Why the Olympus Livetime / Live Bulb is not ideal for fireworks.

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Mellowmark
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Why the Olympus Livetime / Live Bulb is not ideal for fireworks.
2 months ago

Have been experimenting with live time and live bulb on the Olympus OMD EM-10 for fireworks.

However there is one main and one minor reason why while on paper this feature sounds ideal for fireworks, but in reality/actual use, it isn't.

Main reason - the long delay between shots - you take a shot in livetime /live bulb and I timed around an 8 second delay between shots. (After you take a shot the screen goes blank and a red light appears in the left hand corner, you have to wait for the screen to clear before you can shoot again). This takes around 8 seconds.  Long exposure noise reduction is turned off so not sure what the delay is for?

My fireworks shots are normally F8 and 2 -3 seconds (base ISO, manual focus). That means I miss 2 or 3 shots for every one 1 I get using livetime/live bulb vs just doing it in normal manual bulb mode. So 50-75% of shots missed using lt/lb! Frustrating to see some great looking bursts that you cannot photograph because the camera is 'locked up'.

The other minor (or perhaps major for some people) disadvantage is that because you are watching the screen almost the whole time, you miss the fireworks display. I knew this beforehand obviously - but I do like watching the fireworks too. Whereas using normal manual mode you are watching the fireworks display and 'timing' the bursts by pressing the remote shutter in your hand. So you can watch the display and take photos at the same time.

So very nice feature, great for single shot long exposures where you can take as long as you like between shots (although even here you may be working with fast changing light at sunset/ sunrise for example or rising/falling tides - so still need to work fast, but an 8 to 10 second second delay is probably okay) but for fireworks - not so much.

(By the way, this is with a (Pixel) wireless remote and also with just a cable remote - using wifi as a remote results in even more of a delay, plus it also shows the picture you just took, so you have to touch the screen to go back to live view each time so you can take the next one.). It also drops the connection sometimes and the picture during live time/ live bulb is hard to see clearly on the remote screen - once it's taken it's nice and clear but not during the exposure - it does not even look in focus even though it is. So again a great sounding feature, but not without it's faults for certain uses.

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