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iso 1600

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by huashan, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. huashan

    huashan Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2010
    I just got my olympus e-pl1 with kit len 14-42. This is my first camera so I am sure I will have tons of questions. I have basic know of aperture, shutter speed, dof etc ...

    I noticed that in indoor situations using the P or iAuto setting the camera tends to use the 1600 iso. I know you can customize the limit. But would 1600 be a good compromise for a slower speed or smaller aperture? I mean would you rather go with a higher iso, or smaller aperture or slower shutter speed? which parameter would you sacrifice first? What is the tolerable level for each parameter.

    of course, getting the panasonic 20mm/f1.7 will help a lot but same question applies.

    second question. I know the ibis give you an improvement of 1 stop ie 1/10 s to 1/20 s. Do you get this free from pure optics as compare to a non-is system? So if I mount a non-is len with the olympus vs g1 which does not have ibis the olympus will have a one stop advantage?

  2. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    Last things first. Yes you will get stabilization with ALL lenses you attach to your E-PL1. The E-PL1, like almost all Olympus system cameras, has stabilization which moves the sensor up-down and side-to-side to compensate the tiny movement of your hands.

    About the speeds,apertures and ISOs: Normally I shoot A-mode, and when I am shooting in low light I almost always first open the aperture wide open to let the lens gather as much light as possible. Then I check what shutter speed the camera will choose for that lighting for me. If it's too slow, for example 1/50 second or slower (when using 20mm pancake lens), I choose higher ISO (sensitivity) value to make that shutter speed to get faster.

    The logic behind this is:

    1: I need to get fast enough shutter speed so that it won't be all blurred (2x the m4/2 lens focal lenght reversed, 20mm=1/40 sec and 40mm=1/80 sec and so on, just a rule of thumb)

    2: To get fast enough speed I need to usually open aperture (towards smaller value) until the camera chooses the desired speed (in A mode).

    3: If the lens is already at its widest aperture there are no other options left but to choose a higher ISO value, but at the same time the visual "noise" will increase as the ISO value goes higher, and there will be loss in the image quality, but it is better than blurred image.

    In short: Think how fast shutter speed you need, open the aperture accordingly and if that doesn't help, only then choose higher ISO value.

    First thing (just my opinion) to care about is the shutter speed, then the noise level (lower ISO=less noise) and after those two comes the aperture value, but usually the aperture value is the key to keep speeds fast and ISOs low.

    But always remember that you don't have to stick to any photographic rules, just enjoy taking pictures, the more the better! And it's no shame to use iAuto, but it's good to try A/P/S/M once in a while. :thumbup:
  3. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    ISO 1600 is ok I would prefer ISO 800 (personally) the PL1 can go to 3200
    stay with 800-1600
    Try to learn to hold the camera very steady and also don't be afraid to use full aperture according to the lens zoom setting
    The 14-42 is ok at full aperture the E-PL1 IBIS is 2 stops at least
    For me indoor is
    1/10 1/20 full aperture ISO800 MAX but its surprising how ISO200 can work.
    The 20mm panccke is of course the low light champion and its what I use.
  4. hmpws

    hmpws Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2010
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I try to stick to ISO800 max on the E-PL1, with IBIS turned on, I have no problem with 1/10s with most of the shorter lenses (like 40mm focal length).
  5. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    The speed also really depends what you are supposed to shoot. I choose normally 1/50 or faster because my 2 year old daughter isn't the most static object to shoot :biggrin: and the IBIS doesn't help to freeze moving subjects, as you all know.
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Good advice above but Vivalo hit it just right.
    Do as he, ye shall be fine.
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    You need to read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen.

    It explains in very understandable terms the relationship between ISO, shutter speed, and aperture and their effect on the photo. Everything has tradeoffs - increase the aperture (smaller number) and you get less depth of field, lengthen the shutter speed and you get blur, raise the ISO and you get noise.

    I agree with Vivalo that raising (or setting) a high ISO should be the last resort, and I would keep it at 800 or less (I actually set the limit on mine to 400).
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    My only complaint is the idea of using A mode all the time. It depends on what you're trying to achieve in the photo.
    - Control DOF = A mode
    - Control motion blur of subject = S mode

    Don't know if Oly cameras have it, but the "program shift" feature on the Panny's is pretty cool, showing what happens to the shutter speed as you adjust the aperture to achieve the same exposure.
  9. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    Yeah, I use A mode so often because of the legacy lenses. But does it really matter if you use A mode because you will get the desired shutter speed by changing the aperture or ISO value, those are the means which the camera would use anyway in S mode. That is also why I almost exclusively shoot A mode.
  10. huashan

    huashan Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2010
    Guys, what you have written makes a lot of sense. Vivalo, thanks for the easy to understand explanation.

