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Newbie with EPM-1 with zoom kit lens ? Blurred pics!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by steelerdan69, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. steelerdan69

    steelerdan69 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Okay so I'm totally new to this m4rds thing. Today at work we had "customer appreciation day" so we had a bunch f activities. We had a chicken dance and all of the pictures of people dancing were blurry. Why? What lens do I need? It was inside of a grocery store with fluorescent lights.
    Will try to post pics when I get off work. Thanks
  2. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Your shutter speed was probably too slow, boost iso/use a smaller F stop.
  3. steelerdan69

    steelerdan69 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    I had it on auto mode. Still have to learn all this manual stuff. I really find it hard to learn this shutter,iso and f stop! So if had the panny 20mm f1.7 lens I would have gotten sharper pics? I have a long ways to go to learn to take good pictures. :) 
  4. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 20, 2011
    Not necessarily, no.
  5. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    You need a fast shutter speed in order to capture people in motion, particularly if they are doing the chicken dance.

    If the camera is in Auto, the fastest ISO that the camera utilizes is 1600. The kit lenses has a maximum aperture of F3.5 at 14mm. You were probably in a low light situation. So with the ISO of 1600 and maximum aperture of F3.5, you were probably getting shutter speeds way below 1/120 of a second. Likely in the 1/20's or lower. That's just way too slow to be able to "freeze" a subject in motion.

    It's 2 a.m., so I'm falling asleep. I'll write more stuff after I wake up!
  6. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I'll pick up where Armanius left off :smile:

    As he noted, you need a faster shutter speed to stop the action of folks dancing. But for the image to expose properly (not too dark, not too light), your camera also needs enough light. If the shutter closes too quickly, the sensor doesn't get enough light, and you get a darkened (underexposed) image.

    In most indoor conditions, you will have less available light than on a sunny day outside. The camera must therefore leave the shutter open for longer periods so that enough light hits the camera sensor to achieve proper exposure.

    Unfortunately, the longer the shutter remains open, the more movement that the sensor will record. That includes movement of the camera from your unsteady hands, to movements of people within the image.

    To achieve faster shutter speeds, you need more light.

    Your on-camera flash will give you more light, but will be too weak to light up the entire room, leaving you with an uneven and harshly lit image that will be unpleasant.

    You can also adjust upwards the camera sensor's sensitivity to light (the ISO setting) to get faster shutter speeds, but your camera probably did that on the automatic setting. What you found was that even at 1600 ISO, there wasn't enough light to achieve sufficiently high shutter speeds.

    Your best solution then is to get a faster lens.

    Compared with your kit zoom, which has a maximum aperture (lens opening) of f/3.5, the Panny 20mm has an aperture of f/1.7 wide open. The Panny is wider by two stops, meaning it lets in four times as much light as your kit zoom. To illustrate, look below at the relative size of each aperture opening.

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    The larger the aperture, the more light it lets in to the camera sensor. The more light there is, the less amount of time that your camera sensor needs to be exposed. This allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds.

    More light => faster shutter speed => greater ability to freeze motion.

    Just keep in mind that the Panny 20mm is not a silver bullet. Depending on the amount of available light, and the speed with which your subject moves, you may still get blurry images of the subject. What this faster lens does is increase your odds of getting a clearer image.
  7. steelerdan69

    steelerdan69 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Thanks guys! I'll keep practicing what about if I had used the scene mode under "sports"?
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    But very likely yes :smile:.
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks Canonista!!! Great explanation!

    Using sports mode may help because the camera may automatically choose higher shutter speeds for you. BUT, if you are using a relatively slow lens, you will still not get enough light to the sensor. And you may end up with underexposed or darker photos.

    When people talk about "slow" lens, they are generally referring to the maximum aperture of a lens, like what Canonista wrote. The kit zoom lens for the EPM1 has a maximum aperture of F3.5 to F5.6. Lower the number the "faster" or "brighter" the lens. Weird eh? At 14mm or the widest angle view of the lens, it is F3.5. At 42mm, which is the fully zoomed in or telephoto end, the max aperture is F5.6. So remember to not zoom in if you want to keep your lens at it's brightest setting.

    If you already know all of this stuff, my apologies if this sounds too basic. And if I was repetitive of what Canonista wrote, it's still early for me! I need more sleep!

    Headed back to bed for another hour. :) 
  10. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Oh, the ability of a camera and lens to auto focus fast enough is important too in order to capture a subject in motion. Both the EPM1 and its kit lens auto focus pretty fast. The Pany 20mm on the other hand is a little slower. Currently, from the lenses I have used so far, the fastest auto focusing lens that is also a fast lens (in terms of aperture) is the Oly 45mm which has a max aperture of F1.8. There is also the Panasonic-Leica 25mm with max aperture of F1.4, but I haven't used it yet. I have heard that it also auto focuses very fast though.
  11. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Sometimes, however fast the lens or high the ISO, there just isn't enough light to freeze motion. That's why they make flash guns!

    I'm still enjoying the mental picture of customers participating in the chicken dance in a grocery store. Sometimes I really wish I lived in the States. :biggrin:
  12. Aniseedvan

    Aniseedvan Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    I would agree with John (on both counts!!) - taking pictures of my son's nativity play last year without flash only worked (to an extent) because I had a full frame DSLR and was shooting in the silly ISO range (3200 I think) with a 50mm 1.4 lens almost wide open.

    There's always a limitation to our kit, and that's a tough setup for anything. I'd suggest erring on the side of keeping the shutter speed up, and your pics being dark - then use photo editing software to try and lighten them a little - if you're a beginner, Picasa is a great starter for ten and free. You've more a hope of brightening a darker picture - you can never unblur one though after it's taken!
  13. steelerdan69

    steelerdan69 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Funny stuff! Had a great time! We are going thru tough times and losing customers to other new least expensive markets. So we had a "customer appreciation day" and gave free food out and other goodies. Will try to put up pics.
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