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Old Aug 2, 2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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Default Barred Owl - EM-1 ISO question?

The other day at around 7:30pm when the sun was pretty low and dusk had settled onto the woods I looked out my front door and saw a bird flying down the driveway. It alighted in a tree and I could see it was the local barred owl that I had seen in the spring. I pulled out the E-M1 with the 70-300mm and tried a few shots at shutter priority 1/500 but it was just too dark. I ended up going down to 1/250 and even then the images came out dark. I was able to push the exposure up +3 in LR which is pretty far, luckily there wasn't much noise and although I did apply stronger than normal NR I think the detail is still pretty good.

So I as I look them over I see the ISO was 1600 and noticed the Auto ISO is defaulting to a max of ISO 1600. This makes me wonder if I should bump that up to ISO 3200 or even 6400?

what do the other EM-1 users set for a max ISO?

oh and here's the two best pictures;

barred owl by ramcewan, on Flickr


barred owl by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old Aug 2, 2014, 9:13 PM   #2
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Pretty cool ramcewan. There aren't any unique/woodsy type birds near my place. Too close to town I guess. I did see a Pileated Woodpecker in the neighborhood about a year ago which was a surprise. Only the second one I've ever seen.

I had my EM1 set to max at 1600 but felt I missed a shot or two because of it. It's been set to max at ISO 3200 for the last several months now. Haven't done any serious testing but read somewhere the noise starts getting bothersome above that.
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Old Aug 3, 2014, 1:52 PM   #3
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12,800 is where it's supposed to be all downhill, but I've not tried it myself to see what it actually looks like.
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Old Aug 5, 2014, 9:44 AM   #4
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I set my EM10 at a max of 5000 keeping it in mind that that's basically emergency use only--I don't think it looks too bad though I might change it to 3200. I would have had it at 6400 but at that ISO the sensor causes weird (documented) interference patterns with the 20mm.

Normally I wouldn't have had it that high, but I've been doing more shots with moving subjects lately and I'd rather have some noise than motion blur.
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Old Aug 5, 2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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The few times I hit the really high ISO's were when I was using the E-M5 year before last at a couple of major league baseball night games where it was ISO 3200-6400 using the 75-300 M. Zuiko. Even captured an image or two at ISO 8000 and was pleasantly surprised.

They've priced things to the point I went to only one game last year, haven't been yet this year and the team is so bad I have no plans to. Watching the equivalent of a spring training split squad at today's regular season prices does not appeal.

Beyond that I do little that calls for very high ISO's. Maybe I'll make an NHL game or two this Fall and Winter. I think they will still let me in with the E-M1 and the 75-300.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Aug 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM.
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Old Aug 5, 2014, 3:55 PM   #6
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Beautiful capture Rancewan, you did a great job capturing it..!!
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