Took the OM-D out for a quick spin of night shooting this evening on the way home from work, sans tripod. The in-body IS was rather astounding, and enabled me to keep the ISO relatively low even with a little longer lens. This shot of the Main St and Town Street bridges in Columbus, was taken using the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 at ISO 640 and 1/6 second, handheld. New possibilities await!
4 thoughts on “Trying out Handheld Night Shooting with the OM-D”
Having shot Olympus digital for a number of years, I would say that unless you’ve applied some noise reduction in post, this image represents an impressive piece of evidence for the improvements made with the OM-D E-M5’s sensor. Very promising indeed!
I consider this a huge accomplishment.
Having given up film for the Olympus E-1 and recently starting to use the E-5, I avoid low light (without flash) at all costs, though I tried a few shots with the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 and was disappointed.
If this is where they’re going, by the time they get to the E-P14 or E-M16, they’ll be ahead of the APS-C based dSLRs.
Love your images – especially how “clean” you manage to get them to look. First stumbled across your work while looking for tips on OM-D noise, and saw this post:
I’m really enjoying my OM-D, but am still struggling to get to grips with effective noise reduction when using the RAW files. Wondering what RAW processor and approach you use to get such a nice clean look?
I have LR4.3, but am really no expert in all the settings. Have also started looking at alternatives, partly to see if C1, Photo Ninja or DxO can get more out of the raw files, and also because I’m starting to get put off by Adobe’s move to a subscription model.
I realise of course all of those tools can probably be made to achieve much the same, so when I say “get more out of” I mean that as a relative novice, they’ll enable me to process a better image in less time.
Well, one thing is that you’re seeing web reductions. There is certainly visible noise at 100%, especially in those ISO 6400 shots you linked to…the noise is dramatically lessened when reduced for the web. however, this also approximates what it looks like in similar sized prints, and frankly, those are the only two areas I care about. Does it look good when viewing the whole thing on screen, and does it look good in print (I love prints, especially good size prints). The OM-D is plenty capable in that area. I typically use Lightroom 4.4 for most of my processing. For my OM-D, I have a luminance NR or 10 upon import, which helps to smooth out any very minor noise that tends to hang around in the skies at base ISO, without touching the detail at all. At ISO 1600, I generally use a luminance NR of about 25-30 or so.
Every once in a while, when I need additional NR without compromising detail, I’ll run an image through Topaz Denoise, which does a very nice job. Often times, I’ll do that if I have a high ISO shot with a lot of background blur, and I’ll run a relatively aggressive NR job through Topaz (RAW Moderate, sometimes RAW high) on a separate layer, and then mask out the detail areas, so that only the blurry parts get the extra noise reduction. As a result, I get a silky smooth background and I don’t hurt the detail in the file. you need to be careful there, though, to avoid making the image look like that. You can’t be too heavy handed on the noise reduction, nor too cookie cutter on the areas you mask.