View Full Version : e-450 dark images help please

11th February 2013, 05:24 PM
I have acquired an E-450 which is new and to be honest I was hoping for great things, however to say I am disappointed is a bit of an understatement. First I should point out that I am an amateur who just likes to take pictures in the hope of getting something reasonable once in a while. however with the 450 I have found that it is difficult to get anything even reasonable without constant fiddling.
The problem is that on auto the pictures are always way to dark the only way I can bet something about right is to mess around with the exposure compensation, take a picture view it adjust the exposure, take the picture more adjustment etc etc, not much good for wild life or sports shots as the wild life is long gone by the time I get the settings right or the moment in sport is done. I am coming to the conclusion that it may well be the lens that is causing the problem. The one that came with the camera is the 14-42 1:3.5-5.6. Can anyone advise am I going to have to go out and buy another lens? if so what do I need? (I have seen people talking about the 14-54 zuiko but for what I am going to have to pay for one of those I may as well trade in and get something completely different) or am I missing something, I have to say that once a get a picture the quality of the image is very nice but I am fast running out of patience with all the faffing around to try and get a reasonable picture.

Stewart G
11th February 2013, 05:46 PM
You have a good camera there, and a good lens as well. I would suggest starting with the "P" mode, and ESP metering. Any working Olympus camera will produce very good results in most conditions, at those settings. Fast action or low light photography, however, may take a bit of training and skill. Adding the 40-150 would be an economical next step. Up a level, the HG lenses do make prettier pictures, but at higher cost and weight. Better lenses certainly don't make better photographers. The general rule I apply to myself is that with a basic level of gear I ought to be able to produce smashing photographs. And if not, then the fault certainly lies with me.
I just bought an e-410 so I could put my 14-42 and 40-150 back into service. Stick with your gear until your skill surpasses what's built into the camera. This is a good place to learn; keep asking questions!

11th February 2013, 05:49 PM
Can you post some examples??
Surprised that on auto the images are far off..

11th February 2013, 06:24 PM
If we have an example with the EXIF still attached, we can tell exactly what is happening.
The EXIf is attached by the camera, and those of us with readers can view it to help.

It sounds as if the camera needs putting back to Factory Settings. It may also be that Gradation is turned to Low Key.

11th February 2013, 07:59 PM
When one of my Scouts used my E-410 it produced some awful images until realised it was on spot hi metering

Post some shots so we can read the Exif data it tells you everything.

11th February 2013, 09:48 PM
It's bound to be a rogue setting unless the camera really is faulty and I echo the others in suggesting you post an example so we can see the exif data.

11th February 2013, 10:14 PM
A guy called Wrotniak has a very good site which gives suggested settings for Olympus E series cameras. Your camera is virtually identical to the E-410 for which his settings are here:

This article also gives a much better explanation than the camera manual of what the various setting actually do.

Hope this helps.*chr

12th February 2013, 05:57 PM
thanks for all the comments here are some examples for you to look at. I have taken pictures standing in the same place of the same scene a minutes or so apart. the brighter image is on the P setting as suggested by Stewart G the darker image is on the auto setting, as you will there is a big difference between the two images.

ok I give up how do you upload pictures, they are way to big

12th February 2013, 06:18 PM
try this no idea if it will work or not


12th February 2013, 06:32 PM
Go into Resize - set 800 pixels as the longest edge and save as a new file. This should get you very close to upload size.

12th February 2013, 08:38 PM
Or join Flickr and post them there it easier to see all the exif data.

Stewart G
12th February 2013, 09:48 PM
Okay, had a look at your images, and I think your camera is acting normally.
In the first two the subject (large room) is simply too far away from the flash for its relatively weak output to illuminate much more than the overhead and nearby furniture. And the reflective white ceiling might fool the camera into thinking it's doing its job.
In the third photo there's a reflective element in front that might easily fool the camera's exposure sensing abilities. So 1/60 sec with the lens wide open might not be admitting enough light to expose the entire scene.
Fourth pic is better, at 1/20th second, wide open, no flash? (though overhead light is dominating). Good exposure given the relatively crappy lighting.
Fifth and sixth pics are exposed very well, but now shutter speed is down where motion blur (I think) is coming into play. But using those last two attempts, place the camera on something solid and use the timer and see what happens when the camera is still. And if the camera can't focus in that light, go to manual focus and chose some middle distance. You ought to get a good sharp exposure.

