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E-P1 ...do you need a flash?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by smimu, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. smimu

    smimu New to Mu-43

    Jun 11, 2011
    I was wondering if i require flash when taking photo with e-p1?

    Iam an amateur photographer and will use the e-p1 for everyday photography. I am worried if it can take portrait at night without a flash? iam upgrading from an olympus e-500 :smile:.

    Iam thinking of getting gh1 or e-p1, the gh1 is body only but worth the same e-p1 with kit lens. Iam leaning towards the e-p1 since its compactness and video is not really important ( i know gh1 has superior video quality but e-p1 video will suffice). I have look at photographyblog iso comparison and both cameras and i dont see any difference but from my eye iso1600 is better in the e-p1.

    but i want to know Owners of e-p1 on the low light and night photography?

    and also i think i would print at the largest A3

    thanks in advance
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have an E-P1 and the Panasonic 20/1.7 and you can get pretty nice low light images with that combo. The IBIS on the E-P1 gives the 20/1.7 a little extra bit of capability in low light. I'll see what I can shoot for you and report back

    I would tend to use an external flash anyway, and the E-P1 has a hot shoe so...
  3. SMaturin

    SMaturin Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 30, 2011
    New York's Backyard
    There is a reason that all modern point and shoot cameras have a built in flash. When you are using a small lens to focus light on a small sensor, there just will not be enough photons hitting the sensor to get a good image in conditions that do not involve full daylight or very bright artificial lighting.

    The sensors in the Pen cameras are better than most P&S cameras, but they cannot overcome the physics of small sensor/small lens. Sensors have improved tremendously over the past two decades as digital photography has evolved, but they are not yet able to capture the entire range of what the human eye can see, in terms of varying light conditions.

    So, yes, you will need a flash if you intend to shoot indoors or in less than optimal light conditions.

    If you want the convenience of shooting in a wide range of conditions without an external flash, consider the E-PL1 or E-PL2, which include a pop-up flash. The E-P1 is the first model of the series, and lacks any built-in flash.

    I shoot with an E-P2 (the E-PL2 was not yet out when I entered the m4/3 world), and use the Nissin Di466 flash when I am not shooting in bright enough light. I may well upgrade to an E-PL3 whenever that version comes out, although we are still awaiting the E-P3 to be debuted this summer.

  4. smimu

    smimu New to Mu-43

    Jun 11, 2011
    yeah im thinking of getting one too, but not in the near future. But the flash will affect the e-p1 compactness. Is it good for taking pictures in dimly lit restaurant?

    thanks cant wait for your photos :) 
  5. SMaturin

    SMaturin Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 30, 2011
    New York's Backyard
  6. smimu

    smimu New to Mu-43

    Jun 11, 2011
    haha thanks ...I like the metal finish of the e-p1/2 , thats y iam aiming for the e-p1. the e-p2 price hasnt decrease in nz and iam e-p3 might have the same price range of e-p2 so it out of range. So i might go to panasonic gh1 for all in one system.

    Thanks again
  7. aw614

    aw614 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2011
    I havent really used my flash much on my ep1, I guess it depends, but I've been happy with the results with the 17mm F2.8 indoors
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I love the E-P1 for it's compactness and I like to take it with me in place of having a point and shoot in my backpack. I use a G2 for my main camera. FWIW I almost never use the flash on the G2 either.

    I found this article about shooting at ISO 6400 with an E-P1. It involves using Photoshop but the results are impressive.
  9. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I only use flash in bright sunlight as fill.
  10. blinky

    blinky Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2011
    I tend not to use flash since it impacts the way the natural lighting falls on the subject. Reasons why I would use a flash usually only include:

    -Subject is brightly backlit
    -Friends and family pictures and the lighting isn't cutting it (in this case I still try to take a shot with no flash and one with and I can use whichever is better)

    Granted, with the P1, you can also push up the ISO a little further than a compact point and shoot and still get good pictures so that does help some.

    With the P1, I'd recommend picking up a lens with a wider aperature to work well indoors
  11. smimu

    smimu New to Mu-43

    Jun 11, 2011
    do you reccomend sigma 30mm 1.4 with the adapter? :D 
  12. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I find that about 90% or more of my photos are taken without a flash. But... and this is a big "but", when I do use the flash I've found it extremely helpful. Even with a fast lens (such as the 20mm f/1.7) there are still occasions when a flash is helpful or necessary.
  13. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    With no AF assist on any of the Olympus models, you're pretty much in a world of frustration in any low-light situation anyway.....
  14. smimu

    smimu New to Mu-43

    Jun 11, 2011
    what do you mean af assist sorry noob question? I read in dpreview forums that auto focus work with sigma 50 mm but not sure about 30mm.
  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    It all boils down to what kind of photo you want to take.....and what the light available actually is.... and how you meter

    this was taken in a very dark bar with an E-P1 and the Pana 20/1,7... oh and autofocus

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Henri lights up by kevinparis, on Flickr

    this was taken with the same lens in January in Scotland... not noted for its bright light

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    oblivious by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Buying a faster lens or buying a flash doesn't solve the fundamental issue of the fact that you as the photographer have to seek and control the light.

    Buy a flash and stick it on a E-P1 and you might as well have a point and shoot... Buy a fast lens and if you don't understand metering and shutter speed and you will be disappointed

  16. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    I agree that it's all up to you and the way you shoot and how well you understand lighting etc.

    I've had my e-p1 for about a year and a half now and I've never owned a flash. There's been a few times (maybe 10) or so where I wish it had a small fill in flash, but that's like a few in hundreds if not thousands of pictures.

    But, that's just me. You need to understand how how you want to shoot before you can decide what equipment you want / need. I don't think this is a question anyone else can correctly and accurately answer for you.
  17. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I've owned the E-p1 for over a year and a half. I have thousands of shots with it. I have probably missed 3 or 4 shots because I did need fill flash, specifically. I rarely feel that I need flash.
  18. AdamThirtle

    AdamThirtle Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    The E-P1 is more than capable to shoot a photo in dim situations. You made a comment about restaurants earlier, of which made me think about how such places usually have great natural lighting on occassion.
  19. smimu

    smimu New to Mu-43

    Jun 11, 2011
    yeah i agree with you with good lighting on most of the restaurant but i was panning to get e-p1 and use it on me and my gf anniversary.... and take her to a romantic restaurant where is dimmer than other .....thanks for all the feed back
  20. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Indeed, there are only two ways to use flash. The first is as you say, to remove dark shadows in bright light. This requires special control of the flash as fill-only.

    The second method is to bounce a flash at higher output off a ceiling or wall in order to get diffuse illumination of a dark scene.

    Small built-in flash units are worse than useless in both regards, so if you are serious get a flash that you can bounce and tilt. Or get a radio trigger and use a flash off-camera.
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