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EPL5: odd discovery on LCD accuracy for shooting RAW

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by WT21, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I've been struggling with my EPL5 colors. I'm a RAW shooter, so jpg settings shouldn't matter, but I couldn't get comfortable with my output colors.

    Oddly enough, I think a big part of the issue was the cognitive dissonance the LCD was creating in my workflow. I'm shooting RAW, so the LCD doesn't matter to the image file output, but I would spend all sorts of time adjusting exposure and white balance in my shot, trying to find the right mix to show up on the LCD. I'd be struggling with green tinted whites and other oddities on the LCD.

    Last night I finally realized the issue was the LCD settings themselves, and my perception of the color, and how that drove me to adjust my shots. For instance, over exposing, or shifting the WB in a way that I'd then have to correct in post.

    So, to start over, I factory reset my camera. I then did the following 3 adjustments (after much controlled experimentation):
    • Changed the LCD playback view from Vibrant to Natural (which is something I read on this site - press info button when in review mode).
    • Set the jpg picture style to muted, which tones down the more garish colors. This doesn't impact the RAW output, but it does change the image on the LCD when shooting.
    • Globally drop the EV for evaluative and center weighted metering by 1/3 stop.

    Now the images on my LCD accurately represent the scene in front of me, giving me a WYSIWYG experience, and a better base line for adjustments. One measure of success is that I can barely tell the difference between ORF and JPG output (shot a bunch of ORF + JPG to test).

    It's funny -- the last few months, I was trying to figure out how to adjust my ORF to match the jpg. Instead, I have adjusted the jpg to match the ORF, which drives the LCD to be accurate to what I'm shooting, and I can now concentrate just on getting the shot I want - real WB or exposure adjustments to achieve my vision.

    I still need to do further testing in post, before I can say I'm completely happy with this camera, but at least I am no longer dealing with funky WB or exposure driven by a bad LCD representation.
     
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    sorry you have been through this angst...but you do understand that what you see on the LCD is always a JPEG.

    Shooting RAW I use the LCD to basically assure myself i got the shot... everything else is sorted on the computer

    K
     
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Hey Kevin. Yeah, that's what I mean. I didn't play with jpg settings, thinking that I was shooting RAW, so what's the point, but the jpg settings were so off (defaulting to vivid, universally overexposed by about 1/3 stop, etc.) that it was throwing off what I saw on camera. Unfortunately I'm not zen enough to ignore the colors and exposure I saw on the LCD. Now that I've got the jpgs to match the ORF, I know what I'm getting on the other end.
     
  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I don't have this camera, but I guess I'm wondering why are you dropping exposure by 1/3? I mean, Olympus already underexposes and pulls even more. When I load an image using Rawtherapee, the image looks dark. I usually have to push them up 1/3 to 1/2 stop to get them to look right. Olympus master does this by default. I don't know if Lightroom does this by default or not. I guess my concern here is noisy shadows.

    I shoot RAW+JPEG and sometimes have to deal with RAW. Usually the RAWs are off compared to the LCD.
     
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    It was mainly reached by trial and error, but I'll keep testing and adjust the post if needed. It might be related to the specific lens, too (17/1.8)
     
  6. On my E-M5 I have the colours set to natural, the gradation set to auto, and the tone curve set to give negative contrast. This gives me a decent representation of a raw file with the broadest dynamic range and colours that aren't over saturated. I think that auto gradation reduced the exposure by a third of a stop, so I usually run the camera at plus two thirds of a stop.
     
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    its an interesting debate that what the advent of the LCD brings to the process.

    In the days of film you relied on your faith in the cameras metering or your ability in the darkroom to believe you got the image right... there was no instant check.

    Digital gave us instant gratification... but i dont think ( and certainly don't practice) the idea that the image you can see on the LCD is all of the image you will finally achieve.

    To me the LCD is there to confirm I captured the moment and that I hadn't screwed up the exposure entirely... beyond that i put faith that the sensor has got all the other information which i can work with later.

    Maybe I am a strange crossover guy... someone who never had to depend on the precise framing and exposure of the Kodachrome guys, yet did old school black and white printing ( albeit very badly).. who has an eye for a composition ... but is not afraid to crop to get it.

    I love digital...but the LCD on the camera is not a place to make decisions

    K
     
  8. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    What Kevin said.:2thumbs:
     
  9. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Kevin,
    I agree with some of what you mention, but most significantly I agree with your description "Cantankerous." :smile:
     
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I call it as I see it... sometimes folks get it ... sometimes they don't :)

    it is legal in Belgium to hunt me down and kill me if I ever say 'nice capture' outside quotation marks :)

    K
     
  11. I've known people who are still suspicious of computers, too :smile:
     
  12. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    I have to try it tonight when I get home with my epl5. The gaudy jpg output and LCD display is the very reason why I'm having a huge problem with "Olympus Blue", "Olympus Orange" whatsoever!
     
  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    ha ha! So I'm not crazy, lol! I've been feeling pretty alone on this one! (or we're just both crazy)
     
  14. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    no you're not, or we both are:2thumbs:

    I have been trying to find solution or even try to make others understand my problem with that, but seems that was just ignored, and btw what raw processor do you find preferrable? the output from LR looks flat to me.
     
  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    LR is my preferred environment, but I started to try others. I just tried iPhoto again tonight, and tried to use Oly viewer 3, but that application is unusable. I dont own any other options at the moment.
     
  16. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    My E-P1 gave me a pretty accurate representation of the final JPEG. The E-PL2 however, does not. The colors on the LCD end up not as warm on the final JPEG as they do on the LCD screen.

    Not to derail the topic, but ETTR is hard to do simply because the LCD does not show the RAW picture. I hope in the future that camera manufacturers can find a way for the LCD to show the RAW representation. Of course, the RAW usually is pretty flat until anything is done with it.
     
  17. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Paul
    I had a similar issue with RAW not looking like JPEGs (shooting RAW + JPEG'S at the moment) from my OMD until I tried the Huelight profiles - the "vivid" setting may suit if you are a fan of the JPEG'S (but with better skin tones and reds).