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OM-D E-M5 Shutter Speed "Rule of Thumb"

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by aukirk, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Sep 9, 2012
    I may just do my own testing to figured this out, but wondered what people use as the rule of thumb for minimal shutter speed to avoid blur from camera movements. Traditionally, I have always been told to keep the shutter speed higher than the effective focal length of the lens. So on a FF with a 50mm, you could safely shoot at 1/50th. With an APS-C, you generally need to keep it above 1/80.

    With the in body stabilization, I had read reviews before getting the camera that suggested the OM-D could produce clear results at crazy slow shutter speeds, less than the actual focal length, but I am not seeing that from my limited use of the Panasonic 20mm and recently delivered Olympus 40mm.

    What do you usually use as minimum shutter speed when shooting with these lenses?
     
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I've been able to successfully "divide by 4" in shooting with the OMD.

    I've shot at 70mm as low as 1/15. The lowest shudder speed I have on record for the 20mm f/1.7 is 1/10. But in both those cases, you can't be shooting anything moving...well, unless you're looking for movement...e.g. water.
     
  3. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Depends on YOUR technique. With an E-330 and 500mm lens I was able to get a steady shot WITHOUT IS at 1/50th (mind you I started out on ASA (ISO) 64 and 25 film, so you HAD to learn how to hold a camera steady.

    In fact the first pictures I took with a camera with IS were blurry because I was too steady (the same reason why you should turn off the IS when on a tripod).
     
  4. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    It all depends, really. I was hand-holding shots to about 1.5 seconds last night at the fair with good results on the PL25 and 12-35. Most of the time I try to get my shutter speeds to at least 1/5th of a second or higher. With the usable ISO range in the OM-D this isn't usually a problem.

    With the 45mm I've got down to about 1/5th of a second with good results, here is one at 1/8th of a second.


    Kerry Park II by danska8, on Flickr

    With the 20mm I wouldn't hesitate to go lower than that. Of course you have to be that still also. Good technique is going to go a long ways, the wider angle stuff is much easier to do tho.
     
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  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The rule of thumb is 1/effective focal length, which would be 1/40 for the 20mm and 1/90 for the 45mm.

    I find IS works best at very low speeds, or for getting shots that are almost sharp. I've gotten some decent ones at 1/10s with the 20/1.7 and 1/20s with the 45/1.8, but they're not really 'tack' sharp.

    I leave off IS save for specific situations where there's not enough light. For the 20, I aim for 1/60s and for the 45 1/125 but it really depends how you hold the camera and press the shutter. One good thing with m4/3 is there's no mirror slap to worry about, so the self timer works nicely when shooting at lower speeds with IS.

    DH
     
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I noticed that in Program mode, the camera itself will try to respect the 1/2*fl rule of thumb, which I found interesting. It does not try to take IS into account.
     
  7. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    I've gotten shots up to 1.6 seconds handheld with the small primes. With my 75-300 (not mine anymore 'coz I sold it), my best effort was at 1/15secs (at 270mm... it was an overcast day at the zoo).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    I would agree my lowest shutter speed ones are generally not tack sharp. A few will be really good, most will be okay. For me it's a great option to be able to get low-light shots that are still sharp enough for web viewing and 8x10" prints. Of course I normally travel with a lightweight tripod so this isn't always the way I do things. But a night out with friends or something, the EM-5 has given me at least four more stops to work with between IS and high ISO performance.

    Edit: Here is a pic I took last night. 1.6 seconds with the PL25. The grip helps a lot with these types of shots, the one above I took, I didn't have the grip on.

    8006759967_dc6be83486_c.
    Round and round it goes... by danska8, on Flickr
     
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  9. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    I think it should be 1 divided by the focal length (not the effective focal length), so a 20mm on a camera without IBIS should be no slower than 1/20 secs and for the 45mm no slower than 1/45 secs. :wink:
     
  10. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    That is crazy talk - I expect at least 1/8 from the 20mm - definitely need to have the camera at your eye rather than held out in front of you to get more benefit from IBIS though, and YMMdefinitelyV!
     
  11. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    I was pertaining to the rule of thumb for cameras in general which I DON'T THINK applies to cameras with IBIS (read my comment again :p ) I get away with 1.6 sec night shots even.

    E-M5, P7-14, O12, PL25, O75, O75-300
     
  12. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I agree.. when I field-tested the OM-D, it "likes" a minimum of 1/60th with the PL 25mm and 1/125 with the OLY 45mm.

    Sharpness "lives" around f4-f8 with both lenses.. and I leave IS at "1".

    Lather.. Rinse.. Repeat.. :biggrin:
     
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Image stabilization can only chase motion, it cannot predict it in any general sense. And it is moving an object (lens or sensor) that has mass, hence its reactions cannot be instantaneous. So movement errors can be reduced but never 100% eliminated.

    (From control theory barely remembered, IMHO it can be a proportional/derivative [PD] controller, but integration [PID] is not an option for the kind of errors it is trying to correct. A PD controller cannot correct errors to exactly zero.)

    So ... I apply the old rule of thumb as a goal (reciprocal of the 35mm equivalent) and if I can't achieve that goal I just grit my teeth and hope for the best. My monopod helps me out a lot.
     
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    It's just a rule of thumb, but that's not the consensus (nor is it my experience). To take an extreme example, the Panasonic FZ150 has a 4.5-108mm lens with a 5.5x crop factor. I don't think anybody would seriously expect to get good results handholding the camera at 1/125s at the 108mm end of the zoom. Because as pixel density increases, so does the effect of shake, I think effective focal length makes reasonable sense to counteract the impact of fitting pixels on a smaller sensor.

    DH
     
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Yes, I wasn't talking about IS either. My point is that unassisted, the expectation is to use 1/EFL to get sharp photos - 1/90 for the 45, 1/40 for the 20 and so on. Smaller sensors to automatically give you less shake!

    DH
     
  16. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    At my age all of my photos are James Bond format:

    Shaken, not stirred.

    :biggrin:

    On my OM-D I can hand hold the Panasonic 45-200mm at full zoom at 1/320. If I try for longer exposure time the shaking becomes readily apparent. I use the EVF and cradle the camera, but being "a certain age" there are hand tremors that impact technique. Sometimes I get lucky and a longer exposure will work out, but the 'keeper rate' goes down beyond 1/320 with that lens.

    If I can find a handy support, such as a fence rail or pillar, of course the time can be extended, but nothing like 4 stops beyond what I can get with a 35mm SLR.

    I find tripods to be a trudge (I have three, one of which is very light weight*) but I frequently carry a monopod (the Canon model 100).

    The part I find fascinating (as a former SLR user) is having the EVF go absolutely steady on a long zoom when the shutter is pressed half way. Of course it doesn't help if one slams down the shutter instead of squeezing it gently, but the stillness of the EVF is amazing to me. (One of the benefits of getting old is being more easily amazed than the young :biggrin:).

    Regards,

    Jim

    *A light weight tripod is a contradiction in terms; light weight tripods are susceptible to ground and wind tremors more than are their heavier brethren. Using a sand bag or camera bag as a center weight can help. A bit. Sometimes.
     
  17. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    Sorry, that reply was not meant in response to what you said. I thought my other (similar) post from earlier didn't go through. (it did)

    Your argument with smaller sensors makes perfect sense. I just really thought that the rule pertained to actual focal length and not effective focal length (or FOV). Like when I was borrowing my wife's 1.6 crop sensor DSLR, I was taking sharp enough shots with her 50/1.8 at 1/50secs, when the effective focal there would've been 80mm. Maybe it was just my steady hands. :wink: