E1/E300 for event photography


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Teo

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Care to share your experience for those using their E1 or E300 for events such as wedding, co-operate, etc...

In terms of handling, do they perform well as expected or...??


TIA
Cheers
 

nightpiper

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Oct 20, 2003
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sorry, not much to say about the handling. i sidelined helping my friend to shoot products & i have the luxury of time to slowly fiddle with the cam to get it right.

for what i can see, it shudn't be too much difference from using N or C cams unless u r talking about extreme sports events & specific products/architecture pics that requires T/S lens. sorry if this didn't help. :)

(ps. if u r shooting an event in the theatre hall/play, the E1 has the most quiet shutter among other brands at the same price range.)
 

rionie

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#3
Teo said:
Care to share your experience for those using their E1 or E300 for events such as wedding, co-operate, etc...

In terms of handling, do they perform well as expected or...??


TIA
Cheers
The combination of FL-50 and E body won't diappoint you in indoor event photography. If the ceiling is less than 4m high, using bouncing at ISO400 for E1 is still fantastic.

Antonio
 

chancy

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Teo said:
Care to share your experience for those using their E1 or E300 for events such as wedding, co-operate, etc...

In terms of handling, do they perform well as expected or...??

TIA
Cheers
Hello Teo,

Sorry for the delay, I really meant to respond sooner, hope you'll get to read this in time & my comments for the E1 still apply :) So coming from an OMer to another OMer ...

The E1 is very strong in the ergonomics department. For common tasks related to setting WB, ISO there're dedicated & uniquely sculpted buttons that are identifiable by feel & values appear in the viewfinder when settings are dialed as you respond to changing lighting situations.

The top-mounted large & knobbly main control dial (a carry-over from the E10/E20) is a joy to use. Feedback from setting changes are firm & positive. More importantly, the size & shape of the dial doesn't require exact & acrobatic finger placement to effect settings. In short good handling, if you've held the E1 for any period of time, returning to the OM makes you appreciate the former's balance & comfort.

Presentation of exposure information in the viewfinder follows the OM3/4 series; a horizontal LCD info bar runs along the length & below the image area. Of interest (but missing from the E300) is the exposure deviation index (user settable in half or third stops, +- 3 stops) which shows 1) exposure compensation values in A,S. 2) Meter value deviation from settings in M. While not a feature unique to the E1, it allows you to work with exposure changes within the viewfinder to concentrate on composition & capturing the 'moment'.

While, it's is a known & widely reported fact that the E1 struggles with AF in low light, Olympus should by any moment post a firmware update that'll alleviate this performance issue. The built-in AF assist is less distracting that that in the E300 and while doesn't speedup the somewhat slow AF speed, focuses decisively & accurately in low light.

Coming from the OM era, I really miss the high magnification viewfinder which is where the eye of the photographer breathes :) A magnified image to sieve out details is replaced by a just-as-bright but rather smallish image area. The tunnel effect is much more bearable than that from competitors though. The 100% view is a big plus, none of the OMs ever had that, so you can actually compose what-you-frame-is-what-you-get.. As I manual focus for 80% of the time, I do miss a split-image and more so micro-prism focusing screen as MF aids. Although there's exists the handy AF+MF option, the MF overide only kicks in only after AF has achieved a lock on. The smaller-than-OM viewfinder image does complicate MF using wide-angle lenses since it hard to make out subject details as most subjects are reduced in size perspective-wise. But that's not an E-1 only issue.

The 150k duty cycle shutter is very quiet in operation, discreet. In events where there's quiet chatter or a little background music, the flash will give you away, but not the shutter :)

I have repeated here a couple of times before. I've used the E1 in a drizzle, not that any bride, groom or VIP at event would like to get the wet look on their big day, but if the champagne popping goes awry, there's little to worry for :)

I set my WB on manual, so can't comment on the AWB feature; as mentioned before, you can easily dial WB values since a button is expressly dedicated for it & Custom WB is easily set.

