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View Full Version : E-p1 and FL-300r low light auto focus


bp2000
29th October 2014, 11:21 PM
My camera doesn't perform any strobing to focus and (obviously) doesn't have any AF assist beam. I've tried using a little torch and then manual focus with limited success. Is there something I'm missing?? Any tips??

katran
30th October 2014, 06:27 AM
In the first generations of PEN, AF assist by flash was not implemented as far as I know. There were many users complaining because of this and for very slow focus in low-light.
So you can't do anything.

I think AF ASSIST was implemented starting with the 3rd generation of PEN : E-P3 / E-PL3 / E-PM1. If I remember corectly, these cameras have an AF-ASSIST LAMP included in the body so that focus can be assisted in low-light even if you do not use the flash. And the focus is fast in deed.

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bp2000
30th October 2014, 07:46 AM
Thanks, seems like a pretty big oversight by olympus. I assume no one wrote custom firmware/a program to do this.

katran
30th October 2014, 08:00 AM
There is no hack firmware for this.

The fix is simple. If you shot a lot in low-light, sell E-P1 and buy E-P3/E-PL3 or a newer camera.

E-P1 was the first PEN/mirrorless. It is normal to have some issues. These were fixed during next generations of PEN.

bp2000
1st November 2014, 06:43 AM
I appreciate your help. However, I think olympus can only use the first generation excuse if the issue was related to the new technology. My understanding is digital cameras with flashes predate the e-p1 by a considerable amount of time. I don't understand how the micro four thirds format would complicate this issue of focusing in the dark.

There must be another reason for the oversight. Probably they didn't expect someone buying a camera at this price point to also buy a flash unit for it and thus didn't feel it was justified to implement the feature properly.

Ulfric M Douglas
1st November 2014, 08:02 AM
Hi BP, I will investigate ...

Investigated.
Unfortunately the flash's inbuilt red assist beam was not activated on my e-P2, e-pL1 or e-pL2 :( and the e-pM2 used its own bright orange beam.
On my ancient e-410 the red assist worked automatically, which is good and expected.

A partial solution would be to use a lens which is good at low-light focus without assist.
My best lens for this is, surprisingly, the F2.8 Sigma 30mm,
they are cheap so get on and try that?

bp2000
1st November 2014, 11:33 AM
Thanks guys I guess the message is shots in pretty dark locations are never gonna be that good. Perhaps naively I bought the fl-300r thinking that it would at least give me a chance to capture these moments to some degree. Really all I was expecting is it would hold its own against my Canon IXUS 220 HS. Unfortunately that is not the case and if I travel in the future and I don't upgrade I'll still have to keep that in my bag to crack out when light gets too low.

I'll have a look at that lens but if I need to upgrade I'll probably wait to decide if I'm actually gonna stay with this system.

On a related note, I've found the shots even when I can focus to be less than acceptable. Going through my photos after a trip pretty much none of the photos I used flash are making the cut. It seems to me that the flash is over exposing the subject all the time. I usually have to put exposure to -2 to get usable results in my opinion. Any tips??

I haven't tried it hate but has anyone here taken photos with the wide diffuser on even when shooting with a 14mm focal length? Are the results good or is it pointless?

Ulfric M Douglas
1st November 2014, 07:27 PM
On a related note, I've found the shots even when I can focus to be less than acceptable. Going through my photos after a trip pretty much none of the photos I used flash are making the cut. It seems to me that the flash is over exposing the subject all the time. I usually have to put exposure to -2 to get usable results in my opinion. Any tips??
That is surprising to me : my e-P2 with Metz flash does a nice job bounced flash, but it isn't my first choice.
Lemme check my settings.
...
OK. e-P2 with Sigma30mm atf2.8, Metz36-af-40 tilted 45 degrees up with small diffuser, ISO 200, ev-comp-0.3, flash comp-1.0
Everything comes out rather well, not overexposing at all, very reliable.
Check your ISO maybe?