Oppo A5 – EOS 700D & Raglan revisited

Being as it was my wife’s birthday this Friday just gone I thought it appropriate that we dined out in style.

Well dine out in rustic style that is. One of our favorite haunts is the “Wharf Fish & Chip Shop”. You may have seen previous articles featuring this place, and its rustic charm and simple seafood fare is what draws a lot of folks back for a return visit. We are no exception. Plus we just like being somewhere close to the sea and the fresh air. Its gives one a chance to chill out and forget about all the problems associated with Covid-19. Fortunately we are only at level 2 status and are pretty much free to go where we want so long as we observe a little social distancing and are mindful of hygiene.

It was also a really good reason to try out the camera in my new Oppp A5 smartphone. Its no camera giant compared to flagship models like my wife’s Note9 with only a 12 mega pixel main camera. However in good light it seems to acquit itself quite well. Some of the images I took with it have been printed on 5 x 7 glossy photo-paper and it is unlikely you could tell from what camera the image was taken. In fact when put alongside images shot with the 700D, I doubt that anyone is likely to tell the difference at this size and it is precisely the same even on A4 prints.

bored

I have to say that I’m impressed with how the phone dealt with this scene given that the harsh light outside of the seating area and large dynamic range. A good many cameras fail in this situation, including the 700D, which struggled a little in this instance. In this particular instance the relatively slow aperture of the 18-55 kit lens just wasn’t really up to the task and it shows. The much faster f1.8 lens of the phone’s camera proved to be better at balancing the light values, and of course theres some fairly serious computational work going on as well. None the less it does show an area where the DSLR with standard lenses struggles to compete. Its this very reason that sees me almost exclusively have the EF-S 55-250 mounted on the 700D and I use the smartphone for closeup, wide field work or where I want a more panoramic view.

For the more traditional landscape image I would move back to the DSLR and wide lens & telephoto when needed.

Having said that I’m not displeased with the sharpness and tonality of this image. I didnt have to do much apart from a vignette and a small crop to give the image the ambient look much as I saw it when taking the photo.

I’m having to work a good deal harder to get images I’m satisfied with the 700D. The sensor is the same as the 650D apparently, and that was a nice sensor. Where the difference lies is in the Digic 5 processor, it handles the light substantially differently to what I had become used to with the 650D and the 1000D, and is taking quite some sorting to get used to it. Frustratingly this has meant that the keeper rate has dropped off.

Another quirk of this camera is in live view, which is considerably better than the 650D. Unfortunately unlike mirrorless cameras you cant sufficiently reduce the focus area as in a good mirrorless camera, hence you get missed focus on a number of shots. The image below is a classic example of this.

I wanted the focus to be on the closet of the posts and throw everything beyond out of focus. I new it would look quite nice compositionally with the couple just coming into shot in the background. The image had good depth of view whilst holding all but the foreground object in focus. In the live view screen it appeared that I had the focus point spot on. Unfortunately quite a lot of the mid ground became the point of focus with everything forward of that out of focus. I was using the 55-250 so was hoping for good smooth out of focus areas. That wasn’t to be.

Suffice to say at this point the 700D is proving to be quite the challenge. I’m just stubborn enough to keep at it until I strike a setup that works the way I want it to. I will update my progress as time and conditions permit. Until then:

Happy Snappin’

The X-T200 has arrived in store.

Photowarehouse now shows stocks of the X-T200 in store. Price wise its exactly where I thought it would be at $1329.00 NZD. Its being sold with the  XC 15-45 lens. Personally I think it would be better with the XC 16-50 mm lens, but its design

x-t200_system-slide-03-300x267is for a hybrid stills/video camera  therefore it gets the power zoom lens.

For me personally I would much prefer the XC 16-50 mm lens. Having had one in the past I was always impressed with its capability and as an astrophotography lens it was very good as a starter lens.

In terms of usability the X-T200 is a step up from the X-T 100. In the AF performance, number of focus points, updated sensor, outstanding LCD and greatly improved video capability, theres not a lot to dislike about the X-T200 other than the lens, which in its defence does get a generally good review by early adopters of the XC 15-45 mm lens. Personally on an ILC camera I’m not a fan of having power-zoom lenses. It should be noted that this lens can operate in a semi manual way and may be how some folks will want to use it. I just prefer a fully manual zoom for those occasions when I need to very rapidly switch focal lengths.

The dislike I have for power-zooms comes from having had cameras in the past equipped with this type of lens and I can only say that the number of missed opportunities for getting a shot was very high when compared to a standard lens. This holds true for all the smartphones I’ve used to date as well and includes our Samsung Note 9 which for a $1800 dollar smartphone should be a little quicker in focusing than my ageing power-zoom Fuji s5700. Often its not. I intend to tryout the X-T200 in-store to begin with and will report back as to how it performs, but at least for now I remain unconvinced as to the XC 15-45’s abilities. I’d also like to try it with the new XC 35 mm lens as I think that and the XC 50-230 telephoto lens could be a very handy kit if you wanted something a little different. More to come on this, until then,

Happy Snappin.