ISO200 Night Shooting Challenge in VIDEO

Not too long ago, I have published an article on Ming Thein's site, demonstrating that I could stay with just ISO200 for the entire night street outing, shooting urban scenes in dark environment with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The 5-Axis Image Stabilization allowed steady hand-held shots down to ridiculous numbers, I could have-hold a long exposure shot of about 5 seconds. This negated the use of high ISO in low light shooting, plus ISO200 is the base ISO, providing best resolution, color tonality, dynamic range and noise control. You may find the original article on MT's site here (click). Now that I am on the YouTube bandwagon, I thought why not do it on video as well? You get to see me shooting in action too.


I fully understand that this method has limitations, and may not be suitable for use when dealing with moving subjects. For scenarios where everything stayed still, or movement is not crucial, then sticking to ISO200 can produce results even more superior than "larger format" cameras in a similar shooting scenario. I have shot side by side with full frame and APSC users, they needed ISO3200, sometimes 6400 in the same situation where I was easily snapping away images at ISO200. ISO200 on a Micro Four Thirds camera today will still outperform ISO3200 or 6400 on a full frame camera. 



Again, please be reminded that this is not a small sensor vs big sensor argument, it was never meant to go that direction. All I wanted to highlight, and perhaps share with the Micro Four Thirds community (both Olympus and Panasonic users) is that you can maximize the potential of your camera and it is not difficult to do so. Understand what the camera is capable of, and push it to the limit. I find that for everything that I do both for commercial work and personal shoots, the Olympus OM-D is more than adequate to the get the job done effectively, and satisfactorily. 

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2 comments:

  1. Another fine video Robin.
    Shooting at low ISO at night is really a lot of fun. One can experiment much more with digital than back in the film days where experimentation cost money. Now all it takes is a bit of time examining images and noting what worked and what did not work. As Thomas Edison would say, no failures, just learning what works and what does not work.
    Since I shot (and still do shoot) mostly film, I'd like to see Olympus have a base ISO of 25. I miss the less than 200 ISO for outdoors. Sure, many of the modern lenses may not capture enough light at those ISO ratings, but with the much better coatings and glass than was available in the film days, I'm sure we'd see quite a bit of nice work from ISO 25 to 200. We have work-arounds, but not native less than ISO200. I still prefer my OMD over the other brands and models I've used.

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    1. I think a possible work around to have true native lower ISO sensitivity is using "dual native ISO". It has been done for video, I sure hope it can be implemented effectively for stills shooting. I can understand why the native ISO is now 200, as the need to push ISO to higher numbers and still get clean results. I also see the appeal of having cleaner lower ISO numbers. Let's see what happens!

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