A list of every Micro Four Thirds lens available from every manufacturer →

February 10, 2015 |

Typically, when we think about the Micro Four Thirds system, two names come to mind: Olympus and Panasonic. While it’s true that these two giants are the main driving force behind the system, many other manufacturers are also contributing. Storied names like Voigtländer, Sigma and Kodak will hardly sound alien to any photography enthusiast worth her salt.

Following the title link you will find a comprehensive list of every Micro Four Thirds lens available for sale today, along with their specifications. It even includes older Four Thirds lenses, which are still compatible with the Olympus OM-D E-M1, albeit via the use of an adapter.

You’ll be surprised to see just how many native MFT lenses are actually out there. If you’re in the market for a new lens for the system, this list could come in handy. And if you prefer a downloadable version, here’s a PDF brochure with all the information.

Please note that the list does not include announced but still unreleased lenses, such as the new Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro zoom or the Voigtländer Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 prime lens.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

James O. Thach's different take on Amazon customer reviews →

February 10, 2015 |

James O. Thach is a terrific writer who specializes in a very specific brand of literature: Amazon customer reviews. For a taste of his unique approach to product reviews, take his very last one on Amazon, aptly titled “A Helmet for Oberyn”:

Whether you’re a veteran biker, a new rider, or a vengeful prince facing the Mountain in a trial by combat, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper head protection.

There are plenty of options in the helmet world, but this model has some features to recommend it. Its open-faced design allows the freedom to deliver scathing accusations. (But don’t talk too much– 80% of brain injuries occur while monologuing). Its light-weight, composite shell is virtually uncrushable. And most importantly, it includes goggles. No one’s pressing their thumbs through these peeper-protectors. You may wind up with a case of raccoon eyes, but it beats the heck out of the alternative.

The urge to go commando will always be there. But remember, whatever heroic journey you’re on, you’ll never get there without a head.


♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Spider-Man is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe →

February 10, 2015 |

Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly:

In a deal long-sought by Marvel Studios, Spider-Man—the character licensed to Sony Pictures years before the comic book company got into the filmmaking business—will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers team.

The deal means Spider-Man will appear in one of Marvel’s upcoming movies next, the studio said in its announcement late Monday. That will most likely be Captain America: Civil War, which is set for release May 6, 2016. Neither Sony nor Marvel specified a project, but Spider-Man was a key component in the comic book story line that inspired this movie—a clash between Cap and Iron Man over whether superheroes should be registered and monitored by the government. Spider-Man makes a critical decision about which side to take in the Mark Millar 2006-07 crossover series that pitted hero against hero.

Can’t wait. The next Captain America movie just got a whole lot more interesting. Also, here’s Marvel’s official statement announcing the deal.

Via Mike Bates.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Shawn Blanc announces ‘The Power of a Focused Life’ →

February 09, 2015 |

I’ve been waiting for this book to be announced since this past Summer, when Shawn started talking about it on his members-only podcast, Shawn Today. It’s a topic I’m incredibly interested in, and I don’t think there’s anyone better than Shawn to guide us through it. In his own words:

In short, The Power of a Focused Life is about living without regret in the Age of Distraction. I’ll admit, it sounds a bit melodramatic — but I’m serious. I’ve been working on this book for over a year. I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading and doing research (with much more to do still). And I’ve been applying these principles and ideas to my own life for over a decade.

Shawn has always been one to walk the talk, and it shows. His previous book, Delight is in the Details, literally changed my life and was one of my main inspirations when I decided to take my chances with Analog Senses. I trust Shawn, and usually share his views on life, work and the relationship between them. I couldn’t be more excited to read what he has to say about this.

Also, whatever you do, don’t miss that introductory video. Now that’s how you announce a product.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Josh Ginter on why the E-M10 is still the way to go →

February 09, 2015 |

Josh Ginter:

Do most people find themselves outdoors in temperatures lower than -20 Celsius for extended periods of time? I’m willing to bet not. So why spend almost twice the money for weather sealing? For the person in the market for a mainstream Micro 4/3 camera, the E-M5 Mark II’s weather sealing (in my opinion) doesn’t warrant the extra $500. If you recognize that you need a more robust camera body, then you’ve probably already made up your mind on the E-M5 Mark II.

Agreed. In my mind both cameras are excellent, but the E-M10 is clearly the mainstream model of the two and factoring in price, the better model for most people.

It’s actually a bit like the difference between Apple’s 13” MacBook Air and 13” Retina MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro is clearly the better machine, but it’s also clear that the Air offers more than enough to meet the needs of the vast majority of users. If you really need or want a MacBook Pro, chances are you already know it and are prepared to pay for it.

Now imagine if instead of being only $300 more (or a 30% premium over the Air’s price), the MacBook Pro cost almost twice as much as the Air. Imagine if it started at $1,850 instead of $1,299. It’d still be the better machine, but it’d be a lot more difficult to recommend to anyone but the most specific subset of users.

