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Sunday, 10 December 2017 Dereel Images for 10 December 2017
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Music while you ride
Topic: multimedia Link here

Over to Chris Bahlo's place for the first time in a while: she has put an old amplifier in her riding hall for music while she's riding (or maybe just as a background for videos), but it makes almost no sound at all. Took over my Sony Mini-HiFi system that I bought nearly 9 years ago to compare, and discovered that her amplifier and my system have one thing in common: the volume control doesn't know which way it is turning. But we got reasonable sound out of the loudspeakers, though not deafening. Is there something wrong with the loudspeakers? I got them free some years back, and never used them much before giving them to Chris

But the difference in volume suggests that there's something wrong with the amplifier too. Apart from the lack of volume, there's considerable hum to be heard in the speakers. So possibly it's on its last legs. Chris brought out a computer loudspeaker system which proved the point by being louder than either setup.


Strange plants
Topic: gardening, photography Link here

Chris has a heap of soil with a very strange looking creeping plant:


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What's that? Chris isn't sure either, but she tells me that they're edible. Time for some focus-stacked photos.


Focus stacking with field monitor
Topic: photography Link here

For the first time, I took my focus stacked photos with the field monitor attached to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II:

 
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Things weren't quite what I expected. I had the camera set to take 20 images, but when I pressed the shutter, it took exactly one. Did I have something set wrong in the menus? Took a look and found:

 
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Why are those top items greyed out? I discovered that if I pull the HDMI jack from the monitor, it will work, so the simple answer is “because the monitor is connected”. But why? Why should the monitor stop focus stacking? What a kludge!

There are others, too:

 
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In this one, “Connection to Smartphone” is greyed out under normal circumstances as well. Presumably it wants you to climb somewhere else in the menu to establish a connection. But why disable “Print Order” and “Copy All”?

 
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I had no idea what this strange greyed-out symbol is, but it appears to be monitor brightness adjustment. I suppose that one makes sense.

 
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“Frame rate” is something that, it seems, the manual writers don't understand either. They write:

If set to [High], a moving subject can be tracked more smoothly. However, the number of frames to be shot will decrease slightly.

This setting is automatically set to [Standard] if the camera becomes hot.

What does that mean? But potentially it's related to the monitor. The second statement suggests that it's a power consumption issue. Why should it be disabled for an external monitor? Maybe because of the video frame rate?

 
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OK, this refers to viewfinder settings, so there's some justification for greying them out. But in principle some of them would make sense on the external monitor as well.

 
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Since I don't have Eye-Fi (who does?), that menu item is always greyed out. But why are the others disabled with an external monitor is connected?

All in all, I suspect that at least a part of this is a bug. But before reporting to Olympus, I need to investigate further.


Buying Zerene
Topic: technology, photography, opinion Link here

My experiments with focus stacking software last month made it clear that I should buy Zerene and not Helicon Focus. And today I needed to do so: my 30 days free trial were up. So off to the Zerene web site, where they asked me for $89, as advertised—and $8.90 GST!

Why that? Imported stuff under $1,000 is (still) free of tax. Sent an email asking why, and half an hour later got an answer from the author, Rik Littlefield, explaining the situation, after having checked the ATO web site. He didn't find the $1,000 limit (that's here), but did note that it didn't apply to companies with a turnover less than $75,000 per annum, so he issued an invoice without tax, and with a 10% Christmas rebate that hadn't made it to the web site. So instead of $97.90, I only had to pay $81,10. You can't complain about that, especially when you consider that this all happened somewhere before Saturday midnight his time.


Monday, 11 December 2017 Dereel Images for 11 December 2017
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Another milestone
Topic: history Link here

Seen in my calendar job today:

70% life:               Saturday,  8 March 1997
Mar 8                   Greg returns to Australia, 1997

It's more impressive if I look at it from the perspective of that date: since then, I have spent nearly another 43% of my life back in Australia. It doesn't seem anything like that.


More field monitor investigations
Topic: photography Link here

Chris Bahlo over again today, bringing her camera (Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II) with her. Connected it to my Feelworld FW760 “field monitor”, and, sure enough, it displayed the same behaviour as my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II did yesterday. I'm still puzzled why, but it makes it more difficult to dismiss as a bug. And a post to the Facebook Olympus macro group went without answer, suggesting that I'm doing something unusual in using the monitor with focus stacking.

In passing, it's interesting to note that the E-M10 Mark II does have focus stacking, just not the in-camera variety. That makes it an even more interesting camera.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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