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Is my OMD E-M1 defective?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by daanh, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Jul 25, 2010
    In 2010 I took this picture with the E-M5 and the Lumix 20mm 1.7 lens:

    P7180170.JPG

    Last friday I took this picture with my E-M1 and the Panaleica 25mm /1.4.

    P9180146.JPG

    As you can see, the first picture is tack-sharp and has beautiful colors. The second image is simply not sharp. I also think the colors are off. Now I understand that the first image was taken in bright sunlight, while the second one is indoors. But I get the impression that something is wrong. It seems like the E-M1 doesn't focus right. At least I hope it's the camera, because I have no warranty on the Panaleica...

    Strangely, images I have taken with the older Olypmus 50-200mm SWD zoom lens are much sharper, but the colors are also a bit weak:


    I hope someone can help me figure out if something is wrong and what that could be.

    Thanks!!! Daan
     

    Attached Files:

  2. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Providing EXIF info and camera settings usually helps a lot to answer those questions...

    At first glance - first pic is taken in sunny day, with sun being behind camera, so colors are bright. Second pic is taken indoors, with bright windows in background, hence underexposed shadows and muted colors. Exposure time may answer why second pic not so sharp, but it also looks like camera is focused on that metal structure in front of group.
    Color rendition of EM5 and EM1 are different as they use different sensors, but both easily adjusted in post.
     
  3. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Jul 25, 2010
    First pic: f 2.5, ISO100, shutter 1/2000s.

    Second pic: f 1.4, ISO 200, shutter 1/100s.

    It's mostly the lack of sharpness that's bothering me.
     
  4. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    There you go. 2 stops in aperture and 4+ stops in shutter speed. 1/100 is slow enough to degrade sharpness if subjects or camera not so steady
     
  5. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    Based on one photo? No, I don't think anything is wrong with your camera. Just because you're using a camera that's "better" than the other, and a lens that's "better" than the other, doesn't mean that every photo you snap will be better than the old ones.

    The lighting in the first photo is better than in the other two. The subject is closer, creating more separation of subject and background.

    There may be a problem, but these photos alone don't suggest anything.
     
  6. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Oh, and did you enable 0-second antishock option?
     
  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I tried to fix the WB on the white paper but it does not solve the color issue. I suspect a combination of natural and artificial light and the "Keep Warm Color" option on? Fixing is quite tricky that is why I'm thinking mixed lights.
    This is the best I got but I still have yellow, magenta and green casts around:

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/133025950@N04/R6n28d

    For the sharpness, 1/100 is near the minimum speed for people. I think the guy on the left is a little blurry. Do you see all of them blurry or just a few?
    At 25mm/1.4 with a focus distance of 2 meters you have 29cm of DoF and half of these are "lost" in front of the subject. At 3 meters you have 65cm. So if the focus was on the face of the guy in the center probably all the others are a little outside the focus zone (the head depth alone is 20cm).

    The 50-200 one seems a little overexposed to me so it looks washed.
     
  8. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Softness in picture 2 seems to be a combination of shallow depth of field, focus lock well in front of the faces and perhaps a little camera motion. For that situation, ISO 400, f/2.8 to f/4 and 1/100 or higher would likely fix it by extending the DOF. If you are going to shoot wide open, you have to be dead on on your focus point. Matrix focus doesn't do very well wide open with groups who are not all the same distance from the camera.

    Even better would be some bounced fill flash, which would also would saturate the colors more.
     
  9. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Jul 25, 2010
    Thanks for the replies! I always have the aperture wide open. That's a habit that I should break. And yes, the second picture has mixed light, and light coming from the front.
     
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I would suggest taking your camera out in reasonable light, set a shutter speed to no less than 1/250th, steady yourself before the shot, and take a number of images. I suspect there is a chance that you might find you images (if properly exposed) to look sharper than your second image. The reason I say this is that I have had periods of time where I have been disappointed with the images from my E-M1, and I was always wondering if it was the lens (e.g. decentered?), the body (e.g. shutter shock?), my technique or some combination of the three.