The FL50 is a capable flash, the only grip is that instances when you need to shoot sequences eg. Bride-Groom walk-in, the 4 batts don't recycle quickly enough on it's own to catch up with the shutter. You will need the SHV-1 battery pack. But that's the norm accessory for those doing wedding.

Finally, image-quality is more than sufficient for wedding/events. JPGs look great out of the camera & RAW, even better, but the RAW workflow may not suitable for the occasions you're interested. Never saw grain as an image defect, it's not clean per se, but it ain't plastic looking. Personally, I've found the grain patterns most pleasing (read film-like) up to ISO800. From my quick tests of using Noise Ninja (trial version), the noise cleans up nicely without losing much detail at ISO1600.

The E1 won't make a good available light camera due to the lack of faster lenses (>=F1.4) & the need to use noise-reduction tools in the workflow. But that's its most obvious shortcoming for someone who shoots candid.

Is that a lot to dislike ? Honestly, for all the 'negatives' that's surfaced from experience of using the E1, I wouldn't part with it ... it's rugged, feels good in the hand & delivers what my eyes asks of ! That says alot :)

Cheers,
 

ykkok

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My only worry for such events is the flash recharge time. With the FL-36 (which runs on only 2 batteries), the recharge time is simply too long, especially if you use as bounce.

I'm wondering if FL-50 would be faster as it's on 4 batteries, especially those 2300 type.
 

chancy

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#6
ykkok said:
My only worry for such events is the flash recharge time. With the FL-36 (which runs on only 2 batteries), the recharge time is simply too long, especially if you use as bounce.

I'm wondering if FL-50 would be faster as it's on 4 batteries, especially those 2300 type.
Hello Ykkok,

Well, the FL50 has more power to put out although it has twice as much juice to play with. Although it's been some time since I last used rechargeables, I found their charge-hold expectancy uneven and in critical times such as a good friends' wedding; I'd rather not risk the worry of the juice in my batteries going dry at the wrong time. Have been using alkalines since, their most important attribute is the predictable lifespan, although I had was let down by the recycling time; which led me to suggest the SHV-1.

I do think the FL36 greatest attribute is its size. Great portable, bounceable flash to bring on a trip. It's unlikely that trip flash photos will be triggered in sequence unlike key moments in a wedding. In that sense, recycle time was sacrificed for portability, which for all intents & purposes, I think was the right trade-off.

Cheers
 

nightpiper

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maybe using a diffuser on the flash head instead of bouncing it off ceiling helps to quicken the recycle time, as its not triggered at full blast. :dunno:
 

chancy

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nightpiper said:
maybe using a diffuser on the flash head instead of bouncing it off ceiling helps to quicken the recycle time, as its not triggered at full blast. :dunno:
Hello Nightpiper,

Actually the reverse is true, any attempt to soften the light (via Stofen Omnibounce) would mean the flash has to pump out even more light to satisfy the TTL sensor to quench the flash when sufficient light to illuminate the subject (based on camera exposure meter) is reached. This leads to a longer recycling time, although the quality of light has improved :)

Actually, increasing ISO, lowering shutterspeed & using a larger aperture helps; the usual trade-offs apply.

Cheers,
 

Teo

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Any idea third party flash like Sunpak, Sigma or Metz having dedicated flash for E1 or E300?
 

nightpiper

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thx for the tip chancy!! :) learn something new everyday. :thumbsup:

as for teo question, so far, there isn't any 3rd party flash u can use on the E sys. the flash pins r differently oriented. if u r an old timer to photography, u probably will know what to set for manual flash jobs. i have tried a metz flash meant for my old nikon F80 & the results r not so ideal. in the end bought the FL36 for $310. very good results so far. :)
 

mpenza

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u could use 3rd party flash (some flash from Nikon, Metz, Vivitar, etc) that supports automatic modes. with automatic modes, you just need to sync the aperture and ISO settings between the flash and the camera and you could get proper flash exposure for varying subject distances (assuming the aperture and ISO is not changed). Flash exposure compensation is achieved simply by changing the aperture on the camera.
 

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