Revisiting the Aquatic Park

After having been away for a while, going back to the Aquatic Park again was an eye opener. Seeing the birds still there and in even greater numbers than during the Winter is awesome. My previous pictures are way back in the archives.

It gave me a reason to get out my OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 75-300 lens after using the little X20 almost exclusively for a few months. These three pictures were taken just as the sun sank low enough to provide spectacular reflections off the water at dusk. This has now become my favorite time of the day for nature photography. Maybe if I lived on the East Coast I would prefer early morning?


Surprisingly, now that I’m starting to compare the two, both Fuji and Olympus cameras seem to benefit from similar amounts of noise reduction in post processing – even though the Oly has 4 times the sensor area. That being said, the color depth and highlight recovery potential seem to be better with the E-M5, and the extra 4M pixels help when making bigger enlargements.

It seems the smaller X20 sensor is nearly on par with the bigger one in low light, as far as I can tell. Both have very usable, but distinct noise patterns, and I am guessing the X-Trans’s non-Bayer type color filter pattern and various enhancement algorithms bring the smaller sensor’s images up to snuff. Seeing this makes me want to try the other really innovative sensor designs from Sigma (Foveon, with its layered detectors) and Leica (M Monochrome, which has a filterless CCD)

Even though the X20 has minimally invasive noise up to around ISO 800, and I prefer the OM-D at 400 or below, I now also remember why I like using the E-M5 so much. It works perfectly in combination with this amazing Olympus lens to make very, very pleasing images.

The color tones, light transparency, and overall rendering are just plain beautiful, and you you can reach way out with the 600mm FF equivalent focal length. The only combination I like better is the same camera with the Pana/Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens, but that one provides a much more commonly available perspective, albeit with amazingly high IQ. Maybe direct comparisons between the Oly and Fuji output at normal and near normal lens lengths, and low and medium ISO levels would be a good topic for a future post?

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