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Gordon Laing
Works at Camera Labs
Lives in Brighton, England
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Gordon Laing

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The Moon at 2160mm equivalent with OMD EM5

Here's an uncropped photo of the Moon which I took about an hour ago from my back garden, using an Olympus OMD EM5 (Mark I) mounted on my Televue Genesis refractor telescope. The Genesis has a 540mm focal length and f5.4 aperture (so a 100mm / 4in front element), which when mounted on the Olympus becomes 'equivalent' in 35mm terms to 1080mm. But that's not enough to fill any frame with the Moon. So for this shot I also used a Televue Big Barlow to double the effective focal length again to 2160mm. It's actually the first time I've used the Big Barlow for photography and I'm quite pleased with the result. The image was so large, I had to rotate the camera to squeeze the Moon onto the frame! Beyond this, it was an easy exposure: 1/100 at 400 ISO in Manual mode with an effective aperture of f21.6. The hardest part was focusing the scope. Modern digital camera provide very useful magnified views for focusing, but at such massive magnifications the image wobbles a great deal making it hard to get it right. I just about nailed it here, but could really do with a motorized focusing system!

PS - my review of the latest EM5 Mark II is at the following link:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM5_Mark_II/
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Great view, thanks for sharing

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The Bandstand at Night

Among the many lovely subjects to photograph along Brighton's seafront is this wonderful Victorian bandstand. I took this photo with the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II last weekend after capturing that long exposure seascape with the old pier you may have seen earlier in my stream; a productive couple of hours indeed. 

This image illustrates two of the things I really like about the OMD EM5 Mark II. First is the awesome stabilization. When you see a night photo like this you normally assume you'd need a tripod or a high sensitivity to avoid shake, but thanks to the EM5 II's stabilization I didn't need either. It's a handheld shot at half a second using the camera's base sensitivity of 200 ISO. I didn't even to open the aperture wide. I took it with the 12-40mm f2.8, closed a notch to f4 for the best quality. In fact half a second is well-within the capabilities of the stabilization as I've handheld this combination at one second with ease and even two seconds if I'm careful. So this shot was taken using the optimal aperture and sensitivity, and the fact it was handheld in low light was irrelevant.

Some photographers criticise Micro Four Thirds for its smaller sensor, but I rarely if ever need to shoot above 400 ISO thanks to the stabilization, even in dim interiors or at night. Of course if you need a fast shutter in low light, you'll need a high ISO and that's when no amount of clever stabilization will help you. But if, like me, you shoot mostly static subjects, then great stabilization can free you from shooting at high ISOs or lugging around a tripod. I love how I can easily shoot cities at night, handheld at low ISOs. Suffice it to say it's brilliant when taking photos in famous Cathedrals where tripods are rarely allowed.

I did however mention this shot illustrated two things I liked about the EM5 Mark II. The second is the fully articulated screen, which allowed me to compose this shot with the camera held high over my head and thereby avoid converging vertical lines. A vertically-tilting screen, such as that on the EM1, XT1 or A7 series would have let me compose over-head if I was shooting in the wide / landscape orientation, but here I was shooting in the tall / portrait orientation, for which a fully-articulated screen is necessary for easy viewing. Since I regularly shoot with the camera this way round, it's an important feature for me, and no longer an advantage of the higher-end Lumix G models.

Interestingly the EM5 II also inherits the Keystone Compensation of a recent EM1 update which allows you to correct converging verticals digitally as you compose. Another cool feature, but I loved knowing I could snap this shot handheld, over my head in dark conditions without compromising the quality in any respect. Capabilities like these have really transformed how, where and when I can shoot, and is why I believe the EM5 II is the best all-round camera in its class. Here's my in-depth review!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM5_Mark_II/
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Not only a great, great shot but I learned something about photography and picture taking. Thank you.
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By the seaside

Having such a good time with Anthony and Clare in Brighton that we decided to add a bonus Patrick. With Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II, a little keystone correction in-camera and Wifi to phone.

(with +Anthony Owen-Jones , +Patrick Metzdorf )
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Really well composed shot with the chalets behind etc , tack sharp too :)
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Anyone for a coffee? Or Nikon D5500 sample images!

