Improving the E520's low-light performance...

Started Mar 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Brian Steele
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Improving the E520's low-light performance...
Mar 21, 2011

Hi Everyone:

Just looking for some tricks and ideas on how to get better results from my E520 under lower light conditions.

Symptoms I'm trying to address - focus-hunting, inability to lock focus, noisy images, annoying strobing flash when flash-assist is used (and still suffers from focus-hunting in those conditions).

I've got an FL-50 flash unit, but that's not practical for the purpose I use this camera most of the times - taking pictures while hashing.

Usual lens in use:
Oly 18-180, F3.5-6.3

What I've tried so far...

Increased auto-ISO limit to 1600:

Result - ability to take more pictures without having to resort to the strobing flash, but there's still the noise issue at higher ISO. Well, better a noisy image than no image at all.

SL-20LXI Dual Powered Video Light with International Plug ($39 from B&H):

A sort of "bring the mountain to Mohammed approach" - the light basically adds more (diffused) light to the subject matter, and subsequently reduces the focus hunting. Bolts into the flash bracket and it's good for 15~25 ft, but testing this weekend on an actual hash suggests that I might need one or two more to get the light up to an acceptable level to banish the focus-hunting. They're cheap, and they're stackable, but the continuous light can be disturbing if taking "face" shots.

Considering at the moment: Purchasing the 12-60 lens. This starts at F2.8 (rather than the 3.5 of my current main lens). However I'm not sure how much this will actually reduce the hunting, and I'll lose over half of the zoom range. However I'd be prepared to give that up if the 12-60 significantly reduces the focus-hunting that I'm seeing with the 18-180 under lower light conditions.

Any other suggestions?

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Olympus C-2100 UZ Olympus E-520 Olympus E-620 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro +9 more
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