Do you use Metering modes on the E-m5?

spdavies

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Thanks for the feedback, Gus, I'm glad it worked for you.
There are refinements, of course, like ISO settings and shooting aperture or shutter priority, etc.
but it works better for me than the back button focus technique.
Maybe I'm too uncoordinated for that.

The other complication is integrating magnification and AF with manual override.
To use manual override with autofocus, you have to take the focus control off of the shutter button -
because if you manually focus, when you go to take the picture the camera re-autofocuses again - frustrating.
I haven't really figured that one out yet, so I either go all autofocus or all manual.

@David A - the highlight metering is interesting to me because it would work well with the way I shoot.
Where did you meter from in your picture above - I'm guessing the highlighted water toward the bottom right.
And is the photo straight out of camera or was it a RAW which you processed?
How do you modify the technique if there are no obvious hot highlight areas in the scene?

Sorry for all the questions . . .
 

David A

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When you do this, where do you place the metering indicator? Exactly on the zero? Or do you choose where you want to place that "shade", like +2?

Metering indicator? You mean the exposure compensation value.

If I'm using Spot Highlight mode, I place the spot on the brightest highlight area in which I want to retain detail and I leave exposure compensation at 0. If you do the same thing using the normal Spot mode you would find that you would have to set exposure compensation to around +2.5/+2.7/+3.0 if you want to get the same exposure. In other words, the Spot Highlight mode automatically applies exposure compensation for the fact that you are measuring a highlight.

Why use Spot Highlight mode rather than Spot mode and add a bit of exposure compensation? Well, I ran some tests and I found out that shooting RAW with my camera and using Lightroom, using the straight Spot Highlights mode delivers files which may initially show signs of clipping but which let me recover all of the important highlight detail easily and without problems. If I add a bit more exposure compensation I can start to run into problems so the Spot Hightlight mode gives me a reasonably accurate indication of just how much exposure I can give the highlights for the sort of result I like. Why use ordinary Spot mode and have to select just how much exposure compensation I think I need/can get away with? I figure Olympus know the sensor and what it can do and while I think their programming is just a little on the conservative side and I might be able to get away with another third or half stop of positive compensation, I tend to like the results I get just using the unmodified Spot Highlight reading.

If anyone wants to try working this way I would recommend that they do a few tests for themselves taking multiple bracketed exposures of a wide range scene and seeing how the results match with their processing methods. There are likely to be some differences depending on camera model, choice of processing software, and personal ideas on just how you like your highlights to look. It only takes a few minutes to shoot off a number of bracketed shots and to open them in your processing application of choice and see where you're happy with the highlight results vs where you aren't happy because the highlights are blown or you're pushing the shadow values down to far and running into problems in the darker areas. I find running my own tests and seeing what works for me and what is an issue for me is really valuable, and it doesn't take as much time as you may think. It's also the best way I know of learning just how useful the different metering modes are going to be FOR YOU given your own tastes and the way you work.
 

David A

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@David A - the highlight metering is interesting to me because it would work well with the way I shoot.
Where did you meter from in your picture above - I'm guessing the highlighted water toward the bottom right.
And is the photo straight out of camera or was it a RAW which you processed?
How do you modify the technique if there are no obvious hot highlight areas in the scene?

Sorry for all the questions . . .

I metered the brightest part of the cloud area at the top of the frame. I wanted to keep the clouds as good as possible. The water would not have been a good choice because the water highlights are actual reflections so they're specular highlights and usually there's no point in worrying about clipping specular highlights since there's no detail in them anyway. The photo is a processed RAW file and I rarely shoot anything other than RAW. It is processed.

My technique is simple: meter the brightest area in which I want to preserve detail. Sometimes there is a brighter area in the frame, such as an area of specular reflections or an actual light source, and sometimes there isn't. It's a matter of choosing which is the brightest area I'm concerned about keeping detail in and measuring it. You can do that regardless of the brightness range of your scene, whether it's high or low contrast. The idea is simply to expose for what are the important highlights for you but you have to learn which sort of highlights contain detail and which don't.
 

Dayam

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Then I point the camera (center point autofocus) at what I want in focus -
press the shutter halfway and lock focus.
Then recompose and press shutter to take picture.

I would like to try this technique. However, being an amateur, I don't quite understand this step. Can someone please help me understand? :)
 

Klorenzo

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Metering indicator? You mean the exposure compensation value.

If I'm using Spot Highlight mode, I place the spot on the brightest highlight area in which I want to retain detail and I leave exposure compensation at 0. If you do the same thing using the normal Spot mode you would find that you would have to set exposure compensation to around +2.5/+2.7/+3.0 if you want to get the same exposure. In other words, the Spot Highlight mode automatically applies exposure compensation for the fact that you are measuring a highlight.

