This year the Pedal Car Grand Prix returned to town [it alternates with Ringwood] and once again the turnout and enthusiasm of both Teams and spectators was exceptional. It was a fiercely hot day – exhausting just to wander round taking photographs, so spare a thought for the contestants. We had a couple of minor spills and quite a few “racing incidents” – let’s just say that the “sin bin” saw a fair few visitors this year… On the whole, though, it was an entertaining spectacle and as popular as ever.
I took the opportunity to try out the Olympus OM-D EM-1 MkII “focus tracking”… To start with I found this to be remarkable fiddly – for example, give it an approaching pedal car and it will generally select the front of the car itself [usually the logo or race number] as the target. However, as the subject draws closer, so the camera’s built-in facial recognition software kicks in and the moment that it detects a person in the vehicle, the focus would automatically adjust. A little bit of patience and a lot of faith were certainly required. On the other hand, 16fps continuous shooting, with a ludicrously large capture buffer meant that burst-mode shooting was the order of the day.
The last time I was here I had my Canon EOS 7D with a 24-70mm lens [38-112mm equivalent] and I probably kept 2-3 images. This year I was using the Olympus with the 40-150mm lens [80-300mm equivalent] and I reckon that more than 60% were sharp enough to look to keep… OK, the Canon is quite a bit older, but it’s amazing to see how far the technology has moved.