By Don Lindich
Week 7, 2017
Q. I’d like to buy a mirrorless camera, but a big part of my photography will be my daughter’s high school sports. It seems like everyone recommends an SLR for that, and that is what you see on the sidelines of professional sports games. Is that because of the bigger sensor size, or because an SLR works better for action?
-J.R., Mt. Lebanon, PA
A. It isn’t so much the sensor size as the ability to get the shot. Pro-level digital SLRs, and SLRs in general, have typically been best at tracking and photographing fast-moving subjects. Technology marches on though, and now that has changed.
The new Olympus EM-1 Mk. II can shoot at 18 frames per second while holding focus on a fast-moving subject. It analyzes the previous frame to help predict focus for the next one, and it works so well that Olympus used a bird of prey gliding towards the camera at close range to demonstrate its ability. (A subject coming towards the camera is the most difficult to track accurately.) I personally tested the E-M1 Mk. II a few months ago and the camera creates technically-perfect images almost effortlessly. Just about every time I pushed the button I was rewarded with a perfectly focused, perfectly exposed image of tremendous sharpness, no matter the subject or conditions. The camera’s image stabilization, especially when used in conjunction with an Olympus lens with optical stabilization, is shockingly effective. Panning with it is as jitter-free as you would expect with a tripod.
This excellence comes at a price, namely $1,999 for the camera body only. That’s more than fair compared to more expensive pro models from other manufacturers that don’t perform as well. That may be a bit steep for most high school sports shooters, but over time you will see the technology trickle down to more affordable cameras. If you are comfortable with the price, you certainly will be happy with the camera. getolympus.com
Q. I know your column is mainly about entertainment and personal electronics, but you recently wrote about Panasonic’s Countertop Induction Oven. What is your opinion of air fryers? My wife is leery of them, but I have seen excellent reviews for NuWave’s 36001 Brio Air Fryer and would like your opinion.
-W.W., Granger, IN
A. You are correct that I mainly write about audio, video, and digital photography, as well as tablets, phones, computers and their various applications. In a way, that is almost everything but appliances like the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven. I wrote about the oven because it features some novel use of technology and is a great fit for today’s busy lifestyles. A lot of people who use the products I typically write about would also be likely to benefit from the oven.
A lot of online technology publications also cover appliances, especially as they become more integrated into smart homes. I don’t plan on covering appliances on a regular basis, but in the future if I see something interesting or that stands out in the marketplace I may feature it in the column. I received a pretty strong response about the oven so reader interest seems to be there, and whenever I buy anything for myself I tend to research it very thoroughly. Perhaps others may benefit from my findings.
As for the air fryer, I don’t know enough about them to discuss the subject in-depth. The one you referenced does seem to have excellent reviews across several websites so if you are looking to try one, it seems like a safe bet.