Olympus Live Composite Function


wonglp

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#1
Had been using EM10 for quite a while now, just to share some thoughts and images as I go along, certainly one of the more useful features (personally) in recent new Olympus cameras. Feel free to add your thoughts too if you had used it before. Hope this thread helps some who are unsure about this feature.

What it does:

As Olympus put it officially
"Live Composite seamlessly composites images in lighten mode so that it can capture starscapes without over exposure unlike normal bulb shooting. It is, for example, useful to capture beautiful star trails, fireworks and fire flies in the background while shooting a bright building in the fore ground. As with Live Bulb, you can check the progress on the LCD monitor. Moreover, you can also use the flash to emphasize a moment during the exposure or a pen light to write letters. Up to 3 hours of shooting is possible."

Useful for:
Light/star/traffic trail, multiple lightning, Long exposure (up to 3 hours continuously without hot pixels). For many long exposure users of olympus cameras may had been plagued with hot pixels over the years, with this feature it will help to eliminate that.
 

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wonglp

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#2
How to use it?


Equipment needed: Tripod, remote cable release (if dun have use a piece of black card), ND filters may be necessary depending on the time of day.

1. Think about what you want to achieve, and there will be some trial and error to be done. For traffic trails, short several seconds works, for nicer reflection, can choose a longer exposure like 20-30sec or more.

2. I would normally do a test metering in A mode first, and try to use at the useable aperture range (F5.6-11) and use ND filters to achieve the speed that I would desire. You may also opt to AF confirm then switch to manual focus.
The range of composite setting goes from 1/2 sec to 60sec. So if it's still bright, you will need ND filters to achieve the speed within the composite range.

3. Set mode dial to M, front dial set the aperture determined in step 2, and rear dial turn it clockwise till "LIVECOMP" appears.

4. To save battery, you can set monitor brightness to lower (under Exp/ISO menu screen)

5. Press Menu button, scroll up or down to change the speed you determined in step 2. The exposure meter will give you indication as well if your exposure is ok or not

6. Press shutter to start Live composite, the camera will do a base test shot, press again to start. Stop when you deem fit from viewing from the screen. As the shot progresses, it shows "A x B" where A=#of shots & B= composite time that you set.

Sometimes you may not have cable release/forget, simply use a opaque card or even wallet, before you press shutter, cover the lens first (so any shake will not be captured) then release card just slight after pressing of shutter, do the same just before you press shutter again to stop.

Some shots to follow.
 

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wonglp

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#3
Sharing a 2nd test star trail shot from comfort of home. First test shot (not shown) had moon trail in it and was distracting, so lesson learnt, choose a clear sky night... And yes, it's boring but at least was shooting from home so not that bad :)

Olympus EM10+9-18mm, F5.6, 20sec, for 3 hours, continuous. Raw process from Lightroom.


If you want circular star trails, you would want to face the camera towards the north star, apparently my home view isn't..
 

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wonglp

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#4
Traffic trails, one of the easiest subject I would think to shoot with live composite.

This was done in Chong Nongsi, Bangkok which has quite crazy traffic. 4 sec composite shot for continuous 2min? (the total time is not shown in the exif, only the composite time)
EM10+Panasonic 7-14mm


And busy Bangkok highway traffic. 2sec for continuous 2-3min?
EM10+Panasonic 7-14mm


One from the airport
EM10+Panasonic 7-14mm
 

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keithwee

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#5
Appreciate the detailed writeup , especially the 'How to' section which will be very useful for people starting live composites.
 

vengels

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Apr 30, 2007
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interesting function..

after i sold my E-M1..
i have been without a m4/3 camera.. thinking of getting EM10 or GM1(for the size)..

but was told E-PL6 is at $579 kit.. which is a really good price at the moment..

confused man..
:bsmilie:
 

Mar 11, 2010
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#8
whats the difference between live composite and live time from EM5?
 

