OM-D exposure compensation question

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by briloop, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    Sometimes I shoot in manual mode. I manually set the aperture and shutter speed. When I look at the super control panel, the exposure compensation value is -3 and flashing. When the camera is in manual mode, the exposure compensation value cannot be adjusted. Is there a way around this, or should I just shoot in another mode?
  2. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    When shooting manual, the exposure compensation bar is actually now a meter. If it's flashing -3, then you are more than 3 stops underexposed. Since you're controlling the exposure triangle (shutter speed, ISO, aperture) manually, then there is no need for exposure compensation.

    Exposure compensation is for an automatic mode of sorts, where the camera's metering system aids in choosing exposure. For example, in Aperture Priority the metering adjusts shutter speed (and ISO if auto-ISO is selected). Adjusting the exposure compensation will adjust the shutter speed and/or ISO.

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  3. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    There's no such thing as Exposure Compensation in Manual mode as YOU fully control the exposure...Exposure Compensation is ONLY for those times when the camera is controlling one or more of the exposure controls, like the shutter speed in Aperture Priority mode, aperture in Shutter Priority, etc.
  4. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    So, if the camera is in manual mode, and your subject is too bright, you change aperture until you get the right exposure? Or, would you change the ISO?
  5. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    It's a bit more complicated than that. Start researching "Exposure Triangle" on the web, and pick a book or two on basic photography skills. You'll get the hang of it. :thumbup:
  6. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    have a look here for the exposure triangle;
    Camera Exposure: Aperture, ISO & Shutter Speed


    When I shoot manual mode, it's usually because I want to control both shutter speed AND aperture. I'd adjust ISO for 'exposure compensation.

    Here's what I'd do;
    1. set aperture to desired depth of field (shallow or deep) or sometimes I set it to the sweet spot of the lens I'm using
    2. set shutter speed to avoid camera shake or subject movement. Or perhaps you want a slower shutter speed for motion blur
    3. have the above constant and adjust ISO for 'exposure compensation'

    4. when it is really dark, adjusting ISO too high is going to introduce noise. If there is too much noise, your going to have to compromise and drop shutter speed or open aperture wider
    5. when it is too bright, and you can not drop ISO below 200, you'll have to have a faster shutter speed or set a smaller aperture (watch out for diffraction). Also ND filters can come into play as well.


    Also in the menus, there is a way to allow auto ISO for manual mode. That way you just set aperture and shutter speed. The camera then automatically sets ISO, based on the metering mode. You can not 'exposure compensate' the metering mode though... not without manually changing the ISO yourself.


    There are some who advocate when shooting RAW and manual mode, in cases where you set the aperture and shutter speed constant and don't want to change them... there is no point in picking an ISO above 800. The photo may 'underexpose', but later you can push the exposure in post processing. Apparently the noise levels are similar to having used a higher ISO.
  7. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Mu-43 Veteran


    Sounds like you might should order a copy of Understanding Exposure. This is not a hack or put-down, so don't take it that way. The book is amazing and really helpful in getting you to understand the relationship of shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how they each affect a photograph differently.
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    My experience is that shooting at the correct ISO yields better results than pushing hard in post. Use the full range.
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