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Need Help -- OM-D + IBIS + Camera Shake

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by ingrid, May 11, 2012.

  1. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    Hi, everyone, we got our OM-D a few days ago, and I've been putting it through the paces with the kit lens (12-50mm) and also with my trusty old Zuiko 70-300mm + MMF-3. The performance, so far, with the 12-50mm has been great ... no complaints. (High ISO shots indoors, wow, coming from my E-3.)

    But, I'm having trouble figuring out how and when to use the new IBIS with handheld shots from my 4/3 tele. Nearly all of my shots with the 70-300mm show camera shake -- in all three IS modes and also in OFF mode. In other words, it doesn't seem to matter what mode I'm in, I can't steady a shot. I have yet to put the OM-D & 70-300mm on a tripod for comparison.

    With the 70-300mm + E-3, I almost always shoot birds in flight with IS turned OFF, handheld, and have a pretty steady hand through experience. The 70-300 has performed decently over the years with both still animals and BIFs (okay, not as well as the 50-200mm :)

    But still ... with the OM-D, I've tried panning on birds with IS2, IS3 and IS OFF -- and I barely have a clear shot to save me, despite having taken hundreds already. Even when I'm dead-on focused, there's camera shake, so I'm pretty sure it's not an AF issue. I've been elated with the AF responsiveness of the OM-D.

    There are a few random, passable clear photos with no seeming difference in how they were shot from the shaky ones. And, I've photographed standing birds using IS1, but still encounter the same issue. Severe camera blur. I checked the menu, and made sure that I set IS to stay on during sequential shooting.

    What else could I be missing? Is it a setting? An issue of m4/3 with my 4/3 lens and MM-3? Or, am I just unaccustomed to the light weight of this camera vis a vis my tank of an E-3? I wish I had an m4/3 tele-zoom to compare performance.

    Any advice is welcomed and appreciated, or any tests I can perform to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I still plan to use my E-3 for wildlife shooting, but the shake issue will be a problem regardless, if I don't figure it out. Thank you! :)

    Edited to add pics. In Lightroom, I don't see I.S. in my EXIF data, so I'm not sure if these crops are helpful. The comparison shot isn't stellar in terms of sharpness, but I just wanted to show the comparison to illustrate what I'm talking about.

    The first, showing the shake, was taken today using IBIS 2, I think. But the shots using IBIS 1 were identical, as were IBIS OFF. Shot at 300mm, 1/1250, f5.6, ISO 200.

    The second was shot at the same location, same lens, same angle of view, different day and different camera body. E-3 + 70-300mm (I.S. on) at 300mm, 1/1000,

    f8, ISO400.

    Note: I posted a few additional photo samples below in response to Jman's comment.


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    ~ Ingrid's Flickr Pics

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    Olympus OM-D E-M5 • m.zuiko 12-50mm • zuiko 50-200mm • zuiko 70-300mm • zuiko 14-54mm
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    does EXIF show which (if any) IS is set? Showing us the a photo or two may help (if EXIF is available).

    Also, I haven't spent any time with the camera, but do you need to tell the camera what focal length you're using if you;re using an adpater? I think that may be it......it should read what focal length you're using if it's native m4/3 glass, but if you;re using adapted glass, you need to tell the camera the focal length?

    Someone will definitely correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  3. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    475
    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    That doesn't look like camera shake to me, it looks out of focus.
     
  4. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    It might not be the best example or comparison as I haven't use 70-300 4/3, but using the 40-150 4/3 in OM-D for shooting bird. I have difficulties to focusing the object due to the longer lens and weight and as a result the object look blurry, in my first attempt all I got is this.

    P5060404x.
    ISO 200, f/22, s1/1000 at 150 mm
    The IS is definitely work as noted by the fence but I have difficulties to make the bird in focus.

    But after I change the way of holding camera I got this.

