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  1. #1
    Katherine
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    Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    I was just playing around with the camera a little the other night, trying out the different focus points (is that the right term?) and trying to get a few shots of the furfaces. I wanted her face in focus and the rest to gradually blur out of focus; I think I need to practice a little more. ;) It's definitely not as crisp as I would like. But I liked this picture a lot since she really is a sneaky little rascal.

    I was just shooting in iAuto, jpg format, it was at night and the light is really terrible in that room. It's kinda noisey, but I think it was at 1600 ISO. I haven't done much to this other than fiddle with the color balance, try to sharpen it up a little bit and resize it so it didn't seem so huge on the forum page. I guess due to the lighting, carpet color and wall color everything comes out really yellow. I'm still trying to figure out how much of that I can fix in Photoshop. Next time I want to switch to RAW format and so that I can tinker a little more. Will that help with how much I can tweak the color and exposure?

    Any suggestions and feedback are welcome! (I know I could post this in the Critique folder, but I'm shy and I'd rather start with a smaller audience first.) Also, when I post on here is it better to resize the picture down so it's this small and then post a link to a bigger version?


  2. #2
    Liz
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    Katherine,

    Actually I think the image looks pretty good for a low light situation. Did you use the kit lens? If so, I'm impressed! The kitty's face is in focus - maybe a tad soft, but not bad. I think if there was more available light, it would have made a lot of difference. I think you will just have to "instruct" your kitty to sit near a window where you have the advantage of more light.

    Another suggestion is to use the flash. You can bounce the flash on the E-PL1 so the light won't be harsh. It does work quite well.

    Keep playing around - and posting more pics. All in all for indoor low light, I think the photo looks good.

    Liz

  3. #3
    Katherine
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    Thanks Liz! Yep it's the kit lens. So far that's the only one I have and can use. I have an old Zuiko 50mm 1.8 but I don't have an adapter yet. I'm trying to decide if I want to get that or the 17mm lens or something else all together first. Does the brand of the adapter matter much on the older lenses like that? I thought I would be itching to get the EVF, but so far I've only missed it maybe once.

    I've tried to bounce the flash a few times before and I don't have the hang of that trick yet. I need to figure it out since the cats hang out in that room a lot and at night it turns into a 2 story cave lit by a floor lamp. I also haven't tried to take any pics since I updated the firmware the other day. So maybe that will help, because the furballs aren't staying still for long when they see the camera appear.

  4. #4
    Liz
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyreth
    Thanks Liz! Yep it's the kit lens. So far that's the only one I have and can use. I have an old Zuiko 50mm 1.8 but I don't have an adapter yet. I'm trying to decide if I want to get that or the 17mm lens or something else all together first. Does the brand of the adapter matter much on the older lenses like that? I thought I would be itching to get the EVF, but so far I've only missed it maybe once.

    I've tried to bounce the flash a few times before and I don't have the hang of that trick yet. I need to figure it out since the cats hang out in that room a lot and at night it turns into a 2 story cave lit by a floor lamp. I also haven't tried to take any pics since I updated the firmware the other day. So maybe that will help, because the furballs aren't staying still for long when they see the camera appear.
    EVF - Initially I thought this was a must-have-now. So, in a way I'm glad it took so long for it to be in stock as I'm having 2nd thoughts. If it were about $100 less expensive I would grab it, but $250+ is a lot of money unless I'm really going to use it. So it's on hold for now. I've always found the LCD to be much better on the PEN cameras (I initially had the E-P1) - than any other LCD's I've used. The LCD on the LX3 was worthless in bright sun, but the PEN does quite well IMHO.

    Flash - it takes a bit of playing around with the flash to get the hang of bouncing it. But it's quite easy. At first I just gently pushed back and up with the head of the flash (with my index finger) - and it worked. It was easier than I thought to do this. The first time I did it I was afraid I would break it, but it does feel pretty solid. I don't know if it's "supposed" to bounce, but it does and quite easily.

    I don't know where I saw a photo of another way to do it (which apparently most people use). You just place your index finger in the back of the flash - and push gently on the "spring." I haven't tried it yet, but it apparently works better. If I can find where I read this, I'll get back to you.

    Don't hesitate to gently push the flash back and up. It's quite easy - but takes a bit of practice. Also, if you ceiling is high, you won't get much affect. You can also bouce it off the wall in back of the subject which works much better than using the direct flash - it's softer, and not harsh.

    BTW I meant to tell you what a sweet kitty you have. I have two - Molly and Jeremy. They do not like their pictures taken - probably because I used to use a flash and it takes a lot of patience to get them to look at me!

