And don't be afraid of the dark

goldenlight

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Thankfully it's now the time of year in the UK where we can comfortably wear fleece jackets again, with pockets big enough to slip in an E-PL1 and Panny 20mm. I grabbed this shot of our local high street tonight while on my way to collect a chinese take-away, mainly to test the camera at high ISO.

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ISO 1600, 1/8th sec @ f4, no in-camera noise reduction but Dfine 2.0 applied in pp. I think the camera did pretty well and so did the IS at 1/8th sec, considering I haven't exactly got the steadiest hands!

So no need to be afraid of the dark with this little camera and no excuse not to have it tucked in my fleece pocket, even when just popping out for some junk food! :smile:
 

shoturtle

 
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You can push the iso to 2000 for night shots with the 20 1.7. And will give good results if you need a bit better shutter speed.

First one is at 2000iso before topaz denoise 5
 

briandforever

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the only thing i worry about is the hunting AF of e-pl1 at dark

does it still hunt with 17mm or 20mm ?
 

goldenlight

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Ah, that's a good point, I haven't thought to check the firmware (bought my E-PL1 secondhand a few weeks ago). It's actually version 1.0 so I have a job to do - mind you, it has focused very quickly and positively for several night scenes with street lighting so far, with the 20mm lens.
 

nishendu

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This is Alaska summer just past midnight. I supported the camera (EP 2) on railing and took this one.
 

goldenlight

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This is Alaska summer just past midnight. I supported the camera (EP 2) on railing and took this one.
That's terrific, Nishendu, thanks for posting. :smile:
 

briandforever

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not if you did the 1.1 firmware update to the camera.
i just upgrade the firmware, it's still hunt in my dimmed light baby room, well maybe it's just me, because i use d700 as well.

will this problem solved with 17mm or 20mm?

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shoturtle

 
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the epl-1 will not preform as well as the d700. But the 20mm does preform better then the kit lens in low light AF. It does let more light in for the contrast AF system to get a focus.
 

pake

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Last night I was practising shooting in the dark (with the 20mm f/1.7). I tried to keep the ISO as low as possible since I wanted to avoid the noise issues. I had limited the auto-ISO to 800 and took lots of pics with 200 and 400 as well. Well... It really taught me that without a tripod those pictures are doomed to fail. Most of the pictures were either too dark or blurred. I haven't tried editing those "too dark"-pictures with Photoshop yet but... I'm not expecting too much of it though.

After looking at some pictures here (and in other threads) I realized I have to either get a tripod or use a higher ISO value. Though I'm thinking of buying one I don't think I would be carrying a tripod with me that often so I need to "submit" to the higher ISO. Which brings me finally to my questions.

1) What is the best program / filter / plugin to remove noise. I've been using Neat Image plugin with Photoshop CS2 for years. Are there better ones?

2) What kind of settings should I adjust when taking photos in low light situations? I read some advices here and thought I could try to disable the noise filter. Or is that advice valid only when shooting video? I'm at work atm so I can't really say what settings I used yesteday. At least the IS was on. :tongue:

3) Any other advice?
 

briandforever

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Last night I was practising shooting in the dark (with the 20mm f/1.7). I tried to keep the ISO as low as possible since I wanted to avoid the noise issues. I had limited the auto-ISO to 800 and took lots of pics with 200 and 400 as well. Well... It really taught me that without a tripod those pictures are doomed to fail. Most of the pictures were either too dark or blurred. I haven't tried editing those "too dark"-pictures with Photoshop yet but... I'm not expecting too much of it though.

After looking at some pictures here (and in other threads) I realized I have to either get a tripod or use a higher ISO value. Though I'm thinking of buying one I don't think I would be carrying a tripod with me that often so I need to "submit" to the higher ISO. Which brings me finally to my questions.

1) What is the best program / filter / plugin to remove noise. I've been using Neat Image plugin with Photoshop CS2 for years. Are there better ones?

2) What kind of settings should I adjust when taking photos in low light situations? I read some advices here and thought I could try to disable the noise filter. Or is that advice valid only when shooting video? I'm at work atm so I can't really say what settings I used yesteday. At least the IS was on. :tongue:

3) Any other advice?
if i dont bring tripod, i try as hard to put the camera, or holding it onto something: bags, bench, table, waste bin, etc.
if i had to handheld it, i compose first, and put the camera on my forehead with the lcd facing forehead, lean my body/head to something concrete like walls, street light, bench, etc, and holding my breath as long as the exposure taken
 

shoturtle

 
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If you do not have a tripod, you will need to shoot at 1600 and 2000iso. 800iso is really not for low light shooting.

And if you are shooting on a tripod, you can just use 200 iso and what ever aperture you want.

Last night I was practising shooting in the dark (with the 20mm f/1.7). I tried to keep the ISO as low as possible since I wanted to avoid the noise issues. I had limited the auto-ISO to 800 and took lots of pics with 200 and 400 as well. Well... It really taught me that without a tripod those pictures are doomed to fail. Most of the pictures were either too dark or blurred. I haven't tried editing those "too dark"-pictures with Photoshop yet but... I'm not expecting too much of it though.

After looking at some pictures here (and in other threads) I realized I have to either get a tripod or use a higher ISO value. Though I'm thinking of buying one I don't think I would be carrying a tripod with me that often so I need to "submit" to the higher ISO. Which brings me finally to my questions.

1) What is the best program / filter / plugin to remove noise. I've been using Neat Image plugin with Photoshop CS2 for years. Are there better ones?

2) What kind of settings should I adjust when taking photos in low light situations? I read some advices here and thought I could try to disable the noise filter. Or is that advice valid only when shooting video? I'm at work atm so I can't really say what settings I used yesteday. At least the IS was on. :tongue:

3) Any other advice?
 

zpierce

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I'm not a fan of tripods, they're just so clunky to run around with at night. I took a monopod last week and that worked really well. Stand alone I still needed higher ISO, but it was usually easy to find a fence or railing or bench or what have you to lean the pole against, and it was a LOT more convenient than carrying a full tripod.

I got all these shots with a monopod, most at iso 100 with monopod leaning against something, some free standing ones at ISO 800.

Twin Cities Night Shots - a set on Flickr
 

shoturtle

 
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Oct 15, 2010
Messages
823
one more thing to add about night shots. If you are shooting long exposures. Use the 2sec timer on a tripod, so the camera can settle after you push the shutter button.

Monopoles are ok, but if there is something like a fence or table, something like the gorillapod dslr tripod works great, and it is very small.
 

shoturtle

 
Joined
Oct 15, 2010
Messages
823
I seen those, but you need to get something the can support the pad, but you can not wrap it around a pole, which is one nice thing about the gorillapod, and you can spade out the legs if you want to get really low.
 

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