Overlooking downtown Nassau in The Bahamas, Fort Fincastle was built of limestone in 1793 as part of the islands’ defenses against the threat of pirates. An oddly shaped little thing, it’s one of three surviving forts in Nassau.
Roughly teardrop-shaped, Fort Fincastle has the advantage of sitting atop the highest point on the island, and has a great view of Nassau and its harbor. It once hosted 6 cannon and a howitzer, but none was ever fired in anger.
Quite a few people have been posting the photos they’ve taken of moving things (birds, athletes, race cars) using their Olympus E-M1II cameras in what’s called “Pro Capture” mode. Basically, Pro Capture on the E-M1II brings to Olympus what only a handful of cameras have had to date — the ability to buffer in-camera some frames before the photographer presses the shutter button all the way down.
Given the normal delay in human reflexes, this sort of feature allows a photographer to capture a decisive bit of action, even if they mash down on the shutter a bit late. Lacking race cars or even many birds to try this out on, I was lucky to have a rodeo to work with. The bottom line is that Pro Capture worked well in the vast majority of photos I made — but a few frames concern me.
Since I ordered my Olympus E-M1II, I’ve felt the need to buy new SD memory cards as well, just to keep up with the data rates it can produce. But of course, cards’ labeled speeds aren’t necessarily all that accurate (“your mileage may vary,” as car ads used to say), so I took advantage of discounts and gift certificates to pick up one each of four name-brand cards, and tested their read / write speeds. What’s common among them:
32 GB capacity
UHS-II / U-3 ratings
Fastest SDHC card for their brand
For comparison, I also included one card that until recently *was* the fastest memory card I owned. So here are the contenders, in no particular order, with their current price at Amazon (just because Amazon sells all of them, so this keeps pricing somewhat consistent between them):
Lexar Professional 1000x — advertised speed 150 MB/s (read), available at Amazon for $22.48. My “old standby.”
A lot of people are still waiting for their pre-ordered Olympus OM-D E-M1II cameras to arrive — in the meantime, a number of them asked to see some high-ISO photographs to judge the camera’s abilities in the realm of astrophotography. After days of waiting, I finally got clear night skies where I live, so took some shots of the constellation Orion. Please bear in mind that I live in the south Denver metro area, so have to deal with light pollution — here’s the view looking south toward Orion from my house (enough sky glow to silhouette bits of a telephone pole and two trees):
For the above image, the EXIF is E-M1II, 12-40mm Pro lens @ 17mm, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 8.0 seconds. This is a SOOC image, by the way — all I’ve done to it is RAW conversion and scaling (to fit my blog’s template) in Lightroom.
But I didn’t only take this one image — I took a series of them, all unguided (i.e., on a still tripod): Continue reading →