    Doing the above exercise was a good start at helping me narrow down possible culprits. In my case, I realized that the suspected lens was able to turn out reasonably sharp images, and I cannot imagine how a lens could be erratically problematic with something like decentering, for example.

    Second, shutter shock on the E-M1 is usually not present at higher shutter speeds. It has been a commonly discussed problem, and solutions have been introduced to address it, but I am not certain that it is has been 100% eliminated in all shooting conditions, so why not move away from what have previously been identified as potentially problematic shutter speeds. And, despite my believing that I have good shooting technique, backed up by IBIS, I always remind myself that the pixel density on the E-M1 is quite high and not nearly as forgiving as many of the past bodies that I have shot with, so just because it is a smaller sensor does not necessarily mean that it is more forgiving to user movement during a shot.

    My very informal "test" seemed to indicate that a higher shutter speed seemed to yield sharper shots. I am still not sure if this is compensating for my technique, shutter shock, or decreased margin of error due to increased pixel density, but I am concentrating on addressing the former of the three as I continue to shoot since I believe that technique is always subject to improvement. I do have to admit that there are days when I wish I could just transplant the sensor from my D40 into a new body, but I know that is not the answer, especially since I like to print large on occasion.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  11. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Jul 25, 2010
    Hi Ken, I will definitely try this, thanks. I always use aperture priority mode. Is there a way to make the shutter time not go lower then 1/250, without going completely manual? I could alternatively adjust the ISO to get higher shutter speeds, but it means yet another thing to remind doing.

    Thanks, Daan
     
  12. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Jul 25, 2010
    Hi, I have the option "keep warm color" off. I thought the automatic white balance wasn't doing a good job, so I set it to incandecent. I think your fix is pretty good! Could you tell me how you did this (in Lightroom)? And what should I do with the white balance in difficult situations like this (besides shooting Raw, which I don't like because of all the extra hassle...)?

    Thanks.
     
  13. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Don't forget to enable the 0-second anti-shock option. This makes a difference at shutter speeds from 60 to 200.
     
  14. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Jul 25, 2010
    Yeah, I just did that. It was off because of the last update. Thx.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Just try shutter priority for a bit. If a higher shutter speed helps, you can tune your shooting style accordingly.

    --Ken
     
  16. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I used Darktable but what I did was a general WB temperature and tint correction. Then with a panel similar to the one described here I tuned hue, luminance and saturation for each color until I had a decent compromise, especially in the skin tones.
    Shooting RAW would not help in this situation, except for allowing better quality corrections. I found this videos about mixed lights fix:


     
  17. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    719
    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    as others said, one example does not prove it.

    While it is completely plausible that there is something wrong with your camera, what i do firstly is blame myself.

    First, if you used AF, check the point where you focused (i think you can do it in camera, on preview, while pressing the info button, not sure if those are the exact steps on your camera but it's fairly simple on my E-PL5). There should be a green box shown on where the focus was. If the camera decided to focus on that structure, you're the one that should've corrected it (sorry for being blunt, no dissrespect).

    Second. While i too use the biggest aperture way too often, it is not advisable to do it while taking shots of groups of people (as Klorenzo said).

    Third. I've noticed my Oly 25mm is not that sharp at certain focus distances (haven't been able to get exact results). Not sure if the Panny 25mm suffers from the same problem.
     
  18. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
  19. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Some would say, "Yeah, use manual!" That could be your option & with Auto ISO set for Manual as well, but that might not be the ideal either.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    You could set the flash slow synch to 1/250 (F menu) (it applies even if you do not use any flash). I do not think it's a good idea in general as there are a lot of situations where you can get away with a slower speed and this will rise the ISO for no reason but it's an option.
    The more complex the situation gets the more Manual makes things easier.