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Olympus E420 in low light

February 7, 2009
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Lately, I haven’t posted much about cameras and taking pictures.   My busy routine and the cold have kept me from being outside.   The thought of taking my warm mittens off to take pictures isn’t that appealing either. Thankfully, the Friday Morning Breakfast Ride gets my sorry self out of bed.

We changed up the routine because our normal stop was closed for some remodeling.  Today we hit the Original Pancake House.

A nice change up

A nice change up

We were going to meet up on the parkway to ride in together.  However, I got my meet up time messed up (I was 30 minutes early).   This gave me quite a bit of time and since it was cold, I decided to ride, explore and take pictures.

Many folks have commented about the lack of image stabilization (IS) in the E420, me included.   I also see from the search engine referral words for how folks got to the Gnat blog that “Does the E420 have IS?” is a pretty common question.  It doesn’t.   So, I spent the early morning experimenting.    I set my camera to ISO 1600 and started playing around.  I set the aperture at 2.8 to get the most light I could.

ISO 1600 - F2.8 - Handheld

ISO 1600 - F2.8 - Handheld - No Flash

Now, I’ve done nothing to these low light images.  It is straight out of the camera.   It’s not tack sharp, but they are OK given my experiment and intended use of the image.

Having shot point and shoots that have IS, I can say that I do wish that E420 had IS.  I keep hoping Olympus will surprise us with another update to the E420 series that will include IS.   I discarded a lot of images this morning.  All could have worked had I had a tripod, but I don’t carry a tripod with me on these rides.   Some would have been salvaged with IS.    However, as I’ve noted in other reviews, right now I’m not willing to sacrifice the size needed to add it to the body or the lens.   The E420 is actually bigger than I want.  I know some folks may comment that the new Panasonic G1 has IS and its the same size as the E420.  Yes it does, but for me the G1 isn’t a valid choice until the lens support is there.   It isn’t.  Maybe in a year or two.

So…I’m going to keep experimenting and shooting my E42o.   I’m going to go back and re shoot a couple of pictures that I needed to discard.    Not sure I’ll get a chance to do it this week.   Maybe I will.  Maybe I won’t.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. captain bob permalink
    February 7, 2009 2:26 pm

    I think the low light bike shot is a keeper. Change it to bw it would be really sweet. The noise you get with the higer iso makes bw’s look even better.

    Have you ever tried a mono pod? I used one until it broke. You can get these really cool ones that don’t both to your camera. They have a really strong maganet called an Earth Maganet. I think it’s earth. Regardless of the name it works really really well. You should check em out. They would pack short enough to fit in your frame pack with lots of room to spare. Here is a link to one of them. http://www.adorama.com/TPTTTP.html

    Keep up the good photo work.

  2. Gnat permalink*
    February 7, 2009 2:47 pm

    Thanks CB. I agree, I like high ISO’s with BW. I did switch this image to BW, but it just didn’t do it for me. Wait until this coming weeks Photo Friday. I think I’ve got a pretty good one you might like.

    Mono pod. Yes, I’ve considered one. It would fit perfect in my frame bag. I just don’t have money to spend right now.

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