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perfect histogram-based metering E-PL3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by James Pilcher, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    I like aperture-preferred metering and shooting. I always have (and in my case "always have" means a really long time!) All lenses have an optimum aperture for sharpness and I test for that with each lens that I acquire. I got myself a Leica D-Lux 4 in December, 2008 and immediately took to using the live histogram as a primary metering tool. I would set the camera in A mode @ f/4 and apply exposure compensation to get the histogram looking correct. I believe the results I got from that now-sold camera were superior due to the attention I paid to the histogram and exposure compensation.

    Now I have an E-PL3. When I turn on the histogram and then try to apply exposure compensation, the histogram goes off!!! So, to effectively use histogram-based metering, I have to jump back and forth between A and exposure-compensation modes. It's almost as bad as doing histogram test shots with my E-5. Argh.

    The other day I stumbled upon a new technique which makes histogram-based exposure metering a joy on my E-PL3. I had unknowingly slipped my E-PL3 into M metering mode while the histogram was activated. When I started spinning the rear dial, the shutter speed started moving back and forth AND the histogram was moving along with it. Then it dawned on me: By using A mode with exposure compensation most of the time in the past, I was essentially in M mode; I wasn't letting the camera do it's full metering thing anyway! So, now I choose my aperture in M mode. I use the rear wheel to adjust the shutter speed while I watch the histogram. This works quickly and really well!

    If you were wondering, I use my own variation of ETTR (expose to the right) metering when the histogram is employed. Basically, I've determined just how far to the right I can generally go and still recover highlights. That does tend to give me an over-exposed image which draws down quite nicely in Lightroom when I reduce exposure. When all is said and done, I don't lose the highlights and the shadows I get from my m4/3 Olympus sensor are really very good. The results are certainly superior to letting the Olympus jpeg engine and metering system do their things independently of my brain. :tongue:
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  2. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Do you also make ISO changes to compliment your ETTR?
  3. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    ISO vs Gitzo

    Less often than you might think. Of course, the tendency that my method has to overexpose causes the shutter speed to drop when I have a fixed aperture. So, Mr. Gitzo spends a lot of time attached to my camera. :wink: I'd wager that I use a tripod more often than about 90% of photographers. I generally prefer low-ISO+tripod to high-ISO+hand-held.
  4. j4hug

    j4hug Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    I suppose this is an advantage of an electronic viewfinder/ screen that you don't have on optical viewfinders, but I agree with you in one sense that when using a tripod I use the histogram. Useful tip re exposing to the right, I agree Lightroom will extract lots of detail unless of course there is a bright sky ....but then you would see that on the histogram.
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