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Olympus OM-D E-M10 The smallest and lightest Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus with an integrated Electronic Viewfinder

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  #1  
Old 3rd December 2016
shutterspeed
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Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

Hello everyone,

Now that I've got my Olympus E-M10 with it's 14/42mm kit lens and a helios lens, I'd like your help in practising how to make the best of taking photographs.

Can you recommend any ideas of what objects to take photos of? How can I get a cool bokeh effect? How can I make sure the photos are really vibrant?

Looking forward to hear from you all
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Old 3rd December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

The subjects you photograph is, and always will be, your choice entirely.

Golden "rule": it's all about the light...

To get an out of focus background you need a shallow depth of field. This can be achieved with very fast lenses or longer focal length lenses. With a 14-42 lens, shooting a subject at 42mm positioned at the minimum focus distance will produce a far more OOF background than if shot with the lens at the wider angle length.

Fortunately all the settings you use for your images are recorded in the files, so you can experiment with different settings and see the results along with the settings that you used.

To really learn quickly, switch to Manual Mode and adjust the settings to get the effects you want. Vibrant subjects can look very dull with insufficient light, so look at using a flash or lamps to give you well illuminated subjects.

Red is by far the most vibrant colour but also look for complimenting colours that create a vibrancy.

Most important of all is have fun.

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Old 3rd December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
The subjects you photograph is, and always will be, your choice entirely.

Golden "rule": it's all about the light...

To get an out of focus background you need a shallow depth of field. This can be achieved with very fast lenses or longer focal length lenses. With a 14-42 lens, shooting a subject at 42mm positioned at the minimum focus distance will produce a far more OOF background than if shot with the lens at the wider angle length.

Fortunately all the settings you use for your images are recorded in the files, so you can experiment with different settings and see the results along with the settings that you used.

To really learn quickly, switch to Manual Mode and adjust the settings to get the effects you want. Vibrant subjects can look very dull with insufficient light, so look at using a flash or lamps to give you well illuminated subjects.

Red is by far the most vibrant colour but also look for complimenting colours that create a vibrancy.

Most important of all is have fun.


That's very helpful, thanks Graham. I try to avoid using flash as it looks too fake or the subjects are too bright. But if I turn flash off, then I get the problem of the image being blurry/shaky. I don't know how to avoid this.
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Old 3rd December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

There will be guidance in your handbook about image stabilisation.
Certainly use a higher ISO (I generally use 800 or 1600 if its dull) and don't go for more than F8.
I'm not sure how expert you are but I also find, hold the camera comfortably (either landscape or Portrait), elbows in, left hand supporting the body, right hand operating the shutter. Squeeze the shutter on a gentle breathe out.
If you hold your breath, your body starts to compensate and your pulse rises and starts to pound. That can lead to camera shake. Think zen and relax, after all its a Japanese camera.
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

Thanks wanderer. I think my olympus camera settings are messed. Is there any guide with a list of what recommended settings to use for beginners?
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

You might reset the camera to factory settings, then turn on the advanced menu items if they have disappeared (Menu button, Wrench, Gear/Accessory Port Menu Display)

Google 'exposure triangle'

Google 'Turn on Olympus SCP'

There's nothing wrong with the 'P' setting altough iAuto will prevent you from interfering with what the camera thinks is best for you. Coming from an Oly film camera, I was most comfortable starting to branch out with with aperture priority first.

Try bracketing shots (you can set the camera to do this automatically) and check the results against the exif data.

Look through the viewfinder in consideration of what you see, not what is there. I still have trouble because I tend to see what I wanted to be there.

Take more photos than read articles and remember that soon YOU will be the best person to decide if an image works or not! Having said that, consider constructive criticism gracefully.

Don't take what internet 'experts' say as Gospel
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

A useful guide for setting up your camera can be found here.

There are many different sources in learning about photography so what may work for others may not be right for you...the internet is full of guides/tips, etc. however as above, use what works for you - not everyone or everything is correct!

For me, when I started out, I read the book Understanding Exposure and basically went from there.
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

+1 for Understanding Exposure. It is a very good read.
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by shutterspeed View Post
Hello everyone... Can you recommend any ideas of what objects to take photos of?

Looking forward to hear from you all
You could go out and take photos of anything that grabs your eye, objects, landscapes, abstracts, even people if you wish. All of which will provide opportunity in using the camera (set to P mode and sit back) to develop the necessary skills, and also to tune your eye. As Graham said, it's all about the light, but then throw in composition and subject interest.
A quick way up the learning curve is to immerse yourself in images from the acknowledged great photographers, available as books from a decent library or on-line browsing. For guidance on composition you can't go far wrong by reading 'The Art of Photography'.
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

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Originally Posted by shutterspeed View Post
I try to avoid using flash as it looks too fake or the subjects are too bright. But if I turn flash off, then I get the problem of the image being blurry/shaky. I don't know how to avoid this.
Flash is one of the best light sources available to you, but you have to learn how to use it. Direct flash straight from the gun, is very harsh and will look "fake". The trick is to modify the light with a diffuser. This can be as simple as layers of tissue paper/cloth through to small soft box attachments. I use milk cartons lined with foil to bounce the flash off, as well as a white card. If there is a ceiling in the room, bouncing off that is often very successful as it mimics overhead sunlight.

Have a look at these sites:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

https://luminous-landscape.com/categ...anding-series/

http://petapixel.com/2014/07/03/best...ses-tutorials/

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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

Thanks for the advice guys. Unfortunately I'm very disappointed to say that I've tried following some of yours and robin wong's settings, but the photos seem of very poor quality...they are noisy, no vibrancy and don't look any different from a cheap smartphone photo. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

As a suggestion, post some of your images here for advice.
Are you shooting JPEG or RAW, or both. You will get far more control if you shoot RAW and process in LR (Lightroom) or similar. RAW is the equivalent of negatives, JPEGS are the prints.
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

What mode was the dial in? Have a look at one of the photos and look at the Info, what does it say? ISO, f/stop, shutter speed. Post the photo if necessary.

What light were you trying to take images in? Whilst the kit-lens is okay, you may be expecting too much from it...with the information above, it'd be easier to help you out.

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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

As requested I've attached 4 unedited photos.

Just to be clear, these photos have been taken indoor, but it's a very bright day and my room has lots of sunshine. There might be a shadow or so, but that's most likely because a person was standing nearby.

The first two are with a kit-lens and other two are with Helios-44 lens. The issues are that the images:-
  • are very noisy
  • don't look high-resolution (more like smartphone photos)
  • blurry
  • very dull


http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=8d9622f
http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=2295051
http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=b3d591f
http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=024cc67
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Old 4th December 2016
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Re: Beginner, trying to learn on mirrorless camera

Just looking at the images quickly....the last two images are clearly not in focus (particulary the 3rd image of the 4). Did you choose the focus point yourself? The fourth image looks like you were probably past the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) of the lens (but I could be wrong). EDIT: you would have been manual focusing with the Helios lens...did you input the focal length to tell IBIS what it needed to do? Did you use focus peaking and/or magnification to help you take the shot?

With regards to the first two, both are at ISO1600 and have relatively slow shutter speeds - was IBIS on? Did you select the focus point (and what AF points were you using?).
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