Stewart G
12th February 2013, 10:17 PM
Oh, and I should have added this postscript:
To brighten the last two exposures (for example), in Program mode, just hold down the +/- button and rotate the compensation dial. The camera will add or subtract exposure values and adjust the image capture accordingly.
That's the short answer, of course. It gets complicated from there, but the basics are easily learned with a bit of practice.

13th February 2013, 08:23 AM
Hi Stewart,
umm the images were not the best in the world so have taken 2 more this morning. same subject.

4552 is on the "P" setting which you suggested

4553 is on Auto

4552 despite being set to Flash auto the flash did not fire. the focus point I was aiming at was the blue dustbin lid in the distance to the left of the green bush. the image to me is dull and lifeless. the bushes in the mid distance are out of focus ( they are no more than 20 feet from the point at which I took the picture.

4553 auto setting the flash did fire point of focus the same, the near distance bush is over lit (because of the flash) the mid distance is out of focus, and the picture itself looks over lit and under lit if you see what I mean and I dont like that either. Incidentally I can not find any way of turning the flash off when the camera is set to auto.

to be honest these pictures are not really demonstrating fully what the problems are.
In bright light when the flash does not fire on the auto setting the images are always dark even when the sun is behind me and the subject is well lit, when images are taken into the sun or when the light source is to either side very often (again on auto) the subject of the image is so dark as to not be recognisable. Now I am quite happy to accept that I have probably got a setting wrong somewhere and that I am a complete amateur when it comes to all this stuff but................... I have included a picture taken with my old dsc-s85 sony which the olympus replaced, to me the image is a better one yes the green is a little OTT but the light is much more akin to the light conditions at the time, there is better focus through the depth of the picture and for a camera that is probably something like 10 generations older than the olympus, the olympus is a bit of a dissappointment. Am I expecting to much from this camera? If not then any suggestions that you or anyone has regarding settings to try and improve the image quality would be gratefully received.
images are in the same place as the last post

Thanks for all the comments and help from everyone

13th February 2013, 08:47 AM
Keep at it. Check your settings.

Here is an example of a very basic shot taken on full auto. I had only had the camera (E-450) for about a week. Mind you the light conditions were ideal.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2707/4119981395_bac64b4b4c_z.jpg?zz=1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinfairgrieve/4119981395/)
Felluca (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinfairgrieve/4119981395/) by Kevin Fairgrieve (http://www.flickr.com/people/kevinfairgrieve/), on Flickr

That soon took me on to doing things like turning the dial to A or P. Experiment and give it a try, it really is great fun. I always struggle when taking pictures in anything less than good light. Fortunatly I do not do much indoor stuff.

The 450 is a great little camera, even using just the kit lenses like I do. Is there a local photography group you could go to? Advise is free and you meet a great group of like minded people.

Take a look at my Flickr pages to see what can be done. All bar about 10 pictures are with the 450.


I have just taken a look at your picture and my first thought was one light one normal one dark exposure. Check the AE BKt setting. Menu 2 first item top of page 2. Not sure but looks like it might be set to take bracketed shots. I have been cought by this one myself after taking shots for HDR.

Stewart G
13th February 2013, 02:32 PM
Graham, I'm not seeing your test photos at the above link now, just what appears to be vacation photos.
Besides that there are too many variables (at the moment) to offer you any constructive tips.
First, learn to upload photos to your gallery at this forum (which is automatically granted with membership). To do so, the photos need to be resized to something below 1000 pixels on the longest side. Each time you upload to gallery, there's a URL at the bottom that you can then copy and paste into a reply to this thread. Use the "Post Preview" function to see if the image will be viewable here.
Second, just work on one problem at a time, using one or two photos to illustrate.
Third, when you have the camera set to Auto, you're giving it license to think for itself. That's okay, but to figure out a problem from this end becomes more difficult. It might be faster to use the A or S modes, or only Manual settings (faster to give you some tips, I mean).
Post an example of one problem at a time. And rather than rely on EXIF data, include the basic settings (shutter, aperture, ISO, etc.) in text for each image.
For starters, I'd suggest a regular daylight exposure, no flash. And if you want to concentrate on flash usage, then shoot some sort of plain setting with shallow depth and no reflective surfaces. Keep it simple, and only change one setting at a time! :cool: