1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Article on E-M10 Metering

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Replytoken, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. bozer

    bozer Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Apr 4, 2013
    As a complete amateur noob photographer, I have to say, I have no clue what any of that means.:confused:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I was swimming a bit deep in many parts of the RawDigger article, but if I am understanding Thom's recap of it, then it sounds like the metering for the E-M10 has been tweaked to the benefit of jpeg shooters by underexposing images to prevent highlight blowouts. This can be a problem if you shoot raw, as the camera might be pushing more of your image into the shadows, and this can mean more noise to deal with in post-processing. I am not sure if this just requires a simple exposure compensation for raw shooters, or if there is more "devil in the details". I am hoping that a few more technically-minded members can chime in as it may take me some time to absorb the entire article.

    --Ken
     
  3. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Paul
    Hmmm..... If I understand this the EM-10, on this particular scene, under exposed if you want to retain maximum details in the shadows particularly if you are working to the zone system.

    As a result we should go and buy some software to analyse our RAW data so we can develop exposure "strategies" for our cameras even though the exact correction may be different for each scene.

    To maximise the output we should process each RAW file and not rely on the OOC camera JPEG.

    1. I'm not really surprised if the camera underexposed this given the large white area in the foreground. Exposure systems have had these sorts of issues for as long as meters have been built into cameras (but are a lot cleverer now) but no details of the metering set on the camera are provided (matrix, CW, spot).

    2. Rather than spend money and only being able to determine the correct exposure only after PP the image - I would suggest using the "blinkies" built into the camera and then decide at the time of taking the picture if you want to worry about shadow detail or highlight retention for each separate photograph during the shoot (or even take a few shots of differing exposures). If you are into the zone system then calculate the figure to set the shadow blinky you are happy with and use that.

    3. I think lots if photographers already consider that working from RAW on each image can give better results or allow freedom to do something "different" to the OOC JPEG's even if current cameras are very very good with JPEG's.

    Me? Cynical that there could be another reason for the article? Surely not!!
     
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    For some time now, I've had a +1 stop EV correction set in my Oly cameras and often add some more dependent on the scene. I also take the overexposure blinkies (which I use all the time) with a pinch of salt and regularly expose with quite a bit of orange "overexposure" showing. The files look fine when handled in LR and pulled back a bit.

    Net,net - I've felt for some time that the camera's ISO was over optimistic (or the meter was under exposing). Thom's article adds some evidence to that.
     
  5. Mat - MirrorLessons

    Mat - MirrorLessons Mu-43 Veteran

    274
    Mar 10, 2013
    Turin
    Honestly I haven't noticed a big difference in the E-M10 metering. I mostly work in Aperture priority and the camera always gave me what I wanted concerning the exposure. I haven't noticed that tendency to preserve highlights too much.
     
  6. Iliah Borg

    Iliah Borg Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2014
    > Exposure systems have had these sorts of issues for as long as meters have been built into cameras (but are a lot cleverer now)

    Not always, quite often they are "dumber". The current stance to hold as much highlights from blowing as possible, even for the price of severe underexposure, is based on the analysis of how the vast majority are using their cameras - to post images online straight out of the camera and view them downsized to the monitor pixel dimensions or lower. So no noise or resolution issues are visible and underexposure is not an issue. And when 4K monitors will be available the shooters are supposed to buy new cameras. RawDigger is for those 10% of shooters who crop, print, and otherwise postprocess their photos.

    > I would suggest using the "blinkies" built into the camera

    "Blinkies" are derived from in-camera JPEG, so their adequacy to those who shoot raw is not a given. Please see http://www.rawdigger.com/houtouse/beware-histogram

    > Me? Cynical that there could be another reason for the article? Surely not!!

    Free fully functional 1-mont trial is more than adequate to evaluate a new camera, so, no - the article is not about sales.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    This is just another ETTR piece dressed up in a pocket protector. ETTR will, at best, reduce noise in the darker areas. It will also require dropping the brightness of the overall image to match what it originally looked like. It pretty much ignores all the exposures standards, ISO speed definitions, etc., that were created to give pictures that look like what you saw, so that instead, you have good pixel statistics. This is what happens when Nit-noids co-op art.
     