Whenever any of you kind people buy me a coffee for my reviews, this is literally what you're getting: a wonderfully-crafted Cappuccino with a single-origin bean from my beloved Bond Street Coffee in Brighton. Yum! I took this shot with the Nikon D5500, the company's latest mid-range DSLR, fitted with the 18-55mm VR II kit zoom. It's a 24 Megapixel camera with a fully-articulated touch-screen, built-in Wifi, 5fps shooting and 1080 / 60p video. Ahead of my full review I've put together a page of sample images for you, along with a selection of movies, which I'll add to this week. I've also included two sample images shot with the kit zoom and 50mm prime for a quality comparison. Cheers!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D5500/
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Both! 
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Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f2.8 reviewed!

Here's Fujifilm's XF 16-55mm f2.8 mounted on an XT1 body with a PhotoMadd L bracket. The XF 16-55mm is a high quality general-purpose zoom for the company's series of X-mount bodies. It delivers a useful walkaround range equivalent to 24-83mm and a constant f2.8 focal ratio, not to mention weather-sealing. It's an unashamedly high-end lens aimed at pros who'll love to couple it with the XF 40-150mm, but does it deliver the goods in practice? Find out in my Fujifilm XF 16-55mm review!

+FUJIFILM UK +FUJIFILM Australia +FUJIFILM Europe 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Fujifilm_Fujinon_XF_16-55mm_f2-8_R_WR/
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Nice review that confirms my decision to stay with the kit zoom. The slightly wider and brighter plus weather sealing doesn't offset the price, size and lack of OIS for me. 
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Illumination with the Fuji 16-55mm f2.8

Here's a shot I took at my beloved Bond Street coffee in Brighton using the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f2.8 at 55mm f2.8, mounted on an XT1; it is, as always, a JPEG out-of-camera. I'm gradually coming to the end of my review of this high-end general-purpose zoom and hope to publish it later this week. In the meantime, you can download this image, along with a bunch of others in my sample images gallery, which includes a number of new shots!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Fujifilm_Fujinon_XF_16-55mm_f2-8_R_WR/
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Gordon, I look forward to seeing the review, because you are so thorough. I'd be interested in your reactions to the weight and bulk of the lens by comparison to the "kit" 18-55 lens, which is so very good and so much smaller. I find myself debating which one to take.
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Panasonic Lumix GF7 review - great entry-level mirrorless

The Lumix GF7 is a great entry-level mirrorless camera with some cunning tricks for taking selfies. Like other Lumix G models, the GF7 employs the established Micro Four Thirds standard and a 16 Megapixel sensor. Like its predecessor, the highlight is a tilting screen which can fold back to face the subject for selfies. Panasonic's had fun thinking of new ways to enhance the selfie experience though with a selection of filters, a buddy mode that recognizes when two faces are close, and Jump Snap which cleverly exploits the accelerometer in your smartphone to trigger the shutter as you leap into the air. Find if this is the camera to improve your selfies and get you into the world of interchangeable-lens cameras in +Ken McMahon 's Lumix GF7 review!

+Panasonic USA +LUMIX Cameras 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_GF7/
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Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II - arguably the best all-round camera I've tested!

After one month of solid testing and writing, I'm delighted to finally complete my review of the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II! It's one of my biggest, most detailed reviews of what's become arguably the best all-round camera I've tested. Sure, the EM5 Mark II is not without its shortcomings, but there's very little it won't do. 

As you'll discover, Olympus has taken the best of the original EM5 and the flagship EM1, improving some aspects and adding more besides. The compact weatherproof body looks and feels great, the viewfinder and screen allow easy and comfortable framing, the various modes, views and previews exploit electronic composition like no other, it shoots quickly and quietly, and the stabilization is eerily good. The icing on the cake is the 40MP mode - think of it as a bonus that only works under very specific conditions and advanced photographers will find it delivers a useful boost in resolution.

