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  • HELP! unknown issue raises it's head

    Greetings forum,

    I've discovered that my E-P3 can not function with an ISO lower than 200! Had I known this before hand I would not have bought it. In all the research I did before purchase I never heard that 200 was the bottom. Why on earth would Olympus set 200 as the low ISO?? I have to have 100 at the very least, 25 would be much better. Are there any firmware upgrades to correct this?? Perhaps there is a workaround?


    thanks,

    brian

  • #2
    Re: unknown issue raises it's head

    Originally posted by dunkinidaho View Post
    Greetings forum,

    I've discovered that my E-P3 can not function with an ISO lower than 200! Had I known this before hand I would not have bought it. In all the research I did before purchase I never heard that 200 was the bottom. Why on earth would Olympus set 200 as the low ISO?? I have to have 100 at the very least, 25 would be much better. Are there any firmware upgrades to correct this?? Perhaps there is a workaround?


    thanks,

    brian
    Hi Brian, and welcome to the forum.

    I'm afraid ISO 200 has been the base sensitivity in Olympus cameras for some time now, and the E-P3 is no exception. The only workaround is to use a Neutral Density filter to allow a longer exposure or larger aperture.
    View my ebook, The Light Fantastic, at: http://store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/3026...ight-fantastic

    John

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    • #3
      Re: unknown issue raises it's head

      We are seeing more and more cameras with ISO 200 as the base, rather than something lower. The only ones I know of that have a true ISO below 100 are some very expensive medium format models. The "extended" modes of some cameras usually involve some processing trickery that hurts image quality.

      The reason for starting at ISO 200 is that to increase the ISO above the base or "native" value requires amplifying the signal from the sensor. Amplification is an inherently noisy process; the more a signal is amplified, the more noise is added. If a sensor had a native ISO of 25, then any setting above approximately ISO 200 would have terrible image quality due to the noise. Very few people would be interested in buying such a camera, so the manufacturers don't make them.

      - Hal -
      A Still Mind - Photography, Music, Meditation, Ministry - www.astillmind.net
      Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.

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      • #4
        Re: unknown issue raises it's head

        Thanks for the information. I see that it makes sense to fix the low ISO at 200 for image quality. That doesn't help me however when I am shooting on the street wishing to use f1.7 in daylight. I've never used ND filters because there was never a need to back in my "film" days. What image quality issues would I encounter using these filters?

        brian

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        • #5
          Re: unknown issue raises it's head

          Originally posted by dunkinidaho View Post
          Thanks for the information. I see that it makes sense to fix the low ISO at 200 for image quality. That doesn't help me however when I am shooting on the street wishing to use f1.7 in daylight. I've never used ND filters because there was never a need to back in my "film" days. What image quality issues would I encounter using these filters?

          brian
          Using an ND filter from a quality manufacturer has not caused me any problems in the rare instances I have done that.

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          • #6
            Re: unknown issue raises it's head

            Use a good quality filter and there will be no noticable effect on resolution, even when pixel peeping. In theory it could cause a bit more flare when shooting into the light, like any filter, but this is probably offset by it transmitting less light anyway.

            I'd emphasize the need for a high quality filter as you are more likely to get a true neutral filter. Some cheap ND filters aren't exactly neutral and can induce a colour cast. Of course, this wouldn't be a problem if shooting B&W or for B&W conversion.
            View my ebook, The Light Fantastic, at: http://store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/3026...ight-fantastic

            John

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            • #7
              Re: unknown issue raises it's head

              Yep, ND filters are the solution. They are also handy for slow shutter speeds on water fall scenes. If you are concerned about image quality, steer away from variable ND filters. (At least that was the advice of my local camera store that sold me a set instead )

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              • #8
                Re: unknown issue raises it's head

                With wide open lenses and slow shutter speeds, super sharp IQ is not going to be a prime consideration. So, why not consider stacking images to achieve the desired end product, selecting OOF elements from the wide open shot and movement blurred areas from the long shutter speed areas of the shot.

                Either way, please show us the results.

                Graham

                Keep smiling, it gets folk wondering what you've been up to

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                • #9
                  Re: unknown issue raises it's head

                  Lots of great help and advice. I've done some research and found there are 2 versions of ND filters. The ones for landscape are most interesting and give very profound results, when used correctly. I was just looking for a way around the low ISO of 200 when shooting in daylight using f stops under 2.0. I may have to get both sets of ND filters now since I see that I could use them both.


                  brian

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                  • #10
                    Re: unknown issue raises it's head

                    Originally posted by John Perriment View Post
                    Use a good quality filter and there will be no noticable effect on resolution, even when pixel peeping. In theory it could cause a bit more flare when shooting into the light, like any filter, but this is probably offset by it transmitting less light anyway.

                    I'd emphasize the need for a high quality filter as you are more likely to get a true neutral filter. Some cheap ND filters aren't exactly neutral and can induce a colour cast. Of course, this wouldn't be a problem if shooting B&W or for B&W conversion.
                    John, With a 3x or 4x nd filter on the front on my e p3 how would that effect the autofocus? Would I even be able to see an image on the screen in bright light?

                    thanks

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                    • #11
                      Re: unknown issue raises it's head

                      I'd love ISO12 or 25 as even with ISO100 and a 1/8000 shutter speed there's times I have to stop my f/1.4 lenses down. But for every photographer who wanted ISO25 there'd be 10,000 wanting ISO1,000,000.

                      And my experience is that even the best filters degrade image quality a little.
                      It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it.

                      The Grumpy Snapper blog or follow me on Instagram.

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