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Thread: Dark EVF on Em1

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    Default Dark EVF on Em1

    I'm in the process of switching over to the EM1 from the e5 and I love the camera. I'm having one issue that I'm sure can be solved, but I'm at a loss right now. In my testing the EVF is extremely dark in low light to the point where is almost impossible to frame up the shot. I'm able to focus and the exposure of the finished image is fine. However, it's like shooting blind.

    i know that deep menu system must have some kind of setting to solve this. Suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Northwest Indiana Wedding Photographer - Region Weddings

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    maybe setting live view boost on? although I am not sure what they mean by live view boost in a body with an EVF, is there even such a thing as non live view? the EVF menu has a place to brighten and darken the view as well? I never messed with it though
    OMD EM-1, m12-50MM, OLY 12-60MM, OLY 50MM macro, EC-14, Nikon D7200 and D7100, Nikon 300MM F4 PF Nikon 1.4X II Nikon 80-400MM AF-S- G, Sigma 150-600MM C, Sigma 17-50MM
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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    I will give that a try later today when I get my gear ready for a shoot tomorrow. Yeah, I'll have to look at the manual as I just figured Live View Boost was simply for the LCD if you use that while composing. Then again, an electronic viewfinder is a sort of "live view".

    Will report back after I try this.

    Thanks,
    Steve
    Northwest Indiana Wedding Photographer - Region Weddings


    Quote Originally Posted by JimUSNY View Post
    maybe setting live view boost on? although I am not sure what they mean by live view boost in a body with an EVF, is there even such a thing as non live view? the EVF menu has a place to brighten and darken the view as well? I never messed with it though

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by flatmacsurf View Post
    I'm in the process of switching over to the EM1 from the e5 and I love the camera. I'm having one issue that I'm sure can be solved, but I'm at a loss right now. In my testing the EVF is extremely dark in low light to the point where is almost impossible to frame up the shot. I'm able to focus and the exposure of the finished image is fine. However, it's like shooting blind.

    i know that deep menu system must have some kind of setting to solve this. Suggestions?
    I've gotten too familiar with Olympus menu structures to feel they are "deep". They actually seem well organized to me now, much better than with the C8080WZ.

    sprocket-D :: Live View Boost should help. (page 93)
    sprocket-J :: EVF Adjust might also be useful ... pushing up the EVF brightness for extreme low light is probably another positive adjustment for your needs. (page 97)

    I don't know how "low light" you're testing in, but it's WAY lower than any light I've done any shooting in.

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    As others are saying, the EVF is no doubt adjustable. I have found, however, from using point-and-shoots and superzoom cameras in the past, that doing this can be very misleading. The problem is that it is apt to make you think that you are seeing the exposure you are getting, not a boosted view just to help you see. Or perhaps when you half-depress the shutter button it shows you the true exposure you will be getting? I just kind of remember turning it off on most of my cameras with EVF because it was confusing me a lot of the time. However, I suppose you can turn it on when you need it...
    Rich
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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by RAH View Post
    As others are saying, the EVF is no doubt adjustable. I have found, however, from using point-and-shoots and superzoom cameras in the past, that doing this can be very misleading. The problem is that it is apt to make you think that you are seeing the exposure you are getting, not a boosted view just to help you see. Or perhaps when you half-depress the shutter button it shows you the true exposure you will be getting? I just kind of remember turning it off on most of my cameras with EVF because it was confusing me a lot of the time. However, I suppose you can turn it on when you need it...
    It's all a matter of what you expect. I tend to leave Live View Boost on, and read the histogram for exposure evaluation. Framing and focusing is most of what I want the viewfinder for ...

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Live view boost on and watch the exposure bar to make sure you on exposure. I believe the histogram is not useful in this mode, it shows the screen exposure not the scene exposure I'm told, haven't validated that myself yet

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Turned Live Boost on & I can see the difference. The real test will be at a reception hall this Saturday night as I ease the EM1 into my wedding work more and more. I actually gave it a good work out last Saturday. The majority of shots in this blog post below were with the EM1.


    Wedding at Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish — Region Weddings

    I'm still finding my way with the camera, but I have no doubt that it's a winner. And you are right, the menus aren't too bad, only when you don't understand something!! lol

    Thanks for the help.

