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EPL1 shooting in low light

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by buuskii, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. buuskii

    buuskii New to Mu-43

    3
    Mar 7, 2011
    Hey guys, i've had my EPL1 for almost a year now and the only thing that bugs me with the 14-42mm lens is that its not the best in low light. Do you guys have any tips for shooting with it?
    Or am i better off trying to find a new lens? I thought about buying the panasonic 20mm but that lens costs more than my EPL1 single lens kit!

    Let me know what your tips are! thanks!
     
  2. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    the kit lens is not a great low light lens with not shooting with a flash. It is pretty dark zoom out at at 5.6, and just avg zoom in at 3.5. You will need something 2.8 or better for shooting in low light.

    That is why the 20mm 1.7 is my low light lens. It gives you 2 stop more of aperture.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It depends how dark a room you're looking at. The kit lens isn't particularly speedy but I would think if you crank up the ISO to 800, get the camera out of iAuto to A and set the aperture to 3.5 and manual focus (because AF would be hopeless) you should get some decent shots in low light...I'll go try it and report back.

    It wouldn't be like the Panasonic 20 but it also doesn't cost over $300.

    :biggrin:
     
  4. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Oct 28, 2010
    I bought one and think it's definitely worth it. It's my default lens and works well in most lighting situations. The 20mm focal length is quite versatile. At present, I think the USA is the cheapest place to buy one (I imported to Australia).
     
  5. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    77
    May 10, 2010
    The 20mm is worth it, it's a great lens! Once you get one it will rarely, if ever, leave your camera.
     
  6. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Other options include

    * Get a legacy manual focus 'fast' lens - f1.4 or 1.8 are pretty common from most manufacturers and pretty cheap - does need a steady hand and a good eye if you don't have an electronic viewfinder and your camera will cease to be so readily pocketable (advantage of the Oly 2.8 or Pana 1.7)

    * Use a flash

    * Bump up the ISO sensitivity - will result in grainier pictures unfortunately
     
  7. saxshooter

    saxshooter Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 26, 2011
    20mm 1.7... complete game changer. Worth it!
     
  8. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    the 20 1.7 with the epl-1's good 800-1600iso and the ibis makes for a very good low light package when shooting without a flash.
     
  9. buuskii

    buuskii New to Mu-43

    3
    Mar 7, 2011
    looks like the 20mm is the only way to go. I've pumped up the ISO here and there and have played around with it quite a bit but not success.

    DRPUMP, where abouts did you get your lens from? the price is ridiculously high over here in Aus
     
  10. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    The only other option is a external flash.
     
  11. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Oct 28, 2010
    I bought it from Adorama, but B&H photo is also pretty good from most reports. Freight was around $60. I ordered Sunday and it arrived on Thursday, with tracking. When you consider that the local price is $750, paying $400 including freight is a bargain. I bought a spare battery and a few other bits while I was at it: accessory prices seem to be around half the Aus prices.

    EDIT: the price has gone up a bit since I purchased. B&H is currently USD$350: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=panasonic+20mm&N=0&InitialSearch=yes. Adorama is $399.
     
  12. mushmorok

    mushmorok Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Jan 5, 2011
    As far as it goes with the kit lens (14-42), if we are talking for really low light (i.e. bar/karaoke etc.), what I would do is the following (things learned here in that forum :2thumbs:):

    1. Use the flash
    2. Boost ISO at least up to 800
    3. Shoot at A mode - I would try something at F5.6 or little less
    4. Switch to MF mode3 (p.79 from the user manual)

    The last part is something I've never tried myself, but the idea is that since AF is almost useless with kit lens under low light, disable it and move it to AEL\AFL button. That way, when shooting you only meter exposure on half-press and then shoot. The higher aperture should allow for a larger sharp and focused area (at least this is my understanding of it ...) If you still would like to try and refocus you can press the AEL\AFL button or just use the focus ring on the lenses for manual focusing. Most probably aiming at some area with contrast colors in it will help the AF system.

    Please bare in mind that I'm still learning the limitations and the possibilities of the camera, so I may be wrong ... If I have the chance I'll try it myself tonight at home ...
     
  13. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    Even the Olympus 17mm f2.8 is a LOT better in low light, and can be had for ~ $150 used. Its a great lens. Maybe not up to the standard of the Panny 20, but its also half the price.
     
  14. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    931
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
    With the Panny Twenty you get four times faster shutter speeds. For example 1/10 sec vs. 1/40. That is a huge difference if you are trying to shoot live targets, with a camera of course.

    But be aware, that once you have got used to the f1.7 you are starting to have day dreams about f0.95! :tongue:
     
  15. mushmorok

    mushmorok Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Jan 5, 2011
    I've just tested this and I would say ISO @ 800 is more then enough and this method seems to work. I've made the test in almost dark room - only two notebooks working. So what I did - focus with the AEL\AFL button somewhere around the notebooks where there is some light and then start shooting - I was just trying to keep the same distance from the objects as when was focusing initially. I had to use my imagination as the camera LCD was literally black.

    I still need to experiment with different apertures though.
     
  16. buuskii

    buuskii New to Mu-43

    3
    Mar 7, 2011
    interesting..... that method works :).

    i've still decided to save up for the 20mm panny though. This camera has so much potential!
     
  17. mushmorok

    mushmorok Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Jan 5, 2011
    That makes two of us! :biggrin: