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Olympus E-410 E-410 specific discussion.

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Old 2nd January 2010
catherine
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Question anybody know how to help? E-410

I bought an E-410 a few years back, it was fairly cheap (I got the single lens kit), but I know very little about photography. I get the basic functions and things but there are some things which always annoy me;
. Sunsets, or photos with the sun in never ever ever come out right the sun just whites out, with previous cheaper cameras the sunset has always come out well but it's annoying when the sun is just a white blur.
. Night photography is always too yellow, red and/or bluury even with a slow shutter and tripod.
. Shooting in relatively dim conditions never comes out well either, even in the "candlelight" mode.
Those are the main problems I have it with it. I'm going to Africa and South America for a gap year as of september and really would like to take some great photos without having to buy new kit for it. Are there anythings I can do, settings, changing things, different filters? And has anybody else had these problems.

P.S . I don't know if this makes any difference but I only have 1 lens; 14-42mm

attached are two examples of the sun blurring white, and the moon blurring yellow.
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File Type: jpg P8054704.jpg (92.8 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg P8054756.jpg (67.8 KB, 27 views)
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Old 3rd January 2010
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Graham_of_Rainham Graham_of_Rainham is offline
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Re: anybody know how to help? E-410

Quote:
Originally Posted by catherine View Post
I bought an E-410 a few years back, it was fairly cheap (I got the single lens kit), but I know very little about photography. I get the basic functions and things but there are some things which always annoy me;
. Sunsets, or photos with the sun in never ever ever come out right the sun just whites out, with previous cheaper cameras the sunset has always come out well but it's annoying when the sun is just a white blur.
. Night photography is always too yellow, red and/or bluury even with a slow shutter and tripod.
. Shooting in relatively dim conditions never comes out well either, even in the "candlelight" mode.
Those are the main problems I have it with it. I'm going to Africa and South America for a gap year as of september and really would like to take some great photos without having to buy new kit for it. Are there anythings I can do, settings, changing things, different filters? And has anybody else had these problems.

P.S . I don't know if this makes any difference but I only have 1 lens; 14-42mm

attached are two examples of the sun blurring white, and the moon blurring yellow.
Hi,

Welcome to the forum. Two good compositions that are exceptionally difficult exposures, to get right.

The sun being the brightest thing in the image will always set the limit of the upper range and everything else will be dark because it is so bright. I know you will say (that blindingly obvious ) but so is the sun, which is why when we look into the sun we don't look at it, because it hurts and all you can then see is green spots.

So you have to consider the exposure in the same way that your eyes work, if you want more detail in the shadows, then spot meter them and compensate the avarage exposure towards the exposure for the shadows. This will make the sun even more "burnt out", so under exposing a second image for that and combining the two as an HDR image, is one way to get what you want.

Another way is to use graduated ND filters, that will hold back the brightness of the sky allowing the darker back lit ground to be better exposed.

As for the "Colour" issues that you describe, this is almost always down to incorrect White Balance settings or the Auto WB getting it wrong, by not being used correctly.

Blury candle light images is again almost always down to using Auto Focus in dim light. To get good focus in dim light, have a sheet of paper with a black cross printed on it and hold that at the point where you want to focus an light it with a torch so that the camera can get a good lock. Better still set manual focus, you will be surprised how well (with practice) you can set focus manually.

The 14-42 is a good lens but better used at between f/5.6 and f/11

For all the subjects you have described, I would only ever consider shooting them fully manually. Even with my little Auto Everything Point-n-Shoot, I still push the compensations, white balance and use B&W focus targets to get the shot right. Auto is good for avarage daylight but everything else is often done better by learning some skills and doing it manually.

It's also more fun and much more satisfying than just pressing the button.

Have a wonderful Gap Year and do please show us the pictures from where ever you get to.

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Old 3rd January 2010
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Re: anybody know how to help? E-410

Hi Catherine, and welcome.

Whatever camera you use, high contrast scenes such as these are bound to be problematic. The sun in your shot is high in the sky and hence exceptionally bright. The best time to photograph the sun is when it is just above the horizon at sunrise or sunset and therefore not so intense. Even then you run the risk of flare and the range of brightness in the scene can still be wider than the camera can cope with. It helps if you are able to partially obscur the sun with branches of a tree, for example.

WARNING, UNLESS YOU ARE VERY CAREFUL, YOU RUN THE RISK OF PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE BY LOOKING AT THE SUN THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER.

As Graham said, to get a good exposure you will probably need to either use a neutral density graduated filter or combine several different exposures of the same scene in editing software. The alternative is to expose only for the sun and let everything else in the scene turn to silhouette. Because silhouettes have no detail simple, bold shapes work best. The camera will still try to expose for the shadows so you may have to use the exposure compensation dial to make it do what you want. Choosing a scene with water in it helps a lot, because you get the sunset reflected in the water and this helps to break up dark, underexposed areas in the foreground.

If the sun is very bright, make sure your camera is set to a low ISO value and a small aperture is selected, otherwise the required shutter speed needed to record the sun correctly can easily be much higher than the highest speed on the camera.

Your moon shot was taken in the middle of the night and, apart from the moon, the image is full of deep black shapes with virtually no detail. The moon itself is very bright. In fact, because it is lit by the sun, a full moon has the same brightness as a typical daytime scene. So, if your camera is struggling to expose for those inky black shadows, the moon will burn out and flare.

The solution is to photograph scenes with the moon included just after dusk or just before dawn, when there is a little ambient light in the sky and your eye can discern detail in the shadows. You will still end up with an image that will need careful processing to get the best from it.

In difficult situations such as these it is best to bracket exposures by using the compensation dial to take frames at one and two stops over and under the metered exposure.

I would recommend plenty of practice between now and September. Post as many pictures as you can on the forum for critique and we will do our best to help.
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