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If I may, some questions on technique..

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by rezoguitar, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. rezoguitar

    rezoguitar New to Mu-43

    Jul 15, 2014
    Hi all,

    I've recently stepped up from a Canon G-16 to the EM10. So far I am really liking m43 and especially this forum!

    I started last year with the G16 because I was overwhelmed by the choice of cameras at every level. Since everybody on the Internet :smile: said to learn to shoot in manual, RAW, and use Lightroom - I did. I will say that I never knew there was so much to learn in photography...

    I learned a lot so far doing that - but I do have a few fundamental gaps I recognize fix.

    Shutter speed.
    I need to pay more attention to shutter speed in my mental workflow. Most of my attention has been on aperture and ISO. This has hurt enough of my shots in the past that I would like to correct it. For now anyway, I don't shoot things that are moving fast.

    -2x/focal length for minimum shutter speed on m43, correct? I don't know how to factor IBIS "on" into that. Start with something like at least 1/125th?



    I have trouble judging aperture as it relates to closer distance shots (think faces or wildflowers) and getting just what I want in focus. I know generally where I want to be, but specifically I still need to shoot a a few stops on both sides of that because I'm neither sure nor confident of the result.

    -Is this due to experience from shooting thousands of shots or is there a way I can get better at this more methodically?


    I am a histogram user, but blinkies are new to me. I like the tool and would like to use it.

    -I am not sure what the shadows and highlights number should be set at in the camera or if the default is a good choice.

    - Given EM10 and Lightroom 5: On higher contrast shots, if I have to make a choice, which should I give preference to - highlights or shadows?

    Lastly, metering.

    I've always shot in evaluative, but would like to use center weight or spot when needed. I have hard time wrapping my brain around what happens to the exposure in the area that's not given the majority weighting of spot or center.

    From what I can tell, folks use what they learned on and have become comfortable and successful with.

    -I'd like to at least be able to recognize situations where spot or center weighting will and more successful than evaluative. How do I go about that?

    This is kind of like learning/playing guitar - sometimes it's just fun to noodle or jam, but ultimately, success comes from going slow, thinking about what you are doing, doing it correctly, and repeating about 1,000x. Play slow to learn to play faster.

    Thanks for your patience on my rambling...

  2. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Not to scare you, but after decades I'm still learning new things, or at least trying new things.

    That's only a guideline, and depends on how steady you are and how heavy the lens is. For instance I've shot 500mm catadioptric lens down to 1/50th without IS (according to the guideline I should be 1/1000th).

    Well, you can get depth of field calculators. I just use the DOF preview built into the camera if I want to see what the DOF will be before shooting.

    I've never touched it...it's personal preference.

    If you have sky or ceiling lighting in the scene, or dark floor/ground it may override the lighting of your subject. I almost always stick to centre weighted.

    What I use for teaching is the following link, which you can also get for PC, Mac, or tablet app:

    The thing is though, maybe A/S modes and doing exposure compensation might be better for you.
  3. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    A lot of what you are asking is very situationally dependent and hard to answer without knowing more details. It might be easier to answer under a hypothetical scenario with the following details:

    1. What sort of photography are you shooting? (Portraits, landscape, sports, etc.)
    2. When you mention results, what sort of effect are you aiming for?
    3. What sort of conditions are you shooting in?
    4. Aside from the EM-10, what other gear are you using?
    5. For the first two questions, what sort of settings are you operating with?

    As for the spot metering question, the camera will use an exposure level that is ideal for getting only the center point properly exposed. The rest of the frame will also be subject to that exposure level. If those parts are darker than the center, they will be underexposed accordingly. If they are lighter, they will appear overexposed. If the levels are not too severe, you could recover them in post processing. This is good if shooting an isolated subject against a dark or bright background, but it is most effective when that subject is not moving too much, as you can completely miss your subject and get the wrong exposure. That said, you don't have to only shoot the center. You can half depress the shutter while aiming at the subject, and then re-compose before fully depressing the shutter (or use AEL).

    Center weight is between Spot and ESP. Remember that ESP chooses a middle ground exposure level to get as much of the entire scene exposed. It's the standard for most normal shooting situations when the dynamic range is not too severe. Center weight does the same, but pushes the exposure level to better expose the middle area. I don't know what calculations the camera uses. In many cases, neither area will be exposed exactly right, but it may be good for portraits or close ups.

    I most commonly leave the camera on ESP, and use exposure compensation to make sure my subject is exposed. I also shoot RAW to have the most flexibility in recovering under or over exposed areas in post processing. Another golden rule is that you have a little more latitude to recover underexposed areas, but a blown (totally overexposed to the point that it is just white) highlight is irrecoverable. However, at an advanced level, you still want to "expose to the right" as much as you can. That is, expose just shy of the point on your histogram where your image will have blown highlights. The reason for this is that cameras will render more detail in brighter pixels than darker. You can then fix the exposure as you like in post processing. I believe those blinkies you were referring to will help you with this. Adjust your exposure just until the highlights are no longer flagged, and no more. (I can't help you with the settings for them, as I don't have that camera.)
  4. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Well, 2x/focal is just a guideline. It also comes from early 35mm and medium format systems where substantial mirror slap would often affect the photo. Some cameras like the Pentax 6x7 were practically hopeless at some shutter speeds.

    Practice bracing your camera - remember no bone-to-bone contact. If you lean down, make sure your elbows are resting on the fleshy part of your leg, as far away from your kneecaps. Also, learn to hold your breath briefly during exposure. Your breathing and even your heart rate can affect a slow exposure.

    What do you mean by judging aperture? While our cameras let us adjust things in 1/3 stops, it's probably better to think in whole stops or even skip across two stops if you're learning about depth of field. If you're not "Getting it" at f2, then try 5.6. Try F8 when you're just kinda running around snapping photos and set your ISO to keep your shutter speed up around 1/125. It's quite easy to be seduced by using a lens wide open at it's largest aperture (smallest f-stop number). But try stopping down. You may be surprised at how much more "reserve sharpness" stopping down gives you. It also gives you framing leeway you wouldn't typically get running your lens wide-open.

    There's very very few situations where Centre Weighted metering will help you and ESP won't. ESP is very good - its essentially a multi-spot meter and I find it does better than many of the matrix systems Canon and Nikon use. Spot, on the other hand is fun to play with. If you want to try spot, look around for something that's either a mid-grey colour or a mid-green colour. Point the spot meter at that and use that as your starting exposure. Tones darker and lighter should fall around that spot. Also, the Highlight and Shadow Spot features are really neat too. You pick the darkest part of your photo, spot meter it as a dark-spot and the rest of the image will fall in.

    You may want to read a little bit about Ansel Adams' Zone System to learn about spot-metering. Read his material first: He writes very well, and while technical, provides a pretty easy-to-read explanation of how the system works - which in turn shows you what the camera is doing inside.
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