    Steve



    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    It's all a matter of what you expect. I tend to leave Live View Boost on, and read the histogram for exposure evaluation. Framing and focusing is most of what I want the viewfinder for ...

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    I guess we are all a bit new to this

    you have, and probably need several choices in ways to operate
    you might need boost if you need critical manual focus
    or you might prefer seeing the light much as it relates to the current settings

    so stepping back a bit
    these are options most of us havent had to deal with before
    with an SLR you work with whatever light you have as it is presented in the OVF
    now we have to contend with two competing ideas

    i) shooting what you see, where you know what to expect because you can see it
    ii) or seeing what you need, based on knowing what to expect for exposure anyway

    one is a view based upon prior even if immediately prior exposure to test the shooting environment
    the other is seeing things as they are, where perhaps in challenging conditions forgiving an amount of control to automatic systems such as you might with autofocus

    In my first outing with this camera in difficult shooting conditions (concert, shallow DoF, ISO 1600+)
    I opted to try seeing things as they are and allowing autofocus to do its job
    not to complicate things too much but with the benefit of face detect too
    reviewed a few frames and found AF could handle that side

    in another circumstance, I might have opted to be more certain about focus,
    so I might need more EVF gain to see what I need to see
    in which case the routine is similar, having satisfied myself that focus is going to be good
    Im looking to test exposure rather than autofocus in review
    Riley

    Olympus User, Pro Photographer since 2003

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post
    Live view boost on and watch the exposure bar to make sure you on exposure. I believe the histogram is not useful in this mode, it shows the screen exposure not the scene exposure I'm told, haven't validated that myself yet
    No, the Histogram always displays the scene exposure. Live View Boost does not change its reading for a given scene.

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    I guess we are all a bit new to this

    you have, and probably need several choices in ways to operate
    you might need boost if you need critical manual focus
    or you might prefer seeing the light much as it relates to the current settings
    ...
    Well, TTL electronic viewing cameras have been around a while, and Micro-FourThirds since 2008. Some of us have been using and debating these settings for a while. :-)

    The debate surfaced with the Panasonic G1: Panasonic took the strategy that the viewfinder image was primarily a focusing and framing tool, not an exposure evaluation tool, so the default was to keep the scene levelly bright unless you wanted to see the DoF and realized scene brightness, which you pressed a button to see. The histogram is the exposure evaluation tool, and reflects what the camera settings will result in. A number of folks disagreed with this default (I have no idea whether it was a majority but they were quite vocal), wanting the viewfinder to reflect the realized scene dynamics. The equivalent in Olympus terms is whether the default enabled Live View Boost or not. I don't remember whether the first Pen digitals enabled it as default or not, but it seems the E-M1 does not.

    Personally, I liked how Panasonic arranged it as it makes it easy to see for focusing even in lighting circumstances where the optical reflex viewfinder is useless. So I switched the E-M1 to have Live View Boost on by default, and disable it when I want to see scene dynamics in the image rather than using the histogram. Either way works fine, the decision as to which suits you and the particular subject matter of the moment best is up to you; it's certainly nice to have the option.

    Similarly, I switch LV Close Up Mode to mode 1, which means a half press on the shutter release defeats the focus assist magnification and peaking. That means I can enable focus assist and/or peaking, dial in the focus with them enabled, and then a half press on the shutter release locks in the exposure setting and returns the scene to full view without peaking for framing purposes. This makes the E-M1 work similarly to my Ricoh GXR, which I've found to be very convenient. Sometimes I switch it back to the defaults, however, when what I'm doing calls for that setup.

    Again, it's great to have so many customizations available. You can dial the camera in to work exactly as you prefer and enable it to become completely transparent in your hands as a result. Not many (if any ...!) other cameras can be customized so nicely!

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Personally I never use the LCD or an EVF to evaluate exposure. That is what the histograms are for. I have seen articles that say the same thing since the LCDs (and EVFs) are usually not accurate enough for that purpose. I use the LCD to check composition and focus only.

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    I shot a wedding yesterday with Live View Boost enabled for the first time. For the early portion of the day it wasn't necessary, but did not impeed my shooting at all. I have to shoot quick and for me the shadow / highlight control and the meter in camera are my exposure evaluators.

    Where Live View Boost really helped was the dark reception hall where the previous week I felt like I was literally framing up in the dark. This time I was able to see. My next experimentation is to take it out of single point autofocus to the mini box and see how that works. I had a few slow focusing dance shots that weren't critical, but I want to see how much of a difference there is in speed.

