My Joys/Struggles with m4/3rds (Longer Post) Pt 1

Started Sep 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
bcalkins
Regular MemberPosts: 347Gear list
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I had trouble with the E-PM1 when it comes to hand-holding
In reply to larrytusaz, Sep 25, 2012

I've owned a few micro four thirds cameras, including the GF1 and now the OMD. At one point I thought the E-PM1 would replace the need for a compact P&S and picked one up. I must admit I found it surprisingly hard to get sharp photos handheld in moderate light. I didn't find the IBIS particularly effective, especially compared to Canon G series cameras I had used previously. In flash tests where the short duration flash effectively eliminates hand shake the results were great, but as soon as I tried to hand hold at 1/60s or 1/80s of a second with the 14-42 or 20mm pancake I just couldn't get sharp results. I finally did a test where I turned on the shutter delay, turned off IBIS and held the camera against my face as if I had a viewfinder and was able to get very sharp results. So I don't know what it was about the E-PM1, but I just couldn't (perhaps literally) get a grip on how to work with it to get sharp results.

The OM-D is a markedly different story - even when using the LCD. Here is an example that is tack sharp (not that you can really tell from the smaller size I upload) and what I expect from my camera when I pay attention: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47706598@N08/7992428702/ . When shooting handheld with IBIS in moderate light I do find you don't get quite the same sharpness as with studio flash - but it is very close. The E-PM1 was not close, at least for me. I took it back, so likely I didn't use it long enough to sort out the quirks, but I've never owned a camera that I wasn't able to get sharp results from when TRYING really hard One thing that helps on the OM-D is being able to set the minimum shutter speed when using auto-ISO. I do find I need it relatively high to get really sharp results of kids - so subject motion is obviously the problem to overcome.

It is tough to give specific advice on getting sharper kid shots without seeing examples of problems and knowing your settings, but in general I find the OMD pretty good at picking the right spot to focus on (using the center spot). I haven't had a ton of luck with the area AF where the camera selects. I do use the magnify option to get a smaller focus area, but agree it is a bit fiddly. I've got magnify set to the custom button under the thumb so it isn't so slow to switch to it...not an option on the E-PM1.

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