Thursday, May 13, 2010

Big ... I mean little competition for m43

The new Sony mirrorless cameras are pretty amazing. Should be pretty stiff competition for m43 cameras, but I think their head start in this arena will do them well. It will be very interesting to see how Olympus and Panasonic respond the these interesting models. Competition is good!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The first m43 camcorder

This is pretty amazing news for video people. A very flexible system with dedicated pro video features. Can use the growing number of m43 lenses. This should also mean better for-video lenses for standard m43 still/video cameras. Got times are coming:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Canon Video Firmware Update for 5D is Official

Glad to see that the pro large-sensor Canon 5D Mark II finally will get the video firmware update. This should make it an even stonger performer for DSLR cinematography.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New High Quality Entry Level Canon T2i Makes Canon Owners Weep

The fact of life is that the camera market is becoming more and more competitive. The biggest differentiator between pro and entry level will be the casing of the product, not the image quality.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Olympus E-PL1 is the real deal and an excellent value

It is offically released.

Should one upgrade from an existing E-P1? Manual video control, etc. It really is lacking the dedicated control knobs that I have grown to love. Plus it doesn't have the styling of the E-P1. I think I'll wait until they have 60fps video and a more professional m43 body.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

E-PL1 is finally here

Wow. This will be an amazing little camera. Not quite as nice looking or with the build quality of the E-P2, but surely a fantastic performer and a great value.

Read all about it on

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Budget Olympus m43 is the E-PL1

Smaller than the E-P1 with built-in flash. Sounds like a perfect upgrade for a point and shoot. Exciting times!

First Photoshoot in Home Theater Studio

Here are some quick pics taken of my sister, brother in law, and neice. I think some of them turned out really well! What do you think?











To view more, please visit my flickr set:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Impressive Pancake Lenses for Canon

Check out this pancake review by Mike Kobal. They make the Canon 5D look like a compact. Not quite a m43 size, but damn impressive. And the setup is sexy too. Check out his vids too. Very nice work.

Voigtlander pancake lenses for Canon Eos 5D mark II and 7D from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

More information on the new Olympus entry m43 model.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Light Painting with the E-P1

Some fun with flash color filters found in the kitchen. It is amazing that some friends can have such a good time without drinking a single drop on a weekend evening.







Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My family!

Here is a shot that I love. Had camera on the tripod at just the right time. My fiancee and my boy, Fisher Boone-Ramirez!


Home Theater Studio

You know, I have only been at this photography hobby for about two years now. I have an engineering background, and am currently getting my PhD in MRI instrumentation. With MRI, you don't need light to get an image, rather you need atoms with an odd number of nuclei. With photography, you certainly need light. In fact, photography is all about lighting. With that in mind, I decided to take a $100 plunge and get some entry level lighting. I found this budget system via :

I have nothing to compare this kit with, however the fit, finish, and build quality are excellent for the money. I got this lighting to use in my "man-cave", where I can watch a flick on the projector, etc. I can also use the white projection screen as my studio backdrop. Here is what the studio looks like:




I did some research on how to get true whites and they recommend the white background to be about 1 to 2 stops brighter than the subject. I have no light meter, but did manage to get some decent results. At first I tried to use both lights on the screen to get even lighting, but that forced me to use an off-camera flash. I then used one of the lights to illuminate the background and another light to illuminate the subject. I turned off the background light, found proper exposure on the subject, then set the camera manually with the subject exposure settings and took a picture with both lights on. For a first try with lighting, I'd have to say it isn't too bad. Especially since my fiancee isn't so happy with my photography hobby and thus would not pose for me tonight. Here are some results of my still life subject and your's truely.






Olympus is great at teasing!

I love It is a must daily read with the rapid development of the m43 system. The latest in the line seems to be an entry level model at a budget price point. This won't be for me if it has specs below my E-P1, however it will be a great camera that I can recommend to my friends and family. Check out the news here:

Go Olympus! Bring on the water-sealed high end model next!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A great E-P2 discussion from a fellow longhorn

Olympus E-P1 Gets an update: Firmware 1.2

My daily camera reading payed off as I noticed the E-P1 got an update. Hooray! Olympus is still working on improving the E-P1! Please give us manual control for video. I shouldn't say this, but if you don't Olympus, I will have to buy your next m43 model. So there! There has been quite a controversy as to whether Olympus snuck in some improvements in the auto focus performance. Read about some user's impressions here:

Here are some tests with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens on my boy Fisher. Auto focus was very fast when in magnified view. I highly recommend focusing that way. I also though I would try out 16:9 shooting for a while. It should integrate with HD video nicely.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Robot 40mm f1.9Lens on Olympus E-P1

This may be my favorite mechanical only lens for micro 4/3. It is well built (German), has a large aperture, and has a nice portrait distance: 40mm or 80mm equivalent, and is really tiny. The only thing I don't like about it is that the adapter I have could be much smaller, so hopefully someone will build a nicer looking Robot to m43 adapter. I thought there were reports of swirling bokeh with these smaller lenses, but I see it very nice. Although lens is rated as f1.9, the aperture blades can actually be set to wide open beyond the f1.9 setting. I wish companies would make some small, mechanical only lenses for use on m43. Until then, this lens will certainly do. I got this from my local Camera Co-Op in Houston, TX and it is in like-new condition for about $100. I might just have to get the other focal length versions of this lens.

Blurry photo of setup from my cameraphone. Will update when possible!
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Here are some sample pics and videos using the lens.



Note an identical 40mm f1.9 in the bottom left of the following photo!



Olympus EP1 with 40mm 1.9 Schneider Robot Lens - I from Marc Ramirez on Vimeo.

Olympus EP1 with 40mm 1.9 Schneider Robot Lens - III from Marc Ramirez on Vimeo.

Olympus EP1 Olympus EP1 with 40mm 1.9 Schneider Robot Lens - III from Marc Ramirez on Vimeo.