Paladin

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#9
Been waiting for your write up on this...finally...quite a good function...too bad this function not available on EM1...
 

thorn2ee

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#10
Ya, would this function be added to the EM1? Surely it could just be added via a firmware update?
 

wonglp

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#11
Appreciate the detailed writeup , especially the 'How to' section which will be very useful for people starting live composites.
welcome bro, hope it helps u in your next cam (or hopefully a fw update that has this feature)

interesting function..

after i sold my E-M1..
i have been without a m4/3 camera.. thinking of getting EM10 or GM1(for the size)..

but was told E-PL6 is at $579 kit.. which is a really good price at the moment..

confused man..
:bsmilie:
As I can see, EM10+GM1 sounds like a plan :bsmilie:


WongLP, do video la, I see your instructions so many word I lazy to read liao :bsmilie:
waiting for u to volunteer? haha
 

wonglp

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#12
whats the difference between live composite and live time from EM5?
Bulb/time is one shot, composite stacks multiple shots. Both are live, meaning, it previews on screen the progress.
Difference between "bulb/time" is u have to hold shutter/via cable release in bulb mode, while "time" is press once to start, press another time to stop. Bulb/time only previews for about 24 shots. While live composite previews every shot that's stacked. Hope this is clear?

Been waiting for your write up on this...finally...quite a good function...too bad this function not available on EM1...
Ya, would this function be added to the EM1? Surely it could just be added via a firmware update?
Hopefully will see this on a fw update, but I can't be sure.
 

Mar 11, 2010
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#15
Bulb/time is one shot, composite stacks multiple shots. Both are live, meaning, it previews on screen the progress.
Difference between "bulb/time" is u have to hold shutter/via cable release in bulb mode, while "time" is press once to start, press another time to stop. Bulb/time only previews for about 24 shots. While live composite previews every shot that's stacked. Hope this is clear?





Hopefully will see this on a fw update, but I can't be sure.

understood :D
thanks!
 

wonglp

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#16
I realised some situations which may not render this function well, e.g. moving clouds, and it depends on the cloud type.

It's apparent the patches of clouds that were stacked, although the intention was to take the boat trail. Looks like some water colour effect :)

EM10+Panasonic 7-14mm, F9, 6sec of 3minutes composite shot. The single shot exposure 6 sec can be extended longer with either stopping down or with a stronger ND.


For certain instances, like shooting MBS laser show, you can't really do like 20-30sec exposure as the laser won't be recorded.
Here, the exposure was 5sec, for about 2minutes or so. 5 sec is hard to achieve smooth water reflection, so possibly another single shot of long exposure can be done and blended in post. But still a lot less work.
EM10+Panasonic 7-14mm, 5 sec, F5.6. OOC jpeg (with some blown highlights).
 

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Oct 31, 2010
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#17
I've got a noob off-topic question to ask:
on my em-5 (sadly no live composite :(), once i change to "live time", does it mean i have to manually click for every, say 20s?
how do i set continuous?
thanks!
 

wonglp

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#18
I've got a noob off-topic question to ask:
on my em-5 (sadly no live composite :(), once i change to "live time", does it mean i have to manually click for every, say 20s?
how do i set continuous?
thanks!
hello, not sure if i understood your question.

Here's a video which may help explain.

[video=youtube;Rz4g-MFW_t8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz4g-MFW_t8[/video]

Live Bulb or Live Time is similar feature, the only difference is how you start & stop it.

Bulb - you press & hold the shutter for entire shot. Time - you press and release to start, press and release to stop.
 

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Oct 31, 2010
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#19
for example, your star trails photo in the 1st post, did u have to manually time 20s throughout the 3-hour duration?
 

wonglp

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#20
for example, your star trails photo in the 1st post, did u have to manually time 20s throughout the 3-hour duration?
1st post star trail is live composite, once you set the time to be 20sec, it will continuously record 20sec images and stack for you, and preview the progress after every 20sec till you press to stop ( in first shot, was 3 hours, the camera actually stop by itself as 3 hours was the limit), battery was pretty much close to flat as well
 

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