Raising ISO vs pusing exposure in post on the OMD

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Nonnit, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Nonnit

    Nonnit Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    I was reading some interesting posts over at DPR about pushing exposure in lightroom being just as good as raising ISO after 1600 ISO.

    From 200 to 400 is well worth raising ISO

    From 400 to 800 is some gain but not much

    From 800 to 1600 is another small gain

    Raising ISO higher than 1600 gains nothing (some say ISO 3200)

    The following is the way I understand this:
    This is for the RAW shooter only and pushing exposure in lightroom is simply adjusting the exposure slider to compensate, for example shooting at
    f2.0 1/60 at ISO 6400 is the same as shooting f2.0 1/60 at ISO 3200 and adjusting the exposure slider to +1

    Keep in mind that I am no expert in LR or anything else and new to the OMD (I was just interested in this topic after reading what the experts have to say)


    Putting this to the test:

    Normal incendary light in my living room in the evening, crappy light in the past but fine in the days with cameras like the OMD.

    All are at f/5.6 with oly 45mm

    OOC JPEG ISO 200 0.5s - the base picture
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310714935/" title="OMD JPG-200 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD JPG-200"></a>


    Some JPEG vs RAW thoughts and tests:

    OOC JPEG ISO 6400 1/80s (olympus is doing great job here!)
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310714685/" title="OMD JPG-6400 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD JPG-6400"></a>

    RAW ISO 6400 with 40% NR and some adjustments (global adjustments so this can be 1 or 2 button clicks) - I painted with NR brush on the far left with 100% NR to show what LR can do for those that like to spend time on a picture

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310713321/" title="OMD RAW-6400 LR by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD RAW-6400 LR"></a>

    RAW ISO 6400 80% NR ( I painted with minus NR brush over the letter arias to lessen smearing there - this takes 10 seconds) - 100% NR brush is still there on the far left side
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8311842956/" title="6400 80% by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="6400 80%"></a>


    Now lets compare the main thing, pushing exposure vs raising ISO, all are 1/80s f5.6:

    RAW default import in LR4 ISO 6400
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310712933/" title="OMD RAW-6400 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD RAW-6400"></a>

    RAW default import in LR4 ISO 3200 +1 stop exposure in LR
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310713675/" title="OMD RAW-3200 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD RAW-3200"></a>

    RAW default import in LR4 ISO 1600 +2 stop exposure in LR
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8311762822/" title="OMD RAW-1600 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD RAW-1600"></a>

    RAW default import in LR4 ISO 800 +3 stop exposure in LR
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310714401/" title="OMD RAW-800 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="OMD RAW-800"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310883847/" title="1600 on top by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"501" height="747" alt="1600 on top"></a>
    1600 ISO + 2 stops exposure slider on top, the lower is 6400 ISO

    The 800 ISO is a bit worse but not by huge amount, the others are similar.

    Anything to learn from this for the RAW shooter? After maximizing exposure (aperture and shutter) fine tuning ISO setting is not all that important after 1600 ISO

    Maybe the room is to well lit?
    Turned of the main light and only had one small lamp in the room:

    OOC JPEG ISO 6400 f/5.6 1/15s
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8311764578/" title="BL JPG-6400 by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="BL JPG-6400"></a>

    The crappy light from the lamp makes this scene a little more interesting because of the shadows

    Trying out some things with the raw file at 1600 ISO (2 stop underexposed according to the light meter), all global adjustment with NR 40% - (noise can be cleaned out with a little work, I did not bother)

    Shot at ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/15s, horrible underexposed, but does it matter?

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8310715247/" title="BL RAW-1600 DRAMA by Nontest, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="BL RAW-1600 DRAMA"></a>
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  2. feilb

    feilb Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Looks like there is little to gain so long as there is enough light. It's clear that when the light is very low that the boost in camera far out performs lightroom.

    That being said, it looks like there is nothing to gain by the under expose and push method, so why bother.
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    The only thing that particularly seemed noticeable to my eye is the pushed image seems to lose some contrast and color saturation (logically) compared to the native ISO 6400 shots. That also makes the pushed image look a little less detailed in some areas due to the loss of contrast. It may be possible to successfully correct for both things in post via tone curve/contrast and saturation adjustments.

    I think this type of comparison becomes more relevant when talking about extended ISO in camera vs. native ISO + push in post. For example, shooting at 12,800 extended ISO rather than 6400 & pulling the exposure slider up a stop in LR later. At extended ISO it's a software push of the exposure anyway, so the argument is that doing it in post yourself gains you more flexibility and the larger processing power of your RAW converter of choice on a computer rather than relying on the in-camera firmware.
  4. Nonnit

    Nonnit Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    Agreed, there is little to gain except maybe the knowing you can shot at 1 or 2 stop lower ISO to preserve highlights. (maybe for ETTR shooters)

    I am not sure where the native ISO in the OMD stops and software push takes over, I would have thought ISO 3200 or ISO 6400.
  5. Brian style

    Brian style Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2012
    Agreed. I prefer the camera software output to LR.
  6. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Real Name:
    You have incendiary lights in your house? I hope you have a lot of fire extinguishers!
  7. feilb

    feilb Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I forgot to mention originally: very well done comparison.
  8. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Cool test, thanks for posting it.
  9. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    shoot raw expose correct or to the right if you can better to pull back then push up :)

    use Capture one over LR and you will get a much nicer image :)
  10. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Real Name:
    Tuan Huynh
    The most noticeable difference between ISO vs Pushing is the color of the wood. Pushing the exposure washes out the color of the wood surface.
  11. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I see that. But the difference between those two pics is barely noticeable. This was good to know.