The Way I See Things


Testing times

Today was earmarked for unpacking and setting up the R5, and - apart from about half an hour wandering around the garden, and an hour or so helping R to resolve an unexpected domestic crisis - I spent the whole day at my desk. The manual is 937 pages long, and I read most of them - though some with more attention than others, I have to admit.

I took this when R popped into my study to find out how I was getting on, and offer fresh supplies of tea, and he likes it enough that I'm choosing to post it here as my first R5 image, rather than the actual first image I'd already captured, which was a rather misty shot of my tea mug. I used the opportunity to test the eye detect system, which worked surprisingly well considering that I'd been practising on my dog-a-day calendar and had it set to 'Animal'. It may not have been the most exacting of tests though: rather than darting around like a goat, or swooping about like an owl, R decided to pose like a man who was disapproving of his wife's move to mirrorless gear (rather than what he actually is, which is a man who's heartily relieved that he'll never have to endure an interminable discussion of the pros and cons of her buying mirrorless gear ever again).

It was late in the afternoon when I hit my first major snag with the R5 - which was both a good thing (because everything had gone pretty smoothly up till then) and a bad one (because I needed another bit of kit, which it was too late by then for me to acquire today). The fault is mine really, for not looking harder at the cables that arrived with the camera when I opened the box this morning. The issue: the connection cable for file transfer to the Mac is USB-C, whereas all my (2015) Mac's ports are USB-A. Adapters are available of course, but not in the depths of the Shire, at tea-time on a Friday.

That you're seeing this photo (rather than a phone pic of my desk, or my dinner) is a testament to bloody-mindedness. I knew that the camera could transfer its files over WiFi because I'd read that bit of the manual several hours previously, but the instructions for achieving this were so abstruse that they may as well have been written in Aramaic. But at 5pm, faced with no USB-C port and an elderly card reader that wasn't equipped to handle the R5's spanking new memory cards, I gritted my teeth and ploughed through them again - and again, and again - until finally I got the connection up and running, and beamed the files across to the Mac. They come in at about 50MB each, by the way, so it wasn't the quickest of uploads. It's lucky I hadn't started my R5 journey with a six-hour wildlife shoot.

Over the weekend I'll be spending some more time setting up my new friend so it works in the best way for me, and obviously I'll need to resolve the cable problem as soon as I can, but right now I'm feeling happy and lucky (and honestly, pretty relieved) that I've made a good decision in buying this kit. I can't wait to get out and about with it.

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