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E-M5, need two stops more...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dcassat, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    It's been a while since I've posted here. Too busy shooting with my E-M5! But I'm considering a new camera.

    I'm a landscape shooter and love the E-M5 (mostly).

    I often shoot right after sundown or before sunup. I like to shoot toward the light. A lot to ask of any camera.

    To capture the full dynamic range, I expose well (to ensure I get as much of the shadow detail as possible) and often will bracket (combine in software) or occasionally use an 2 stop half ND grad to even out the DR. What I've noted is that in many cases that two stops (to dampen the sky) allows me to capture the scene without blowing the highlights or losing the shadows.

    Bracketing is my most consistent answer for the issue, HOWEVER, the wind and things that move do not work well with bracketing. The half ND grad is a better answer in these situations but requires quite a bit of work in post to lighten areas that should not have been darkened.

    What I've learned is that the Pentax K5 series (II and new K3) can capture about two stops more than my OMD and has many of the same features. There are several fine Pentax lenses too.

    Do you have experience with Pentax? Or even better, the E-M5 and the Pentax 5 series? Perhaps you know/understand this dilemma and have solved it for your needs?

    Let me know!

    Thanks,
     
  2. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    You can get two more stops with the E-M1: ISO 100 and 1/8000

    Yes the ISO 100 is fake but as you note it would save time in POST.
     
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  3. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    533
    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    I was reading a K5 shooter and he was saying he needs better iso for his nightcapes. I think m43 and apsc are closer to each other as I am using nex-6 & e-m5, next step up is FF. Check Sony A7/A7R FF for better dynamic range and better iso. Shooting w/ RX1 and e-m5 showed that when I pushed the image e-m5 had much more noise in the shadows:

    RX1 w/ polarizer
    original.

    E-M5 w/ 8x nd filter
    original.

    I don't know how old/new your Pentax lenses but most probably you can adapt them to Sony... I use Pentax m42 lenses...
     
  4. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    Thank you, I appreciate the images too, very beautiful.

    I have read recently a thread where Pentax shooters often do not have the same struggles with dynamic range that I do. Directly into the sun is one thing but most of my shots are after sunset and I still cannot capture it all. I still think those two stops (which I would also get with FF, would do the trick). The Pentax has 14.1 ev of DR vs the OMD 12.2. 14ev is about the most any SLR can capture these days.
     
  5. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    [You can get two more stops with the E-M1: ISO 100 and 1/8000

    Yes the ISO 100 is fake but as you note it would save time in POST.]




    Of course the E-M1 would be a perfect solution since I already have the lenses. I've yet to see that it really has a DR advantage (in testing). If it could capture 14ev, I would have nothing more to think about!
     
  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I don't think it has any DR advantage - ie a measurable DR change.

    But, if your goal is to get more range without POST then the E-M1 will do it with the ISO 100 and 1/8000 shutter - ie with no or less ND filter.

    RANT - they could do this with the E-M5 too....

    The Sony A7r might well be a good solution for you if it lives up to the hype.
     
  7. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    65
    Apr 25, 2012
    Iowa
    Matt
    What does ISO 100 and 1/8000 have to do with dynamic range?
     
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  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Nothing :wink: But, if you need two stops of range (which was the original request) so you don't blow out highlights ISO 100, and 1/8000 will give you more range than ISO 200 and 1/4000.

    If you need FF DR then that is a different issue.
     
  9. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    A couple of possibly obvious questions first - do you shoot raw and how proficient are you with editing in post (and I don't just mean combining bracketed shots to HDR)?

    EM5 jpegs by default are pretty contrasty, which looks pretty on the LCD but isn't conducive to high-DR scenes - shooting raw in these situations will allow you to pull much more range out of the files. Likewise, becoming really proficient with your editing software is probably the most reliable way to deal with the type of landscape scenes you seen to be shooting (I had a look through your 500pix page) - the EM5 is a pretty solid base in this respect.

    I have shot with Pentax (I owned a K20D and K7 and have used a K5-mkI extensively) and I've also used the same Sony 16mp sensor in a D7000. Yes, it is a fantastic sensor, but then so is the EM5's and to be honest I very much doubt you'll get 2 full stops extra dynamic range - my experience would be more like 1/2 - 1 stop.

