OMD settings: beginner

Started May 27, 2013 | Questions thread
jquagga Contributing Member • Posts: 616
Re: OMD settings: beginner

I have a PEN, but I found this guide as a good place to start with some settings.  I'm not sure how "beginner" you are so this might be too low of an explanation for you.

In regards to the children, there are a couple of items to deal with.  If they're moving around, generally you'll want a shutter speed fast enough to freeze them (or use the flash to freeze them if it's dark).  You can raise the ISO a bit and use shutter priority to set a speed over 1/500th of a second to try and get things frozen.  The next challenge would be to actually get them focused and here you'll have a competing challenge.  In shutter priority the camera will open up the aperture to let in more light (so it can use the fast shutter).  Well, when it opens up the aperture that reduces the depth of field (how much is in focus).  That causes some nice bokeh on that lens, but if the focus is off then the child's face is smoothed out and not what you want.

Of course, you might know all of that already.  If not some basic photo guides / books might help.  In this case since you're indoors I'd work to use a flash to try and freeze their motion.  You still have to get a focus lock on them.  On a DSLR you'd probably try continuous auto-focus but that's not the best on a CDAF camera.  Normally the advice I see here is to burst shots.  Put the focus point on their eye and set the camera to burst a shot of 3 or so shots.  Hopefully one of them should be in focus (then you can just delete the other two).  You can also try pre-focusing or zone focusing (focus on an object at a fixed distance in advance and hold that focus until the child moves by it - then push the shutter button the rest of the way to take the photo).  Here you'd be better off in aperture priority mode.  Set the aperture to 5.6 (the larger number is a smaller aperture which will have a bigger area on focus).  The bigger area in focus (larger depth of field) gives you more leeway (ie, more time between the focusing shutter release) to hit your target.

The absolute best bet I think would be to get as many shots as you can when they're not running around (napping, eating  etc).  Others may have other advice.  Good luck with it!

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