Olympus

Spiders, spiders everywhere!  My boys point and yell “DADDY, DADDY TAKE A PICTURE!”

My boys and I go on what we call “adventures”.  I put them in our double stroller (long not wide – that will be a different story one day, I hate the wide strollers!), and we go out in search of… anything cool to take a picture of.  I am an artist, and I have always had a certain love of photography.  It is not until lately that my passion for it has exploded.  This is how it all happened.

spider1

My boys saw this spider, perfect to include them in the shot!

I have always had multiple cameras laying around, both video and still cameras.  I enjoy playing with them, they are fun “toys”.  I use each one for different reasons, I have a first generation Canon Rebel, I would use for getting the “nice” shots.  I had a Canon Elph, I used on the go.  I had the video cameras for anytime activities.  Now that I am a stay at home dad, it became a problem.  I just couldn’t use them as often as I would like or should.  So that is my excuse. My wife will still tell you I didn’t use them that much before I was a stay at home dad either.

I have taken both photos and videos of my boys since they were born.  I have a website for family and friends that has tens of thousands of photos (seriously) and probably over 1,000 videos of just my boys.  I do take a lot of pictures and videos, normally it has been my my iPhone.  It is small easy and always with me.

Now, I have to blame and thank, Zach Rosenberg.  He started posting about the new camera he got, the Samsung NX300, I was impressed!  It was small, portable and had WiFi built in.  My mind started racing and I started telling my wife.  I am not really sure what she thought, but she said I could not get another camera unless I get rid the ones I have, fine I don’t use them right now anyway.

I started looking at cameras, and seriously thought about not what I wanted as much as  what I needed and what I would use.  I cannot get a large camera right now, I have enough stuff I carry around.  I cannot do interchangeable lenses, that would just be more to carry around.  After making a list, I started researching other options.
I needed something that was small enough to stick in my pocket, that would be durable and tough enough to last if my boys got their hands on it.  Since I swim with my boys four to five days a week, if it was waterproof that would be a great bonus!  I did have a little Kodak Water Sport waterproof camera that I used for about 2 years.  It was a 5mp camera that did get me some good pictures, but nothing too amazing.  After quite a bit of research you know what I found?  The perfect camera (for me)!

swim1

One of the first pictures I took with the TG-2

(This is my own personal review, Olympus has not paid nor are they any part of this – although I would love to be sponsored by them one day!)
The Olympus TG-2-ihs, it is a part of Olympus’s Tough series.  It is shock proof, dust proof, freeze proof and water proof, so to me that means kid proof! SCORE!

Specification Highlights (follow this link for the full specs):
12.0 effective megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor
F2.0-4.9, 25-100mm lens (4X)
Sensor-shift image stabilization
Waterproof to 15m, shockproof from 2.1m, crushproof to 100 kg, freezeproof to -10C
3.0 inch OLED display with 610,000 dot resolution
Aperture priority mode
Built-in GPS with landmark tagging, compass, manometer, and logging
5 fps continuous shooting
Movie modes: 1080p, 720p, VGA, High Speed 120fps, High Speed 240fps, AWESOME! Check out this underwater slow motion video.
‘Tap Control’ for (limited) camera control when wearing gloves – Snowboarding!
Support for fish-eye and telephoto conversion lenses

The highlight of the TG-2’s specification is undoubtedly its relatively fast 25-100mm lens. At wide-angle, the maximum aperture is F2.0, which is at least a full stop faster than what you’ll find on most other rugged cameras.  A ‘fast’ maximum aperture lets in more light, which allows you to keep the ISO sensitivity down, which in turn keeps noise levels low (at least in theory). The TG-2 will be able to correctly expose shots using lower ISO, which means less noise and better image quality.

While the TG-2’s OLED display looks beautiful indoors, outdoor performance could use some improvement. The display is difficult to use in bright light or underwater, even with brightness cranked to the maximum setting. The images are easy to see inside or in low light.

That is the general info I got when doing my research.  I had to get one of these cameras.  Not too long later, I did get one, I didn’t realize the power I had in my hands!  The pictures are great for a point and shoot camera, and it is small enough to take with me everywhere, including underwater!  It wasn’t until about a week later that I discovered my favorite aspect of this camera.  The macro mode, it is not just a macro mode, it is a “Super Macro” mode!  I can hold the camera lens so close to the subject and still focus in, it blows my mind!  I have now fallen so far down this rabbit hole, I don’t think I can return.  Taking macro pictures of spiders, ladybugs or flowers the possibilities are endless and has made me look at the world we live in differently!  It is so amazing to be able to take macro images with a small point and shot camera like this! (check out my Instagram account to see all my photos – oneSAHD)

It is such a bonus that I can take it anywhere, even while on adventures with my boys.  I never knew how many spiders and insect live around us, without us even paying attention!

Spiders, spiders everywhere!  My boys point and yell “DADDY, DADDY TAKE A PICTURE!”

I can shoot a couple of shots quick and easy, then continue on the adventure. Most of the photos I take make my jaw hit the ground when I really stop to look at them!  I get so excited about it, I think I might have a serious problem.  I really can not believe that I am taking photographs like these.  Some of my photos have been featured on some Instagram pages, which blew my mind! If you are on Instragram, check some of these pages out, the content they feature is incredible, to have some of my own work on there is such an honor!

Here are four of the featured images:

My first featured photo

instagram.com/arachnid_perfection

My second featured photo
instagram.com/macro_captures

My third featured photo
instagram.com/macro_captures

featured_1
instagram.com/water_perfection

Before this camera, honestly I was a fan of Canon.  Now, I am a 100% fan of Olympus. I do not think I will ever have another experience with a camera like I have had with my TG-2.  Never! This camera has changed my life forever, and I thank Olympus for making the TG-2 camera.  It may not be the perfect camera, or the perfect camera for you, but it is the perfect camera to me and for me! I think I will from this day forward have this camera in my pocket, even after my days of being a stay at home dad, even after I get an SLR or another big high end Olympus camera. I will still carry this TG-2 camera with me!

The only other issue I’ve had with any camera, was that I had to transfer them to the computer to get them out of the camera.  Well with the help of an EYE WiFi memory card, I can transfer them directly to my iPhone wherever I am!  So I can take a picture, have it immediately transfer to my iPhone and upload it to whatever social site I would like.  I no longer have to wait until my boys are asleep at night to share my photos!  It is so quick and easy it doesn’t take away from my things I need to do with my boys during the day.  I also hope that it helps my boys develop a love for photography like I have, so we can always share and bond over the little moments and creatures we capture on our adventures through our lives!