OMD EM5 - A couple of observations

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by simon_hickie|1, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. I've had a couple of weeks with the OMD now, having come from a Nikon D300 / D5100 background. I'm shooting a wedding reception for my daughter's best friend at the weekend so have added a FL-50 flash to the kit - currently OMD, 20mm panasonic, 14-45mm panasonic & 14-140mm panasonic with a 45mm Olympus on the way. I still have the D300 as backup(!) in case it all goes horribly wrong.
    I have found DxO to give the best RAW conversion so far. DxO does not currently support the 14-140mm for auto correction hence the addition of the 14-45mm for the wide end where the distortion & CA correction are really needed.
    I use an op/tech strap with the sling attachment so the camera strap is slung over one shoulder with the camera ready to slide up quickly for shooting. The system seems to work very well so far.
    The FL-50 seems excellent. I tend to shoot with TTL flash bouncing wherever possible and using a Demb type diffuser for fill if needed. With the camera set in manual with auto ISO I've found that the flash tends to up the power to maximum before raising the ISO, unlike my Nikons which are too quick to raise ISO settings. About +1 EV is needed on the flashgun to get the right exposure (on my SB800, it was about + 2/3 EV). With the camera in A or P mode, the camera seems more ready to raise ISO than in Manual (before you ask, I have set up auto ISO to work in M mode and it does raise ISO with flash if needed). Auto WB, however, does seem more susceptible to bounced flash bounce surface colour than my D300/SB800.
    For flash based event photography, the OMD + FL-50 or similar presents a compelling option for somebody like me with a very dodgy back and arms like pipe cleaners. The D300 + SB800 + appropriate lens was just too much to manage for a several hour event.
  2. Glad you have found this camera a good practical one as so many have. I too like the FL 50. A good powerful versatile flashgun.
    Simon,do you ever use a flash bracket device to marry the hefty FL 50 to the OMD? I probably would for weddings, though I have yet found the right one for all purpose shooting and the cable is still a pain in the okole. Adds to weight but provides balance to loads. Just curious. ( I know, another gadget for the gadget bag. That's photography.)
    I am lately moving away from auto WB to what my eyeball tells me is a better hue when I have time..the flash compatibility should make it go to the correct degrees Kelvin on auto but not always perfecto . Hard to tote a tripod to a wedding unless one is the principal shooter, that is true. Maybe a quality monopod. perhaps. gs
  3. Flash brackets and the E-M5 work best if you add the accessory grip. Otherwise, the camera is so small it feels odd with the big FL50R on top. I have used the Demb bracket with my E-M5 and just the top portion of the accessory grip. The Demb bracket works best if the body tripod mount is located more centrally on the camera base and on the E-M5 it is off-center. Adding just the upper part of the grip, the tripod mount is located in the center and it adds just enough "extra" to make the bracket feel really good. Adding the bottom part of the grip (with the vertical release) takes the tripod mount off-center again.
    Here's one protrait I captured with the E-M5 and 45mm f1.8, using the Demb bracket to center the FL50R over the lens..
  4. I used to use a flash bracket with the D300/SB800 combo - it made for even heavier hand holding but put the flash in the right place. These days I tend to adopt the Neil van Niekerk approach and bounce off walls or walls + ceilings with the Demb type diffuser angled slightly backwards (if I can get it to point in the right direction relative to the flash head). The FL50 seems to have enough welly to cope with this. Having said that, I have still to get a cable for off camera flash. I could use the little one as a commander but need to shield it somehow.
    The shot below (casual snap with some OOF stuff bottom left) had the flash bounced off wall and ceiling behind & to the left of me with no fill. The result works quite well with a hint of modelling on the face and no harsh shadows as well as some highlights in the eyes. Auto WB used, converted in DxO. 14-45mm lens at 45mm & f5.6 I think.

