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Olympus Live Composite mode


  • Olympus were the 1st to introduce this Live Composite mode which is really an automated extension of their multiple exposure mode
  • it allows you to take a sequence of exposures to build up an image by only adding in brightest areas from each exposure to create a final RAW image
  • it is ideal for:
    • star trails
    • cloud trails at sunset
    • car light trails
    • shooting fireworks
    • lightning
    • shooting flowing water with long exposure appearance but with shorter exposures
    • aurorae
    • doing creative imagery with light painting
  • it is available on all Olympus OM-D cameras except for the E-M5
  • up to 3hrs shooting is possible but may require 2nd battery or AC power
  • currently only allows lighten blend mode
  • this equates to shooting a lot of images then “stacking” them in an image editor setting the blend mode to lighten, but in this case it is all done in the camera for you.


  • put camera on a tripod and compose scene
  • lock your focus
  • set monitor brightness to lower (under Exp/ISO menu screen) to save battery
  • set exposure mode to manual
  • set aperture, ISO (usually to 200)
  • set shutter speed to Live Comp
  • press Menu button, and in Composite Settings, set:
    • the shutter speed for each exposure
      • need to ensure a single exposure does not over-expose the image - the camera will show the exposure meter value
      • range of composite setting goes from 1/2 sec to 60sec - so you may need to use an ND filter
    • aperture
    • number of composites to shoot
  • press shutter release to take 1st base exposure
  • press shutter release again to start the sequence of subsequent exposures
  • press shutter release again to stop the sequence
omd/live_composite.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/10 08:30 by gary1