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E-M5, night photography

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by chadnchady, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. chadnchady

    chadnchady New to Mu-43

    May 14, 2010
    Hi there,

    I plan to shoot some long exposure shots at night with the E-M5 of city scapes.

    Just a quick question, if I plan to only use iso 200 all the way and want to get the sharpest possible image at exposure between 15~20 secs at around f10ish, how does the configuration for the noise reduction/filter be set at? keep them off for both? Any recommendations?

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    keep NR on but NF off. dont need to go F10ish with anything like f5.6ish you're set! my 2cents based on my experience with an EPL2. havent tried with the OMD yet.
  3. Often the best reason to go to a smaller aperture at night is to get a star effect from point light sources. You'd need to experiment with whatever lenses you choose to get the best balance between this effect, depth of field, and sharpness. And yes, keep the long exposure NR on. The effect on your workflow will be that for every exposure you take the camera will need to take a second dark frame for the same length of time.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. toshiro

    toshiro Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 3, 2012
    I'm afraid you are thinking in Full Frame terms... if you go to f11 in m43 you wont get sharp results due to diffraction, most m43 lenses are pretty soft at f11.

    Use f5.6 instead, you'll get the same depth of field as using f11 in a FF, perfect for landscape and f5.6 is also the aperture where most of m43 lenses are sharper
  5. godsfshrmn

    godsfshrmn New to Mu-43

    May 17, 2012
    THAT's why my shutter opens and closes several times on long exposures! I don't mean to hijack, but if I'm wanting to shoot a long exposure of something like lightning in the sky, I will need to turn long exposure NR off correct? It sounds like I should only have LE NR on for static subjects?
  6. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    None of my m4/3rds lenses are soft at f/11. The are softer than their peak at f/4 or f/5.6, but they are not actually soft, and I don't hesitate to go to f/11 for a second if I need the DOF.

    f/11 is frequently not enough DOF for landscapes on 35mm, and lots of photographers go to f/16 or even f/22 be default when shooting landscapes on full format cameras.

    All that being said, for night shooting of cityscapes on m4/3rds I do agree with you. f/5.6 should be sufficient, or f/8 if needed for some reason.
  7. chadnchady

    chadnchady New to Mu-43

    May 14, 2010
    thanks for the above! very helpful
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    No, you can leave it on. The only downside is that when it's taking the dark frame, it can't capture the lightning. But it's still valuable for reducing sensor noise.

  9. Pennington

    Pennington Mu-43 Regular

    Just remember that with exposures like 10-15 second, you won't get point-source starts - you'll start to see trailing occur even at wider-angles, and especially at mid- and telephoto lengths.

    I've found that with star trails, you either need a good amount or not at all. Just a little trailing often ends up looking messy, like there was camera shake or some other unwanted effect at play.

    I also wouldn't be afraid of pushing up to ISO 400, to keep the exposures shorter if necessary. f/5.6 will probably be enough. But really you won't know until you're out in the field, where you can meter the different parts of the photo (city lights, sky, etc) to see how best to balance it.

    I can tell you from experience that the E-M5 is great for night work. The monitor works best for me, and I usually use LiveTime in manual mode, with the 2 second timer engaged to help mitigate any shake.
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