The Big Dog and the E-M5 Mark II
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a seminar at Park Cameras in Burgess Hill, with 'The Big Dog' Damian McGillicuddy. The seminar was originally meant to be for several people, but by a stroke of luck (for me) I was the only attendee. Damian was accompanied by a very patient model, Zara Watson and Olympus ambassador Claire Harvey May, who can work the camera blindfolded I think.
After brief introductions Damian showed a quick slideshow of some of his impressive work taken with Olympus M43 cameras and lenses. I was surprised to learn that a lot of shots were taken in jpeg, Damian explained that he will have access to cameras for testing purposes before general release and as such software developers, such as Adobe, have yet to develop the post processing updates required for the new cameras. Damian says he has coined a new catchphrase for this workflow and it's 'pre-processing'. This is done with the software within the camera using the installed filters and and other in Olympus in camera facilities such as the 'colour creator' and 'live time' features.
We then went on to have a play with the new E-M5 Mark II. I have only been using Olympus cameras for a little under a year after my jump from Nikon, and only had very limited time with the new camera, but once again I feel that Olympus have hit upon a winner. The new focus shift feature works well, taking eight shots of a scene and then combining all the images within the camera to produce a shot with stunning detail. It's only available for static subjects at the moment, so it's ideal for macro, still life and static landscapes, but the way Olympus are progressing I suspect the feature will be available for all types of shot in the future. I saw some of the E-M5 Mark II video capabilities also, and whilst I'm not a huge video shooter the example I saw, a 'McGillicuddy Production', was more than acceptable and possibly something I'll explore in the future.
Here's one of my 'better shots'. We were using slow flash to try to get some movement in Zara's dress while she was spinning around. Clare was holding a speed light just to the left and there was another placed on a stand approximately 45 degrees behind Zara on the right. I don't think I can enter the world of fashion photography just yet!
Overall I had a great couple of hours, Damian McGillicuddy is a very personable bloke, down to earth, friendly and certainly knows his stuff. I was also I was pleasantly surprised to note that he doesn't use all high end gear but was using a pair of Yongnuo speedlights on the day, although having watched him work for an hour or so, I think he could get a decent shot with a couple of cheap torches. Clare from Olympus who has given me many tips and some great advice in the past was her usual bright and bubbly self and Zara the model was great.
For a look at the new E-M5 Mark II see this video on Damian's You Tube page
Keywords: Graham Moss, Damian McGillicuddy, E-M5 Mark II, Olympus, Zara Watson, captivephotons.co.uk, grahammoss.co.uk
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