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Interesting observations about concert photography with an O-MD E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by AttackDonut, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. AttackDonut

    AttackDonut Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 22, 2015
    Hi Gang,

    First off, thank you for the tips, suggestions, etc. that you have given to me, and posted elsewhere. It has allowed me to get maximum functionality in a minimum of time.
    I am a concert photographer (metal) and my normal weapon of choice is a Nikon.

    I was asked to shoot a 10 hour concert with 20 bands. Gwar, Clutch, Down, GoatWh*re, Dickies, Descendants, etc.
    I knew my Nikon would handle this no problem, but I wanted to carry something lighter. Concerned about battery life from what I have read around the 'net, I bought 5 spare batteries. One in the body, one in the power grip (factory default one) and 3 spares.
    I bought 5 memory cards (16GB 300x, 45MB/s), and shot RAW.
    I set my camera up for C-AF, EVF only.
    Here is what I discovered today:

    I only used up one battery (the one in the power grip) and changed it out. The batteries lasted far longer than I expected.
    As usual, I took way too many shots (about 1000. Now comes the no fun part, processing)
    I shot on 4FPS (Low) speed and it was enough, though I would have liked the option to bump that up to 5 or 6fps.
    The Olympus was a joy to shoot and rarely missed focus, even on the heavy action shots, it nailed things dead on.
    The Auto ISO was a joy to have. I set my shutter speed and aperture, and the camera decided the ISO, very very useful with the changing conditions.
    I did fill up the buffer, but the cheap cards I bought were written to very fast and I only missed shots because I was not looking, rather than waiting for the camera to dump the buffer.
    I mainly used the 40-150mm F/4-5.6, and while I am used to my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 which I typically shoot wide open, I didn't have to do this with the Oly because of the excellent noise characteristics even at high ISOs.
    The EFV was quite often fooled about the lighting conditions, but the pics taken were dead on. So it could have been something to do with harsh daylight, I'm not sure. I quickly learned to ignore that.

    I will have some shots up as soon as I process them. (But a teaser here for you) 1.
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  2. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
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  3. AttackDonut

    AttackDonut Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 22, 2015
    As promised, a few pics:
    The above is the bass player for GoatWh*re.
    Lead singer for the same band
    Bass player for Ghoul
    Lead guitarist for Bat, a local band. Their drummer was the original drummer for D.R.I.
    There were three stages, two "outdoors" (semi covered) and 1 totally covered. The covered one presented the greatest challenge because of how the sunlight entered into the area. The Bat shot used 12,500 ISO with 1/800 sec (I wanted a high shutter speed to freeze the quick motion of the band members) I would have preferred a fast f stop, but the 14-42 isn't very fast, so the camera compensated with the high ISO. I aim to correct this next time around with faster glass.

    Overall the camera was a joy to carry around. My shoulders weren't killing me carrying around the heavy Nikon and assorted lenses (50 1.8, 17-35 2.8. and attached the monsterous 70-200 2.8) and the Oly itself was as light as a feather.

    I am interested to see how it will do in low-light indoor concerts, but looking through the 3000 (not 1k as I had originally posted) shots I took, where the Oly locked on, it stayed locked on, and where I started shooting before it locked, the subsequent shots were also out of focus, but this is operator error.
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  4. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Looks nice. You will need brighter lenses for indoor events though :) 
    Check out the Musical performance thread for some more photos.
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Re focus lock... Check the Release Priority setting, and related burst mode settings.

  6. AttackDonut

    AttackDonut Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 22, 2015

    Can you show me the link to that, I'm braindead and can't find it.
    Barry13- Thank you, I will look into that.

  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Here you are -
    Hope to see more from you there :) 
  8. AttackDonut

    AttackDonut Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 22, 2015
    Since there exists a specific thread for concert work, I'll post there.
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