Still at the banking and global finance conference but I thought I'd put up one of my favorite portraits, just for fun.

Thanks for coming by. I'm shooting at a conference until Wednesday evening and I'm just in the studio to charge some new batteries that arrived today for the Olympus cameras. They are Wasabi Power batteries that I bought from Blue Nook. I've been buying their Olympus (and Panasonic) batteries for a year or so and have yet to have any problems with them. No problems at all.

I first took a chance on them when Olympus has a supply problem with their batteries. I couldn't get any and I needed them for a trip I was taking. The Olympus batteries, at the time, were about $54 each. The Wasabi Power batteries are priced like this: Two Batteries, One Really Nifty Charger = $28.

I deleted a comment yesterday from someone who (with very little actual knowledge of the profession) scolded me for shooting with Olympus and Nikon cameras if my goal is to do great portraiture and make "big money". He was wrong but I didn't have the time, inclination or energy to tell him why he was full of B.S. I've been doing this commercial photography thing for a long time, have made (and continue to make) good money doing it, have as much technical expertise as anyone in the market, and know advertising and marketing forward and backward. Not looking for career advice right now.

Next week is a bit zany. We're having a new roof put on the house and the studio. We're having attic fans installed. We're having a retrofit to our back porch. We're having new gutters put up. We're having our fence re-painted. Just a little Fall maintenance to keep this Austin property humming along.

This weekend is the first weekend of the great two week traffic jam we also call, ACL Fest. Look for most of the major roads that serve our part of the city to be closed, detoured, rendered unusable. Look for about a quarter of a million people paying big money to mostly sit in the dirt and listen to music in a park that will then be closed to the public for months as the city tries to grow back new grass.

Look for a general slowdown of all central Austin productivity for the next two weeks, minimum.

Thank goodness both this economic conference and the dress rehearsal for Zach Theatre's play, Evita, will be done before the music mayhem starts. Yes, we can hear the bass line (only) for most of the bands at ACL Fest even though we are a mile from the park.

On another note...

The Olympus cameras are working very, very well for the conference. I have finally mastered flash with the mirrorless miracles. Thanks for asking.

Need some cheaper batteries? Try the Wasabis. Here's a link:


  1. I used two Wasabi batteries in my EM-1 and EM-5 for a couple years with no problems, but they recently started to swell just enough to make them a tight fit, so it's back to Olympus only for now. Hard to pay $50 for a single battery.

  2. The Wasabi's are the right price for the number you need to keep cameras(EM-5/EM-1) juiced for a long day out of the house. BTW, which flash?
    pete uitvlucht

  3. HI Pete, It's the Olympus FL-600r. Tiny flash but works very well. Manual camera mode. Underexpose the camera by one stop. Set minus 2/3rd flash compensation. Perfect direct flash every time.

  4. Oh dear, gear dorks.

    I get the occasional snarky comment when using my Panasonic GX-7 or my FZ-1000.

    I also have a full kit of Canon gear but after years of working in this field I have no love for anything but the final image. If my 1" sensor FZ-1000 will get the shot, that's what I want. And because of the variety of work I do, the FZ-1000 DOES get shots the Canons cannot get.

  5. Thanks for the flash tip - I've tended to use my ep5 flash to trigger an Olympus flash off camera, but have never got the algebra right for it on camera (and hence have avoided using it)... Will give it a go

    Ta Mark.

  6. Re: the guy you deleted... Technicians worry about gear, Artists worry about vision.

  7. I believe the Wasabi batteries need their special charger. I have found
    that Progo batteries (Amazon??? Can't remember) work in the standard
    Olympus charger so I can carry Olympus and Progo with only one charger.
    I can't tell the difference in the camera.

  8. I've used a number of Wasabi batteries over the years with good results. I will add that the charger, at least the type I have, comes with a car cord to plug into a 12-volt vehicle outlet.

  9. Thanks for the flash tip, I have the FL600R - great except it's somehow missing part of the foot. I also have a Nissin i40 metal foot but shape takes up a lot of space in it's cover.
    Both work well in RC mode (especially in manual mode and set to use different groups). It would be great if Olympus used radio rather than optical trigger.

  10. Yes, the Wasbi BLN-1 batteries need the Wasbi charger. If you dig deep enough, a lot of the BLN-1 clone batteries seem to carry the warning that you need to use their charger and not the Olympus charger. This did not appear to be the case for the earlier BLS-5 and BLM-5 clone batteries. I believe it is Olympus uses a different chemistry for the BLN-1's that needs a different charge level to top off the battery.

    And like John Krumm, I had one Wasabi battery (out of 2 total) swell on me. I don't know if it was an isolated batch of bad batteries or if Wasabi is no longer using the premium Japanese cells for the batteries. Over the last 10 years or so, I have used various Wasabi BLM-5/BLS-5 clone batteries with no problems, and like Kirk, I had generally high regard for the batteries.

    But just in case, when I ordered replacements, I replaced the batteries with DTSE batteries instead of Wasabi. Over at dpreview, the last time it came up, DTSE batteries got as many thumbs up as Wasbi. DTSE also has its own charger (that looks identical to the Wasabi charger, and probably is), so now I have 3 chargers to use.

  11. As I understand it, optical triggers work better for underwater gear, using fiber optic strands to carry the pulses of lights from the flash master to the the slaves (radio waves don't transmit as well underwater). And I would have to imagine the current setup uses less battery power and does not need FCC/etc. approval compared to using bluetooth or similar radio technology.

    If you want radio, I've seen recommendations for the Aokatec AK-TTL flash trigger. The transmitter sits on top of your flash commander (like FL-LM3) and it has an optical trigger. It converts these optical pulses into radio pulses and transmits it to the appropriate AK-TTL receivers, which in turn convert the radio waves back into optical pulses.

  12. I use Wasabi batteries in my video cameras because Canon wants a freaking fortune for their high capacity batteries. They're slowly starting to ease down in capacity but they've held up well over the last two years.

    10/10 would definitely buy again.


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