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Has anybody attempted star trails with the E-M1?

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by Mr Hahn, May 1, 2014.

  1. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Like the title says, I'm looking for input from anybody who has attempted to stack a series of photographs for star trails using the E-M1. I'm looking for big sky swirls made with lots of images from the E-M1 over a period of hours and stacked with something like DeepSkyStacker. I'd really like to see some examples, if there are any, with some discussions on the settings used.

    Nate Hahn
  2. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    I guess not, so I'll have to start. Here's my first attempt from tonight:

    View attachment 358656 Trails.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr

    This was supposed to be a set taken over 30 minutes, but my battery let out 6 minutes in and the spare was at home on the charger. The result is 21 images stacked.

  3. Rjhelmes

    Rjhelmes New to Mu-43

    Jan 23, 2014
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I used an em-5 for these. I'd love to see more people post these. I was a little afraid the e-m5 wouldn't be able to handle star trails when i bought the camera but it looks like it's doing a good job. Turned off camera noise reduction so i can take photos without have to wait for the camera to apply noise reduction leaving gaps in the star trail, and used an electronic cable release brand is Aputure cost around $25 on ebay from china, $44 on amazon.

    Shot them all in raw, edited them in LR4 (upped contrast and clarity,changed temperature and tint to get sky just right, made other smaller changes), used LR4 to convert them to hi-res jpeg to use in starstax, stacked them with the free program starstax (which is awesome), put saved file back in LR4 for very minor tweaking. upload to flickr, took about an hour to do both photos.

    hope this helps someone, and would love to know how others do their trails

    58 images + 5 dark frames for noise subtraction, exposure 20 seconds each, 12mm f2, iso400
    [​IMG][/url]North Star Trail by rjhelmes, on Flickr[/IMG]

    70 images + 5 dark frames for noise subtraction, exposure 40 seconds each, 7.5mm 3.5, iso400
    [​IMG][/url]Camelopardalids meteor shower by rjhelmes, on Flickr[/IMG]
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Nice shots, but the purpose of the thread was to see any attempts with the E-M1, as noted in the title.

    Personally, I've come to the conclusion the E-M1 simply can't perform anywhere near the level I expected it to at night. I had an E-M5 and thought I would be stepping up when I purchased the E-M1 right after it was released, but I should have waited to see the tests and reviews. By day it's an excellent camera that I'm very impressed with, but at night it's been a big noisy leap backwards. As a result my E-M1 will be available in the for sale section soon.

  5. zlatko-photo

    zlatko-photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2014
    I am surprised. DPReview said the E-M1 had "slightly lower measured noise than the E-M5." And shooting star trails you can use lower ISOs anyway.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Regular exposure noise may be negligibly better on the E-M1, but dark noise is measurably worse.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Yeah, and I think much of this is due to the differences in sensors. I'm super impressed how well the Sony sensor does with long exposure and dark noise.
  8. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Yup, I like what's coming out of the E-M5 and E-M10.

    I think Olympus should be embarrassed over the long exposure performance of the E-M1 and it's Panasonic sensor considering this is supposed to be their flagship model. Also, this isn't just a problem for night photographers. If you try using a 10-stop filter for long daytime exposures (like I've tried with the Hitech 10-stop filter), you run into the same noise problem.

    The link posted by dhazeghi sums it up the noise problem very well.

    Also, the firmware patch we received a couple months ago helped improve things when shooting with dark frame subtraction enabled (called Long Exposure Noise Reduction by Olympus), but even with this enabled on the latest firmware it still gets very noisy if you want to shoot for more than about 30 to 40 seconds at any iso.
  9. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Can someone explain the dark frames for noise subtraction? I understand stacking but not the dark frames.
  10. trandg

    trandg Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    Here's one I shot back in March with the E-M1 and the 12-40mm f2.8

    ISO 400
    4.0s shutter speed
    approx 60 minutes of multi exposure shots

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
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