Best m43 camera for long exposures

Started Dec 18, 2017 | Discussions
Birdingbilly Regular Member • Posts: 188
Best m43 camera for long exposures

I am new to m43 photography having made the decision that my Canon diet is just not working and I badly need to loose weight.  I am particularly keen on long exposure photography (say >8 second exposures).  I am particularly interested in the live bulb feature of the Olympus cameras and would like to hear from users which of the Olympus cameras that offer this facility will yield the lowest noise images with long exposures ?

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SteveY80 Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures
4

Just avoid cameras with Panasonic's 16mp sensor (including the original E-M1) - the long exposure noise they produce is appalling.

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OP Birdingbilly Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

Thanks - so the current 1, 5 & 10 are all ok then ?

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SteveY80 Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

Birdingbilly wrote:

Thanks - so the current 1, 5 & 10 are all ok then ?

As far as I've seen, all the ones with Sony sensors are fine and there isn't a huge difference between them.

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OP Birdingbilly Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

Thanks - are all the current Oly cameras capable of long exposures with the electronic shutter i.e can you use the high resolution mode ?

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Barry Stewart
Barry Stewart Veteran Member • Posts: 8,896
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

SteveY80 wrote:

Just avoid cameras with Panasonic's 16mp sensor (including the original E-M1) - the long exposure noise they produce is appalling.

I see "True Pic VII" as the sensor for the EM-1 Mk l and the EM-5 Mk ll.

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Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,250
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

Barry Stewart wrote:

SteveY80 wrote:

Just avoid cameras with Panasonic's 16mp sensor (including the original E-M1) - the long exposure noise they produce is appalling.

I see "True Pic VII" as the sensor for the EM-1 Mk l and the EM-5 Mk ll.

That's the imaging processor, not the sensor.

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SpinOne Veteran Member • Posts: 3,735
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures
1

Birdingbilly wrote:

I am new to m43 photography having made the decision that my Canon diet is just not working and I badly need to loose weight. I am particularly keen on long exposure photography (say >8 second exposures). I am particularly interested in the live bulb feature of the Olympus cameras and would like to hear from users which of the Olympus cameras that offer this facility will yield the lowest noise images with long exposures ?

On the Olympus side, E-M1 Mark ii has the best low-light performance. E-M5 Mark ii also has good long exposures. I believe the original E-M1 was relatively noisy.

Olympus cameras have the "Live Time" feature. What that does is display the actual exposure and histogram during long exposures. That may be more important than a little bit of noise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no_F4vOyjFA

SpinOne Veteran Member • Posts: 3,735
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

Birdingbilly wrote:

Thanks - are all the current Oly cameras capable of long exposures with the electronic shutter i.e can you use the high resolution mode ?

I believe high resolution will max out at a 1 second exposure.

That will actually combine eight separate 1-second exposures using the electronic shutter, so it will take 8 seconds, but only have the exposure of 1 second.

pdk42
pdk42 Contributing Member • Posts: 621
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

SpinOne wrote:

Birdingbilly wrote:

Thanks - are all the current Oly cameras capable of long exposures with the electronic shutter i.e can you use the high resolution mode ?

I believe high resolution will max out at a 1 second exposure.

That will actually combine eight separate 1-second exposures using the electronic shutter, so it will take 8 seconds, but only have the exposure of 1 second.

The Pen-F maxes out at 8 seconds.  The E-M1ii is much longer (forget now, but it's at least 60s IIRC).

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Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,250
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures
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Birdingbilly wrote:

I am new to m43 photography having made the decision that my Canon diet is just not working and I badly need to loose weight. I am particularly keen on long exposure photography (say >8 second exposures). I am particularly interested in the live bulb feature of the Olympus cameras and would like to hear from users which of the Olympus cameras that offer this facility will yield the lowest noise images with long exposures ?

Apart from what Steve above wrote about the sensors, be aware that Live modes (Bulb and Time) have a quality penalty. They are really nice to figure out your exposure, but I never use them for taking the actual shot. Unfortunately they produce noticeably noisier images. You might be ok with that at base ISO with small number of live updates, but the higher you raise the ISO and the more updates you choose to have, the noisier it gets.