    P5060588ax.
    ISO 200, f/4.5, s1/800 at 150 mm
     
  5. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Are you using continuous shooting?
     
  6. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    Thanks, I may then have a learning curve with the OM-D AF & EVF, and this lens. It locks focus quickly (faster than my E-3), and in the EVF, things look sharp. Even in the short review it looks good. That's why I assumed camera shake. In camera, it looks like I've got dead-on focus. Here's another comparison, perhaps it is, indeed, focus I'm messing up on.

    All of these shots were taken handheld. The first was shot yesterday with the 70-300mm + OM-D. The second with the E-3 + 70-300mm, similar conditions. The third photo was the OM-D, again yesterday, and the fourth picture was shot with the E-3 + same lens (70-300mm).

    I realize there are going to be differences between my DSLR and an mu43 in terms of IQ and captures, but I'm clearly doing something wrong (AF or IBIS) to have as many misses as I'm having. btw, I'm assuming user error, that's why I'm trying to figure it out. ;)

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    ~ Ingrid's Flickr Pics

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    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    475
    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    f/22 is not a good aperture to shoot on m4/3. You'll get massive softness from diffraction as well. I'm also confused. f/22 at 1/1000s and ISO 200 should be DARK. Even bright sunlight at f/22 and ISO 200 should yield an exposure of roughly 1/100 sec, not 1/1000s. Did you have to bring that up hugely in RAW?
     
  8. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    Yes (not C-AF, but rapid-fire, 9fps max). I changed the default option so that IS stays on during continuous shooting. Right or wrong thing to do?

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    ~ Ingrid's Flickr Pics

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  9. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Doesn't IS turn off at 9 frames a second? According to the manual "focus, white balance, and exposure are fixed at the first frame" at 9 fps.

    I've only shot sitting birds with the same lens, and single shots, with IS on 1 and have noticed an increase in my success rate, especially at marginal shutter speeds. I'm using the MMF-3 with the 4/3 telephoto, usually at the long end.
     
  10. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Just wanted to make sure you knew about that menu setting. None of your pictures seem to have any exif information, without that its hard to rule out camera settings.

     
  11. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    This is helpful. I'll try single shots, IS1 and see what happens. Very good to know you're getting great shots with the MMF-3 and 4/3 lens -- and at the long end, no less. All of mine were on continuous mode with the 9fps rate indicated, and 3.5fps minimum -- but I was only shooting one or two frames at a time. Still, I'll change that up. I need to feel my way around the EVF and AF, too. As I mentioned earlier, the camera locks focus fast and in the EVF I see an image that appears to be sharp. Thank you for offering your experience. I obviously felt like a bit of a knucklehead posting such a bad shot, but I didn't want to get too exasperated before I asked for help.

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    ~ Ingrid's Flickr Pics

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  12. Brownian

    Brownian Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 28, 2012
    Ireland
    At 9 fps, the auto focus is set by the first shot. I think you should possibly try dropping the sequential shots rate to L (3.5fps) and set it to C-AF. That way you will get at least an attempt to auto focus on every shot.

    Have you got the camera set up so you get viewfinder/live view preview of the IS? In other words, when you half press the shutter release does the viewfinder/live view image suddenly stabilese? If not, you probably should turn the feature on so you can at least confirm visually what the IS is doing with that lens. Custom menu -> C (release/▭) -> Half Way Rls With IS - Select [On] to enable image stabilization when the shutter button is pressed halfway.

    That might help establish if it is an IS or focus issue.

    Also, if you are panning L-R birds in flight, the IS mode you want is IS2.
     
  13. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Well it might be something with the setting, but that 1st picture I took under condition of very bright light and direct sun light. I shoot it with JPEG and maybe I forget to change the settings.
     
