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E-PL2 & Low light?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by RobertS, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    I've only had my PEN for about 2 weeks now, with almost no time to "play" with it. I like what I've experienced thus far, though. But I keep hearing that this is a delightful camera "in good light". So tell me, where does the "good" part leave off and "bad" part begin? What's the highest ISO that this camera can handle with decent results? What are some problems that I should expect when shooting in "less than good" light? Are we talking cloudy overcast days shooting outside? Or maybe a poorly lit interior? Or both?
    Then often with the "poor light" discussion also come the lack of abilities shooting sports. I have had all sorts of success shooting outdoor sporting events with just about every camera that I have ever owned. I would expect the E-PL2 to be no exception...probably because of "good light" outside. Inside a gym or hockey rink, might be a different story. That's why I still have my DSLR gear....just for those situations.
    Anyway, I'd appreciate you filling me in on these things, if you would. Thanks
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Where you set the cut-off is a very personal thing. I don't have a 12MP Oly sensor, but I try to keep the Panasonic GF2 at 800 or below, and 1600 ISO is acceptable. The E-M5 I feel comfortable with at 1600, is still good/pretty usable at 3200. For web sized shots, I'll even push further.

    The IBIS adds a fair amount of usability in low light for static subjects; if you need to freeze action, it's ISO that's going to be more limiting (for any given lens).
  3. dd1

    dd1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    When I had my E-PL2 I found ISO 400 to be the absolute maximum I would use, even then it still had mottled noise appearing in areas of the same colour (especially dark areas). I would say bad light would be anything where you can't use under ISO 400.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    It really depends how picky you are, and whether you shoot JPEGs or RAW. If you shoot JPEGs, you start to lose details in deep shadows as low as ISO 400, and by 1600 you're losing them across the range. Of course, if you don't print large or examine at 100%, you won't actually see most of that loss. If you postprocess, you'll notice it a lot more if you attempt to bring up shadows.

    For my tastes, you can certainly get by outside, even on heavily overcast days. The real difficulty is indoors, where even a fast lens may not be enough (with a slow lens, indoors is pretty hopeless, but that's true even with the newer cameras).
  5. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hi..Congrats on EPL2 and I loved his camera very much. I have OMD now and I gifted it to my nephew but I tend to differ with some people . I was using EPL2 very comfortably unto ISO 1600 with Oly 45mm , Panny 20 and PL25 lenses . I would say its damn good unto ISO1000 and can be used unto ISO 1600 if need arrises.
  6. I think many of the comments about 'OK in good light' refer to the kit lens, which is f3.5 or smaller aperture, depending on zoom setting.

    The Panasonic 20mm at f1.7 is two stops faster. I've had good results shooting with this lens indoors with quite low ambient lighting. I generally set maximum ISO to 400 or maybe 800, and rely on IBIS to deal with lowish shutter speeds.
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    As a E-PL1/2 user they do have some issues in low light. This is my biggest complaint with these models.

    First is focusing! There is no focus assist light so it makes AF hard and sometimes impossible in low light. Thank God Olympus is now putting assist lights on all their PENs. If you try to manually focus in low light the rear screen or VF{if you have one attached} have terrible noise making critical focus very hard.

    Second is the ISO. There is a fair amount of noise at 1600 and horrible noise at 3200, forget about 6400! Even 800 has some noise in the images. At higher ISO you loose a fair amount of the color saturation too.

    Lastly is the image stabilization. I also find that the IS on these models is only good for 2 stops or so. On my Nikon the IS is good for a full stop more.

    With that said faster lenses do make a world of difference! Even an f2.8 lens works much much better in low light than the kit lens.
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