My Metering Suggestions

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dcisive, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Real Name:
    Lee
    I know many of you have been challenged by the metering on the Pen's. In my case the PL1. The tendency of the Pens is to blow highlights a bit on bright sunny day or backlit situations. Then you also shut down the meter rendering dark shadows which most often can't be brought up in software without dreaded noise. Well I have a suggestion.....

    I played around a lot with this and I want you all to try something. This would not necessarily apply to a super bright sun lit day where it would tend to bring the camera to it's immediate 1/2000th shutter speed limit, but bear with me. (Those special circumstance are best handled by a nice 2 stop ND filter on the end of the lens). Set your camera's for the following and go out and shoot and tell me what you get. What I got was much better shadow exposure with NO noise, mid tones dead on and fewer blown highlights.

    1: Go to your metering and set it on "Center Weighted" instead of ESP (it's the 2nd choice.

    2: Go into the extended (sprockets icon) menu to the "Utility" and then choose "Exposure Shift".

    3: In "Exposure Shift" you'll see that 2nd icon down for "Center Weighted" metering. You want to extend it's choice and choose the setting for it to "-2/6". This will set it's base metering tendencies to minus 1/3rd a stop as center weighted metering tends to be a little bit hotter than ESP, BUT this slight adjustment seems to mitigate it's tendencies to be too hot, and just about right for bringing up the shadows and midtones without overexposure and noise.

    I've found this adjustment to be the best metering for general photography for me. I have not experienced the typical burried shadow issues the standard metering tends to give. Try this and please do report back what your results are. Thanks

    Lee
     
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  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Lee, wouldn't you just be able to set the EV exposure to minus 1/3, rather than going into the Utility option?
     
  3. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Real Name:
    Lee
    It has proven a lot easier and more consistent to set up the standard metering tendency of that type to -1/3 basically. Otherwise you would constantly be messing with it back and forth. I prefer, once I find a "sweet spot" for a setting to have it standardized if that makes any sense. Works for me....give it a try that's all I was suggesting. I'm curious if others will find the same results.
     
  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I have it set up that way via the EV exposure setting and just leave it that way but I guess what you're saying it that by going in through utility you can make sure it stays put more easily?

    I'm just trying to clarify if I'm achieving the same thing or not?
     
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    All digital cameras benefit from -1/3 ev.
     
  6. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    With the PL1 I tended to use -0.3 on the go with the buttons ( I do the same with the E-P2 and yes a default permanent setting as you described is a good idea, Pany don't have that feature in the G1/GF1.

    Not compared center to ESP metering yet. will give it a go.


     
  7. AlanT

    AlanT Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Feb 8, 2010
    Perth, Scotland
    I don't know - I'm finding otherwise with my GF1 - outside on sunny days I find I need to apply some positive exposure compensation otherwise I'll end up with a fairly underexposed image.
    Take this image for example, where I had to apply +1EV:
    [​IMG]
    Anyone else finding this?
     
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Alan,
    Are you doing jpg or raw?
     
  9. AlanT

    AlanT Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Feb 8, 2010
    Perth, Scotland
    I always shoot raw and PP in Lightroom. I haven't experimented with jpg but generally use the histogram in camera as a guide.
     
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Hmmmmmm,
    All digital cameras benefit from -1/3 ev except Alan's.
     
  11. AlanT

    AlanT Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Feb 8, 2010
    Perth, Scotland
    My camera must be special :biggrin:
     
  12. AlanT

    AlanT Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Feb 8, 2010
    Perth, Scotland
    Right, I went out for a short walk with the camera to 'test' the metering. It's a cloudy but very bright day here and shooting a 'typical' landscape type scene with 1/3rd of the scene being the bright sky results in bits of the sky being blown out, and dialling in -1/3EV benefits it greatly.

    However, on bright blue sky days I almost always need to apply +1/3 to +1EV to prevent underexposure. Does this sound normal?

    I always use the standard evaluative metering mode and don't worry too much - I just use the live histogram and apply exposure compensation as necessary too achieve my desired exposure.
     
  13. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Alan, that seems ok. Whatever gives you your desired result.
    Your dealing with latitude. You only have so much.
    Either way, somethings gotta give, right?
     
  14. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Real Name:
    Lee
    It is well documented in a number of technical reports that the Panasonic metering is designed to underexpose to protect highlights (which it tends to do most often) and the Olympus metering is a "damn the torpedo's" metering tending to blow highlights, so one has to plan accordingly. I would indeed bump the GF-1's metering UP at least a 1/3rd or more and the same but opposite for the Olympus Pens. What I tended to discover however is the algorithm for the "center weighted" metering is more accurate when set to -2/6 in the Utility menu for metering setup than the ESP is in almost any setup. So that is what I'm using and so far, it blows nearly no highlights and gets those pesky shadows exposed without noise nicely.
     
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I didn't find that so true with my G1. I worked it rather well and still found -1/3 ev to make it work best.
     
  16. Alan Wolf

    Alan Wolf Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    66
    Jan 20, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    GF1 at -2/3

    Is pretty much my standard, unless it doesn't work, and then I'll go as far "off" as I need to in either direction. If the lighting is at all tricky I tend to use the spot meter and pick a medium object to meter off of, and then do an exposure hold. In less contrasty the center weighted generally does a great job. I think the more limited DR is my only real complaint with m43.

    I find in early evening or in the woods I really need to underexpose (and this is on either the GF1 or my FF Canon) by 1 1/2 to 2 stops pretty consistently, if I want to capture a better sense of the darkness of the scene. But I also just realized that it may be worth experimenting a bit—possibly getting an artificially bright rendering and then underexposing it in RAW might lead to less noise and better gradation—this may be completely wrong; my sense is that noise is largely the result of pushing for shadow details, and if capturing those details so that they are not "shadowy" and then darkening them in PP may keep things cleaner, (if the ISO is kept the same).
     
  17. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    Alan looking at the picture ... there is a large percentage of sky so some + EV bias would be needed.

    Exposure meter(s) average the image and compare it to 18% reflectance grey scale .. hence on this scene underexpose.

    As you exposed the shoot looks excellent.