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Want Pointers OMD- EM1 bulb composite mode test shot

Discussion in 'All Other Images Forum' started by Dean M, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Dean M

    Dean M Always on

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    yet another feature ive just stumbled across on the omd em1 ( this camera keeps amazing me ).

    I knew it had live bulb mode. where you take a shot in bulb mode ( but don't have to hold down the button) and the live view "exposes" before your eyes so when you feel the shot is exposed just the right amount hit the shutter button to stop. no more guess work on those long exposures.

    However on top of that it has bulb composite mode... kinda hard to explain but will try.. think fireworks or light paintings or star trails first as they are best examples of where this works.

    first you put camera in manual mode. set your focus point and turn the shutter speed dial past 60 secs, past bulb and bulb live and onto bulb composite.. then you press the menu button and you set the length of the exposure you want from 0.5 second to I60 seconds for upto 3 hours !
    now heres the clever part. you take the first shot to "set the exposure and lock and you can adjust the F stop accordingly which will show if your under or over exposed ( rather like shooting in AP really with a locked in shutter speed pre set by you in the composite menu as mentioned above.)
    now the magic starts.
    ive copied and pasted how it works here as it explains it much better ( see below )

    The camera combines all the images together into a single composite, however, only the first image is used to record the ambient exposure of the background or foreground. After that, only the brighter pixels in any following images are used.
    This means that while the sky or an illuminated building won’t change, the bright lights from traffic will be written onto the composite image.

    As the camera uses the electronic shutter there’s only the briefest interval between shots and moving lights appear as a continuous streak.

    As with Live Bulb and Live Time mode, you can watch the image build up on the camera screen and close the shutter when you’re happy with the exposure. Exposures can be up to 3 hours in total.


    At the end of the exposure the camera composites the images using the first exposure and the brighter parts of any following images to create a single picture. It’s like using the ‘Lighten’ Blend mode to merge stacked images in Photoshop.

    its quite frankly black magic/ voodoo as far as I'm concerned!

    so the steps
    1. How to use Olympus Live Composite mode
    2. Mount your camera on a tripod and then focus and compose the shot. If you use autofocus mode, switch to manual focus once focus is achieved to prevent it from changing when the shutter release is pressed again
    3. Set a low sensitivity settings such as ISO 200 and your desired aperture and take a test shot in aperture priority or Live Time mode to assess the base exposure time that’s required. This is the time required to make the background/foreground look as you want.
    4. Set the camera to manual exposure mode and adjust the shutter speed, lengthening it until you go past 60 seconds to Live Bulb and Live Time mode before you reach Live Composite mode.
    5. Press the Menu button and set the exposure time to the base exposure that you found in step 2. The settings available run in 0.3EV steps from 0.5sec to 60seconds.
      Press the shutter release to take the base exposure.
    6. Press the shutter release again to start the camera shooting continuously. It will shoot in silent mode using the electronic shutter at the shutter speed you set in step 4 (the same as the base exposure).|
    7. Keep an eye on the screen on the back of the camera and press the shutter release to stop the exposure when you’re happy with the image. The camera composites all the shots into one image

    so with crystal ball in hand, an old shiny black laptop to sit the ball on.. my iPhone led and a small bottle of sangria ( to add some red light !.. set camera up on tripod.. and this is the result.. around 50-60 image I think ( I didn't count) .. just kep randomly waving my phone around like a loon.. shot just on the dining room table with the only other light being from the screen nearby .

    a crude attempt but for a first try I'm just amazed at the possibilities..
    loving this camera..
    so after all the waffle heres the shot.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. steve b

    steve b Always on Premium Member

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    I'll read this with interest later :)
     
  3. Jason

    Jason Always on Premium Member

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    I'm going to investigate the OMD range a bit more this week. I had been looking at a Panasonic for a M43 setup but the Olympus cams do have some really neat toys. The live view long exposure thing appeals to me. All my Fuji stuff is off to MPB this week so I might be having a serious look at an OMD10.
     
  4. steve b

    steve b Always on Premium Member

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    It does have some amazing features, buried among the non amazing ones, for instance the macro mode where the point of focus is random. I think I'll let you find all the interesting ones Dean, tou can post an idiot guide on here and I can save to favourites, lol.

    This feature would be good with a ten stopper on a DSLR say, you could watch your amount of water-smoothing before your very eyes and stop when perfection reached :)

    I'm looking forward to my new lens coming on Tuesday and putting that through its paces, mpb stuff comes in and goes at an alarmingly fast rate.
     
  5. Dean M

    Dean M Always on

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    I did the same ( via wex ) went from canon to Fuji to canon, back to Fuji ( weight being the main reason due to health ) and I just couldn't get on with the x100T.. a lovely camera but the fixed lens and the Fuji controls and even more so the AF I found a struggle with. so off the x100T went to wex , when I got the oly though never having owned one other than an oly trip years ago it just felt right and that it worked.. and the evf is astounding too.. its like looking through a normal optical vf and is HUGE and its actually ahead f Nikons D4 in terms of coverage . add in 81 contrast and 37 phase detect points, a mahoosive 10 fps continuous shooting , 320/sec flash sync , weather sealing in built curve control for highlight and shadow and 5 point in body stabilization ( no need for IS/OS lenses) the feature list goes on and on... oh and it takes decent pics too !
     