    Looking at Pentax development over the last five years I'd also be pretty nervous about investing in the brand, but this is obviously a personal thing.

    If you're serious about landscape and serious about dynamic range I just don't see the difference between the top MFT and APS bodies as significant enough, if you really to upgrade a wouldn't bother if you weren't going all the way to FF and a Sony 24mp or 36mp sensor - a second-hand D600/D800, or if you have the cash the new Sony A7 and A7r look pretty amazing, although suitable lenses are currently MIA.

    The EM1 might be a great body, but sensor wise it isn't going to give anything tangible over the EM5...
     
  10. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Snip

    Yes if shooting raw the two sensors appear to be essentially identical.
     
  11. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Living in Asia, I run into the same problems as you with dynamic range. I also use the same methods - multiple exposures to combat the issue.

    As to your question... Well the answer is pretty simple...
    1) A camera like a Pentax K3 or FF will certainly help because it has more dynamic range
    2) However I shoot mostly with people who have FF and they still run into the same problem

    So the answer to your problem is that typically the Pentax will help but not solve it.

    As an aside the E-M1 makes things much easier in this regard. It has one button press HDR at your finger tips. It also gives you one button with timer delay normal AE bracketing. So that bracketing exposure is really simple and convenient on the E-M1 (handheld or tripod.) Actually it is this feature that is the greatest benefit to me on the new camera.
     
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  12. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    For comparing dynamic ranges of different cameras, DxO is your friend.
     
  13. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    1. I shoot RAW only, often use Rawdigger to check my exposure optimization and use Lightroom to process my photos. I am quite comfortable with Lightroom, love the product and am always striving to eek the most from it.
    2. Pentax recently came to the forefront in my research as it is so highly rated in DR on the DxoMark website (and others). Thank you for your input regarding your experience. I do think that Pentax stands at the front of the APS sensor group based on features, performance and bang for the buck.
    3. Yes, I would have to say I'm serious at this point and wish to find the camera that suits the landscape shooting that I do. The E-M5 is nearly perfect as I have it configured and only recently have I become slightly/occasionally frustrated by the challenges that high DR scenes present when the wind blows... :)

    No, I'm afraid, from what I know, the E-M1 isn't a tall enough step to take me to the next level. But I now have to weight (literally) the trade offs of jumping into FF. The Sony may be the next best answer, if the lenses indeed materialize.

    I so appreciate your input!
     
  14. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    Thank you, you directly answered my question. I didn't know about the timer delay for bracketing on the E-m1, that's really cool.
     
  15. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    If you are looking for some free software to use with LR, have a look at perfect layers 3. This might be a good way for you to combine exposures without resorting to HDR software.

    http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/perfect-layers/

    Example of what you can do with layers:
    https://player.vimeo.com/video/66266791?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&autoplay=1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PrwOjDsbuc

    To be honest I've never used it though. So far I've been working within the DR of the EM5, just push/pull shadows and highlights. It is an area in post processing I would like to explore more in future though.
     
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    It might be true : buy one right now!
    It might be technically true : borrow/hire one and find out.
    It might be technically true but unusable in real use.
    It might not be true.
     
  17. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    Actually, logic works well for me. I've considered borrowing/renting to find out. It's a great suggestion, thanks!
     
  18. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA

    Well, that's my bad for not mentioning that I already use Enfuse as an Add-in in Lightroom, works wonders and is simple to deploy and use.
     
  19. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Thanks, I'll have a look at enfuse, it seems easier to use.

    I do think using layers might help overcome some of the issues you have with wind/tree movement in the combined image.
     
  20. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Well all I can say is that I am getting great results from the E-M1 in terms of using their 1 shutter press multiple exposures - especially handheld.

    Here is a shot I took earlier today. It isnt a brilliant shot but it illustrates the point. This is 3 shots +2, 0, -2 but it feels like one shot with the E-M1. Admittedly shutter speeds are 1/125, 1/500 and 1/2000.

    I think it is pretty obvious that you can see the problem you would have with the DR of a single shot. I suspect the same would be true of a Pentax as well.

    hdr_1_of_1_.
     

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