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davidcassell
6th December 2009, 05:03 PM
Hi, as a very new DSLR camera user (I'm used to point and click cheapos) I've been playing with the E-520 that we've just bought. I'm really just getting started - but the photos taken on AUTO that required flash due to low-ish light, well, they've come out really badly. No camera options changed from the default at all, just the standard camera "out of the box". Yet 70% of the time, for photos in low-light, and where the inbuilt flash was used automatically, the photos look too dark and have required manipulation in Picasa or the Olympus software. I've worked out how to change flash intensity but surely I shouldn't have to do this. And the photos I've been taken are just bog standard photos where a point and click would be able to deal with them - family gathering, photo of baby etc. Any ideas what's wrong? Thanks David

Graham_of_Rainham
6th December 2009, 05:15 PM
Almost imposible to answer without seeing the images, and knowing "exactly" what settings were used.

Sometimes the flash will be absorbed by subjects and othertimes reflected, giving completely different exposures. I only use the popup flash in a situation when the FL-50 is not available (travelling light) and I too find that the results can be variable and do require you to take control and set up the exposure to get it the way you want.

I'd advise that you practice a few different setups that approximate to the subject you like to take and adjust setting to get them how you want.

Ian
7th December 2009, 10:49 AM
Graham is right - to diagnose the problem, we really need to see some shots. Metering is probably the key to issues like this. The problem with on-camera flash is that the power of the flash is often concentrated in one area and the meter can be easily confused, ending up with burned out highlights and other parts of the picture looking too dark.

Ian

davidcassell
9th December 2009, 09:05 PM
Graham is right - to diagnose the problem, we really need to see some shots. Metering is probably the key to issues like this. The problem with on-camera flash is that the power of the flash is often concentrated in one area and the meter can be easily confused, ending up with burned out highlights and other parts of the picture looking too dark.

Ian

Thanks for the reply Ian. I can't really post the photos on a public forum but I'll maybe buy a separate flash for this camera. Some photos are excellent, but others are just too dark. Quite unpredictable. Thanks again. David

Mike_in_Germany
11th December 2009, 03:08 PM
Hi David
I'm going to throw my thoughts at you David, as I also own a newish (Aug 09) E-520. My camera had a bad fault (everything froze, turn off-turn on everything ok) sort of fault. Also the pictures above 400 were so very noisy. As I live 100Km south of Hamburg my wife and I spent a great day in the city after dropping the camera into Olympus service depot. After 10 days the camera came back per post, and well it felt like a different machine. In low light David you have two problems, one is the AF and the other is AE. AF is auto-focus, always a problem in low light. For this I use a old but good Sigma 2.8 28-70 mm lens (the lower the value the more light, so a 2.8 would be brighter than a 3.5) and set focus manually (MF). Focus using 'Live View'.

AE is auto-exposure. This is governed by how the camera collects information for the adjustment of the picture brightness, Olympus call this 'Metering'. I have found that (ESP) or digital metering is not so good as 'Centre-Weighted' in low light conditions. ESP collects the light information together with the dark info and then using a complicated mathematical logarithm to measure and fix the light value. Make sure that AEL (AELock) is off. Set the 'Live View AF Mode' in the 'Menu' to 'Imager AF' even though you use 'MF'. This just means that the 'MOS Eye' which is used to take the picture is the one to determine the light factor. Set the 'Gradation' to 'High Key'. Select using they courser keys the shutter and set to 2s delay. Set to aperture mode (A), now you can use the control-wheel knob to adjust your picture. Mount on a tripod, very important as the shutter could stay open for some time. Last thing is 'WB'. You might want to choose another white balance as the 'Auto' one, which I have found to be to red'ish on night shots.
You might like to try 'Bracketing' which would give you three pictures, one below and one above the normal brightness. Using these set-ups I have gained some great pictures of an evening capturing the warm glow of evening.

Good luck David

Mike

Ken Lister
11th December 2009, 08:30 PM
Flash exposure metering is likely to be the problem. Once took a flash photo of a mate in his reflective hi-vis bike jacket. Beautifully exposed reflective stripes, the rest was pretty much black!

unileeds
7th September 2010, 01:02 PM
Just my two cents in as well.
1. Try and increase the AUTO ISo limit to 400 from the standard 200 that it comes with. This might get you pics in some low light scenarios without flash.

2. Secondly, the in built flash operates differently when in AUTO mode and differently when in A. M or S modes. I find that in Auto mode, the flash is very harsh and takes no account of any ambient light and will usually light up the focus point. Where as the flash in the A, M, and S modes operates quite more subtly taking into account the ambient light and you will find the pic much much more pleasing to the eye. This is what I have discovered practically.

3. Buy an external flash! I use the Vivitar DF 383, which is good as it has the focusing beam as well.

4. If you dont want 3, invest in a pop-up diffuser. I bought mine for 6 in fleebay!! Very noticable change in the flash performance!

Hoep the above helps!!