Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: Speed & Precision

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO. Exposure: 1/1500 sec., ƒ/6.7, ISO 400. Photo by Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne.

Arguably, no photographic subject is more challenging than capturing birds in flight. “Take eagles, for example,” explains Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne, “which change direction mid-air at 40 mph. Your AF system has to be up to the challenge.”

Bourne found the perfect camera for his photography in the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Capable of capturing up to 18 frames per second with Continuous AF Tracking using its electronic shutter, the camera provides the speed and precision that Bourne needs to record the sharp, detailed images of birds in flight that have earned him a stellar reputation among clients and fans.

He judged the system critically as any professional would, and decided to sell his professional DSLR system to make the switch to the much lighter OM-D E-M1 Mark II. “I can’t pretend I have an eagle in sharp focus—it either is or it isn’t,” Bourne says. But for Bourne’s work, the advantages of the Olympus system go beyond those of mere physical weight and size. “Up until now, there hasn’t been tracking AF reliable enough to do what I do,” he says. Referring to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s AF system, Bourne notes the exceptional performance of its 121 AF points that cover the entire sensor. “That gives you an advantage right off the bat. Once I have made appropriate adjustments to set the AF system correctly, depending on my subject, my keeper rate exceeds that of my previous pro cameras. When I switched to the Olympus system, my clients didn’t notice.”

For Bourne, it’s not just the impressive capabilities of his camera but also the extensive lens selection that make the Olympus system the best choice for him. His go-to lenses are the M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO and 300mm f4.0 IS PRO. Speaking of the 40-150mm f2.8 PRO, Bourne says, “I’m in love with that range,” which, with the camera’s Micro Four Thirds sensor, gives him an equivalent of 80-300mm. “When I’m shooting eagles in Alaska, for example, 75 percent or more of my images are taken with that lens.”

If he needs extra telephoto reach, it’s the 300mm F4, equivalent to a 600mm super-tele. “That lens is amazing. I can’t say enough about it. It’s one of the most impressive lenses ever created,” he says. It’s exceedingly sharp, and Bourne notes its superior close-focusing capability. “A close-focusing distance of less than 5 feet—instead of 15 feet with lenses of equivalent focal length for DSLRs—means I can fill a frame with a bird’s eye if I want to, while remaining at a respectful distance.”

Another big advantage is Olympus’s advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization, which compensates for all types of camera motion to provide up to 5.5 stops of correction when shooting handheld, giving Bourne the freedom to react quickly to his fast-moving subjects. And because this technology is built-in to the camera body, it’s available no matter which lens Bourne chooses.

To those photographers who are wary of trading their large DSLRs for a mirrorless system, Bourne is quick to reassure. “I’m making 30×40-inch prints with the images from my OM-D E-M1 Mark II. And with its much lighter weight, I can stay out and shoot longer, which is a huge advantage for wildlife photography.”

Hear more from other photographers who have made the switch to the Olympus OM-D system at getolympus.com/neverlookback.

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Photo Of The Day By Lana Gramlich

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Windy Pine Savanna” by Lana Gramlich. Location: Abita Flatwoods Preserve, Louisiana.
Photo By Lana Gramlich

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Windy Pine Savanna” by Lana Gramlich. Location: Abita Flatwoods Preserve, Louisiana.

Gramlich describes the image as “Wet pine savanna on a windy, autumn afternoon.”

See more of Lana Gramlich’s photography on Facebook.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

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Best deals and offers on Xiaomi phones in India

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has seen its fortunes grow in India over the last few years. Analyst firm Canalys recently released a report that puts Xiaomi in as the second largest smartphone brand in India. Thanks to its affordable Redmi line of devices with multiple successful phones, Xiaomi managed to ship 4 million smartphones in India in the first quarter this year.

Most smartphone enthusiasts know where to get the most recent Xiaomi smartphones from. However, in this post today we focus on bringing you the best deals on Xiaomi smartphones in India. Xiaomi has been expanding its official partners network over the last few months, thus widening the scope for customers to get the best deals on Xiaomi phones.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is phablet from Xiaomi and comes with a huge 6.44-inch display. It is priced at Rs. 16,999 and is available from mi.com, Amazon India and Flipkart. While there is no difference in prices on these sites, the device does come with some offers.

