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E-M5: Live Bulb Procedure?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by newbert, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I was wondering whether anyone who has used either the "Live Bulb" or "Live Time" functions on the EM-5 could relate their experiences. For example, does it work well? Since (I assume) it's best to use a tripod in these modes, do you disable IBIS first? What other settings (if any) are important to set when using these modes?

    I've read somewhere that these modes allow you to monitor the progress of a long (Bulb) exposure, in order to end it when it's just "right". Just looking for some impressions of how well it works.

    ...and what's the difference between "Live Bulb" and Live Time"? Is it that "Live Time" is a pre-timed exposure where you pre-set the shutter speed whereas "Bulb" is bulb? :smile:

  2. (G)

    (G) Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2012
    I'm sure others here have a lot more experience with this. But I just tried it the other night because I just got the camera and wanted to be sure everything is working. So I have yet to figure out the nuances.

    I remember being able to set the interval between screen updates. The camera then told me how many screen updates it could handle. So, for example, I told it to update the screen every 15 seconds, and it told me I'd get 20 updates -- that's 5 minutes' worth of updates. I did an exposure for 8 minutes, so the screen didn't update any further after 5 minutes.

    As I said, I'm hazy on all the nuances. But I will say that it's quite dramatic to watch the screen get brighter and brighter with the image over time as you're standing there in the dark. I'm really looking forward to experimenting with this further.
  3. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 20, 2010
    Live Time is a just like Bulb, except that to end "Live Time" you press the shutter release a "2nd Time" to end the exposure.

    With Bulb, when you lift up your finger "off" the shutter release, the exposure end. So, you have to "Stay" with the camera with your finger on the release for the whole exposure.. Not so with "Time" exposure.

    See this in your manual for detail.

    Using Bulb or Time Exposure, and the differences
  4. kenez

    kenez Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    I tried "Live Bulb" for the first time on the Fourth of July during a fireworks display. I would definitely say I got more "keepers" than without it. I set it for 1/2 second updates. I believe this was as quick as it could refresh the screen and I figured for exposures ranging from 1-10 seconds that would be about right.

    My only complaint wasn't really anything to do with the feature. It was more a frustration of having to wait for the camera to finish writing to the card before I could proceed to the next shot. I was using a Sandisk 45MB/s Extreme SDHC1 16GB card. I had hoped it might have been a little faster than turned out to be the case.

    Here is an example of one shot I got that I thought turned out fairly decent. Knowing when to close the shutter did prove to be a useful feature.

  5. Azimuth

    Azimuth Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thornbury, Victoria
    Did you have long exposure noise reduction turned on? If so, the camera will take a second 'dark' exposure of identical length right after you take a long exposure. This might have caused the delay.
  6. kenez

    kenez Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    Thanks. I had Noise Reduction set to "auto" so that is certainly possible.
  7. Brownian

    Brownian Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 28, 2012
    A tip I picked up elsewhere, and which limited testing seems to confirm, is that live-time results in a lot of noise. The tip was to use live-time to ascertain the length of exposure, then use live-bulb to take the real exposure.
  8. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Wonder why that would be? It should really be the same thing.
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You need this anyhow, to avoid any hot pixels that might occur. It's just the limitation of doing that sought of photography (& producing a nice result)
  10. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Thanks for the explanation and responses, guys!
  11. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Up till now I haven't tried it (only saw it on video), but it is REALLY NEAT!

    The downside is it disables IBIS.
  12. romzL

    romzL Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2012
    its always best to use the Live Time/Live Bulb with a shutter cable release
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