Skip to main content

Shuttershock and Olympus 75-300

Since a couple of months I own the Olympus 75-300 III. And since day one, I wasn't happy with the results I got. 
All the pictures shot at +/- 300 mm where soft and looked like there was motion blur. How's that possible? I tried it at a 1/1000th of a second, but still the motion blur in my pictures. I regret that I ever sold my Pentax with the 55-300 for this awfull lens!
But... Most reviews of this lens are positive. Is my copy of this lens bad?
I then figured out by reading forums that it could be a phenomena called 'shuttershock'. It that case, the shock of the shutter causes enough movement so the image is blurred.
For example:

How to fix this?
My camera has several drive modes, including one called 'anti-shock'. And that does magic.
In that mode The pictures are sharp again. No motion blur is visible! 
The downside of this mode is that the fasted drivemode can't be used.

Review of Google Picasa

1. IntroductionGoogle Picasa is a popular photo and video program. You can use it for management and editing of your files. I really love Picasa.
Why? Now, that's pretty simple. As a big user of Google's services (including this blog) the program integrates perfectly with all the services. To upload a picture to my online gallery (Google+/Picasaweb) I only need to click on "Add to Google+" and select the album. To post pictures on this blog, I can select Blogthis! and I can start Blogging.Another big advantage is the easy of use. The photos are ordered according to the folders you create in Windows. But you can also order all those folders by date, size or name. Many other programs (Adobe, Corel, etc) have library independent of your folder structure and when you delete photos from your hard drive, the library can get broken.

In addition, the face detection works very well and is linked directly to your Gmail address book. When someone calls me on my Android phone now I see that photo.

These are the main reasons why I've chosen Google Picasa.

2. Interface

The most important of a management program is the interface, how does it look, how easy is the program to use?2.1 OverviewPicasa looks like this:

It is clear that to the left the folder structure can be seen, and to the right the pictures in that folders. At the bottom left you can see which photos are selected. On the bottom you can see fast links for Email, Print, etc. In addition, two buttons to rotate the pictures and also one to add a star to a picture. On the far right a scroll bar to zoom in on photos, and four buttons for information about the photo display (people, places, tags, exif)Top right is the login to Google services (such as on the websites of Google). There's also a search box to search through the photos. Next is a circle that can indicate the progress of processes.

Top left the familiar menus as with nearly all Windows programs. 

2.2 Edit view

When you double-click on one of the images, Picasa will open the edit mode. The big picture comes into view. At the bottom of the window remains the same. The menu on the left is a menu of operations. For the operations there are five tabs: Basic Fixes, Tuning, and Effects (3x). Below is the histogram showing the exif details. In the top center is a film strip to see the images in that folder so you can reach the next and previous image fast.Right click on the picture and a menu opens with more options. 

3. Editing

Editing in Picasa is very basic. Do not expect many layers and 'photoshopping', but just minor adjustments and creative filters. Exposure can be adjusted, contrast, sharpness, etc. Well worth mentioning is the black / white mode. That is quite extensive for this type of program. There can be filtered by color. I found that very helpful.In addition, the picture easily be straightened and cropped:

The original photo is saved with the edited. This occurs in a hidden folder called Picasaoriginals. This directory is by default not visible in Windows Explorer. The original is retrieved by using the menu: File, select 'Locate on Disk' and then select the original. It is also possible to edit the picture and not save it to the original picture. The edits are saved in a separate file. Also, RAW files can be edited in Picasa. The disadvantage is that Picasa has no noise reduction and advanced tools to do that. Picasa will directly show an optimized version of the RAW file. This makes it difficult to verify that the RAW file itself is good or not. The operations are easy to undo by clicking the appropriate button. However, it is not possible the see the history of edits. The original RAW file is retained. When you save the original key to a hidden folder and save the RAW as JPEG. This is a high quality jpeg.

For editing RAW files I would advice DXO optics pro 7

4. Exporting and importing

Picasa has many options to export the files. First is export to disk. You can set the quality, resolution, stamp, etc. Other options are:

  • Print
  • Order print
  • Google+
  • E-mail (with Gmail or your default program)
Importing is easy to use. You can select the device you want to import from and start selecting the pictures you want to import. The pictures are imported to a location on your harddrive, which you can select. Folders can be made by date, file date, or import date. It's possible to delete the pictures from the original device after import.

5. Conclusion

Picasa is an easy program with quite a bit under the "hood". Personally, I can work very quickly and easily with the program.  The edits are not saved to the original file, so you don't loose data.
Of course there are drawbacks. The processing of RAW files is weak (which is actually in all such programs). Also the import function is very basic and lacks the ability to direcly tag pictures or do some basic fixes like red-eye removalNow a list of all pros and cons. Some points are added not worth mentioning in the long review, but they belong in this list:Pros:

  • Fast
  • Simple
  • Free
  • Integration with other Google services
  • Good management
  • Many options to edit pictures
  • Color Management
  • Good help function
  • Face recognition
  • RAW processing
  • importing too simple
Of course, the best test is testing it yourselves. Download the program here for free

Popular posts from this blog

DXO Optics Pro vs. Corel Aftershot Pro

After using Aftershot Pro for a couple of days, I made this comparison to DXO Optics Pro 7. The difference is really clear. The colors in DXO (on the left) are much more realistic than the colors in Aftershot Pro (on the right).The settings where with the default settings with some tweaking for the contrast, exposure and noise reduction. (WB, saturation etc where left to default settings).
In the first picture, I could get the colors and contrast right with Aftershot Pro, with DXO I had to tweak the contrast, but after all, the picture is really nice and natural.

In this picture, at first view, I really like the version from Aftershot Pro. But this picture isn't real. The saturation of the picture is to much and the contrast unreal. The DXO version is a little bit foggy, but more like reality. With some tweaking of the curves, the DXO version will pop a little bit more.

This one shows the biggest difference. Removing chromatic aberrations. With DXO it was very simple, even if the…

Adobe Lightroom 4 vs. DXO Optics Pro 7

One day ago, Adobe released Lightroom 4.0. Two months ago, DXO released DXO Optics Pro 7. These two updates changed a lot in both software. How do they compare?
I'm using DXO Optics Pro for quite a while. I really like the simplicity and results. For landscape and nature photography the build in HDR tools are great. The possibilities to gain details from highlights is unsurpassed. The lack of speed of version 6 has been fixed in version 7. 
Is DXO still my favorite, or does Lightroom beat it? That question will I answer on the end. First of all I will compare them.
workflowLightroom is still the best workflow tool on the marketWorkflow is not the best in DXO. You need a tool like Picassa to do the file managementwinner: Lightroom, DXO doens't have real workflow toolsimage qualityLightroom gets very much detail from images, the lens correction is okay, but not very good,DXO get's a little less details from my images, but the lens correction tools are the best ever se…

Lightroom vs. DXO. vs. Photodirector

A little comparison of three RAW-converters. This comparison is not about how the program themselves works, but about the result of how one RAW-file is processed.

The version of the software I used:

DXO Optics Pro: 6.5
Adobe Lightroom: 3
Cyberlink Photodirector: 2011
For this test I used a photo of a little owl posted before on this weblog. The picture was a little underexposed and with a cheap lens (Tamron AF 70-300mm Di F/4.0-5.6 Macro 1:2). So there's work to do for the RAWconverter.