    Liz

  5. #5
    Active Amateur havana_joe's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    I just got my E-PL1 over the weekend, I'm still playing around with it. I use the bounce feature by holding the flash back with my finger, it seems to work well!
    http://havanajoe08.shutterfly.com/

    Olympus E-PL1

    Feel free to edit my photos!

  6. #6
    Katherine
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    I tried that too... Do ya'll have anything above for the light waves to literally bounce off of? Because I didn't and my results were about as bad as you can imagine. ;) I looked up flash bouncing and had a good laugh when the articles started talking about literally bouncing the lightwaves off something like a white piece of cardboard, etc.

  7. #7
    Active Amateur havana_joe's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    I found that changing the WB setting to "incandescent" works better in my apartment, auto WB is a little yellow, unless I use the flash. The flash is pretty limited for bouncing because it's small and not very powerful, but I have fairly low ceilings and they're white. I have used white business cards for bouncing for larger flashes in the past, but this one is way too small. I'm learning that this camera is really great outdoors, but indoors it's only a little better than a regular point and shoot. That's ok though, it's good enough for my purposes.
    http://havanajoe08.shutterfly.com/

    Olympus E-PL1

    Feel free to edit my photos!

  8. #8
    Katherine
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    Yeah the incandescent setting works better in my place as well. The ceiling in the room where that pic was taken is one of those 2 story deals that opens into a loft above. Nothing to bounce off of really, cause the walls are an icky cream color (paint is in our future!).
    I've had some decent results trying to take photos of some of my etching prints, and watercolor paintings. So far I really couldn't be happier with the camera. Any shortcomings I'm confident can be attributed to the clueless user. ;) But it's just a blast to use and really kinda coaxes newbies into trying more stuff.

  9. #9
    Active Amateur havana_joe's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    Ah, that makes it tough. I have this really cheap LED light that is for a camera or video camera that I bought at Best Buy for $15. It takes a couple of AAA's and it attaches to the shoe, but there are no electronics, it's just a light. I am playing with that on the camera, it seems to help the indoor lighting a bit. Just an idea, I'll paste a link. Really an external flash is going to be the best solution! I think it's a great camera too. I'm looking forward to having it around my neck when I'm out and about, snapping some pictures and having fun like I did when I used to enjoy taking pictures! The camera really does have a kind of retro 60's type feel to it, like I should be riding around on a Vespa and taking pictures! hahaha!

    Here's the link, the latest review is by me, I always leave reviews of stuff I buy there!

    http://reviews.bestbuy.com/3545/9462645/reviews.htm
    http://havanajoe08.shutterfly.com/

    Olympus E-PL1

    Feel free to edit my photos!

  10. #10
    Katherine
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    I love Best Buy! You mean I need to go there to get this thing? Aw really? Fantastic!!!
    Thanks for the link and the suggestion! I'll go pick up one this week and start trying it out. The kitties are going to be so thrilled. ;)

    And yes, it's great to have out and around! Light, easy and inconspicuous. I felt pretty comfortable toting it around downtown Philadelphia. Much more so that my friends who had Rebel's and Nikon D-whatever's.

    As for the Vespa, where do I sign up for that too? They have a charm all their own. ;) But I've always had a thing for almost anything that's European, has two wheels and a motor. I'll even broaden that to include most 4 wheeled things too.

  11. #11
    Active Amateur havana_joe's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    Well don't get TOO excited, it's not nearly as good as a new flash, but it helps a little bit, especially for things that are within about 5-10 feet away!

    Yeah, my D40, even though it was small, was just too big to carry around, that's why I went down this path. Small and powerful and easy to use. Plus, I can save up for new lenses and stuff in the future.

    No idea where to get a Vespa, for some reason I just had an image or riding around on one and taking pictures at a cafe. Odd, I know, but the image popped into my head! lol
    http://havanajoe08.shutterfly.com/

    Olympus E-PL1

    Feel free to edit my photos!

  12. #12
    Katherine
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    The Vespa's are kind of making a comeback in some areas around the 'States. I don't think I'll be getting a Vespa anytime soon; I'm too in love with my current rides (Triumph Street Triple and Honda CRF150R Expert). But I would love to rent one someday. Also I don't think it's an odd image, but I've been a bike/scooter nut for as long as I can remember.

    And maybe it's not a new flash but it is inexpensive, local, sounds really fun and like a cool little toy to check out.

  13. #13
    Active Amateur havana_joe's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around a little with the E-PL1

    I don't have bikes, but I DO have a '51 Willys and my '85 BMW for putting around in!

    Look to see if they have the light as an open box special, some people return them and you get a better price. I paid $15 for mine, which was a good deal, but they cost $38 new which is a little pricey!
    http://havanajoe08.shutterfly.com/

    Olympus E-PL1

    Feel free to edit my photos!

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