I’m carrying around my Olympus XZ-1 point and shoot, more often these days. My main goal, to capture life. While I use my mirrorless Pens as a lightweight alternative to DSLRs during my photo oriented events, I don’t carry those cameras everyday. I find the XZ-1 a bit smaller and with the zoom lens, more versatile than my usual prime lens setup on the Olympus E-PM2.
On a recent Friday afternoon, a group of us decided to go to Happy Hour at Jasper’s, an upscale restaurant serving down home food. It’s been an unusually comfortable Austin spring and we sat outside — details captured courtesy of my XZ-1. Of course people do this kind of photography all the time with their smartphones. But, I’m sure you can tell that there is a noticeable quality difference. These photos are nice enough that I don’t have “pretty them up” with trendy insta-filter effects.
While I’ve casually shot food before, I’ve never liked the way they turned out. Ironically, I find doing urban landscapes in dark places easier than capturing food. I found out recently that part of the trick in food photography is to use a longer focal length. This has the effect of compressing the elements so that the different items on the plate don’t look too far apart from each other.
I tend to shoot wide-angle primes so I wasn’t getting enough compression. The same goes for typical smartphones too. The XZ-1 has a zoom lens so I can now step back and zoom into the food. The pizza was shot at a 65mm equivalent and the ribs, 60mm. Of course, like all photography, good lighting is essential. Luckily, I was under a covered porch but also surrounded by bright, natural light.
The Sangria was tasty and the dog was cute. As a bonus, I captured a decent view of the interior of Jasper’s on the way to the restroom. I locked the camera on ISO 100, braced it on a ledge and got a nice clean shot at 1/4 second. Not too bad for a point and shoot. Of course, I shot all my photos in RAW and did my post processing in Aperture 3.
Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail. Multiply the focal length by 4.66 to get the 35mm equivalent