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Old Jul 27, 2015, 1:56 AM   #1
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Default E-M5 as an event camera

I occasionally go out to cover civic events for the Chinatown civic organizations as a volunteer photographer using mainly a Canon 5D MKII and a Canon 430 EX II flash. Big camera with an external flash is very cumbersome. I am trying out to substitute using the E-M5 with the 430EX II flash as an allterative. This is my first time using it in a wedding reception last night at a Chinese restaurant in Emeryville.

Camera: E-M5
Lens: 15-140 mm f/4-5.6 ED MSC
Setting on camera: f/8-6.3, ISO 200, 1/100 sec, mode dial to M
Flash: Canon EX430EX II setting manual at full power, bounced flash with Sto-fen OM-ET Omni-Bounce diffuser @90 degree position.
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Canon 5D MKII, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro, Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD, Sigma DG 150-500mm f/5.-6.3 APO HSM.
Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
Mirrorless APS-C camera: Samsung NX100, Canon EOS-M.
M4/3 systems: Olympus OM-D-E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3.

Last edited by WCKSer; Jul 27, 2015 at 1:59 AM.
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Old Jul 27, 2015, 8:40 AM   #2
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You obviously did a great job with the lighting. Were you using a flash meter or doing manual calculations for the flash exposures since all the stated settings appear you have everything set to full power manual with no camera or flash metering assistance?
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Old Jul 27, 2015, 1:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
You obviously did a great job with the lighting. Were you using a flash meter or doing manual calculations for the flash exposures since all the stated settings appear you have everything set to full power manual with no camera or flash metering assistance?
Greg, I have been doing event pictures for a while using Canon equipment. Most people shooting manually including myself. Most of my friends use Canon gears and they all complain about about the difficulties it involved to get flash pictures. I had the same problem when I first started fumbling around trying to find the right setting until I saw the pictures posted by Frank Jang, a Chinese event photographer from San Francisco. I sort of copy his setting and make variation as needed depending on the shooting environment.

I don't use a flash meter. The base setting is f/8-6.3, ISO 200-400, shutter speed 1/40-1/100. When you get to the job site, make a few test shots to find the correct setting. The reason is the lighting is not the same at different spots in the same room. Once you find that setting, it should work within 12 to 15 feet from the subjects. It you want more depth in the picture (brighter background) use 1/40-1/60 sec. If the room is bright or with light coming through a window, then you can using higher shutter speed 1/100-1/160. I always use a diffuser so I don't get harsh shadows. I don't have to get a dedicated flash for the E-M5 using the Canon flash in manual.

I have been doing it like this for a while with good success with different cameras. It works great for me.
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Canon 5D MKII, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro, Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD, Sigma DG 150-500mm f/5.-6.3 APO HSM.
Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
Mirrorless APS-C camera: Samsung NX100, Canon EOS-M.
M4/3 systems: Olympus OM-D-E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3.
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Old Jul 27, 2015, 3:21 PM   #4
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I would say so. Very well indeed.
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Old Jul 29, 2015, 10:06 PM   #5
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Obviously both the camera and your technique is working well.
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Old Jul 30, 2015, 9:05 PM   #6
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WCKSer, first off these are nice shots, as others have remarked the lighting is perfect and I think your experience from the Canon gear is carrying over well to the E-M5.

I will say when I was at my daughter's graduation from high school the paid photogs were using mostly canon/nikon gear except one who was using an OM-D model along with the 12-40mm f2.8 pro and a flash. He was one of two photogs on the stage and was the one taking pictures of the handshake. Since parents weren't allowed on stage (there were 700+ kids in her class) we paid for the professional photog's shots and they were well lit with nice subject separation and to be honest there is not much difference between the one shot with the OM-D and the one shot with the DSLR, at least in the resolution of the JPEG that was offered for sale.

Point being the OM-D can easily perform well at as an event camera, especially when paired with a flash like you have done, with a fast lens or both.
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 11:23 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the nice compliments. I like taking event photos a lot and sometimes with a big DSLR and a heavy lens with an external flash mounted on, it feels cumbersome. I believe I have found my new event camera in the E-M5. I have not taken the 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 mm off since I got it a month ago. I compared my pictures taken with this combo to my friend's Canon 5D MKIII with a Canon EF 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6. I don't really see much difference in picture quality in jpeg. Imagine the Canon lens costs a whopping $2500 and weighs 3.5 lbs. I am happy to say that this combo is the poor man's equivalent of the Canon 5D MKIII with a Canon EF 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 at a one fifth of the cost and weight.
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Canon 5D MKII, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro, Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD, Sigma DG 150-500mm f/5.-6.3 APO HSM.
Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
Mirrorless APS-C camera: Samsung NX100, Canon EOS-M.
M4/3 systems: Olympus OM-D-E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3.
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Old Aug 8, 2015, 9:14 PM   #8
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Very nice shots, you did a great job with camera and flash.

Marelo
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Old Aug 8, 2015, 10:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarceloLI View Post
Very nice shots, you did a great job with camera and flash.

Marelo
Thanks, Marcelo!
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Canon 5D MKII, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro, Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD, Sigma DG 150-500mm f/5.-6.3 APO HSM.
Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
Mirrorless APS-C camera: Samsung NX100, Canon EOS-M.
M4/3 systems: Olympus OM-D-E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3.
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