Some of you may recall that when the original Olympus E-M1 was released 3 years ago, quite a controversy was stirred up by its handling of long exposures. Basically, the noise level for the E-M1 was much higher than that for it’s much cheaper predecessor, the E-M5. At the time, I was able to compare an E-M1 and E-M5 side-by-side, and wrote up the results for public scrutiny.
So, now that the E-M1II is available (if only in limited quantities so far), I thought it’d be interesting to compare my copy of it to my E-M1 that helped make such a stir (while I still own it). I’ve also got an E-M5II on hand, so thought I should throw it into the mix as well.
A long exposure of the Eiffel Tower’s sweeping light beams at night:
It’s likely not obvious, but I took this shot using Olympus’ “Live Composite” function — I love how it lets me make images like this without having to use a neutral density filter, or (diffraction-blurring) small apertures. The full settings with an Olympus OM-D E-M5II and M.Zuiko 40-150mm lens were f/3.5, 60mm, ISO 200, exposures of 0.8 seconds each.
Every year in December, the Denver Botanic Gardens puts on a “Blossoms of Light” show — it’s always a great display, although generally also a bit cold. But if you bundle up and carry a spare battery in your coat’s inside pocket, you’re good to go!
Oh yes, and don’t forget a tripod too — this is a 2.5 second exposure (at ISO 800 for minimal noise). Fortunately there are plenty of turf areas along the paths, so you can set up a tripod without blocking traffic or damaging the plants. But no commercial photography (i.e., stock shots for Getty) unless you want to fork over a $350 fee to the Gardens…
The tracks (rails of the Denver metro light rail system) glide by as we head home…
Iâ€™d seen images like this before â€” but via film. I wanted to see what it took to make an image like this with my digital gear. After some fiddling, I found that an exposure of 1/30 second or longer works just fine â€” so long as the train is up to full speed (about 60 miles/hour, or about 95 kilometers/hour).
If you look very closely, you can see some subtle reflections from the inside of the train (since thereâ€™s no way to get my camera outside the window for this image). Iâ€™ll have to spend a little more time in Photoshop cleaning them up. Still, I like how this turned out. The rail tops are nice and sharp, and the rail ties are blurred out, but donâ€™t overlap.
Iâ€™ve noticed one odd thing, though â€” because the rails are at an angle to the imageâ€™s edges, the image always looks crooked to me. I *know* itâ€™s rectangular, but it always looks skewed. This must be some sort of illusion, Iâ€™ll have to look it upâ€¦