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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist.


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05.27.17         photography  

GH5 vs OMD EM1ii IBIS Tests Part 2


Here is my follow up video on the GH5 vs OMD EM1ii IBIS Tests. Many of you had several helpful suggestions, and I decided to revisit this test with the Olympus 12-100 f4 IS lens, and also ask the question if Olympus IS lenses the Gh4 or GH5 make sense.

Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions on the upcoming Epic Shootout between these two cameras, let me know! Enjoy!



Michaels GH4 Tutorial Course

Michael's GH5 Crash Course

Michael's Olympus OMD EM1ii Crash Course

05.26.17         movie reviews  

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 - Dead Men Tell No Tales


This is a horrifically bad movie. No Magic. Painfully boring. I question my logic believing it could hold a match to the original or even the second one in this case. I believe watching it as a rental would be a waste of time.

05.25.17         instagram  

#tbt to shooting a feature film last summer. It...


#tbt to shooting a feature film last summer. It was a great learning experience. For many of the moving shots we used the #sonya6300 - whose auto focus for video is amazing. There are many steady cam type shots in the film, they were all shot on the #pilotfly h1 gimbal. I eventually went over to the 10-18 f4, and still use this set up with the #a6500 Or #a7rii in crop mode. They are beasts if you want auto focus on handheld gimbal shots.

05.24.17         movie reviews  

13 Reasons Why - Do Not Watch it


So I was hearing a lot of buzz about 13 Reasons Why and decided to give it a go. I couldn't make it past the 3rd episode, so as a story I can't really tell you what the other 10 episodes are about, but I can tell you this: Don't watch it and don't let your teens watch it.

Here is the simple plain explanation reason: Suicide is contagious. Yes, you are reading that correctly. It has been scientifically & statistically studied, and demonstrated that suicides often occur in clusters, largely due to other suicides being reported.

One of my favorite books of all time is Robert Cialdini's "Persuasion, The Psychology of Persuasion" and in it he talks about how researchers discovered there were increases in suicides, were other suicides had occurred based on news publications. It is sometimes referred to as Copycat Suicide. Even journalists have certain rules about using the word suicide in headlines and the like. I realize this probably sounds bat poop crazy, but take a read of Cialdini's book and you will probably be convinced otherwise, as I was. (I didnt believe it at first)

In the end, I am ok with the blood and guts of certain movies like Aliens for example because it is make-believe & entertainment, but teenage suicide is a real thing, and it can actually trigger those who may be considering it already.

From what I have seen of 13 Reasons, it almost glamorizes suicide. Just not worth it to me for the sake of entertainment.

05.24.17         michael's insights  

Burts Bees - Coconut & Pear - Review


I was so excited to see this tonight at Whole Foods. Burts Bees is my one and only lip balm (the original). While I have tried many of their other flavors/scents, I have always been disappointed.

Seriously, the smell is just about the best of any lip balm ever, but unfortunately- it doesn't come even close to the original.

05.23.17         fun!  

It's Not A Gun - It's A Camera! by Fotodiox Inc




A few days ago the TSA posted a strange photo to their Instagram account. Someone brought a Nikon rig that resembled a gun in their carry on bag. The TSA pointed out that the rig wasn't banned but it had to be checked.

This got a lot of people in the photography world talking about weird old rig's and lenses that have a triggers that look like firearms. The team at Fotodiox actually found one lying around an antique shop. They decided to buy it and take it out for a test.

This strange lens appears to be completely handmade. They call it a "rifle stock lens" and it has a trigger just like a gun. After the popularity of the TSA post it's interesting to see how one of these rig's work in real life. They also give some insight to the build of the lens and what its strengths and weaknesses are. It's an interesting watch.

05.22.17         photography  

Olympus OMD EM1II vs Panasonic GH5 IBIS - Which is Better?


UPDATE: Ill most likely be revising this again shortly- While the Photography side of the tests still stand with IS-1, looks like I had M-IS1 on, which is electronic stabilization on the EM1ii for video. I am also told that C4K is cleaner on the EM1ii, and others have suggested the Oly 12-100 to match DUAL IS. Please continue your suggestions!