    Now I know I need the pancake!

    What I get from this is with the 14-42 shooting indoors I will try to stick with 14mm as it will give me the biggest aperture, 3.5. Once this is decided, I will max out ISO @800 then try to hold the camera as steady as I could. I'll probably get 1/20s which SHOULD be fine very most non-children situations.

    I like the A mode now. I never used it before but now I'll probably use it most of the time in low light situations. You will be sure to get as much light as possible indoors. DOF is not a major concern in these situations. With the S mode it seems to default to the previously set value so you would have to adjust that to get the fastest shutter speed possible without ending up with a dark picture. While in the A mode you just always use the biggest aperture indoors regardless the situation so there's no need to do adjustment all the time. The camera does use the same setting in the iAuto and P mode.
  11. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    I think that's true because of the smaller sensor versus full frame camera sensor (same as 35mm film). With m4/3 cameras you will get most of the time enough DOF to your photos even wide open. Of course the DOF will be much shallower when using apertures like 1.7 on the 20mm Panny. Some even consider shallow DOF to be desirable in most, but not all, photos.

    As you may have found out already from this forum: The 20mm Panasonic is a stunner!
  12. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    I have set my top auto to 800 but I rarely use auto anyway. I normally shoot in A mode as well as I like to control my depth of field, but whatever you are compfortable with, it should be fine.
  13. briandforever

    briandforever Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2010
    as long as you know how to control it, iso 1600-2000 still ok, just watch for under exposed area.
    of course smaller iso number is better.

    i shoot this with iso 2000, and i have print it out, i'm amazed with this "little" camera.
    im sure e-pl1 blew nikon p7000 or canon G12 in iso capabilities, with the same price range.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 2
  14. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think if you are trying to control motion blur of a moving subject, you should use S mode. That way, when you are metering the subject, you will always get the desired blur whether the subject moves into a darker or lighter area - the camera will adjust the aperture instead.

    Obviously, if you are taking a portrait, the subject should be relatively still, so that's not a concern, and A mode is better.

    "understanding exposure" does a much better job explaining it than I have done here, and includes samples of the effects.
  15. huashan

    huashan Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2010
    I do this with my point and shoot camera (canon a95), which is one of the more capable ones when I shoot moving objects. For example, my kids in martial art lessons. In these situations I know I will not be able to get a perfect picture so I would rather have a clear and dark picture instead of a blurry one. The camera will have the aperture icon blinking all the time telling me not enough light.
  16. huashan

    huashan Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2010
    I would not believe this is iso 2000 if you don't tell me. :eek:  Very impressed.
  17. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    The JPG engine on the EPL1 does a great job at noise reduction. I use 1600 without hesitation and I've never been disappointed. Better to have more noise and a sharp picture than less noise and a blurry one in my opinion, so I say let the ISO fall where it needs to in order to get a fast enough shutter speed to prevent blur.
  18. briandforever

    briandforever Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2010
    yes, me too, that's whay i printed out to see the real life result.

    this image posted here has been thru compression by photoshop
  19. Dunkeld

    Dunkeld Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2010
    I600 ISO can work.

    Those higher ISO settings can work well, but, I guess it depends on the users requirements. In situations where there are people around who are a bit timid about photos being taken, it can help to have the Auto in use for a quickfire discreet shot. The Auto will choose a faster shutter speed as well, so it can avoid blur or ghosting.

    I'm finding camera shy people around all the time and often miss out on nice shots as people back off or object. However, I have also found that repeat visits to places can make me more accepted with people who saw me before and realise I'm harmless.

    When I find a cooperative subject, I'll show them the photo, their reaction usually breeds confidence into others who might be around, so that shyness can go. So, on subsequent visits, I might have time to experiment with settings because now I am more accepted. So, I can get out of Auto and into manual and the lower ISO settings and take my time.

    Here's a decent indoor shot taken in at 1600 ISO in very bad light. There is still a little background noise here. But, be sure on my future visits I'll get the noise reduced further by using lower ISO settings. Of course the Voigtlander helps quite a bit. In this pic you can see people looking at me with suspicion. These looks go with the territory and IS0 1600 is often needed although it is not the best option.

    E-P2. Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.9

    Attached Files:

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