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Olympus EM1.2 - Shooting at "Low ISO" (64) - Fe...
  
 
James Farrell
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Olympus EM1.2 - Shooting at "Low ISO" (64) - Feedback?


I've owned my two EM1.2s now for about 5 months after shooting high end Nikon gear for 10 years, all of which I've sold. So, I am by no means a m43 expert and I am still learning some of the more subtle nuances of the m43 systems, and in particular my Oly gear with which I am very happy.

Lately I have started to notice some postings on different M43 forums in which some points were made about shooting at "Low ISO" (ISO 64) on the EM1.2 instead of the base ISO of 200. Some posts suggest less noise and even some suggest better DR at ISO 64. Now, from all that I've learned over the years and from what info I've been able to find online suggest that shooting below base ISO has some subtle disadvantages (aside from the obvious implications of much slow shutter speeds). Otherwise, manufacturers would include low ISOs in their normal range of ISO specs.

So ... curious ... I took a few test shots today and compared some ISO 64 vs ISO 200 shots using my 300/4. I am not posting them here because any subtle differences get lost in the uploading process and jpeg compression. That said, it seems like the ISO 64 test shots looked just a 'teensy weensy' bit better, cleaner and sharper than the ISO 200 shots. So now I am wondering what the downside is of "Low ISO" (assuming I don't need a high shutter speed). Would any of you who have experience in this area care to comment?



Jun 26, 2017 at 07:27 PM
formula4speed
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Olympus EM1.2 - Shooting at "Low ISO" (64) - Feedback?


Typically the expanded ISO range is done digitally, so basically the camera is overexposing the image and pulling it back down. You might see less noise this way, but at the expense of some loss of dynamic range because your highlights will clip faster. In theory you would get the same results by "exposing to the right" and pulling the exposure down in post.

I don't think I've tried ISO 64 specifically to see how much cleaner the files look.

What I have found is that if you are in a controlled situation and you can use either the High Res mode or Focus Bracketing, the noise seems to "average out" and the resulting files look as clean as my full frame Sony.



Jun 26, 2017 at 08:20 PM
ijm5012
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Olympus EM1.2 - Shooting at "Low ISO" (64) - Feedback?


The benefits of shooting at ISO 64 are the lower noise, and better shadow recovery over ISO 200. This comes at the expense of clipping highlights easier, comparing ISO 64 to ISO 200.

So, if you're shooting a scene where clipping highlights is more likely, either make sure to expose for your highlights with ISO 64 and recover the shadows in post, or use ISO 200 which gives you a bit more latitude with detail recovery in your highlights.

I must say, when using ISO 64 and hi-res mode (which averages 8 images), the noise results are pretty darn astonishing. Just make sure to keep an eye on your histogram, and set your image review to enable the highlight/shadow blinkies to notify you when you've clipped either.



Jun 26, 2017 at 08:59 PM
James Farrell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Olympus EM1.2 - Shooting at "Low ISO" (64) - Feedback?


ijm5012 wrote:
The benefits of shooting at ISO 64 are the lower noise, and better shadow recovery over ISO 200. This comes at the expense of clipping highlights easier, comparing ISO 64 to ISO 200.

So, if you're shooting a scene where clipping highlights is more likely, either make sure to expose for your highlights with ISO 64 and recover the shadows in post, or use ISO 200 which gives you a bit more latitude with detail recovery in your highlights.

I must say, when using ISO 64 and hi-res mode (which averages 8 images), the noise results are pretty darn astonishing. Just make
...Show more

OK, good info here from both of you. I think I see a possible strategy here - low ISO when I can control the shooting environment and can have time to think this out on scene - set EV to minus 1/3 or maybe even minus 2/3 of a stop. As I only shoot raw and use Capture One Pro 10 which is an extrodinary RAW converter, I think I'll test the "limits" here to see how much I can rescue highlights as various EVs at ISO 64. The test shots that I alluded to were in fact underexposed by 1/3 of a stop and they looked good even in Lightroom which is certainly NOT my preferred raw processor.



Jun 26, 2017 at 10:33 PM







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