Suffice it to say I love it, but I'd also love for you to check out my review and tell me what you think. Once again it represents a month of work, and I'm keen for you to see the difference in detail and analysis compared to shorter reports elsewhere. It's an enormous commitment to spend that long on one review, so if you find my work useful, please do remember you can support me when you shop (for anything) at Amazon, B&H or Adorama by simply clicking through to them via the links at the bottom of my reviews. Or of course shout me a coffee - Cheers!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM5_Mark_II/
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Hi +Gordon Laing - I'm hoping you get a chance to review the new Canon EOS M3 that comes out today in Japan. I'm interested to see how you think it holds up compared to the Sony competition as well as cameras like the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II.
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Eight minutes at the West Pier with the OMD EM5 Mark II

This weekend I had the pleasure of showing +Anthony Owen-Jones  and Clare around Brighton and, as we originally met over a shared love of long exposure photography, a visit to the city's old West Pier was always on the cards. It was good timing for me too as I wanted to try out the new Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II for some long exposure work. 

So here's an eight minute exposure made shortly after 6:30pm, about half an hour after the Sun had set. It's an out-of-camera JPEG. I used a three-stop ND filter with a hard grad filter, both from Lee. I employed the wonderful Live Time feature on the EM5 II which let me peek at the exposure at regular intervals as it built-up, and also allowed me to set the desired exposure time; indeed coupled with an Anti Shock delay, I could start and end this exposure without touching the camera or needing any remote control accessories. I love that about the Olympus bodies.

I captured this with noise reduction disabled, so after the initial eight minutes, the job was done. I did this as enabling noise reduction would have incurred another eight minutes to record the dark frame and I was interested to see how clean the image would be.

Looking closely at the image I found a handful of hot pixels, although the red dot behind the pier is actually a buoy. Looking even closer revealed a sprinkling of fainter dots, but they weren't too obtrusive to me, and once again remember this is a worse-case scenario of a very long exposure, with no noise reduction AND 24 peeks as it built-up. I also made a four minute exposure where the dots became fainter, and several one minute exposures where there were no artefacts to speak of even with noise reduction disabled. While the shadows still aren't as clean as a camera with a bigger sensor, I'm still pleased with the results - especially as the earlier OMD EM1 was plagued by hot pixels when shooting without noise reduction.

I'd hoped to use this image to announce the completion of my EM5 II review, but there's so much to write it'll be a couple more days yet. But I have added this image, plus several others to my existing review-in-progress for your perusal!

+Olympus 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM5_Mark_II/
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Great capture .. serene 
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Olympus OMD EM5 II: 40 Megapixel in-depth report

Hi everyone, I've been shooting my usual haunts in Brighton with the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II and have added six new comparisons between the native 16 Megapixel capture and the new 40 Megapixel High Res mode to my review-in-progress. These include interiors, macro, still-life and of course the Brighton sea-front. This brings my total number of comparisons to 15, providing an in-depth look at the pros and cons of this cunning resolution-booster in practice - and as always I've provided all the original files for you to download and make your own judgment. I've also added a bunch of new sample images, so head on over and check out my expanding review of what's shaping up to be one of the most exciting and capable mirrorless cameras to date!

+Olympus 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM5_Mark_II/
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Bit it wasn't £300 at Argos!
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Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 - the new ultra-wide King?

Since its launch in 2007, Nikon's AF-S 14-24mm f2.8 has enjoyed the position of best ultra-wide zoom for full-frame cameras. It's been responsible for much envy in the Canon camp over the years, not to mention system defections. After much speculation as to if or when Canon would ever respond with an EF version, the company recently announced its EF 11-24mm f4, which may be a stop slower, but zooms even wider. But the 11-24mm comes in at a much higher price tag and is not even available yet. 

Enter Tamron with its SP 15-30mm f2.8, matching the focal ratio of the Nikon and zooming longer, losing just 1mm at the wide end. But the real killer aspects are that it's the only one of the three to feature optical stabilization and it comes in at a comfortably lower price tag than either; plus it's available in Nikon, Canon and Sony A mounts.

Surely it can't match the Nikon at a lower price, can it? Yes it can. +Thomas Rubach has been busy comparing the two lenses side-by-side on his D810 and you can see the results in his review-in-progress which show the Tamron performing particularly well at the wider-end of the range. Thomas also has a bunch of sample images for you to get your teeth into.

So if you're looking for a top-end ultra-wide zoom, you may no longer need to pay the Earth for it. Check it out at the link below:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Tamron_SP_15-30mm_f2-8_Di_VC_USD/
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Dont forger 16-35/2.8 . I have this lens over 14 years. Best for landscape and architectural photo.
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Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II back in da house!