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  6. Dean M

    Dean M Always on

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    yep macro is a bit of a dodgy one, but if found using spot focus and the touch screen set to lock but not shoot it makes things usuable. the 12-60 lens I have actually has a reasonable ( though not true 1:1 more like 1:3 ) macro and gets me down to around an inch focusing distance. funky litel lens as it has an extra programmable function button and can be switched between 3 settings, macro, electronic zoom or normal twisty manual zoom. the biggest downside... which is pretty much same with most mft and smaller cameras.. battery life.. spare batteries are a must.
    update just had a look further into the menu ( and on google ) and cant find any dedicated macro ( other than in the SCN settings which I would never use ) in fact a lot of the SCN settings are almost non functional so it seems..
    a quick run through of what I mean.

    Macro.. just seems to set in on base auto settings, doesn't allow me to focus any closer. in fact it states. use when shooting with macro converter MCON - PO1/PO2

    Fisheye.. again when using converter. FCON- PO1

    Wideangle - also FCON-PO1

    Panorama... oh dear lets just brush over that shall we... THE worst pano mode ive seen.. it doesn't stitch multiple shots to create a pano. it just puts some guidelines in for you to take several shots and then stitch then yourself post processing.


    3D mode - says my lens not supported.

    then theres a MACRO and Nature MACRO mode for non conversion lenses, which as you stated seems to be rather random on focus points.

    in total 25 SCN modes.. fireworks, landscape, portrait, panning, kids, low light etc etc.

    much like the ART filter modes ( of which there are 15 ( art bracket, partial colour, toy camera, Diorama, vintage, dynamic, sepia etc ) I may play with the odd one or two to see what its like ( Diorama for instance from somewhere high up looking down onto a scene ( bridge or cityscape ). but in reality for macro I would just use Aperture priority and manual focus with focus peaking and zoom enlargement. and if its a macro still life then the inbuilt focus bracketing is worth playing with too ( and focus stacking if your lens supports it which I think means dedicated macro lenses) .

    certainly to get the best out of the camera theres a lot to learn ( the manual is lord of the rings thickness! )
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  7. steve b

    steve b Always on Premium Member

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    I'm tempted third party, but I'm afraid of blocking software on the cam and charger, I know Canon now use it, I'm sure Oly do too, but I haven't researched. The EM 10 2, is a power eater, I've seen gen batteries advertised at £48
     
  8. Dean M

    Dean M Always on

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    I have 2 3rd party "chipped ones" , no problems with them I reckon they are about 90% usage time of the original cost me about £15 for the pair.
    Ex-Pro BLN-1
     
  9. Gate Keeper

    Gate Keeper Here a lot Premium Member

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    I just bought a second hand Oly E-M1 in mint condition and a 14-150mm II lens, both sealed for the African dust. I suspect it's going to take me years to understand how the camera works with all of that technology. Quite a learning curve to speed up that up. I can come to you for advice :) The photograph you posted up Dean is brilliant. You did well in following those steps so precisely. Your diligence has been rewarded, nice one!
     
  10. Dean M

    Dean M Always on

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    so a second shot, with one of the other oly functions.. focus stacking.
    there are two versions in camera.. one for Pro oly lenses and there dedicated 60mm macro, the other for all other lenses.
    the difference.. the pro/ macro version takes 8 shots , stacks them in camera and creates a single stacked in image. the all other versions. you can choose between 1 and 999 shots, but you then have to stack them yourself in whatever software you use.
    for me its a simple case of import to LR. select all, then right click and click open as layers in photoshop.
    once they have all loaded into photoshop select all layers then click edit and auto blend layers and choose stack images from the pop up menu.. simple.

    so anyway in camera. just go to shooting menu 2, select bracketing and scroll to focus bracketing ) if stacking is greyed out you have a non pro lens ) . select number of shots, then select focus differential ( this is the distance between each shot between a scale of 1 ( smallest ) to 10 ( largest ).. I prefer to choose 1 and shoot more shots to ensure maximum focus across the shot.

    then its simply lock your focus start point ( normally the nearest part of the object/ objects your shooting. press shutter once and that's it.. it will fire off all the selected shots.
    if pro it will create a single stacked image. if non pro. follow the above or whatever focus stacking software you use.

    so test subject . nothing fancy.. my stepdaughter deep purple blacnket/ throw for the background. and 3 ornamental glass and metal antique tea light holders.
    reduced the exp comp as wanted the background darkened. camera on tripod. focus point on the front tealight. 15 shots set.
    pressed shutter.. 1 min later all processed in camera and done.
    export into lr and do the above, then I just adjusted blacks and gave it a slight vignette to dark further, pulled up the whites to bring out the tealights. job done.

    so heres the result. shot in macro mode on the oly 12-60 lens at f/6 ( its the preset of the macro so couldn't go lower ) from a distance of around 2 feet.

    have to say think its done a half decent job of having back to front focus and probably if i'd doubled umber of shots may be even sharper but still think the end result shows as a feature it works pretty well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gate Keeper

    Gate Keeper Here a lot Premium Member

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    I'd be interested in seeing the same subject photographed without focus stacking.
     
  12. Dean M

    Dean M Always on

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    I can show you the first and last shots of the sequence sooc.. see below.

    first shot focus at front.
    [​IMG]

    and last shot automatically done by camera where focus has moved to rear. ( though its not 100% sharp I think if I had done a larger stack would be spot on but you can def see the difference

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Gate Keeper

    Gate Keeper Here a lot Premium Member

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    Thank you Dean for going to the trouble of posting up 'before and after' focus stacking photos. I don't know anything about it, so can't give you any pointers. Clearly the stacking has improved the quality of the image big time, revealing details missed in the first shot. I like it.
     
  14. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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