  14. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    Thank you for offering these helpful insights. Somehow, in the manual, I inadvertently overlooked the caveat about 9fps locking settings on the first frame. Based on the advice in this thread, I think the high frame-rate shooting might be a factor. Every other setting I've implemented in the menu, as suggested. If I have time today, I'll experiment with low and single frame rate, along with how I'm holding this smaller body. The thing that was troubling for me was the many Osprey photos I took which were, basically, of a standing Osprey. That's not usually a challenge for me -- to photograph a large, standing bird. So, even if focus were locked on the first shot, the subsequent frames should have been reasonably focused given the Osprey's lack of movement. Anyway, I appreciate you giving me a few parameters to work with, to see where I'm messing up here.
     
  15. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Just a side note, be sure to check or calibrate the diopter setting on the viewfinder eyepiece. If it's off, the focused subject in the viewfinder may not be in focus on the sensor.
     
  16. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Make sure you set IS OFF option correctly...

    So, you set "Off" on the [Multishot] + IS OFF option? This will yield IS on...it's counter-intuitive. :eek:
     
  17. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    Thanks, everyone, who's been kind enough to offer help. I went out again today and tried every setting, methodology and, of course, every suggestion you provided. I stabilized the camera on a post using IS1 ... then shot IS OFF with a tripod ... and I just can't get a clear image at the medium to longer reaches of my 70-300mm. I put the lens on my E-3 under the exact same circumstances, and got workable photos.

    I experimented with the full range of my zoom, with different subjects (high contrast sign, low contrast leaves, etc.) and can get some sharpness if I fill the frame at 70mm with a super-high-contrast image, like a black-and-white sign. At 200mm, things get very soft. Much beyond 200mm, almost everything is unusable and shows a less blurred version of what I've posted here above. I made sure my shutter speed was high enough to compensate for the tele, minimum 1/1250.

    I have a lot of clicks with my 70-300mm and although I know its limitations well, I'm a bit stymied as to what I'm doing wrong here. But, I'll keep troubleshooting. I wish I had a m4/3 lens with which to compare -- like the 100-300mm or the 75-300mm -- just to see. The OM-D shoots very well with the 12-50mm.

    @SammyBoy, I checked the diopter and the text looks sharp. Is there anything else I should adjust/calibrate?

    @thearne3, yes, definitely, thanks. I know that setting is a bit confusing.
     
  18. Brownian

    Brownian Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 28, 2012
    Ireland
    When you use a non 4/3 or M4/3 lens with the E-M5 - for the IS to work at it's best, you need to tell the camera what focal length the lens is.

    I was waving my OM mount Zuiko 300mm f4.5 around yesterday, and intrigued and inspired by your post - and just for a laugh - I pointed it at a Rook or two that were about and tried to get a shot or two. Hand held I didn't think I had a hope, I could barely frame them, but was rather surprised at the results:


    inset 50% crop



    inset 100% crop

    So the IS seems to work!

    Later, I swapped the 300 for an OM Zuiko 50mm and forgot to tell the IS the focal length had changed and the IS was all over the place in live preview. I set the focal length correctly then it was fine.

    So obviously the 4/3 lenses are supposed to communicate the focal length to the E-M5, hence no need to set the focal length.

    Maybe your lens is not communicating this information properly to the E-M5?

    If it isn't then I suspect live previewing the IS with a half press of the shutter release might show that with the image wobbling about a bit as it did for me with the manual lens.

    A long shot, as it does rather sound like it is more of a focus issue.
     
  19. ingrid

    ingrid Mu-43 Rookie

    Thank you for your kind insight. Great story on the pics, too. Again, I'm assuming user error, and although I haven't figured out yet where my settings or methods might be screwing me up, I'm a persistent soul. Anyone using the (four thirds) 70-300mm at full extension, with the OM-D -- I'd love to know about your experience and what settings you've been using.
     
  20. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Have you tried a simple test shot of a chart or something similar at a distance, on a tripod, IS off, with the timer on to eliminate shake? Could it be something as simple as the sensor slightly out resolving the lens, i.e. showing up weaknesses that the older sensor was more forgiving about?
     
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