OM-D problems with night & long exposure

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
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johnmhome
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OM-D problems with night & long exposure
Mar 18, 2013

I recently tried night photography using long (5-8 min) exposure and flashlights to illuminate the subject. I'm inspired by Peter Solness of http://www.illuminated-landscape.com/ after meeting him in Sydney

I ran into quite a few problems with my OM-D EM5 using the kit 12-50 zoom lens. The body has 1.2 firmware and the lens 1.1

I set the camera into 'live time' mode such that pressing the release opens the shutter and pressing it again closes. Camera was at ISO 200 and aperture 5.6. This gave me roughly 6 minute exposure time. I set the live time updates to one every 30 seconds. Noise reduction features were 'auto'

The first problem was that live time updates stopped after 3 or 4 refreshes. I was really counting on this feature to help us keep track of what had been illuminated vs what needed more work. Any ideas why this feature doesn't work as described in the manual?

Even worse, the camera takes an eternity to process and write the image, taking perhaps 10 MINUTES to write one image. The amount of time seems proportional to the exposure time. Is this a firmware bug? I tried turning off noise reduction, but that was a mistake as noise (at least on the LCD) was laughably bad.

My third problem was with focusing. My friend using a Canon Rebel was simply able to autofocus during dusk and then switch to manual and everything was set for all future shots. I couldn't find a way to do this, and as light fell I resorted to simply guessing. Any advice on how to deal with this?

Finally, here's my one good image. I'd really appreciate any advice on composition and more particularly how we can do better light painting to make a more interesting image? We illuminated from each side and not straight on.

John Marshall

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