April 23, 2011

Consider your Olympus Infitnity Stylus Epic the little 35mm point and shoot that wants to be a portrait camera

Today I received a comment/query regarding the Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic. Huzaifa recently shot with the mju-ii and found it less sharp than the Nikon L35AF.


I've personally found the Infinity Stylus Epic plenty sharp in the past so I thought I'd share my comment/conversation with you.


The above is my favourite family photograph taken with the camera. Up close one can see the herringbone weave in the cotton fedora that the brat on the left is wearing. So, it is very sharp. However, when using a P&S camera, it's always good to remember how that camera's program AE works. Some favour sharpness. Others favour shutter speed to reduce camera shake.


Also, it's always good to use film that doesn't have a reputation for being grainy if you are trying to evaluate a lens for sharpness (I just can't stand it when people try to evaluate lens performance with high grain films like Kodak Gold or Fuji Superia, it just doesn't work as they have twice the grain of Kodak's C41 black and white or Ilford's XP2).


Huzaifa used Kodak 100 Ektar, which is a fine print film, that's I've discovered but it can be grainy as a digital file. Not sure why, it just does.


Here was our conversation:


Huzaifa Yamin said...


hi, i just finished my 1st roll on olympus stylus epic but unfortunately i found its images not as sharp as nikon. is this true or my stylus epic got some problem?


JJ Lee said...


Hi Huzaifa, I would say normally the Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic should offer sharper pictures or equally so. And only if you mean by Nikon you mean the L35AF. I'd have to see the photographs.


One thing to note is these cameras don't have intelligent AF. You have to keep the principal subject in the middle or prefocus by half-depressing the shutter lease to lock the AF and then re-composing. Of course, if you know all this, there could be other factors at play before consider your Infinity Stylus Epic (mju-II, right?) a dud.


JJ Lee said...


Hi Huzaifa: I had a look at some of your flickr images:


1. Kodak 100 Ektar comes across as grainy in digital. Apparently they make very smooth optical prints but just scan grainy - not sure why.


2. Because you don't have any principal subjects in your images if is hard to evaluate sharpness of the lens. Graininess is never caused by a lense. Softness of focus and aberrations like ghosting or chroma are characteristic of lens flaws. I see nothing like that in your images.


3. Consider taking pictures of subjects within ten feet of you to really give the Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic a chance. The program autoexposure was optimized for taking pictures of PEOPLE [by this I mean it favours wide apertures and faster shutter speeds]. The lens nearly always want to go wide in aperture, so that's something to consider. The mju-ii is a tiny little camera that wants to be a portrait camera. Really, that's how the program AE works.

1 comment:

  1. Just find out a lot more info about film scanning and grain. By the way, read my reply on the other post.

    Day by day, I found out that the sharpness is not that bad, quite close or equal to L35AF

    Thanks a lot man for your help.

    ReplyDelete