Fixing Blurry Images on Olympus OMD-EM5 with kit lens

hyonkiyoo

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I recently bought an Olympus OMD-EM5 with the Zuiko 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens. After researching searching, and learning a lot from this sight, I decided to test my shutter speed, aperture, iso settings along with some type of fast action (my wife moving her arms) in my living room with the standard recessed lights in the ceiling. With Shutter being the priority, I set the ISO to 1600-2400 with the shutter speed at 250. Also, the aperture was set at f/3.5 which is the best I can do for the kit lens.

The problem that I have is that I still get blurry images. Please note, I havent tried out a lens that allow an fstop with range from 1-2, so would my main issue be that I need a better lens for this setting? I am assuming that the standard kit lens is great for outdoor scenery with great light, and if I am trying to get some low light action photos, a better lens would be suited?
 

deeky

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Are you shooting manual or autofocus?

With that small of an aperture, you can have a pretty small depth of field and your wife may be moving in and out of it.

If you are shooting auto focus, many lenses have trouble particularly with fast focus in low light settings.

It sounds like, in that particular situation, if you want clear images, you first and formost need more light.
 
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hyonkiyoo

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Thank you Deeky. I believe that is one thing I missed. I was hoping the auto focus would actually capture the movement and take a good action shot. Should I prefocus and focus manually if, lets say, this is the only lens to work with? The reason for not buying another lens right now is to really learn the camera and its settings, so I can better myself, and not rely on just equipment.
 

ann

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I have that camera and have used it for sports work with no issues. You need fast glass in low light , and Deeky is correct with focusing in low light conditions. All auto focus lens have issues if they can't see contrast.

Did you try manual focusing as well?
 

Big Mike

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Focus and shutter speed are very separate things. First, make sure that you can focus. In this case, all you'd need to do is focus on your wife. Depth of Field might be an issue, but at F3.5, she should probably be fully in focus.

I'm guessing that the blurriness you're referring to is from the motion of her arms. 1/250 isn't fast enough to freeze really fast moving objects. 1/500 might do it, 1/1000 almost certainly would. But yes, to get an exposure at those shutter speeds, you would need either; a larger aperture, a higher ISO or more light.

Alternatively, you can turn off the room lights and use flash. The burst of flash is much faster than a typical shutter speed and thus freezes the motion very well.
 
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hyonkiyoo

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I will try manually focusing as I heard the OMD is not the best camera for AF on low light settings. I will also increase the shutter speed, but I think I might need to rent or borrow a faster lens so I can see if my settings were truly optimal in my scenario. Thank you all for your advice!
 

Big Mike

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Don't forget that the easiest and cheapest solution is simply to use more light. Shoot outdoors or indoors when there is more natural light coming in...or turn on more indoor lighting.
 

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