The Digital Photo Guy

It’s A Beautiful Morning!

by on Feb.09, 2014, under Articles, gear, Lightroom, Meetup, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

Junkyard Shoot

Yesterday, Saturday, Feb 8, I joined 20 other ‘togs from the Prescott Photography Club for a shoot at Reed’s Farm, a huge junkyard in Wittmann, AZ. The weather was beautiful and the junkyard was a target-rich environment. Not only did I meet a bunch of fun people but I also got a chance to put my new Canon EOS-M mirrorless through it’s paces. Later that evening, I got to hear Hal Linden (aka, Barney Miller) at a “Conversation with the Artist” event of the Del Webb Center in Wickenburg. All in all, it was a great day. Here are some photos from the junkyard as well as my review of the EOS-M.

Take a lot of water, it is the desert!   Loose nut in the junkyard   Pick up sticks   Last man standing   Contrast in colors   Arizona jackstands   Red   New life in an old car   Best buds soaking up some rays   I think I found the problem...   I told you not to use leaded gas!   One of these things is not the same as the others!   Hate it when I miss a shift.   Need some "drive"?

I used a combination of Lightroom 4, Topaz Labs Adjust 5 and Photomatix HDR software to process the above photos. Can you identify the 3 that are nearly straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) from the Canon EOS-M? If you have any questions about post-processing, post them here.

Canon EOS-M Mini-Review

I finally broke down and sprang for a mirrorless camera. For those who don’t pay attention to this stuff, a digital SLR (dSLR) has a mirror and pentaprism to project the image coming through the lens to the viewfinder in the correct orientation. As the shutter is released, the mirror springs (reflexes) out of the way and allows the image through to the sensor. Of course, by that definition, P&S cameras are also mirrorless but what sets them apart from mirrorless cameras are several critically important differences. First, mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses. On the Canon EOS-M, using an adapter, I can attach any of my current lenses to the M. HERE (8th image down) is a cool shot of an M on a SIGMonster and the next photo shows it on a Canon 800/5.6. More importantly, mirrorless cameras use much larger sensors. The M uses an APS-C sensor, probably the same one found on the latest batch of Canon Digital Rebels. The image quality is outstanding. P&S use tiny sensors that result in tiny photosites (light collecting buckets) which produce noisy (grainy) images. Finally, the M incorporates a Canon DIGIC 5 processor, the “brains” of the camera. This is Canon’s latest and greatest and is instrumental in producing that outstanding Canon image quality.

I was totally prepared to hate the M and send it back to B&H. Surprisingly, the M fits my hand and feels like a “real” camera.” Even my wife’s Canon G11 has always felt a bit cramped but not the M. The 22mm (35mm equivalent) kit lens is outstanding and the images are clear, crisp and fully detailed. When I receive the Fotodiox adapter, I plan to test my Sigma 10-20 (16-32 equivalent) as well as the 50/1.4 (80mm equiv) and 85/1.8 (136mm equiv.) I’ll post photos at that time.

All the negative press about slow focus on the M has been pretty much put to rest with the new firmware. Because the slow AF issues caused M sales to crash and burn at introduction, it’s now available for under $400 (I got mine for $379.) If you’re a “latest & greatest” type, the new Canon EOS-M2 has been announced and should be available in 3-6 months.

That’s not to say the M isn’t without compromises. The lack of a viewfinder is annoying in bright light. I’m sure there are aftermarket LCD hood, a’la Hoodman, but I’m too cheap for that. I’ll probably fashion something out of an index card. The LCD-based controls take a bit of getting used to but, surprisingly, I found it was very easy to manipulate after an hour or two with the camera. I really, really wish Canon had incorporated an articulating LCD. In the above photos, numbers 1 (crane), 4 (hubcaps) and 10 (steering wheel) are from the Canon EOS-M and, are, for the most part, SOOC. As always, all Comments are welcome.

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