City skyline with E-M1 ii during twilight

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This is one of the main reason I upgraded the camera, to view and shoot the city skyline in twilight hour. Usually this is the main drawback with the m4/3 cameras, and wanted to switch FF mainly for the low light sensitivity .

Even if I ignore price of the moment, this is what I need (not really, unless I get paid to do the shoot, it’s of course a want!).  I need two zooms,  a wide angle zoom 24-70 , a tele zoom 70-200 zoom and  a fast prime 35mm or 50mm, A tripod, flash. The weight alone in FF kit will drag me down, so I would be trying to haul a Uber rather then enjoy the walk and shoot.

I tried the Nikon kit, I couldn’t really carry it, let alone walk with it for miles. I need a good sharp lens, I could not have done this with a all purpose lens like 28-300 (the reason below), 24-105 or a prime and 70-300. I did try all theses lenses with Nikon, even if the images could be comparable to f/2.8 zooms, there is no way I will leave $5,000 lenses at home. I might not be walk as much, and may have missed may good images because of that, still I wouldn’t leave them at home.

But m4/3 is different story, even though the camera is big, the lenses and the kit is much smaller and light weight. I carried the equivalent with Panasonic Lumix 12-24 f/28, 35-70 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and gitzo tripod. I walked nearly 4 miles carrying it with out felling any drag from the camera. That too this in one of the cold days in February in Chicago, with all the winter gear on top of camera gear. I couldn’t have done this with the FF.

I’m surprised with the results I got from the E-M1 ii. In theory there there is not that much improvement in the lowlight sensitivity compared to the previous camera. But in practice I found all the images at night time are much better, very usable ISO 6400 pictures for both small print and online viewing. The key thing the base ISO 64 is comparable to FF, and ISO 200 images are quite comparable to APS-C.

Here are the few pictures.

No adjustment needed Hi-Res image, 50MP, more detail than Sony A7-R ii, or the rumored Nikon D820

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This is one of the image that’s done with no adjustments, of what so over, as seen from camera to Jpeg to screen capture. Not even crop. I am so surprised with the excellent in camera processing of the  Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 8.10.54 AM.pngimage, This is the 100% crop from the image, unbelievable details from the sensor and the lens combo. One of the toughest thing I always faced with the twilight images is the detail on the sky, but preserving overblown lights in the neon name boards. Unless I do overlap of multiple exposure

I could never get the “CONGRESS HOTEL” to be legible along with the other building lights. This is the in-camera Hi-Res shot, the total exposure is 6 seconds, but the camera too longer to complete it. The result is unbelievable clarity in terms of color and contrast. Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 8.23.42 AM.png Some of the buildings are nearly two miles away, still that doesn’t seem to hinder the details. Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 8.22.48 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-07-09 at 8.13.15 AM.pngThe only draw back I could say was the Hi-Res shot, that produces the tiny digital ripples in water. That’s extremely controlled, this is the 100% crop of the image and it’s nearly impossible to see, still it’s there when zoomed to 300% in selected areas.

This kind of image is the reason I can’t use general purpose zooms in FF, The details in neon board signs are lost with the all purpose zoom like 28-300. I did try with D810, when the letters are more than 2 miles away, the details are lost with a  wide angle shot.

How about Print

I didn’t do a large print yet, based on he size I could be able to get an excellent wall display of  5 feet wide image. Nearly same as  90″ TV screen. I did a print small section for that size, and also the full picture  on metallic luster paper, very realistic color and details. Felt like there is opening in the picture frame, and it’s real window with the skyline behind it.

Other Images

The zoom and the window angle lens help to capture really nice pictures along the way.

 

This is the 100% view of the images captured handheld on a bridge at night time. Since I could handled for 2 seconds, didn’t really need to push the ISO beyond the base ISO. Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 8.38.17 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-07-09 at 8.37.46 AM.png

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