I am a little embarrassed to say that it took me 2 days to figure out how to do all these tests correctly to get it right. The good news is I think I have it figured out and should be able to repeat much more quickly in the future for new cameras.

If you own either a Panasonic GH5 or an Olympus OMD EM1ii, you know your camera has IBIS (In Body Stabilization). You also might be in the market for a new general purpose lens. Panasonic has 2 12-35 2.8s that have built in stabilization, and with they new DUAL IS feature, these lenses work even better with the new GH5. The question is, how much better and do these IS lenses improve performance when used on the Olympus OMD EM1ii? In this video Michael answers those questions for both slow shutter speeds at 1/5 of a second as well as video stabilization. Enjoy!

Here are the 3 lenses I used in the test:

Panasonic 12-35 v1

Panasonic 12-35 2.8 v2=

Olympus 12-40 2.8

Hey Everybody! Today I wanted to present some stabilization tests between the GH5 and the Olympus OMD EM 1 Mark II. Now, this question becomes more complex because Panasonic has a 12-35 f/2.8 version 1, and 12-35 f/2.8 version 2 that have different types of software in them. For example, the version 1 comes with OIS ,which is optical image stabilization, and with the GH5 that I’m shooting this on right now, that has internal image stabilization.

There is a new firmware referred to as dual IS. The dual IS means that the lens and the camera body can pair up and give even better performance. This is why I wanted to do these test. It’s like, how much better performance are we getting? So, the version 1 lens, if you updated to firmware to 1.3, you’ll get dual IS 1. The version 2 that I have on the OMD here, comes with the dual IS 2. So as soon as you put it on to the GH5 you’re going to see that logo change. And I want to know what happens when we put Panasonic image stabilized lenses on the Olympus body. So, do Panasonic lenses increase the performance of the Olympus?

The two tests that I wanted to do were a slow shutter speed at 1/5 of a second (some of the methodology over here), shoot 30-35 shots, count the number of “keepers”, and come up with some percentages. What I learned was that the Panasonic GH5 with no image stabilization at 1/5 of a second runs into a lot of problems. Not many “keepers”. But as soon as we put an image stabilized lens on it, it didn’t matter if it was version 1, version 2, or any of the software — it greatly improved the performance. That’s something important to keep in mind if you’re a Panasonic GH5 owner. Yes, you can expect to see increased slow shutter speed performance. When we look at the Olympus surprisingly, in the 50’s. Even with the 12-40 f/2.8 that I’m shooting on right now. Without image stabilization — better performance. When I put the Panasonic lenses, both of them, didn’t matter if the lenses were turned on or off, still in the 50% range. What this tells me is that there is no improvement using the Panasonic image stabilization on Olympus bodies but the Olympus stabilization is so good, it really won’t matter anyway.

GH5 SLOW SHUTTER SPEED TEST RESULTS
GH5 & P 12-35 V2 - OFF - 0%
GH5 & O 12-40 - NO IS - 8%
GH5 & P 12-35 V1 - OS - 33%
GH5 & P 12-35 V1 - DUAL 1 - 34.8%
GH5 & P 12-35 V2 - DUAL 2 - 31.4%

EM1II SLOW SHUTTER SPEED TEST RESULTS
EM1II & P 12-35 V2 - OFF - 51.5%
EMI1II & O 12-40 - NO IS - 54.5%
EM1II & P 12-35 V1 - ON - 44.1%
EM1II & P 12-35 V1 - OFF - 47.2%
EM1II & P 12-35 V2 - ON - 55.8%


You’re probably wondering, “What about video? You know, what happens when were start walking around with these cameras and their image stabilization? What happens then?” So that’s why I have this rig. It allows me to put both cameras side-by-side and I can walk around, switch lenses out. They’re going through the same types of motion as I’m walking. That allows me to get very specific in the side-by-side comparisons. I think that’s probably the best way to do it for now. Maybe you guys will have a better suggestion.

What I learned what that as you upgraded the software on the Panasonic lenses from OIS, to dual is 1, to dual is 2, you get dramatically improved performance. And that justifies the cost of that version 2 lens. Because I think the dual is 2 is really good. I think it’s the best I’ve seen in a Panasonic camera. So, if you’re a video shooter and you’re handholding I think you’re going to be very happy with your footage. When you start walking there’s a kind of rocking side-to-side that I’m seeing but when I put the Olympus on the rig with just the 12-40 I was pleasantly surprised with the footage coming out of it.

[Walking on the beach: Both cameras - I’m just handholding them, nothing else. I’m going to start walking. I’m going to do a shake test on this rock, side-to-side.]

Something that was even more strange is that when I put Panasonic lenses on the Olympus and I had those lens switches turned on it degraded the performance of the OMD EM-1 Mark 2. It was worse! As soon as I switched those switches to OFF, the performance - BOOM! Back again. So, suffice it to say, from these tests, that I do think the IBIS in the OMD EM-1 Mark 2 is better. If you’re a Panasonic GH5 owner — yes, the image stabilization is going to make a difference. If you’re an Olympus OMD EM1 owner — nope. It’s not going to make a difference. Save yourself some money to get that 12-40 f/2.8.

So if you guys have any of these three cameras whether it’s the GH4 the OMD EM1 Mark II or the GH5, just know I have an excellent crash course for it. I try to put a lot of time and effort into them. Gets you up to speed in no time. Thank you guys for watching and I will see you next time!

Michaels GH4 Tutorial Course

Michael's GH5 Crash Course

Michael's Olympus OMD EM1ii Crash Course

05.22.17         photography  

Watch: Nat Geo, Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes




It's spring, and after a long winter of hibernation, bees are gearing up for a busy season. Their young are born when the weather starts to warm in the spring/summer. They hatch from their eggs within their hive and develop from tiny larvae into the hardworking insects that grace our outdoor spaces.

Their development process is fascinating and photographer Anand Varma spent six months documenting a hive he set up in his workshop. According to the video caption this gave him a "new respect for the meticulous job of beekeeping".

Anand has an absolutely incredible Instagram account that documents his travels and wildlife photography. His work is impeccable and I highly suggest you check it out HERE. As we all know National Geographic is the gold standard of nature and wildlife photography (working with amazing photographers like Anand). They also have an Instagram account you can follow HERE.


05.21.17         tutorial & training videos  

Canon Rebel 77D / T7i Tutorial Training Course Coming Soon


Having just finished the Panasonic GH5 Crash Course, and getting a Micro Four Thirds Epic Shootout Underway, I am also happy to announce that we have started production on the Canon Rebel 77D & T7i (Canon 800D in Europe) Cameras. This course will take about 3-4 weeks of production, but will essentially eliminate the learning curve for those of you who this is your first DSLR or you are on a beginning level.

If you are interested in being notified when the course is ready, leave your name and email address in the comments below and we will contact you as soon as it is ready! Thank you for your continued support!

Here is the cover I decided to go with:

05.20.17         movie reviews  

Alien Covenant


This is not the kind of movie you want to take kids to, but if you are into the Alien series, it is one of the best. I would put it at #3 after the first 2 originals. Answers many questions from Prometheus, and focuses far more on the characters, including the non-humans.

It also outlines the concept of creationism, egoism and even a little darwinism. While there was still more gore than needed, the alien life-form(s) aren't the focus of the movie as the first two were, and I believe that gamble paid off. In a way it felt like a much stronger remake of Prometheus.

If you aren't into the Alien series, horror movies or anything close to it, definitely skip it.

Spoiler: There is one important question I think I have an answer to: Why did the ship that Elizabeth and David were on crash on the world of engineers?

Here is my best guess:

When David releases the weapons, the ship is intact. David would not sabotage his own ship. This leaves 2 forces:
1. Shaw
2. The Engineers shot it down.

Being that the Engineers had their hands full with the extinction of their race, this leaves Shaw, who probably was alive when it happened, witnessed the destruction of the engineers, realized that David was a bad robot, and decided to crash the ship. Hence when David explained that she died in the crash, he was still partly telling the truth, because it was after that point she became expendable to him. My 2 cents.

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