  8. Iliah Borg

    Iliah Borg Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Feb 10, 2014
    If the camera metering is underexposing the image, putting midtone to 9% or even lower, yes, it drops the brightness and ignores familiar exposure standards. But pixel statistics in that case is bad, contrary to what you just suggested ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    It would be interesting to see what the results look like for the E-M5 too. My feeling has always been that the meter tended to underexpose by 2/3 stop in most situations, but actual evidence one way or the other would be quite helpful.

    From the E-M10 results, it seems that in some ways, the sensor is too good, so they can afford to throw away quality to gain a very tiny benefit (highlight recovery for those who post process JPEGs).
     
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Iliah,

    Thanks for joining the forum, and thanks for participating in the conversation. I have heard your name mentioned over the years in a variety of posts about raw conversion, and would appreciate any wisdom that you can share, especially about working m4/3rd's sensors to our best advantage when shooting raw (although I do also shoot APS-C and would imagine that some advice would be broad enough to apply to larger sensors).

    --Ken
     
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Iliah,

    Are you able to elaborate on the well saturation (and bit danger) that Thom referred to in his article? I am assuming that these are the pixel statistics that you are referring to in your post. and, will adjusting the meter (i.e. ETTR) help correct this well saturation issue, or is that a characteristic of the sensor regardless of exposure? Any information you can provide would be helpful in better understanding things.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  12. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    If you all think that having a bit less noise in dark shadow areas makes for an excellent image, than good for you. Everyone should get a gold star for succeeding at something.
     
  13. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    You are dealing with an individual who has a high degree of technical expertise in this field and who is probably a capable "technical" photographer. There is a difference between a technical and creative photographer and both will aspire different shooting and post processing philosophy. And both of them are right. It's a matter of which audience you are catering towards! There are people who are solely after creamy bokeh, superb strobists who can manipulate light like a capable surgeon and on and on and ETTR.

    You can not please everyone with your single image; there's always a proponent of the fact that someone will be ultra critical of exposure, noise on the shadow areas and the ultimate saturation as well as detail and sharpness. And there are photographers out there who throw these away and create fantastic photographers that are sold for $1000 of dollars.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion on the internet, but they are not the ultimate God or Goddess, but some people worship or idolize them as such. As a photographer, you are an artist and you have the right to exercise your own creative stroke and accept criticism where needed. But sometimes and more than often, zombies of amateur photographers follow these gurus like they are perched up at Mt. Olympus shining a light to them that, telling you ought to do more. Should you? That's their free will.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I guess that pursuing an understanding of the technical so that one could better expand their creative options with better control of their equipment is not everybody's cup to tea. I have fought noise in shadows in images that were taken in less than ideal lighting, and if I could learn techniques that would allow me to capture better data to work with in post processing, then I would like to know more, even if it is overly technical. For me, technology is a means to an end, but like most art forms there are trade-offs involved with the materials and tools that we use. Any time I can bend that trade-off curve in my favor, I am always interested in listening and learning. Granted, if I purchased an E-M10, I might have eventually learned to adjust my meter based on my shots, but articles like this better explain why that is the case. We all need to travel our own road to get where we want to go, but I guess I always saw technology and art as part of the same process. I apologize if citing this article is disagreeable with folks.

    --Ken
     
  15. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Ken, every photographer in his or her life will eventually hit several plateaus. That's the nature of any art. Everyone deals with this differently. No one has the absolute answer on anything; though they try to paint the picture through techno jabble to induce fear that if you don't know it, you don't measure up. Sort of like our American dream and how American citizens are pressured to measure up. But do they have to? They have the choice to choose!

