I just combined an autumn eve's walk with a tripod and the E450 and was very, very surprised at the results from quite little effort. The shots are just as I came upon them so to speak, and done pretty relaxed but not spending much time: they are at least better than most camera review blogs who go out in the boring street or worse, take photos round the office.
So much for the Olympus being noisy at night! Very clear JPEGs produced in several instances, but some were too noisy without good reason other than some sodium lamp noise and intermediate exposure on walls of white wooden houses.
I got some "test" shots which in days of film would have take several rolls to get near as good.
Key Comments / Learning Points
15 seconds f8.0 ISO100 seems to be killer for nice, deep and sharp shots with only the brightest sodium lamps in a town vista being over exposed. I would manually bracket this and re-focus too in order to get that one killer shot you want!
NATURAL colours did it for me in an ordinary town scene: I would be temted to use MUTED for some scenes here where I live with all the white painted houses and sodium lamps. VIVID should be used with care, but probably very good on any coloured lights like neon or car tail lights.
22 seconds on f11 - 16 may work well for more DoF or more direct light sources ( street lights tonight) but worth bracketing.
Set the camera to Manual on the dial and on the MF focus select on the master panel.
WB auto seemed to work, but the sodium were more yellow than true orange, which I liked æsthetically anyway.
Forget it without a tripod . Put the antishock - to be found in the menu: best on 2 seconds release after mirror. ( the shutter opens waits 1 to 3 seconds after the mirror is flipped up in order to reduce the shock it makes )
BKT ( worth a go) +/1 1.0 set: I don't think I got this to work.
On the E-450 live view is a must for focusing really because the viewfinder is so small and hard to use for MF. Utilise the camera set on MF and it will hold the focus so spot focus with the tripod does not require holding buttons down or changing to toggle-focus lock AE/AF button.
Use the 7x function for MF on live view, camera ON the tripod!
With brighter light points, 6 seconds suffices with a range of apertures bracketed would be okay. Maybe shutter prio will let you do this but given the combinations I am looking at I dont know: By this I mean sintered white sodum lights (or perhaps distant flood lights too) where a illumination shows colours and lights the road or area well . A very bright moon as more than 20% of the frame may be worth trying on 6 seconds.
With a town view I think that 15 is about right on a range of apertures from f8 to f16.
With no direct light source in frame, the white buildings here leant themselvs to a good shot of the church:
MANUAL ( as are all other shots)
6 sec/f6.3/ 29mm ( 58mm eq) / manual focus/ 0.0 ex.cmp/ ISO 400 /tripod/ 1 sec mirror-shutter
delay ( antishock ASh.)
This worked out really very good for a simple test shot using the 7x manual focus in live view:
the ultra bright cintered sodium street lamps provide a cold almost pure white light, which brings
out the green in the foliage.
The lamps do not flare excessively, and the shadows have a realistic, ghostly affect. Very pleased with this test.
Street Shot: White sintered sodium intense lamps.
p... 311 Landscape shot over town and old folks in centre. : This is a disapointment but not that bad for a first try: the camera was on the tripod and the settings are the same as for 310 but on a 36 mm(eq 72) and +0.3 exposure.
Noise is to be expected from the actual scene, but this is not sharp enough to cut the mustard.
Either a focus issue with the f6.3@36mm or camera shake.
P...312 Same scene as 311. Very please with this experiment
15"/f8/40mm(80)/ ISO400/ + 1.0Ec./tripod/1sec delay
You can see the aperture stopping down really making things sharp, while it is indeed about plus one whole exposure step over exposed on the lights. Here, bracketing +/- 1.0 and even more would be worth while but probably need to be done manually.
P...313 same settings as 312 but becomes very noisy on the white walls, nothing to write home about: tower out of focus and maybe some shake or unsharpness influencing the steps: no point in looking at the ORF.
...314 Very pleased with this shot actually! Closer in on towers in the town.
>Crop sharpened of 314
their is a very good depth to the image, making it feel real 3D. short of a spot exposure and
focus on the tower, it is a hard range to get : this one has the spire very sharp actually and
nicely exposed. Noise is very low. 15sec f8 otherwise the same as the last few. 100ISO tells!
317....Spire with roofs no direct light sources : 15sec / f8 /17mm( 24) a nice composition for daytime which is very well
handled by the camera: making it feel more like you are there !
318: Spire, cropped for litter: portrait
15s/f8/17mm(34)/ISO100/0.0Ecomp/manual focus&exposure as per all so far.
319 Solsiden: the actual sol siden with passing car, is very very nicely exposed: 15 sec /f8./14mm(28)/ ISO100. The moon is out of focus but I guess this would take a 30 sec f16 to get the DOF.
Who hates DOF on FT cameras ?? !