If you buy the Mi Max 2 from Flipkart using an Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card, you will get a discount of 5%. However, the maximum discount has been limited to Rs. 200. Apart from this, if you exchange your previous phone on Flipkart, you will get up to 12% more than the usual exchange price.

Buy Mi Max 2 @ Flipkart @ Rs. 16,999

If you pay using Mobikwik on mi.com, you will get Rs. 500 cashback in the form of Supercash. Apart from this, Amazon and mi.com are offering up to 100GB additional 4G data to Reliance Jio users on purchasing the Mi Max 2. Mi.com is also offering free 12-months subscription of Hungama Music.

To recall, the Mi Max 2 comes with a 6.44-inch display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, 12MP primary camera, 5MP secondary camera and a huge 5,300mAh battery.

Xiaomi Mi A1

Coming to the recently launched Android One device from Xiaomi, the Mi A1 has been priced at Rs. 14,999. As this is a recent launch with good demand, we do not expect it get a substantial discount anytime soon. However, it still comes with some offers.

Flipkart is offering a 5% discount on the Mi A1 if you buy the device using an Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card. Again, the maximum discount has been capped at Rs. 200. This time, Xiaomi has partnered with Airtel to offer an additional 200GB of 4G data to Airtel customers who buy the Mi A1. If you buy the device from mi.com and pay using Mobikwik, you will get Rs. 500 cashback in the form of Supercash.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is an Android One device that comes with a 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a dual 12MP camera setup, 5MP front camera and a 3,080mAh battery.

Buy Mi A1 @ Flipkart @ Rs 14,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

The Redmi Note 4 is Xiaomi’s highest selling device in India and also the fastest Xiaomi device to cross the 1 million sales mark. Coming to the pricing, the Redmi Note 4 is available in three variants. The three variants are priced as follow: 2GB RAM / 32GB storage at Rs. 9,999, 3GB RAM / 32GB internal storage at Rs. 10,999 and 4GB RAM / 64GB internal storage at Rs. 12,999.

As a general offer, Reliance Jio users will get 30GB free 4G data on buying the Redmi Note 4. If you buy the device from mi.com, you will get free 12-months subscription of Hungama Music, and Rs. 500 cashback in the form of Supercash when you pay using Mobikwik.

Flipkart is offering up to Rs. 12,000 off on exchanging your old device for the Redmi Note 4, with up to 12% more money being offered for your device than usual. Apart from this, users who pay with an Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card will get an additional discount of Rs. 200.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 comes with a 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 2GB / 3GB / 4GB RAM and 32GB / 64GB internal storage, 13MP primary camera, 5MP secondary camera and a 4,100mAh battery.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (32 GB) @ Flipkart @ Rs 10,999

Buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (64 GB) @ Flipkart @ Rs 12,999

Xiaomi Redmi 4

The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is the budget offering from Xiaomi and comes with a price tag of Rs. 6,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB storage variant, Rs. 8,999 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage variant and Rs. 10,999 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage variant.

Amazon India is providing four offers with this device, starting with 30GB additional data for Reliance Jio users, 12-months subscription of Hungama Music, Rs. 200 promotional credit on Kindle App and up to 70% off on selected cases and covers.

mi.com on the other hand is offering 12-months subscription of Hungama Music and Rs. 500 cashback in the form of Supercash if you pay with Mobikwik.

The budget Redmi 4 comes with a 5-inch display, Snapdragon 435 processor, 2GB / 3GB / 4GB RAM, 16GB / 32GB / 64GB internal storage, 13MP primary camera, 5MP secondary camera and a 4,100mAh battery.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 4 (16 GB) @ Amazon @ Rs 6,999

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 4 (32 GB) @ Amazon @ Rs 8,999

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 4 (64 GB) @ Amazon @ 10,999

Xiaomi Redmi 4A

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A 32GB storage variant was launched on August 29 in India. The initial launch of the device was in March. The new Redmi 4A has been priced at Rs. 6,999.

As the Redmi 4A is already priced competitively, it does not come with many offers. Reliance Jio users will get 30GB additional data on buying the Redmi 4A. Apart from this, Amazon is offering up to 70% off on selected cases and covers.

To recall, the Redmi 4A comes with a 5-inch display, Snapdragon 425 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, 13MP primary camera, 5MP secondary camera and a 3,120mAh battery.

Xioami Redmi 4A (32 GB) @ Amazon @ Rs 6,999

Five Favorite Fall Color Tips

Five Favorite Fall Color Tips

Fall foliage season is upon us, so I’m going to share some tips for you to try when you head to your favorite deciduous grove to capture it in its glory. The sound of shutters will ring louder than the whistling wind that causes leaves to detach themselves from their summer homes. Landscape photographers feel their adrenalin pump and await the arrival of reds, yellows, oranges and a morning chill in the air. If you’ve read this far, capturing nature’s arboreal fireworks interests you. Read on to see what you can do to make your autumn captures as spectacular as the color you’ll encounter.

Capture that Reflection: Early morning is a prime time to make autumn images. Be at your location before the sun comes up because dawn light may produce dramatic photos, there are less people, and animals may appear. Another reason to be out at sunrise is there’s less wind, which translates to calm water. Calm water means clean reflections. Incorporate the reflection into your composition. Spin the polarizer to lighten it up. The effect is visible through the viewfinder and can be verified on the LCD. A graduated neutral-density filter can help darken the “real” part. This will bring the exposure value of the reflection and the real part close together to get an even exposure and softer contrast ratio.

Five Favorite Fall Color Tips

Details: Don’t overlook details that appear everywhere. Spend an entire session with nothing but your macro lens. Force yourself to go beyond the gorgeous tree, rolling hillside of color or iconic S curve in the river. Go close to the bank and look for small pockets of still water and capture the reflection on its surface. Find the fallen leaf that sits atop a stone and make an intimate portrait. Slow down the shutter to capture the effect of water dancing around its perimeter. Head back into the forest and look for details at your feet, at eye level and on branches. Find a lone leaf dangling from its stem that awaits its inevitable descent. Incorporate a blue-sky background or play with depth of field to create a wash of out-of-focus color. Study the forest floor to find a macro landscape. Look out at eye level for a leaf that may have gotten lodged in a section of bark. You may wind up with so many winners, you keep the macro lens on for more than one session.

Five Favorite Fall Color Tips

Use a Polarizer: Deepen the blue sky with a polarizer. Not only will it enhance its color, it removes glare from the leaves, which allows more saturated color to come through. Work at right angles to the sun so the polarizer has its maximum impact. If you feel the sun warming either of your cheeks, you’re in the right position. If the sun is in your eyes or hitting the back of your head, the polarizer will have little or no effect. Create compositions that have balance. Simply including blue sky and yellow foliage doesn’t produce a winner. If the sky lacks interesting clouds, minimize it and include just a small section of blue at the top of the frame.

Sweet Light: Regardless of the subject matter you shoot, the time of day at which it’s photographed is critical. Since photography is “All About The Light,” choosing the right time of day to make your photos determines their success. The quality of light at sunrise and sunset is unrivaled for its beauty and color. It provides a rich warm tone, it’s low on the horizon and rakes your subjects with magnificent sidelight. There’s a softness that can’t be had at any other time of day. Getting up early for sunrise may not be easy, but in the autumn it’s easier to accept, as the hour at which the sun rises is later than if you were photographing sunrise in mid-June. As if these factors weren’t enough to convince you to photograph early and late in the day, there’s also the potential for a magnificent autumn sunrise or sunset to add drama and intrigue to your photographs.

Five Favorite Fall Color Tips

Colors That Have Contrast: Colors found on opposite sides of a color wheel are great to incorporate into a composition. If you’re familiar with the color wheel, blue and yellow are opposites. Talk about an autumn match made in heaven. Crisp, clear, blue skies integrated with the fall color of yellow, and life is good. Since red and orange are in the same color family as yellow, it’s no wonder why fall foliage set against a blue sky works so well.

Visit www.russburdenphotography.com for information about his nature photography tours and safari to Tanzania.

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