My E-PL7 seem to take blurry pictures (especially in self portrait mode) at low light. How to fix th

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by mootxico, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. mootxico

    mootxico Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 6, 2014
    I'm still new when it comes to proper shooting techniques. I've been using a mirrorless (e-pl1) for 3 years now. Just bought an e-pl7 as an upgrade this week.

    It seems that whenever I try to take a self portrait in my room (it's not a brightly lit room) at night, the picture will 100% turn out blurry. It feels like the shutter takes a while to take a snap, too. This never happens when taking pictures during the day.

    I've tried setting the ISO to 1600 (I usually take night shots at 800 ISO, mostly at f3.5 in Aperture mode), but the result is the same. I get blurry shots 6/10 times. Is there anything I can do about this?
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Tripod (or any flat stable surface) and the self-timer. Try to hold still too. Otherwise you'll need to consider bumping up the iso further or a faster lens (f1.8 or better).
  3. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    (1) You should post some pictures to illustrate the issue you're talking about, with EXIF data. Based on your description, it's hard to say if it's missed focus, camera shake, or Vaseline.

    (2) Likely the problem is camera shake. At f/3.5 in low light, you are probably getting long shutter speeds (~1/15 of a second). Steady hands can probably mitigate the issue because of the camera's stabilization, but if you're holding the camera out in front of you with your arms stretched it'll be hard to get a clear shot.

    In conclusion: Likely nothing is wrong with your camera (but sharing pictures will help us figure it out), and getting a fast lens -- e.g. f/1.8 -- will likely give you the results you're looking for. At f/3.5 in low light, crisp photos are hard to get without a tripod.
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Let it auto-ISO to 6400, job done, hopefully.
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Go in review mode, go to a blurry picture, on the camera and press "info" repeatedly until all the shot infos appears and look for the shutter speed, the middle value in the top row, between the mode symbol and the aperture.

    Then, in the super control panel, check if the image stabilization is enabled.

    And then, just try to move less, seriously: relax, breath out and when you feel you body is still take the shot.

    To shoot at 14mm, with one stop of help from the stabilizer, you should use at least 1/15 second but probably more like 1/30 considering the arm position. If you are close to this value you could rise the iso up to 3200, but if you are too far from this value turn on more lights, get closer to the lights or try with the flash.
  6. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Very simple.. if your camera takes suitable pictures during daylight. Its simply a matter of too slow shutter speed.

    What is the shutter the camera is selecting?

    You using iauto or p?

    1600 iso with f3.5 for poor quality light is beyond tough if not impossible.

    User error, toooo low an iso and too slow fstop.

    To help others who may come across your post. Can you post the exposure triangle settings you used an a representative picture.

    Try an experiment.

    Shot 1, as you did: 1600 f3.5
    Shot 2, iso 3200 f3.5
    Shot 3, iso 6400 f3.5

    Shot 4 f2.8 or f2 and iso 1600
    Shot 5 same f as above but iso3200
    Shot 6 at 6400

    Try and hit 1/2x the focal length as a shutter speed but ideally 3-4x focal length in poor quality of light.

    See the sweet spot for the capture you're trying to achieve.
  7. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    What kind of shutter speeds are you getting, and is the image stabilization turned on? Post some example shots along with the full exposure information.

    It's rare but sometimes you get a faulty IBIS unit, it happened to my E-P5 and I ended up having to send it back to Olympus for repair.
  8. mootxico

    mootxico Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 6, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    I'll post some pictures that I took to show what I was talking about when I get home from work today. I'll make sure to preserve the exif data too.
  9. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    With just lamps turned on in my house, even with the 20mm at f1.7 the camera chooses ISO 6400
    as was suggested, better lens, and or tripod.
  10. mootxico

    mootxico Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 6, 2014
    So here are some pics to show the blurriness I was talking about. They're really crappy and my face isn't exactly photogenic, though.

    I did some reading about lenses, since I've never really considered buying one until now. Would a M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 work much better in this situation?
  11. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    I looked at the first one, shutter speed is 1/3 sec. That is too slow even with IBIS.
    Up the ISO to 6400, or add some very bright lights.
  12. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    All are taken with a 1/2.5 of a second shutter speed i.e. one quarter of a second. This is a very long time, even if your eyes adapt and you do not notice it it is quite dark.

    From 3.5 to 1.8 there are about three stops, this means:

    2.5 -> 5 -> 10 -> 20

    With 1/20 you should get better results, but probably 1/10 could be enough for this focal length. If you zoom in you'll need more.

    You can also get one or two stops from ISO: try iso 6400: at 1/10 could be already enough.

    Before taking another lens consider if this is a typical light condition you are going to shoot with. You can get MUCH better results (in terms of shutter speed) just by bringing another lamp closer.
  13. mootxico

    mootxico Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 6, 2014
    Thanks for the replies.

    I bumped up the iso to 6400. It works like a charm now.
  14. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    You should consider getting faster lens if you like to shoot indoors. The Olympus 25mm f1.8 is a good starting point in the never ending chase of more light. As a by product your wallet will get much lighter too. ;)
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Half a second shutterspeed = camera shake, hardly surprising.

    Let it off the ISO leash Mootxico.

    Ah. Already did.
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