Really looking forward to completing my review of this one. Gonna be a big one! I also thought I preferred the OMDs in black, but the EM5 II with the 17mm both in silver looks pretty cool! In the meantime, I've already written-up loads of my results and have a growing bunch of samples at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM5_Mark_II/
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Tomorrow....I will touch one mine...can´t wait!!
:-)
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    Editor, 2005 - present
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Photographer, traveller and lover of good food!
Introduction
Hello! I'm Gordon Laing, Editor of Cameralabs!
 
I've been into photography since my childhood, so it's great to be able to test and review cameras for a living. I'm also into travelling and good food, and I'm happiest when I'm combining all three!
 
If you're wondering what camera, lens or accessory to buy next, are looking for a photograhy tutorial, or simply fancy a chat about photography, then please head over to Cameralabs!
 
See you soon!
 
Gordon
Bragging rights
In fitter times, I finally plucked up the courage to hike-up Angels landing in Zion Canyon. On a less healthy, but no less proud moment, I squeezed-in no fewer than 13 puddings in England's famous 'Pudding Club'.
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Currently
Brighton, England
Previously
Queenstown, New Zealand - London, England
Gordon Laing's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Best camera, Best DSLR, Best Lens, Buyers Guide | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com

Looking for the best DSLRs, point-and-shoot cameras, lenses or accessories? Check out my Buyer's Guide and reviews!

Sony NEX C3 noise | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Sony Alpha NEX C3 review? We've fully tested it against rivals from Panasonic and Olympus. Includes sample images, videos and the best prices.

Nikon D3000 review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D3000/ . A 12 minute HD tour around the Nikon D3000, the company's latest budget DSLR, featuring a bra...

Panasonic FZ150 noise | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 review? Check out my in-depth report with sample images, movies and comparisons against key rivals.

Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com . A ten minute video tour around Canon's latest budget DSLR, the EOS 1000D / Rebel XS, by Gordon Laing, Editor of ht...

Canon EOS 5D Mark II review Part 1 - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_II/ . Part 1 of an 18 minute high definition tour around Canon's latest full-frame DSLR, t...

Olympus E-620 review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_E-620/ . A ten minute HD tour around the Olympus E-620, the company's latest upper-entry-level DSLR,...

Canon EF-S 10-22mm wide angle lens review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon1022EFS/ : A five minute video tour around the Canon EF-S 10-22mm ultra wide angle lens by Gordon Laing...

Panasonic FZ150 vs HX100V vs SX40 HS vs FZ47 / FZ48 | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 review? Check out my in-depth report with sample images, movies and comparisons against key rivals.

Nikon D5100 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

In-depth review of the Nikon D5100 DSLR, comparing its quality and features against rivals including the Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i. Includes sample images

Panasonic GF3 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic GF3 review? We've fully tested the latest Lumix against rivals from Sony and Olympus.

Panasonic GF3 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic GF3 review? We've fully tested the latest Lumix against rivals from Sony and Olympus.

Nikon D3x review / Vermont Fall Photography | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com

Looking for a Nikon D3x review? Our writer rented one for 10 days to photograph the Vermont Fall Foliage. Find out if it was the camera he a

Nikon COOLPIX S9100 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Nikon COOLPIX S9100 review? Check out my in-depth report including sample images, movies and comparisons against rival super-zoom cameras.

Sony Alpha lens guide, complete catalogue range | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Follow me. Camera Labs RSS Feed · Gordon Laing and Cameralabs on Google+ · Camera Labs on Facebook · Camera Labs on Twitter ...

Canon 8-15mm review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Canon 8-15mm fisheye review? In my full report I'll delve into the quality and features of this amazing lens! Includes sample images and videos

Chase Jarvis interview part 2 - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full interview at http://www.cameralabs.com/interviews/Chase_Jarvis_interview_Queenstown_New_Zealand/ - Part 2 of an interview with sports and lifestyle phot...

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_PowerShot_SX20_IS/ . A 10 minute HD tour around Canon's latest super-zoom digital camera, the PowerSho...

Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D review? We've compared the quality against the Nikon D3100 and provided sample images, movies and the best prices!