PDA

View Full Version : E-M5, the limit for low light?


Zuiko
4th November 2012, 10:05 PM
In the short time that I've had my E-M5 I've so far been impressed by the low light, high ISO performance, taking shots that have impressed me at ISO 6400 and even 12800. However, although the light was low on those ocassions it was also soft and even. What happens when the available light is low but also harsh and directional? We had our bonfire night in Great Easton yesterday and it was my chance to find out, with subjects lit purely by the fire.

I have to say it was a struggle and the results were not really acceptable. It seems that I have hit the limit for this camera, with possible camera shake, subject movement, noise, lost definition through noise removal and limited dynamic range at these settings all proving to be problematical. I also tried B&W conversions with limited success, but that might be more of a comment on my processing skills.

ISO 12800, 1/6th sec @ f5.6, 14-45mm @ 45mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/HAT_FOREST_BONFIRE_105_e_r_s.jpg

B&W version
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/HAT_FOREST_BONFIRE_105_B_We_r_s.jpg


ISO 25600, 1/15th sec @5.6, 14-45mm @ 45mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/HAT_FOREST_BONFIRE_077_NR_e_c_r_s.jpg

B&W version
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/HAT_FOREST_BONFIRE_077_NR_B_W_e_c_r_s.jpg


However, it must be noted that I was using a slow lens. A 25mm f1.4 Pan-Leica would have allowed me to use 1/25th @ ISO 3200 for the first shot, for example. Also, I should have moved in closer at 14mm, which would have allowed me to open the aperture to f3.5. Every little helps, as they say. :D

Re-sized for the web these don't actually look as bad as they did at full size.

Ross the fiddler
4th November 2012, 11:44 PM
It is still impressive that a photo could be obtained without a flash anyhow. Try that with previous models & you would be giving up (unless you wanted a lot of blur & probably only MF too) or be using a flash or other assisting light.

Zuiko
5th November 2012, 12:18 AM
It is still impressive that a photo could be obtained without a flash anyhow. Try that with previous models & you would be giving up (unless you wanted a lot of blur & probably only MF too) or be using a flash or other assisting light.

I quite agree, Ross. It's amazing that this type of photography can even be attempted! Also, I was impressed by how well the camera focussed.

Phill D
5th November 2012, 06:41 AM
John the B&W's look particularly impressive in those conditions. At least you got shots I wouldn't have been able to get anything without flash.

Alpha1
5th November 2012, 08:23 AM
The light gain of the EVF is also a huge boon with low light and cannot be under estimated. Comparing an EVF and optical VF's in very low light is the difference between chalk and cheese!

Zuiko
5th November 2012, 09:10 AM
John the B&W's look particularly impressive in those conditions. At least you got shots I wouldn't have been able to get anything without flash.

Yes, B&W often saves the day when colour becomes a bit iffy. It's great to be able to shoot without flash in these conditions to preserve the atmosphere.

Zuiko
5th November 2012, 09:11 AM
The light gain of the EVF is also a huge boon with low light and cannot be under estimated. Comparing an EVF and optical VF's in very low light is the difference between chalk and cheese!

An advantage of the EVF which is often overlooked when comparing to an OVF.

OM USer
6th November 2012, 05:48 PM
I hit the same limit last week shooting people holding halloween pumpkins. In retrospect I perhaps should have gone for a higher ISO (say 6400) as I ended up with a shutter speed just over half a second - hand held! But I have pictures.