Oly E-P3 with kit lens - woeful in low light?

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,918
Re: Oly E-P3 with kit lens - woeful in low light?

Maklike Tier wrote:

Lights wrote:

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've had my E-P3 for about 3 weeks now and I'm slowly learning the in's-and-outs.

One thing I'm a little surprised at, is that it's low light performance appears to be not what I was expecting.

In full daylight the shots are great, but indoors shooting in incandescent light at ISO 1600 - f4 - 1/20th-sec, I'm pretty much at the limit of what I can shoot. Even then, for anything other than 'internet quality' jpegs the grain levels are pretty crappy.

Is this just me getting used to the camera, or do I need a faster lens, something like a f1.4 or f2.0 if I want to shoot indoors under less than daylight conditions?

I'd agree that's pretty much it with the older sensor and kit lens (I don't usually shoot at much over 800 for color, maybe 1600 for B&W under most conditions). For every stop improvement in lens speed though you'll gain a stop in ISO. So fast primes do help. The newer sensors of the EPL5/EPM2/OMD/GH3 seem much better in lower light-higher ISO, although I don't have one.

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Probably my fault for buying an E-P3 over the E-PL5, but I just hated how small and plastic-y it felt so I forwent (is that a word?) the better sensor for the better handling experience.

I'm looking forward to trying some of the fast primes though.

A set of primes works really well with the E-P3 and the camera handles like a dream. Last year, before I picked up my E-M5, I took the E-P3 on a trip to Paris with the 12mm f2, 25mm f1.4 and 45mm f1.8. Spent lots of time inside museums and low-lit chateaus and did just fine. I just was careful in watching the histogram as I set my exposures indoors. You can recover small amounts of clipped highlights, but shadows are the real problem with the E-P3. Start raising shadow values very much in post processing if you shoot raw or when using auto gradation if you shoot JPEG and you start getting ugly noise/grain in those regions.

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