I was thinking about Manual mode, that's where the "metering indicator" comes from :)

As you say I would expect a dark exposure in this way, but Spot Highlight does the trick. It looks like it compensate up to two stops in the highlights and less in the darkest areas:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m10/11

so it should give a different result from a simple compensation, as you found out.
 

mronen

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For me, the important thing is not the measuring mode but rather the live histogram in the viewer. I use exposure compensation to shift the histogram the way I like it (usually ETTR - Expose To The Right), and it doesn't matter in which mode I arrived to the current exposure,

Moshe
 

David A

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I was thinking about Manual mode, that's where the "metering indicator" comes from :)

As you say I would expect a dark exposure in this way, but Spot Highlight does the trick. It looks like it compensate up to two stops in the highlights and less in the darkest areas:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m10/11

so it should give a different result from a simple compensation, as you found out.

That review page is about the gradation setting which is a contrast control, it's not about metering modes. The Spot Highlight mode is a spot meter mode which assumes that the spot being measured is a highlight and automatically provides around 2.7 to 3 stops positive exposure compensation to expose the area metered correctly for a highlight. Like all metering modes you can use it with the camera's auto, shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual modes and it works the same in all of them. If the area you measure isn't a highlight, say you place it over a shadow area, that area will receive the same positive exposure compensation and end up much brighter, your mid-tones will end up the same amount brighter, and your highlights will be clipped like mad. You need to choose the part of the scene you meter with this metering mode because if you don't use it on highlight areas you will end up with a very badly overexposed image.

The gradation setting mentioned in the review page you linked to does not change the exposure, it changes the contrast of the image by adjusting the tone mapping of the highlight and shadow areas in the camera's internal JPEG conversion. It has no effect whatsoever if you're shooting RAW and it does not change the exposure the camera will set based on whatever metering mode you choose.
 

Klorenzo

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I completely mixed up the two things, thanks for clarifying.
 

spdavies

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@Dayam

Hi Dave,
I'll give it a try.

You have to set your autofocus to be triggered by the shutter button.
When it's set that way, when you point the camera at what you want in focus,
(for example, someone's face),
if you press the shutter button down halfway, it will focus on the face.
If you KEEP the button down halfway,
you can then recompose your picture,
(for instance, move the face to one side),
and the camera will stay focused on the face.
Then you press the rest of the way down and the camera takes the picture.

To use this technique, you set your autofocus point (S-AF)(spot) at the middle of the frame.
You don't move it around the frame with the arrow buttons like some do.
You leave it at the middle and point the middle at your desired focus subject.
Then proceed as I described above.

I'd give you more information about the menu settings, but I don't have your camera.
On my EM5, the setting is S-AF, Mode 1.

Unfortunately, setting the camera for the different focus and metering modes
is one of the most complicated areas of the Olympus menu system.

If my explanation is clear as mud,
feel free to ask more questions.
Try to say what it is you are having a problem with.

Aloha,
Stephen
 

phl0wtography

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I use Matrix metering ESP, and ETTR. For situations where spot metering is needed, I have set up the record button to take a spot reading, and lock it. (Under cogwheel menu E set AEL to spot, and the button you set up for AEL acts as an on-demand spot meter.)
 

Dayam

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@Dayam

Hi Dave,
I'll give it a try.

You have to set your autofocus to be triggered by the shutter button.
When it's set that way, when you point the camera at what you want in focus,
(for example, someone's face),
if you press the shutter button down halfway, it will focus on the face.
If you KEEP the button down halfway,
you can then recompose your picture,
(for instance, move the face to one side),
and the camera will stay focused on the face.
Then you press the rest of the way down and the camera takes the picture.

To use this technique, you set your autofocus point (S-AF)(spot) at the middle of the frame.
You don't move it around the frame with the arrow buttons like some do.
You leave it at the middle and point the middle at your desired focus subject.
Then proceed as I described above.

I'd give you more information about the menu settings, but I don't have your camera.
On my EM5, the setting is S-AF, Mode 1.

Unfortunately, setting the camera for the different focus and metering modes
is one of the most complicated areas of the Olympus menu system.

If my explanation is clear as mud,
feel free to ask more questions.
Try to say what it is you are having a problem with.

Aloha,
Stephen

@spdavies

Thanks for explaining! I get the logic but this raises another question. Sorry this may sound stupid.

So I put my subject right in the middle where the focus point is. When I half press the shutter, this locks the focus point. I then recompose to put my subject a bit to the right. If I move the camera a bit even just to put my subject to the right, doesn't this affect the focus and cause the subject to be a little out of focus? Or it won't since the adjustment isn't that significant?