Similarly, the E-M5 Mk II is clearly the better camera, but a $500 premium is a heck of a lot to command these days, when most cameras are excellent.

The E-M10 is an absolutely incredible camera for the money and to me, by far the better pick when factoring in everything and budgeting for the entire system, which of course also includes the lenses. As ever, your mileage may vary — and that’s ok, too.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Patreon will not be handling #VATMOSS in EU, passes burden on to creators →

February 09, 2015 |

Quite the eye opener by Heather Burns on Patreon’s official stance on the handling of digital VAT for their EU creators:

On the surface this would suggest that Patreon is effectively off limits for digital creators within Europe. Those who choose to use it will have to personally query each European patron for their tax status, VAT number, IP address, and/or any of the information required to substantiate the proof of supply. They will be responsible for issuing their own tax invoices to their patrons. They will have to supply the invoice and proof of supply data with their VATMOSS return. They will also, of course, have to store this information in a secure format on an EU-based and data protection compliant server for ten years.

If Patreon doesn’t modify their stance, EU-based creators will effectively be forced away from using the service. Via Matt Gemmell.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

The Village Idiot of Urban Innovation →

February 06, 2015 |

Mikael Colville-Andersen, Copenhagenize Design Co.:

I meet amazing, inspiring people when I travel the world with my work. I see a lot of things. Many of the things are good. Many are, however, strange and frustrating. Especially regarding infrastructure. It boggles my mind every time I [see] - or worse, ride on - bike lanes on the wrong side of parked cars in between the door zone of primarily single-occupant vehicles and moving traffic in North American cities and I thumb my nose at every sharrow I see. That fakest of all fake bicycle infrastructure. That sheep in wolf’s clothing.

Despite a century of Best Practice in bicycle infrastructure and tried and tested networks occupied by tens of thousands of daily cyclists in cities that “get it”, there are still so many mistakes being made elsewhere. I see stuff slapped lazily into place by engineers and planners who don’t ride bicycles in their city and who haven’t even tried it. Mutant Frankeninfrastructure from the lab of a Marvel Comics nemesis’ laboratory.

The Madrid Mayor has led a city-wide campaign to fill the streets with those infamous sharrows, and so far the results have been pretty underwhelming. No matter how nice you paint them, sharrows are not real bike lanes, and people don’t trust them.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Batman Visits Sacramento →

February 06, 2015 |

What a hilarious — and strangely gorgeous — take on travel photography. I love it.

As a side comment, that Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens is an absolute beast. I’d love to get me one of those for my “new” Canon EOS 3 film camera.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

“God is in the details” →

February 06, 2015 |

Buzz Usborne, founder of Prevue, writes a mind-numbingly thorough article on the importance of details in design:

But let’s be honest; using a product over-and-over, re-building functionality, and obsessing about the little things takes a lot of time — perhaps a luxury afforded to side-projects like Prevue, or products with too much money. They’re usually too hard to justify, and they’re definitely the first thing to be sacrificed when push comes to shove. That’s probably why Ludwig Mies van der Rohe only designed a handful of buildings that weren’t ugly skyscrapers — or why Prevue doesn’t ship features very often.

Having spent the last 7 years polishing my own side-project, I’ve learned where to look for “quick wins” when it comes to building detail-oriented design into larger, fast-moving commercial products. So instead of professing to knowing the perfect solution for forcing “detail-mining” into your release schedule, I thought I’d share a few places where you can start looking for improvement in your own projects, and why those details can make all the difference.

I came across this piece via my friend Chris Gonzales just when I was about to go to bed, and now I blame him for my insomnia.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

MirrorLessons reviews the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II Micro Four Thirds camera →

February 05, 2015 |

Great review by Mathiew of MirrorLessons. The E-M5 Mk II has many people excited, and with good reason. It’s a spectacular camera and it’s sure to be another home run for Olympus. The main benefits compared to the original E-M5 are the improved control layout, an electronic shutter which goes up to 1/16,000 and is completely silent, the improved 5-axis IBIS, freeze-proof weather sealing and the new high-resolution mode which is capable of shooting 40 MP images by slightly shifting the sensor and stitching multiple shots together. All in all, it sounds like a pretty cool refresh and if you’re in the market for a new camera, it’s a no-brainer.

That being said, if you already own one of the other OM-D bodies, I don’t think the new features add enough functionality to justify the upgrade cost. Sure, new features are always nice to have but deep down, all OM-D cameras share the same sensor and all except the old E-M5 share even the same image processor, so there’s not a whole lot of improvement to be had in the image quality department.

Once you own a relatively nice camera body like the E-M10, the E-M1 or even the old E-M5, you have everything your need to take amazing images. I’m super happy with my E-M10 and I don’t feel like I’ve come close to outgrowing it yet, so I have no plans to upgrade to this new E-M5. And to be perfectly honest, I also don’t want to get into a habit of upgrading my camera every year. In my opinion, and these are just my two cents, it makes a lot more sense to buy additional lenses instead, which is where the real benefits are.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