    Any photographer who hits a plateau will be in the most insecure position. They feel the pressure to measure up, but don't know how. So when something sounded complicated and technical, we think that's the solution. That is because, we are taught from the very beginning that we have to measure everything in this world. Which is why there is a great deal going on in the photography world about sharpness, chromatic aberration, noise performance, color and this and that. Because we like discussing things we can measure. But how can you measure taste, feeling, happiness and sadness? You simply can't and yet some iconic images can induce that profound intense feeling of happiness and sadness by just a photo. I call it the soul of the photo. Do you think the photographer at the time of the picture (like Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell) worried about his lens sharpness, his MTF resolution, his ISO noise level and the level of detail he can capture. Sure, those are very important, but they are ONLY important AFTER you took the shot not after the fact. If you continue to produce fantastic photos and you can start selling them well, then you worry about the technical aspect of it. Basically to measure up against your competition; if you have any in your style genre.

    if you have a unique style and people like it, chances are you can get away with most technical aspect of the stuff we discuss here.

    But you can not avoid people in the photography world who operates in absolutes. If they transcend over their own plateau this way, then they believe all other photographers must follow their way. Everyone transcend over their own plateaus differently, so it's quite normal to have different people with different approaches.
     
  16. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Well stated, and I do not disagree. But, there have been times when my creative vision has seen an image, but when it came time to post process the image for a large print to display, I have had more noise in the shadows that I would care for in an image of that size. This may be due to one or several of a couple of possibilities. First, I may have pushed the limits of my gear, and that image is the best that could be obtained. Second, I did not push the limits of my gear, and my skills need improvement. Third, I did not fully understand the limits of my gear, and only pushed it as far as I knew. All have happened, but I am trying to work on the latter two as this will allow me more keepers for large prints. I am willing to forgive many technical things in a print as long as it still conveys the message that I want it to convey, but when I print large, I guess my standards go up a bit because everything is magnified, noise and all.

    As I alluded to above, understanding how my equipment functions is only a means to an (artistic) end. It is no substitute for being able to see. Learning about how a sensor functions is not really much different that learning about the contrast curves of B/W film. Yes, anybody can capture an amazing image with just about any sensor/film if they have a good eye. But, I also admire artists who fully understand their tools, and know how to extract every last ounce out of them so they can better express themselves. With a creative mind, pushing the boundaries of your equipment can often lead to techniques that might not have been easily available (or understood), if at all, to others who may not have been curious enough to keep asking questions.

    My takeaway from the article is that it appears that Olympus may have adjusted their meters for the benefit of jpeg shooters. If I am shooting raw and need to extract what I can from the E-M10's sensor, then I have been politely reminded that I may need to add some exposure in order to do so. More than likely, I would have bracketed if the shot was that important and time permitted (not unlike what I would have done shooting slide film years ago). But, the article also helped me to better understand many of the discussions about ETTR, ISOless sensors and raw processing that I have read. Yes, these are often very technical, but they help me to better understand what I can and cannot do when I am shooting. Do I actively think about these things when shooting? Not really, just as I do not think about how I, or my car with a manual transmission, shifts gears. The term I use is "muscle memory", things that you can do without actively thinking about them. My first Nikon SLR's has center-weighted metering, and to this day, I prefer it over their Matrix mode. Why? Because I know the results that I am going to get. I know Matrix metering is far superior in terms of technology, but it seemed like the camera and I were both trying to think ahead of each other, and this never produced good results. Knowing that the E-M10 may have a bias shortens my learning curve, and reminds me again not to assume that my gear automatically knows what is best for my images.

    Respectfully,

    --Ken
     
  17. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    zone system is so weird.
    I seem to underexpose slightly by default with my EM5. Not sure with the EM1, haven't played with it much. .8 seems like a lot though...
     
  18. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Public, non-professional Internet forums are social meeting places, not learning centers. It's like going into a bar at 2 AM, not a class room. Most people don't have a sufficient formal technical education/background to verify the veracity of technical pieces. Professional photographers, unless they first started out in a technical field and have a Bachelors of Science, are completely lost when it comes to real math and science. Since the actual science and technology is inaccessible to most people most forum technical discussions are based on truisms and personal belief systems.

    Sharpness and noise seem to be the two things people fixate on for making good pictures. They are trivial things. If small differences in sharpness or shadow noise make or break your picture, it's a trivial picture.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Ever notice how many enthusiasts come from a technical background though?