  5. I recently found out that there is a delay when using TTL flash. It wasn't noticeable while experimenting in the house, but when I was shooting real people, and trying to get fleeting expressions, it became a major issue. Now, I was using a Metz AF 50-1 dedicated flash, but I also noticed it when using the clip on flash that comes withe OM-D. There is no delay in Auto or Manual flash modes, but the Metz doesn't have an Auto mode. All works fine using a SB-28 or SB-800 in Auto mode.
    For off camera flash I use a Wein optical slave the goes on the flash's hot shoe and use the clip in Olympus, set to a very low manual output to trigger the main flash (in auto mode). Works well so long as the slave can "see" the trigger flash. Probably not a great setup for a wedding reception where the guest's flashes will fire yours.
  6. Bruce, I've found a similar delay problem. I think it's the preflash sequence that causes it as there's no preflash in auto (as opposed to TTL) mode. The SB800 setup is interesting. I'll try it straight away! The FL-50 does have a 'normal' auto mode though.
  7. Yes, on more than one occasion I have had to switch from TTL to non-TTL auto because a main subject was blinking and many of the shots were being captured with eyes either fully or partially closed. The original 2-3 Olympus DSLR models (E1 and E300 for sure....maybe the E500 too) the TTL delay was virtually non-existent and this never an issue. Around the time of the E510 DSLR the TTL protocal was adjusted and the delay was changed to what it is today. That's about the time wireless flash was introduced to the Olympus system and the "R" model flashes replaced the original FL50 and FL36.
  8. A further test reveals that auto ISO does not work in any mode when the flash is in simple AUTO mode rather than TTL mode. That's unfortunate. So it's a case of either working with the shutter delay and blinking subjects or doing without auto ISO - a pity as the auto ISO seems to work so well in terms of keeping it as low a possible.
  9. When shooting people, if the shutter doesn't fire at the right instant, you've got nuttin'. I've done weddings and receptions for almost 10 years and never felt any need for auto ISO. I have my OM-D configured so that the video button goes into ISO setting. I can hit the button with my thumb and adjust the ISO with my forefinger on the front control wheel without moving the camera from my eye.
  10. Yes Bruce I agree - speed of shooting plus focus accuracy are key here. After all, in the old days we managed well enough with choosing the right film for the right time. I too have the video button set for ISO. ISO 400 to 800 should nail most things - certainly for this evening reception with lowish ceilings and smallish groups, and the 20mm at around f2.8 to f4.
  11. bmm


    I'm intrigued by the number of recent times I've seen use of Auto ISO in M mode discussed in various recent threads. I'm going to go home this evening and change the setup on my OMD to try it for a week or two. I'm guessing I'll assign:
    - the control wheels to A and S
    - F2 button to Exposure compensation
    - Video record button to WB
    (F1 button still undecided and on default AEL, but its small size and position makes its utility far less anyway for shooting).
    ...unless anyone has tried and settled on a better setup idea...
  12. The problem with your settings is, exposure compensation is not active in manual exposure mode when auto ISO is in
    use with the E-M5. Olympus almost got it right, but not quite...
  13. Being a bear of very brain, I have of course just realised that with the flash in bounce mode pointing away from the subject, the preflash is unlikely to cause subjects to blink. For posed images, the preflash delay should not be an issue (I hope).
  14. For posed images, the preflash delay should not be an issue (I hope).​
    A great deal depends on how you interact with the subjects when you're shooting. If you are actively engaging them to get just the right expressions, that delay will be an issue. If it's a large group of people, you're essentially herding cats, and you have to rely on one of multiple shots being a keeper.
  15. Well, the reception is over. I confess: I bottled out and used the Nikon D300/SB800 for the mostpart. The main reasons were that the venue had very little opportunity for bounced flash with dark ceilings and fairly dark walls. In addition, I have yet to get a flash cord to get the FL-50 off camera and a lightsphere type attachment that fits the flash. Given that I like to use a flash bracket to keep the flash above the lens in portrait mode, it meant the OM-D was generally no-go.
    My other observation was that when I did do a few test shots with the OM-D, face detection did not work terribly well. I preferred using the direction arrows to position the AF point. I'm yet to upload the images but may post if I find a decent one.
  16. Why I still have my D7000, SB800 & 17-55/2.8.
  17. I'd love to keep both systems Bruce, but cannot afford it. Your setup would be ideal for my purposes, but for 99.9% of my needs, the OMD is ideal.
  18. I get good results with a Nikon SB-28 in Auto mode on my OMD. Can't use the camera's auto ISO mode, though, so I set it to 400 or 800 for most indoor use.

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