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how do i take continuous shots and sport picture with the Epl-2?

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by gazelle, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. gazelle

    gazelle New to Mu-43

    Apr 17, 2012
    hi, i recently bought an olympus epl2 a few months ago and have been taking nice pictures, but i have 2 major problems. i cant figure out how to take sport picture or stop motion pictures. its always blurry even if i take a picture of a finger wiggling slowly. i tried the scene mode that has the action picture and low light etc, it doesn't work, or is a tripod a must? i am really a noob at this lol. and how do i take continuous burst shooting and merge the image together. thank you.
  2. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    You need to shoot in good light, use a higher ISO, and use a high shutter speed.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    A tripod will not help with motion blur of the subject, it will only eliminate blur from camera shake.

    What you need is a faster shutter speed. This can be achieved in several ways. First is to get a faster lens... The lens speed of your lens is the widest aperture (smallest F-stop) your lens is capable of. That will give you the fastest shutter speed (but also the smallest Depth of Field, so beware that things may start falling out of focus). f/2.8 or wider is fast for a zoom lens, while f/1.4 or wider is fast for a prime lens.

    Second way to obtain a faster shutter speed is through better light. Strobe lighting (studio strobes or speedlights) will go an immensely long way to stopping action. Plus, because of their short duration they will even freeze action within your shutter span... so even if the shutter speed would normally be too slow, the strobes can still freeze the action within the frame. That is because the initial image becomes quickly burned in by the intensity of the strobe which is left on for shorter than the speed of the shutter curtain (assuming you're under X-Sync speed, otherwise you'll get black across your image from the second curtain closing).

    Neither of those two methods are destructive, except that a wider aperture may not allow you to keep everything in focus if your DOF becomes too small (although that does also give you the ability to control what's out-of-focus, to isolate your subject by throwing the background out of focus). There is one other fail-safe method to keep your shutter speed up and freeze motion in the frame, but it is a destructive method. That is to bump the ISO sensitivity. This allows the camera to capture more light in a shorter timespan, reducing your shutter speed but also increasing the noise and losing detail in the image. So use this as a last resort after the above two factors, but always keep in mind that noisy high-ISO shots are better than motion blurred shots. Don't be afraid to draw this card when you need it.

    Of course the disadvantage of bumping ISO is that it's destructive, but the advantage is that it's cheap. Fast lenses and external lighting both require some sort of investment.

    Don't bother with scene modes... use Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. In aperture priority just dial in the smallest F-stop to get the fastest speed, then check your shutter speed. If it's too slow for the action you expect to see, then bump up the ISO until the shutter speed reaches a reasonable figure. You know the shutter speed is fast enough when there's no more motion blur in the image. Once you get some experience under your belt, you will know what shutter speeds you need to stop whatever type of action (including what you need for static subjects, to stop your own camera shake when shooting hand-held).

    If in Shutter Priority, you just dial in that reasonable shutter speed and turn ISO to Auto. The camera will then open up the aperture as wide as it can to achieve that shutter speed. If it can't, then it will automatically bump the ISO for you if you keep that on Auto ISO. You have to watch the screen though to ensure the ISO doesn't go too high beyond what you're comfortable with. If you don't use Auto ISO while in Shutter priority, then the shutter speed will blink at you until you turn up the ISO yourself and if you don't then your image will become underexposed (or possibly all black).

    To shoot really good clean action photos in low light (ie, not outdoors on a sunny day) often requires a substantial investment in the form of a fast lens and/or a strong flash. It can be done with sub-standard equipment, but you will lose photo quality... Of course, simply shooting with a slow lens will often lose photo quality for the simple fact that fast lenses are more expensive to manufacture and are built to a higher quality standard.

    As to your second question, do you mean onion-skinning? This is a post-production question and is going in a whole different field. What software are you using? We may be able to help you, but I think you may be better off looking for tutorials for the image editor you plan on using (ie, Photoshop, etc.).
    • Like Like x 2
  4. gazelle

    gazelle New to Mu-43

    Apr 17, 2012
    hey, thank you for the huge explanation. i have already learned a lot just by reading that. i have an Olympus M. Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R Lens. do you think that's good enough? and my second question is how to take continuous shot. like using the camera to takes like 5 or more shots continuously.
  5. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    You are getting blurry pictures because the camera is shooting at a slow shutter speed in order to get the correct exposure. You need to use a higher shutter speed in order to capture the action.

