RNF – Bringing reality back.

I hear a lot of talk about “bringing jobs back” that used to be. Problem is that often times these are industries and professions that are or are on their way to being obsolete. To entice companies to do so corporate welfare is provided which may make for a good sound bite or photo op, but at most proves pointless by only delaying the inevitable.

Both sides of my family hail from small, rural towns. On both sides many saw the handwriting on the wall generations ago and left to pursue opportunities elsewhere often including the military and college and sometimes both.

Some moved to urban centers, others suburban, and some overseas.

Left family.

Left land.

Left familiarity.

Had to be done.

Home is where you make it.

They did not sit around lamenting the situation.

They were willing to change.

To move.

To retrain.

To get an education.

They did something about it.

They knew there was no cavalry coming to save the day.

They surveyed the situation and left. And the generations that followed benefited from their willingness to adapt.

There seems to be many who talk of wanting others not to benefit unless those others are willing to change, but are unwilling to change themselves.


E-P5 update to the update: Olympus E-PL5: 90% OM-D goodness for half the price

Note: Since writing this I have moved on to other systems. Not because there is anything wrong with Olympus. As I often mention any modern system would suffice, but others were better suited to my personal preferences.

Update to the update:

I swear I innocently entered Southeastern Camera


The friendly folks at Southeastern Camera, Carrboro.

to see if they had a deal on a new or used tripod. After some small talk with Chris and Dennis I found out that they had a lightly used E-P5 just in the day before, a lightly used OMD E-M5 with battery grip, and my current ‘it’ camera in stock new, the OMD E-M1 . Thoughts of tripods evaporated.

Even though the OMD E-M5 is what first drew me to Olympus and eventually the E-PL5 a year is a long time in gadgetopia. The OMD E-M5 was struck from the potential upgrade comparison (3 down to 2) for the following reasons:

  • No WiFi. Yes, I do have an EyeFi card, but for that I may as well stay with my E-PL5.
  • EVF evolution. I am pleased with my own VF-4 and by all reports it is superior to the built in on the OMD E-M5.
  • Build. The E-M5 is quite impressive, but the E-P5 and E-M1 feel hewn from granite by comparison.
  • Price. The pre-owned E-M5 was barely less than the E-P5 with superior EVF (my own) and WiFi.

I was quite impressed with the E-P5 from the moment it was introduced. It’s only downside was that it was priced right along side the OMDs. Already having an E-PL5 it made little sense. I was then reminded of the great benefits of shopping at the local camera shop. One key advantage is being able to hold and shoot many cameras back to back. While I still adore the OMD E-M1 in hand I realized a few things:

  • Can’t get this in my jacket pocket. Big hand grip. Big faux SLR hump. Great features and a definite improvement over the E-M5, but I am not quite ready to commit to the grip and SLR humps. With the E-PL5 I had come to love the portability. It is great to have the capabilities you want in your jacket pocket rather than in a camera bag somewhere else.
  • In related news the size would mean I would need to hang on to the E-PL5 for every day shooting. As a hobbyist I cannot make sense of a 2 camera set up quite yet. Plus there is the practical consideration that I could not benefit from a trade in.
  • Price. Admittedly well worth the price. While fantastic I have no need for the water/dust resistant (or the E-M1’s freeze proof) feature. Perhaps the new rumored mid-tier OMD will fill the price void, but $1399 is quite the jump from my humble little E-PL5.
  • I love a good deal. The looks like new E-P5 was less than half the price of the brand spanking new E-M1 and when you add the trade in, that would not happen with the E-M1, it only got better.
  • Personal aesthetic preference. To my own surprise in the flesh I preferred the vintage PEN rangefinder styling of the E-P5 over the, admittedly impressive, demi SLR styling of the E-M1.

Steve Huff was right all along. The difference really lies in personal needs and preferences. I recently dubbed the E-PL5 my little friend on Instagram, and it has served me well, but as of yesterday I now introduce you to my (slightly larger) little friend, the Olympus E-P5.


First impressions:

  • Having not experienced 5 axis image stabilization in the wild I previously underplayed it’s significance. For example it has noticeably improved the performance of my 40-150mm zoom. This second hand lens wonder can now be used in lower light than before and the macro converter can be used hand held. For example:


  • It has 1/8000 sec max shutter speed matching the E-M1 and over the 1/4000 speed of the E-PL5 and E-M5. Since I have two fast primes (17mm and 45mm) this should be of benefit.
  • Level. It has a level. ‘Meh’ to more experienced persons I imagine, but this novice is impressed.
  • WiFi brings remote control via smartphone. Cool. Being a smartphone contrarian (Loving my Lumia) I had to commandeer my wife’s Android Phone to sync up. Wow. Hopefully they will expand it’s capabilities beyond iAuto (Hello long exposure January star shots from the comfort of my living room.) but I am still impressed.
  • While I never missed having a built in flash on my E-PL5 due to it’s great low light capabilities I find it is nice to have the flash built in. My next scheduled self tutorial obsession is remote flash photography and while I do appreciate having RC built in I also like having the option of picking up a cheapie flash with slave functionality while still having the hotshoe available for my EVF at the same time.
  • It is the right size for me. In my mits the E-PL5 was on the small side so I had to beef it up with an upsized optional Olympus E-P3 grip and a Kaza-Deluxe half case.
  • Dials, dials, oh the wonderful dials. No more re-purposing function buttons and memorizing scroll wheel commands to use PASM modes. Love having dedicated two position front and back dials.
  • Real focus peaking. I had set up bootleg focus peaking on my E-PL5 (video originally for E-M5, but it works for E-PL5 also.) and mapped it to the record button to good effect, but this is superior by far.
  • No change in the PEN flow. Same VF-4Gariz wrist strap, and compact Swissgear bag that also holds my tablet that worked so well with my E-PL5 also works very well with the E-P5.

Life is good.


Previous posts copied below…

Continue reading “E-P5 update to the update: Olympus E-PL5: 90% OM-D goodness for half the price”

RNF – Intent vs. Content

Do not waste time focusing on those who flee at the first signs of a challenge. They very likely did you a favor.

Be weary of those who stay nearby for no good reason. Focus on the intent of their actions rather than the content.

Cherish those who remain close out of love regardless of life’s twists and turns. Investing in their well being will pay emotional if not, or possibly in addition to, material gains in the end.

Respect all, love all, hold a precious few in close confidence.



Update: Olympus E-PL5: 90% OM-D goodness for half the price


This update is perhaps long overdue, but I purchased the Olympus E-PL5 in March about a month after writing the post found below and I must say I have been very happy with it. So much so that I went on to purchase a sweet retro case from Kaza, and 2 lenses. The Panasonic Leica 14mm and an Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm zoom both purchased for a steal second hand at Southeastern Camera in Carrboro, NC.



Pocket mode lens. The Lumix 14mm…



Kaza Deluxe hand made half case and strap. Click image for link to store.

To say I am happy with the decision would be an understatement. So much so I am now eyeing a Olympus vf4 EVF as an early Christmas gift. Even with purchasing that I would have body, flash, 3 lenses, case and EVF for less than I would have paid for many cameras w/o a kit.

Since then I have had a great time snapping pics every day as well as on a DC field trip, a family trip to NYC and upstate NY, local museums and more. Photo sets of all can be found at my Flickr page below:


Olympus is still at it and has released or announced some great cameras since, like the OM-D E-M1 and EP-5, but I am still quite happy with the little E-PL5. And the great part is that if I do ever decide to upgrade one day I can still use all of my accessories. Here are my original ramblings from February below:

Short version:

My camera wish list has been answered (great photo quality/auto & manual controls/compact size/flip screen/reasonable price) w/ one camera, and this is it. Click picture to see Robin Wong’s review w/ some great sample shots.

Continue reading “Update: Olympus E-PL5: 90% OM-D goodness for half the price”