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TG-5 Frustration

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by Grajan, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Grajan

    Grajan Manta Ray

    I’ve not been here for a few years (maybe decades...) but I’m back in the water. Life finds me retired and living on our sailboat, currently in the Tuamotus atolls in French Polynesia. I am doing a lot of snorkeling (ambient light) photography. I will post some pics when I get to some real Internet.

    Anyway, the lack of minimum shutter speed setting in A mode is driving me crazy. It is apparently dealt with in the 6 but I understand that Olympus have declined to correct this deficiency in the 5 firmware. So, reluctant to trade up after only a year and reward O for their deficiency, here are my questions:

    1. Are there any software hacks out there that allow 6 firmware to be loaded to the 5? (PM me....)

    2. What is the best workaround to maximize DOF with minimum knob turns? At the moment I have set A mode up with ISO200 for near surface stuff and C1 to A mode with ISO1000 and a starting A of 6.3 for under ledges etc.

    3. Even snorkeling I am using the UW housing. In part due to paranoia and in part due to the sunshade on the screen. Would dumping the housing make sufficient difference to be worth the added risk?

  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    1. Not that I know of.
    2. Note the camera only has f2 and f2.8 as actual apertures. f8 is achieved with a 3-stop neutral density filter, which of course gives a darker picture, but no additional DOF. Apparent apertures other than these are because the lens gets zoomed and the aperture decreases. Even at f2.8, the small sensor gives quite good DOF. What are you doing that requires huge DOF?
    3. What change are you hoping for by eliminating the housing?
  3. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    There is another thread talking about exposure issues when zooming in away from widest setting. Regarding DOF this camera is a 5.5x crop so f2 is equivalent in depth of field to f11 and f2.8 is equivalent to f 15.5 . As mentioned f8 is f2.8 with a 3 stop ND filter, the main use of this is to allow you get black backgrounds on close up shots illuminated by flash.

    For wide angle work f2 is likely adequate for most things unless you are very close, so that should keep the shutter speed up. You really don't have flexibility with shutter speed in ambient light photos - the TG-6 only provides it with flash images and it allows the BG to go black while the subject is lit by flash. At a given ISO the shutter speed has very little flexibility if you are to maintain correct exposure you only have f2/2.8 and 8 wide open so if shutter speed were 1/30 at f8 then the shutter speed can only change to be 1/250 or 1/500 at the given ISO. You probably want to keep below ISO400, preferably under 200 for noise control.

    Regarding the housing, these cameras will eventually flood - the manual states in the small print that the camera should have the seals on both the compartment doors and under the buttons replaced yearly - most people don't do this so after a few years they wear and flood, usually it seems to be the membrane seal under the buttons, this just shorts them out as they are sealed from the internals but the short incapacitates the camera. At least with the housing you can clean and service the o-ring and replace it if required.

    You might try having C1 setup for ambient and leave it wide - it is not that wide anyway and try to get closer to your subject - maybe f2 ISO100, UW white balance. C2 could be used for small stuff - set to f2.8 ISO100 and flash on fill flash, auto white balance and zoom in to shoot small stuff the camera will stop down to f6.3 at max zoom. You have to be really close, within a about 10-15cm for the flash to be at all effective.
  4. Grajan

    Grajan Manta Ray

    Thanks Guys. I can’t seem to post individual replies over this satphone connection. Having a lot of trouble sending this, hence the delay.

    Tursiops - responses
    1. Understood

    2. Photography while snorkeling is proving challenging. Camera stability is difficult so high shutter speeds are helpful, ambient light is highly variable, time on target is short and subject matter (apart from the ever present sharks) is mainly juvenile fish that are skittish and fast. Also it is very difficult to see the screen in sunlight so centering subjects is tricky and ending up focused on the background is a common problem. I am using slow burst mode but unfortunately this camera does not refocus continuously so high DOF improves the probability of good shots.

    3. Reduced light loss resulting in lower ISO? Anyway, this looks like a bad plan.

    Thanks for the caution on the waterproofness. I will continue with the housing. That big shiny red ring on the housing might look great in the camera store but I’m sure it scares fish - guess I can paint it.....

    Getting closer is a big challenge. My breath holding is reasonable but juvenile and small reef fish take a bit longer than that to settle down.

    Reading this I think two things may be messing up my sharpness, too high an ISO value and too much reliance on cropping to ‘zoom’. I’m shooting RAW and using Lightroom to manage noise but there is still some degradation. I will find a stationary target today and do some experiments with a new approach with lower DOF and lower ISO.

    I was briefly considering trading up to the 6 but when you add on shipping and the 50% import tax in French Polynesia its a LOT of money just for the ability to set a minimum shutter speed. Better keep practicing.....

    UPDATE: Got less obsessed with DOF yesterday and dropped the ISO right down. Got better pics thanks.
    RayfromTX likes this.
  5. Filip13

    Filip13 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Slovenia
    Tray to take photos with video light. This will shorten exp.time. It is usefull only for macro or close fokus.


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