in a precise position relative to his eyeball

Stephen Allan Swain

Reminds me of...

He's a cyborg, you idiot! He recorded every word you said, his memories are admissible as evidence!

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Stephen Allan Swain

Re: Agree

Conversely, I hate recipes with cups and spoons - I can never get a repeatable result. Plus more washing up. My preferred way of measuring ingredients, where possible, is to add everything to a large mixing bowl using digital scales - just keep pressing the 'zero' or whatever they call it button. Also add water/milk this way (making the assumption that milk is pretty much the same density as water).

Sony NEX-5 interchangeable lens camera

Stephen Allan Swain

Niche does exist

There is a market for this kind of camera, and I believe that they are gaining market share. I dont have any direct experience with this model (I tried it in the shops but to me it just felt wrong - a large lens grafted on a compact body) however I do own an olympus e-pl1. That camera has pretty much all the settings that a DSLR has, though you have to go through the menus to get to them. One advantage of micro 4/3 is that you can fit almost any legacy lens using an adaptor so you can dig out your old lens collection, or share lenses with your full size DSLR. Of course, you generally dont get autofocus, auto aperture that way. I am guessing that you should be able to do the same with the NEX?

So why not DSLR for me? Mainly I prefer its particular compromise on size and weight vs image quality. The legacy lens thing is fun but I only discovered it after I bought the camera.

I must say that I was impressed by the high ISO samples in this review - they seem to be much better than my oly.

Olympus PEN E-PL1 Micro Four-Thirds camera

Stephen Allan Swain


For shooting people indoors the kit lens is a bit pants, but as you can change the lens then this is not necessarily a problem. Bear in mind though that this is not a 'proper' DSLR, so if you are used to shooting with APS-C or full frame digitals then you may be disappointed. However if you are used to typical compacts (like I was) then this camera will be a revelation. However for shooting indoors get a faster lens - the panasonic 20mm F1.7 pancake (equiv to 40mm on a film SLR) is great but may be too wide for you. Unfortunately there is not much else out there in fast native micro 4/3 lenses, but with an adaptor you can fit 4/3 lenses,and if you dont mind manual aperture/focus only then you can fit almost any SLR/DSLR lens - again with a suitable adaptor. This is great if you already have a (D)SLR lens collection.

Olympus PEN E-P2 Micro Four-Thirds camera

Stephen Allan Swain
Thumb Up

Great cameras

I like this range of cameras - I have had the E-PL1 for a week or so and having come from a more typical compact digital camera I am amazed by the picture quality. There may be a problem with the sharpness of the 14-42mm kit zoom but I cant say I notice it. However I will say it seems a bit slow compared to the Panasonic 20mm lens. I also bought the VF-2 and it has a great picture but the rear LCD (even smaller than the one on the E-P1/2) is good enough for manual focussing so long as you use the zoom function. Unlike its bigger brothers the e-pl1 has a built in flash, but I cant say that I use it much - the 20mm pancake lens is good enough to avoid needing the flash in most conditions (plus I have never liked the look of photos taken with flash).