    In order to use fast shutter speed, you need more light through the lens to achieve the proper exposure for the image.
    The kit lens has a maximum aperture of 3.5 at the wide end. If you zoom to 42mm the maximum aperture is reduced to 5.6. I don't know the light conditions you shoot in, but this might not be bright enough for the fast shutter speed required. You will need a 'bright' lens, which means a lens with larger maximum aperture. The smaller the number,( ie f2, f1.8, f1.4) the larger the aperture of the lens (I know it seems backwards), and therefor the more light it lets in.

    Upgrade your lens. Isn't that the whole point of a interchangeable lens camera? :wink:

    In the mean time, avoid the auto settings, and play around with manual controls. Set your aperture to the lowest number possible and your shutter speed to a higher number and see what happens. Have fun!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is what we call a "slow" lens. It can still be used to take fast action photos, but if you don't have good light (which could include flash) then you will require a high ISO sensitivity which will degrade your image. So you can use it for low-light action, but your photo quality will be very poor.

    You're much better off to get a fast lens as soon as you can afford it. Until then, bump the ISO as much as necessary.

    I'm going to give you a round-about way to do this, as it will save you much time and grief down the road in getting to any of your settings.

    In order to access your shooting options quickly go to Setup => Sprockets => Disp/PC => Control Settings and for every mode turn Live Guide and Live Control to OFF, then turn SCP (Super Control Panel) to ON in every mode.
    When you return to shooting, you will then be able to press OK and get a one-screen quick menu of all your essential shooting options. If another menu pops up (ie, like Remote Commander, Art, or Scene menus) then just press INFO and it'll cycle you back to SCP.

    If you don't see the Sprockets menu, then first go to Setup => Wrench => Menu Display and turn the Sprockets ON.

    Once you have the Super Control Panel set up, then you can easily change your shooting mode by pressing OK then maneuvering to the little rounded rectangle icon. Just change that to the icon with multiple rounded rectangles stacked together, and you will be in Burst Mode.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. gazelle

    gazelle New to Mu-43

    Apr 17, 2012
    thanks a lot, it was confusing at first but i finally got it :2thumbs:. And any idea on what lenses i should get ? people are saying Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens is a must. but i want one of those fast lenses you were talking about. any ideas?
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Lumix 20mm/1.7 is a pretty fast lens. It's probably as fast as you'll need, and you'll see a huge improvement over your kit lenses. If you want something a little faster you can get the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux or the fastest yet is the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Nokton... but the Nokton is only manual focus. The Lumix 20mm f/1.7 fills a similar role, but its advantage is that it's a lot cheaper and a lot smaller than either of the other two. It's only a half-stop slower, but produces sharp results.

    Focal length is another consideration though. The 20mm and 25mm lenses are a nice fairly wide general-purpose range for Four-Thirds. If you're shooting lots of interiors and such where you need to get more into the frame and don't have room to back up, then you might need something like the m.Zuiko 12mm f/2. If you shoot a lot of portraits, people, and things (more isolated subjects as opposed to busy scenes full of things), then you probably want a longer focal length like the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8.

    Personally, my tastes generally lie towards the longer focal lengths. My 50mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2.8 are some of my most commonly used lenses, with my 25mm used rarely. That's a personal preference... I like to zero in on a subject and shoot it clean with little background interference. Others want to capture more of the scene or cram more subjects into the frame. For them, a wider angle like the 20mm or 12mm is more appropriate.

    To try to put it a little easier... the 12mm you may use for something like shooting the inside of a cathedral. The 25mm or 20mm you may use for capturing a street scene or a group shot. The 45mm you may use for taking a portrait of somebody, or for shooting an object or an animal.

    If you want longer focal lengths in fast lenses, then unfortunately you will have to either wait until they are released (there are a few coming out this year, such as the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 and Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8) or use adapted lenses from either the Four-Thirds system (wonderfully sharp fast zooms!) or the various legacy lenses of old (manual focus and aperture control only). The legacy lenses are the cheapest options and do provide a large range. For legacy lenses you want to stick with primes though, as zoom lenses of old could not keep up with the optical quality of primes. High quality modern zoom lenses on the other hand can.

    If you do end up getting any manual focus lenses for your E-P2, I would highly suggest picking up a VF-2 viewfinder.
  9. fljoe

    fljoe Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    Great suggestions Ned and thanks for the wonderful explanation for which lens to use on what occasion.

    Now just make sure you have deep pockets to afford those fast primes :) 
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