:)
 

sgt08

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I use Matrix metering ESP, and ETTR. For situations where spot metering is needed, I have set up the record button to take a spot reading, and lock it. (Under cogwheel menu E set AEL to spot, and the button you set up for AEL acts as an on-demand spot meter.)

That is a neat little trick (did not realize you could have the AEL meter lock set to a different metering mode), thanks for sharing.
 

spdavies

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doesn't this affect the focus and cause the subject to be a little out of focus?

Dave,

Not a stupid question at all -
and in fact, there is a modicum of validity to your concern.
But only a modicum. :tongue:

The only way the effect you are asking about would obtain
is if you were shooting with a very narrow depth of field
and you were very close to your subject.
At any reasonable distance and with any DOF at all,
the field curvature of the lens
and angle of incidence between you and your subject
should not be enough to cause the focus problem.

That said, I have heard that concern used by some
(in forums) as a reason not to use the
"focus and recompose" method.

Personally, I find the time and trouble
to move my focus point around on the screen
to be much more of a bother and much slower.

Shooting landscapes on tripod -
obviously moving the focus point would be the better choice.

Shooting anything else without a tripod,
I like my way better.
(Not really my way -
it's a very old and established way of working).

In the end,
you have to try it out in the situations you usually shoot in
and see what works for you.

Hope that helps.

Stephen
 

Dayam

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In the end,
you have to try it out in the situations you usually shoot in
and see what works for you.

Hope that helps.

Stephen

Okay I get it! Will definitely try this out! Thanks for very informative answers!
 
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On a camera like the E-M5 with a crisp and clear rear screen, live view with accurate exposure preview, dynamic range expansion modes and tone curve adjustments that allow you to approximate DR of a raw file, very helpful highlight and shadow "blinkies", and the ability to assign a dedicated exposure compensation dial that that can be trimmed both before and after focus acquisition and reframing, I haven't had reason to use any metering mode other than ESP metering and adjusting exposure compensation as required.
 

kirschm

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With all my cameras I use center metering as default and spot only when it get's tricky. I don't use ESP because I cannot predict what it interprets.

Since I shot only RAW... my experience is to rather underexpose than 'correct / average' expose... because you can recover shadows quite well in post processing but not blown high lights.

So with center metering I measure slightly 'towards the sky / lights'... lock the metering... focus lock my subject... recompose... and take the shoot...
 
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This could be a silly question, but since I've not monkeyed around with center or spot meter until this thread popped up I'll ask anyway. On the E-M5 is there any control to adjust the location and size of the spot meter or the size center-weight meter, or are we stuck the way it is and always have to use AEL? I used the spot meter this past weekend and it saved a ton of time with the backlit subjects and not messing with exposure compensation (much). I appreciate this thread.

@phl0wtography, Thanks for the tip about the AEL mode. I never would have considered changing it.

@David A, Thanks for the highlight spot meter insight. I saw that option prior to your post and didn't know what it really was doing.
 

euler_spiz

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@emorgan, I don't think there is any way to achieve what you ask. I haven't found any way of doing it.

I want to thank all the posters in this thread. I have learned a lot reading it. Thanks.
 

aremesal

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I'm with Luckypenguin. I've an E-M5 and have used all of the mentioned methods. I like to ETTR, so:

- First, I just used Live View to meter by intuition. Not so recommendable :p
- Then, I took advantage of the live histogram and just use ESP looking at histogram, compensating (or adjusting in M) to the right avoiding burning highlights.
- Later, I combined that method with spot meter: I assigned Fn1 to "Spot metering" so when I was in a large dynamic range scene I metered in the highlight which I want to conserve textures, then compensate +1.7 or +2.
- A few time later I realized the "Highlights Spot Metering" in the E-M5, which meters highlights and "auto-compensate" about +2.5, so I assigned Fn1 to this metering method.

But, last week, I was instructed in a realy fast and ergonomic method: just use the highlights & shadows blink live preview!

Now, I set my VF to see those blink advices on highlights, and just ETTR by compensating until I see burnt the highlight I want to keep texturized, and then close 1/3.

With this method I can ETTR so fast, and as an added value over live histogram method, I can see WHICH lights are burnt and decide with this extra information.

By now, I'm trying about tone curve adjustment, because I think I can save more highlights when processing the RAW than what JPG can do, and think that E-M5 blink highlights is "from JPG".




Changing the subject, about AF-MF override, this is what I do:

- Since I rarely shot video, I've assigned "Rec button" to change to MF (and viceversa).
- Set the camera to automatically show focus magnify when in MF and touch the focus ring.
- For use of manual lenses (both legacy lenses and modern lenses like Oly 17/1.8) Fn2 button is set to show focus magnify, which size can be changed with the front wheel.

So I have AF with the medium-way press of the shutter, and have a fast change to MF when needed.
 
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