sensitivity list




 Olympus E-330 IR-sensitivity

Camera: Olympus E-330 @ISO100
Lens: Olympus OM Zuiko 50 mm f1.8
Filter: Heliopan RG715
white balance exposure time aperture EV
A-Mode - without IR Filter 1/800 s f5.6 14.7
M-Mode 8 s f5.6 2 EV
time: around 12:00 o clock MET
date: 03 June
weather: quite a lot clouds

Exposure metering doesn't work with IR-filters, so I guessed the exposure time in manual mode. With some experience it should work fine. (Through the very good file quality some underexposure isn't a problem at all, at least when shooting in RAW mode.)

You have to use a tripod for shooting with an unmodified Olympus E-330. Due the very long exposure times getting good infrared images will be difficult. Mainly caused by subject movement due wind.

 How to use it:
In general it's quite difficult to frame IR-pictures with DSLRs. You can't use the traditional viewfinder, because your eye can't see IR radiation. The second way is using LiveView via the main sensor. But the main sensors are often very unsensitive to IR radiation, so you get at best very noisy preview picture. (Often it's more useless than noisy.)

The E-330 (and maybe the Sony A300 and A350) have an aditional LiveView mode using a second second sensor in the viewfinder chamber. That sensor is IR sensitive and you get a useable LiveView picture, allthough it isn't 'high resolution'. Further it is possible to use the autofocus, since the AF-sensor is also IR-sensitive.
So you can walk around and preview the landscape for stunning motives. If you got something, you need to install the tripod, guess the exposure time (the metering sensor doesn't work with IR filter attached) and take your frame. For a DSLR that's really quite comfortable.

In the field the long exposure times are a problem. Often you have to exposure for several seconds resulting in wind-blurred pictures. Despite beeing comfortable (for a DSLR), it's complicated compared to good IR compact cameras. 

without filter (WB: cloudy (I think)):

with RG715 (WB manual in RAWShooter):

 comment: Colours are nice in a way, but nothing special. Noise isn't a problem at all, not that I expected some.

The following picture is blurred by the wind in combination with the very long exposure time. Beside that point I focussed also a bit beyond infinity. The crop doesn't show the full capabilities of the E-330 in combination with a good manual focus lens.

Taking infrared pictures with DSLRs is difficult. Although you can have a nice preview image with the E-330, most work will need long to very long exposure times. Except you have an absolute static object, motion blur is a problem. 

If you havn't a problem with that, you can get high quality pictures. Little noise and high resolution for static subjects are common.

Personally I don't consider file quality that important, therefore I prefer to use compact cameras for infrared pictures. (At least the better ones).

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