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Regarding the minimum ISO limitations of the OM-D

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by recasper, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    I'm surely going to show my "I take the pictures, but don't study the hardware ignorance" here. So please be gentle. ;)

    I've noticed a lot of hubbub about the OM-D limiting the low ISO range to 200. This really isn't that big of a concern for me, but after thinking about it, I was curious... If this is something that does turn out to be an issue for many down the line, is this a feature that can be remedied with a firmware update?
     
  2. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Oct 30, 2011
    They could theoretically add a ISO100 setting, but it would be a digital manipulation of the ISO200 setting. What people are disappointed about is that the base ISO is 200, not 100. This is a feature of the sensor, not the firmware.
     
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    a lot of current sensors have a base sensitivity of 200 iso... which is how they can get up to the high iso's that marketing /the market demands

    where it becomes an issue in practical terms as far as I see is that it restricts the ability to shoot wide open on a sunny day due to hitting the upper limit of the shutter speed range... even at f2 on a sunny day you can easily hit 1/4000, or indeed to do long exposures of waterfalls.

    Also video folk who want to shoot at 1/50 or 1/60 to give a more film look and have shallow dof struggle badly without ND filters to get a good exposure at iso 200

    K
     
  4. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    Oh ok.. that makes sense. Oh well, if its something that rears its head as a true issue, I'll snatch up some ND filters for my lenses. So not really a deal breaking issue for me personally.
     
  5. MexicoMik

    MexicoMik Mu-43 Regular

    195
    Mar 19, 2012
    Well, consider that just because something COULD be remedied by a firmware update doesn't mean it ever will be.

    I was out today with my EP3 and used a ND filter to effectively drop the ISO so I could use F1.8 on the 45mm lens at ISO 200 outdoors in bright light. So I agree that being able to change the ISO to something like 50 (the Velvia ISO!) would be great. But I don't think it will happen.

    The Leica M9 can do something like that but it's a software "adjustment" in the camera that actually reduces the quality of the image from what I've read/observed. To do anything other than use the base ISO of the sensor reduces IQ, just as it did with film. You could push or pull process but it meant that the image quality was reduced. Sometimes that worked just fine artistically. Of course, whether the quality degradation as you change effective ISO actually matters depends on the image itself and the use planned for it.

    I have seen ISO 3200 images from an EP3 that looked fine and other that looked terrible. Frankly, I don't care much about high ISO capability and would rather see a better LOW ISO capability - so I can shoot outdoors without a ND filter. But that's just a matter of personal preference based on what I do.
     
  6. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    Now that I think about it and not intending to further my own showing of ignorance, but aren't many Nikon DSLRs limited to base 200, but "expanded" down to 100?

    Also, from what I have read... most of the companies factor the ISOs off their own systems rather than a standard. So many aren't true 100. So OM-D's ISO issue looks more of splitable hair, in absence of usual concerns. I'm probably wrong in that assumption though.
     
  7. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Unfortunately for the low ISO lovers, it's a niche interest. Most want high ISO performance and on a sensor this size, you won't get both.
     
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It is also easy to solve with ND filters.
     
  9. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Oct 30, 2011
    For now that's true, but let's not forget that a couple years ago the general consensus was that on a sensor this size, you wouldn't get either.
     
  10. captevo

    captevo Mu-43 Regular

    179
    Mar 14, 2012
    which ND Filter did you use with the 45mm 1.8 ?
     
  11. MexicoMik

    MexicoMik Mu-43 Regular

    195
    Mar 19, 2012
    "which ND Filter did you use with the 45mm 1.8 ?"

    I used the Tiffen 37mm .9 I bought .9 NDs for the 12 and 45 when I purchased the lenses from B&H.
     
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Actually, most guesses are that the native sensitivity of the sensor is around 125-160. But to get better highlight retention, Olympus underexposes that base ISO by 1/3-2/3 stop, and then pushes the exposure up in processing, but giving the same shutter speeds (and output brightness) as one would get at ISO 200.

    This is exactly what they did with all their 12MP cameras. The earlier versions had an ISO 100, the later ones didn't, but since ISO 200 was just ISO 100 underexposed by 1 stop, you can more or less replicate the effect using ISO 200 and +1EV compensation.

    DH