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High auto iso problem on EM-5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by JackOletta, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013
    For the last year I've been using the Lumix GF1 with 20mm f1.7

    I recently purchased the OM-D EM-5 with the 12-50mm and the 17mm f1.8 (the 17mm arrived today).

    I haven't had a chance to proberly use it yet but what I'm seeing after firing off a few test shots around the house has me worried. With the iso set to auto mode (ISO-A) I'm finding that the EM-5 is setting the iso to on average 1600 (sometimes much higher) where as if I put the same lens (17mm) on the GF1 and take the same shots, with the same lighting the average iso is 400 never higher; and that's with the GF1 set to auto or iISO.

    I've tried this with all 3 lenses on both cameras and the high auto iso issue is only happening on the EM-5. I've tested it while on firmware 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5 for the EM-5. Does this sound like there is a problem with the camera?

    I'm so used to getting low iso in these light conditions with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 I was shocked to see the f1.8 not going below 1600.

    Thank you for your input.
  2. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Did you try the 20mm?
  3. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Just go into menu E and change the default limits for Auto ISO.
  4. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013

    yes, I tried the 20, the 12-50 and the 17mm all with similar results. The iso was much higher on the EM-5 than with those same lens on the GF1 (both cameras in auto-iso. One thing I forgot to mention. the EM-5 was set to min/max 200-1600 so actually the iso probably would have been even higher.
  5. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013
    Thank you, yeah I thought about that but that doesn't really solve the problem. I'm wondering if this is normal. but sure, I could just set the camera to manual iso of my choice or set the max limit lower as you suggest however I then end up with a much slower shutter speed compared to what I see on the GF1 as the same iso.
  6. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013
    I think I may have to take my camera in to a local shop and compare it out with one of their displays.
  7. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    It would be helpful if you could share with use the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO data for the same shots captured by the same lenses on your 2 camera bodies for better comparison. When I use my E-M5 indoor with auto-ISO, it will try to push up ISO to maintain a shutter speed of 1/(Focal Length x 2), so it would be helpful to let us see the EXIF data of your shots to have a meaningful evaluation...
  8. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2012
    Austin, TX

    What he said. The EM-5 may be favoring the higher ISO (1600 is two full stops more sensitive than 400) so that it can use faster shutter speeds.

    You could try using manual mode and see what shutter speeds you get at the desired ISO and aperture, or use aperture priority and set the aperture you want, then see what shutter speed it selects.

    It may take a moment or two, but you can easily set the ISO manually, too. I have ISO mapped to my FN1 button, so I can easily change it while I have the camera to-eye.
  9. milez

    milez Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2012
    Few settings to check.
    1. White balance (warm off?)
    2. Metering - spot, matrix or centre weighted?
    3. Gradation - auto, normal, high key or low key?
    4. Picture mode - neutral, vivid, iEnhance, ... ?
    5. IBIS - on or off ?

    I find that under certain settings, the auto ISO do select the higher ISO limit of your preset to maintain shutter speed within 1/50 or so.

    The best way to assess is the post some pictures comparing EM5 and GX1 with EXIF data.
  10. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    It would be useful if you could shoot the same scene on Manual setting with identical shutter speed/ aperture and ISO Auto on both set ups initially, and then change the shooting Mode to give a scientific comparison. The results should then give you and idea of how the different cameras handle exposure parameters.

  11. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    I came out of exceptionally long lurking and joined to convey experience with this issue. The camera in question might need to go into service or be exchanged if it is similar to my case. B&H graciously and without hesitation exchanged my OM-D for another brand new copy.

    My issue occurred in Aperture Priority. Exterior daylight shots were getting blown after a couple good exposures with the same setting and shooting the same scene. What temporarily solved it for a couple shots was to switch to Program and snap a few well exposed images, then go back to Aperture, in which case they were equally well-exposed. Then suddenly, images were getting blown again. At some point later, I discovered a related problem; that auto ISO was remaining at 200 and not budging upward as I would have expected in dim scenarios.

    The initial experience with this behavior came as a shock; it had spoiled my mood on my first day shooting exterior scenes with the camera while on vacation shooting with others. I tried all manner of dealing with it, including swapping lenses; delving into the menus; finally resetting the camera, all to no avail.

    The key images I showed the B&H representative were kept on the SD card, saved just for the occasion; specifically two shots from indoors out onto a street of a trash can. Both showed the same settings; one was properly exposed and the other was blown. I recall that I could not wait to get back to the store and get this condition resolved.
  12. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    If the Olympus is using higher ISO values than the Panasonic and exposures are approximately the same (same EV used), then the OM-D probably has a higher low shutter speed limit than the Panasonic. As I found out from other posts here, the low shutter speed limit, set in the flash settings menu, also set the low shutter speed in Auto ISO. (I am less than thrilled with this, because I want to be able to set different shutter speeds for flash than available light.)
  13. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

  14. milez

    milez Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2012
    Max x-sync speed for OM-D is 1/250. You can set manually to lower shutter speed , but not higher if you use Olympus' dedicated TTL flash. However if you use non Olympus flash, you can set beyond 1/250.
    Unlike its predecessor OM4 Ti which uses leaf shutter where x sync speed is the same as the max shutter speed of the camera.
  15. Rinaldo

    Rinaldo Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    @ JackOletta
    I feel the same with my EM5, that it always set a higher ISO than I expected when using indoor or in low light situations, despite the IBIS. Just made a quick test with the 20 at f1.7 and with the upper limit set to 1000, A mode, it chose 1/15 for ss and 1000 for the ISO. Then I switched the upper limit to 12800 and in the same situation it chose shutter speed of 1/60 and ISO 10000. It seems that the camera tends to give us 1/60 or 1/80 in A mode at least, and raise up the ISO at maximm to do so. Why?? Like it doesn't know it has the IBIS.... :)  ... Or did I missed something? Oh, and does anyone knows why sometimes the ISO blinks?? It happened on the latter case.
  16. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    You guys are getting lost.

    If the lowest flash shutter speed is set to 1/80 sec., the shutter speed will never go below 1/80 sec. in A or P mode when ISO is set to Auto. The flash is not on, it's not even on the camera, it's sitting in your camera bag with dead batteries. Doesn't matter. It effects the shutter speed when ISO is set to Auto.

    If the camera is in M mode, the camera will shoot at whatever the shutter speed is manually set to; that's the definition of MANUAL. Really.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013
    It's not possible to select Manual and ISO-Auto on the EM-5.

    I've shot 3 scenes using the 17mm 1.8 on both the EM-5 and the GF1. Both cameras were set to auto iso, and Aperture Priority set to F2
    Here are the iso, and shutter speeds:

    GF1- scene 1: 400 1/25
    scene 2: 100 1/60
    scene 3: 400 1/25

    EM-5 scene 1: 2000 1/80
    scene 2: 200 1/100
    scene 3: 3200 1/80
    As you can see the GF1 sticks to low iso and the EM-5 sticks to fast shutter speed. This is the same in Program and Auto mode.

    IBIS is set to 1
    Picture mode was set to both Monochrome and color for the test.
    Metering - ESP
    WB - Auto

    Thank you
  18. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013
    I just tried changing the low shutter speed limit (Slow Limit in the *F menu) and it definitely had an effect on the iso albeit up to a point. I believe it was originally set to 1/60. I lowered it to 1/30, this lowered the auto iso as well as the shutter speed. If I tried lowering it any further there was no change in the iso. So for example my test shot where I had the EM-5 set to Aperture Pri F2 where I was getting 1/80, iso 3200. When I lowered the Slow Limit to 1/30, the same scene had iso 1000 1/40.

  19. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    Sorry but I am able to use M and Auto ISO on my E-M5, you just need to enable Auto on all modes in the menu. For most subjects I am now using M plus Auto ISO - so much more control.

  20. JackOletta

    JackOletta New to Mu-43

    Jan 9, 2013

    You're right, my apologies.
    Thank you.
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