Live Composite is a more interesting mode, I think. It's very nice for light painting and star trails and does not suffer from reduced image quality. It does have a little downside of imprinting the dark frame on the final image when doing a very long session, but this effect is fairly mild and you'll have to specifically look for it to notice (and it can really only be noticed for night scenes where there is a lot of really dark areas).

You can check out my long exposuress flickr album for some examples shots.

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Gary from Seattle Senior Member • Posts: 2,776
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures
1

I have the original EM-1 I. Before purchasing I read many reviews including test images that displayed noise. The EM-5 I was clearly better than the EM-1 I particularly in exposures upwards of 15 seconds. For me the only instance in which this comes into play for me is astro/landscape images of the MW where exposure times of 20-25 seconds are typical with an aperture of 1.8 to 2.8. Despite that I still find EM-1 I images acceptable provided the ISO is kept below 3200.

Incidentally, the same review I read regarding long exposure noise clearly showed images that demonstrated that Live Time images caused more noise than ordinary long exposures. With an exposure of 8 seconds just shoot with noise reduction on (dark frame subtraction image) and review the image. Adjust ISO and SS as necessary. The only caveat with this is that the LCD is bright and on playback images appear to be brighter than they actually are. So bracket towards more exposure.

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Bill Wallace Veteran Member • Posts: 7,006
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

Gary’s experiences match mine exactly. I use the 8mm FE and the 12 f2 mostly. I have a couple from last summer withe 7-14 f2.8 but I prefer the other two lenses. I don’t have a ton of shots since last year was my first foray into MW photography and I developed a bad hip which kept me out of the field.

Bill

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Cagey75
Cagey75 Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures

SteveY80 wrote:

Just avoid cameras with Panasonic's 16mp sensor (including the original E-M1) - the long exposure noise they produce is appalling.

Well, this is nonsense ... the mp count has NOTHING to do with noise, if anything lower MP count should produce less noise.

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Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,250
Re: Best m43 camera for long exposures
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Cagey75 wrote:

SteveY80 wrote:

Just avoid cameras with Panasonic's 16mp sensor (including the original E-M1) - the long exposure noise they produce is appalling.

Well, this is nonsense ... the mp count has NOTHING to do with noise, if anything lower MP count should produce less noise.

I think you completely missed his point and as a result it's you who's talking nonsense here. It is exactly as SteveY80 wrote. If you are into long exposures, you do not want to go for a camera with Panasonic's 16mp sensor. If you have a problem with Panasonic currently not making 4/3 sensors that are not 16mp, then you should probably raise that issue with Panasonic

If you have a Panasonic camera with one of them 20mp sensors (that are incidentally not made by Panasonic) and you want to share your insights into their long exposure performance, do so. Otherwise you're just making noise.

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Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 1,315
Keep the cameras with HR mode in mind...

I have found the HR mode acts a somewhat of a salve for our relatively noisy sensors. Its like having in camera image stacking, except it seems to do more than increase resolution by virtue of averaging out random pattern noise, it appears to mitigate moire, for one thing. The JPEGS out of it (I use the E-M1.2) are excellent, but the RAWS are a handful, in terms of processor load. I find this feature to treat certain subject (water, clouds, certain types of urban activity) movement very nicely, but other movement may turn out badly, with objectionable artifacts.

Good luck!

Jan

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OP Birdingbilly Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Keep the cameras with HR mode in mind...

Jan - thank you - are you able to say what is the longest shutter speed that your 1ii can do with the HR mode ?

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Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 1,315
Re: Keep the cameras with HR mode in mind...

8 sec max, f/8 max, and ISO 1600 max.

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Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 1,315
Re: Keep the cameras with HR mode in mind...

Jan Chelminski wrote:

8 sec max, f/8 max, and ISO 1600 max.

So its 8 sec X 8 exposures, maybe a dark frame subtraction, as well, but I'm not sure.

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On Equivalence[sic], and why m4/3 is THE NATURAL CHOICE, for those who value very high quality AND excellent portability:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60478849

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On Equivalence[sic], and why m4/3 is THE NATURAL CHOICE, for those who value very high quality AND excellent portability:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60478849

WGHalvorsen
WGHalvorsen Regular Member • Posts: 479
Re: Keep the cameras with HR mode in mind...
2

Jan Chelminski wrote:

8 sec max, f/8 max, and ISO 1600 max.

Jan, the max exposure time in HR mode on the EM1.2 is 60 sec, not 8 sec.

/Bill

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