Friday, November 25, 2011

Using Olympus EP-L1 for Studio Shoot

Something happen on a shoot recently I had to share my experience.  I organised a photo shoot with a model at a studio.  Everything came together as planned.  Only 10 minutes into the shoot, the battery indicator started to show it was running at 50% power.  I thought no problem as I packed a spare battery with me.  So I got the battery and tried to put in into the camera.  Shock horror, it does not fit!  The battery I picked up is for a different camera!  They are both Canon batteries and look remarkable the same.

I am going to have a rant about camera companies and batteries here.  Why do they feel the need to change the battery every time you release a new camera?  It just annoys the hell out of me.  My house is full of batteries and chargers.

Don't even talk about some companies that have "safety feature" which prevent third party battery working in their cameras.  Panasonic did this with a couple of micro 4/3 cameras.  That is the reason I do not even consider buying any Panasonic cameras at the moment.

I have both a Canon 500D and 550D which uses different batteries, but they look almost the same.  Now I've learnt my lesson and will be clearly marking the batteries to indicate which camera they are for.  I am not going to make the same mistake.

Now, back to the studio shoot.  I carried on using the camera for a few minutes until the battery ran completely flat.  Then I remember I had packed my Olympus E-PL1 as a back up.  I took it out of the bag and set up everything as it was on my Canon 550D and started shooting.  I was very happy with the results of this camera in a studio environment.  The only downside to using the E-PL1 as a studio camera is my arms got very tired quickly and started to shake.  I had an flash trigger on the hot shoe anyway, so even if I had the optional viewfinder, I could not use it at the same time.  I had to put the camera on a tripod after 5 minutes.  There was no way I could hand hold the camera arms out for an entire shoot.  In an studio environment, focus speed was good.  I have set up the custom button for manual focus.  So, after I achieved focus, I switch to manual focus so there is no delay when I take photos.  Since the model does not move much during the shoot, this works well.  I just had had to refocus every time the model changed poses.

Lessons learned:
  1. Always charge your batteries before a shoot.
  2. Always check the batteries are for the correct camera.
  3. Always have a back up camera with you that has fully charged batteries.
  4. Pack everything the night before the shoot.
Here are a few shots of images taken during the shoot.  I shot in RAW format, processed them using Capture One 6.2  The cameras I used was an Olympus E-PL1 with the 12-42mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens.  The model was the lovely Sherry Platts (Model Mayhem # 2306417).  She did her own make up.

Two grided strip box behind model and a large grided softbox on boom arm just over head. 

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