Low Light Shooting on Micro Four Thirds

I knew purchasing a 4/3rd’s camera that I would be limited when it comes to low-light situations, however having shot quite a few things under fairly unforgiving lighting, I have to say it is nowhere as bad as it was first alleged to be!

When I was asked to capture some images for a band during one of their live performances however, I was a little shaken to be bringing my G9 along..

The auto-focus completely failed me, and I abandoned it immediately (swiftly at that, thanks to the manual clutch on the 40-150). Flashes were used for a few on-stage shots and some behind the scenes stuff too, but I shot almost entirely with no flash due to some technical issues, and I stayed wide open at 2.8. Obviously I would much rather be shooting on a full-frame system and some prime 1.2 glass (and functioning flashes) - the results would be astonishing. Freezing motion and having a very contrast-y RAW image to begin with is practically essential for the style I go for - the lowest I could go on this evening, a mere 125th of a second.

Wide shots were few and far between, but I used the Lumix 12-60 for them. Thinking of nailing down a single wide focal length to use exclusively, and invest in a fast prime lens, as I really am not happy with the results out of this lens. I think it is essential to shoot wide shots to show context in a series of images but this lens is far from the best quality, and is due for an upgrade. The Olympus 40-150 is currently my go-to workhorse lens and performed fabulously on this occasion - as expected.

—- Contd.—-

I shot again for these gentlemen yesterday evening, last minute decisions were involved as usual with me but we made it work, and this time around I had both of my flashes working (even if I had left one behind the previous evening, and had to retrieve it before this next shoot!)

The lighting in general at The Grand Social is a lot more forgiving, but we were afforded practically no time to set up. No soundcheck, just thirty minutes for the guys to get their stuff going, and for me to do the same. After setting up both flashes and taking a few test shots - all concerns about the images turning out as soft and grainy as last time were alleviated.

From what I can see, I think this collection came out a heck of a lot cleaner despite still being shot at around 1000-1600 ISO for all images. I was even able to shoot at the highest speed my flashes will allow, 1/250th of a second. Still went with manual focus, I think I am getting too used to it now haha!

Stay tuned for more of these shots, these guys aren’t going anywhere.

Full galleries can be viewed here

Stay snazzy, ye pair of scrotes xo