On a safari trip to S.A. .....any suggestions of settings of OM-D EM-5 with 100-300mm.

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Questions thread
OP absoluutbeginner Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: On a safari trip to S.A. .....any suggestions of settings of OM-D EM-5 with 100-300mm.

rrr_hhh wrote:

Concerning the best way to set the Mysets, look at this page of Guy Parsons' website concerning the Mysets. After all the subtleties of the different models are explained, you will find an indepth description with LCD captures of the E-M5 explaining how to set them and how to use them.

Two tips from my own experience :

  • Before anything, save your usual shooting settings as the first Myset (If you don't, your usual settings will be lost)
  • It isn't useful to affect one Myset to an Fn button : Olympus conceived that as a quick Mysets and the Myset will only take effect while you are pressing the Fn button; as soon as you release the Fn button, you will be back the your previous shooting mode. If you want a particular Myset to stick, you have to choose it from the menu. Happily the Mysets aren't buried deeply and lie at the beginning of the menus. Think of it as a temporary Myset, not as a toggle button whose effects will last untill the next button push.

When using the 100-300mm set the picture style to vivid. It has been found that this enhance the AF operations greatly. Indeed, everything enhancing the contrast of the picture will be beneficial to the AF speed, avoiding too much hunting.

Don Parrot has tested the best settings to get a higher rate of keeper in CAF mode with the E-M5 on his running dogs and found out that it was manageable. I didn't test it myself, but if I remember correctly here is how he set up his E-M5 :

  • Picture style : vivid; contrast, sharpness, saturation all plus two (shoot raws plus jpegs if you want a more natural look for your pictures, this won't slow you down, but you may loose the digital zoom)
  • AF mode on CAF
  • Drive on low burst rate at 4.1 fps (the fastest drive mode still allowing CAF on each frame)
  • Smallest AF target (you set this as you set the magnifier at x14)
  • Highest refreshing rate for the EVF
  • Set the shutter priority over the AF priority for CAF : some time the first picture in a burst won't be in focus, but the camera will catch up on the second or third picture. This is the default for CAF anyway (It is in the cogwheel menu, section A(?) )

The main difficulty is that the EVF will be blackened between each shot while you have to anticipate/follow the movements of your subject and keep the small AF box on your target.

After a firmware update, Olympus changed the EVF blackout between shots, but only for CAF plus tracking. If I remember correctly, this enabled a somewhat better success rate for AF plus tracking, but Don Parrot still prefers shooting with CAF only and still get a better success rate so.

In your safari Myset, you may want to set the digital zoom on one of the Fn button. Use rather high ISOs in order to avoid camera shake (1600 or 3200) and set the camera in S mode (to be sure that you don't use dangerous (too low) speeds. Note that the mode dial is a hardware control only which you have to change manually when you switch to your safari Myset (the mode dial position won't be memorized, nor changed by a Myset ).

One last remark : the E-M5 may not be the best (fastest) body to focus the 100-300mm, your GH1 may be faster. I have read that the Olympus 75-300mm was focusing better than the 100-300mm on the E-M5. I do only have the Panasonic 100-300mm so can't compare. I don't like that lens whether on the G3 or the E-M5.

Some links concerning safari photography with an E-M5 :

Terry Banet in Kenya with a GH2 : her impressions on shooting with a GH2 and more here in an other thread

Terry Banet photo galleries from Kenya

An interview of Terry Banet talking of her photography and her African safari.

A Luminous Landscape essay on safari photography including a short take on photographing with a GH2.

I hope this will be useful for you.. And oh.. practice before the travel comes

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Thanks  rrr_hhh,

Still I feel like and absolute beginner... 

I am honored  for the amount  of suggestions from you .The amount of knowledge you put here in these discussions cannot be expressed in time..... thank you ...and the other people !

A lot of times i've already played around /used  the presets .I've been reading a lot on these items (thanks to these discussion pages) and I know now how to use them.

The problem is more of finding the best useful settings for the presets for a Safari. I know that it depends of so many factors (weather/animal type/ surroundings etc)that its almost impossible to create that before I go.

This next to my limited technical camera knowledge did invite me to put this request.

Like the rest here I learn a lot ......and I appreciate it a lot that people respond so generously .The thing is to  combine it all and use it practically is different cake..yep time and practice !

The burst mode I have never used until know ..but I will have a go for it this time.

The auto tracking mode i've seen is only working perfect if the object is at least 10-20% in the picture so I will probably use only CAF .....like Don Parrot. Or I should only make pictures when the object is of that size ! So not to much crop either ! But  a picture like the Leopards would then not be possible !:-D

I am afraid I will need the stabilization for the 100-300 more than that I need the AF speed.

Until now no stabilization comparisons ive seen here with Pana 100-300 on the E-M5 or on the GH1..well perhaps i did but i forgot....the amount of info is so enormous...!

I will try the 40-200 on the E-M5 and see how that is working.

Until now the pictures I took where not with a lot of camera shake ...but to be honest i did not look later how much the ISO was... I always try to get ISO as low possible with speeds >500 and Aperture around what I want.

And about using RAW+JPEG and forgetting the digital zoom ..that i've noticed ....but I don't use too much the digital zoom anyway.

Thanks a lot everyone.... for helping me getting me more enthusiastic and giving me more knowledge.     I will try and implement it...on the next trip....

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