    For the first time ever, I may set up My Presets as I focus more precisely for detail shots early in the day and can then remember to make a quick switch later. By the way, the 50mm F2.0 Four Thirds lens performed excellently on the EM1. I don't feel I will need to get the 60mm mFT lens for rings shots, etc. I now have the 12-40mm mFT zoom, so my 14-35 may go on sale shortly. I will list it here first, along with an e5.

    Obviously, I'm very happy with the EM1 and as stated here by others, it offers so many choices and versatility. I'm not used to that and it takes some time to find the right method for what I'm doing. Definitely worth the time and trouble though. Just downloaded the manual onto my iPad too - happy reading!!

    Steve
    Northwest Indiana Wedding Photographer - Region Weddings

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    No, the Histogram always displays the scene exposure. Live View Boost does not change its reading for a given scene.

    G
    Can you double check that please, I just checked mine and as I have it set, the histogram shows the evf exposure not the scene, so even I have 3 stops under exposure on the exposure bar the histogram shows correct exposure and if 3 stops over the evf and histogram show correct exposure

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post
    Can you double check that please, I just checked mine and as I have it set, the histogram shows the evf exposure not the scene, so even I have 3 stops under exposure on the exposure bar the histogram shows correct exposure and if 3 stops over the evf and histogram show correct exposure
    I'll recheck when I get home. It might be mode dependent.

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    if you have auto ISO set I dont think you see the scene as it is
    Riley

    Olympus User, Pro Photographer since 2003

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I'll recheck when I get home. It might be mode dependent.

    G
    It's the same in "A" "S" "M" modes, I have "P" set to a myset so didn't test that one.

    Auto ISO or set ISO makes no difference either.

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post

    Auto ISO or set ISO makes no difference either.
    I see what I did there now
    yes A/ISO makes no difference
    Riley

    Olympus User, Pro Photographer since 2003

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    My EP-2's hystogram behaved the same misleading way...it would show me exposure of the EVF and not the final exposure.
    Never bothered to figure out how to change it to show opposite.
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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I'll recheck when I get home. It might be mode dependent.
    Busy week ... finally had a chance to pull out the camera and test again.

    Yes, you're right: with Live Boost enabled, the live histogram is mostly useless (it still indicates the relative distribution of values, but it's lost the coupling to actual exposure baseline). The exposure indicator, on the other hand, does reflect the exposure baseline correctly (what your settings are vs what the meter thinks ought to be correct).

    I must have turned Live View Boost off when I checked before, and probably have been running with it off for a good while. The E-M1 is so responsive and the viewfinder so good, giving me the view I wanted without any fuss, I didn't even notice. ;-) Given this experience, I'd turn Live View Boost on only in very dim circumstances and then keep my eye on the exposure +/- scale.

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    I'd say this is correct. I have now shot an entire, dimly lit wedding with two EM1's exclusively with Live View Boost on and I'm able to frame up correctly and just use the meter, my knowledge and the shadow / highlight warning to assist me in exposure.

    The camera is beginning to make sense to me and becoming second nature. Here's something interesting, NO ONE has questioned it's size when I'm shooting these events. I'm very pleased and glad about that. I'm also surprised given the many huge DSLR's I see in the crowd.

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The E-M1 is so responsive and the viewfinder so good, giving me the view I wanted without any fuss, I didn't even notice. ;-) Given this experience, I'd turn Live View Boost on only in very dim circumstances and then keep my eye on the exposure +/- scale.

    G

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    Default Re: Dark EVF on Em1

    Quote Originally Posted by flatmacsurf View Post
    .. Here's something interesting, NO ONE has questioned it's size when I'm shooting these events. ...
    I've never had anyone ask me about a camera when I was shooting a job. Whether it was with a DSLR, a Hasselblad, or even my little blue Panasonic G1, my cameras were always ignored.
    I guess it comes down to "Are you acting as if you know what you're doing?"
    If you seem to know what you're doing, they don't ask anything.
    If you're fumbling around and presenting yourself improperly, they begin to question whether they can rely upon you.

    Be that as it may, the E-M1 is truly an excellent piece. I've gotten into its way of thinking for most of what I normally do now, it is fast becoming completely transparent. :-)

    G

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