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Still concerned about my E-P3 (or what am I doing wrong)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Gusnyc, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Gusnyc

    Gusnyc Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    New York
    Hi again,

    I am still worried about the way my E-P3 is measuring light. I took these pictures in a beautiful blue-sky day. Only one came out with some color in the sky. In the rest of the pictures the sky looks almost white.

    I've been using the digital ESP metering. If I choose center weighted, the highlights become just white surfaces.

    My E-PL1 is much more balanced to measure the shadows and highlights. In the E-P3, white surfaces tend to loose all the detail.

    Am I doing something wrong?. A few years ago I had a Sanyo camera which started to burn the highlights. A repair was needed at that time. I don't want to send the E-P3 to repair if I am doing something in the wrong way.

    Thanks (again) for your comments and help.

    PS, The pictures are from Battery Park City, in NYC. I was taking some pictures of the "before Irene". Now we have been evacuated. I will come back to take the pics of the "after Irene" as soon as I can.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  2. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    What picture mode are you in? I mostly shoot 'natural'. I also keep it mostly on Auto iso, not letting it go above 1000.

    Just went out and shot a pic of a dirt road, trees and bright blue sky with clouds. One at 14mm and one at 42 where I made sure and metered the sky more than the darker trees and road. Sky was as blue as blue can be.

    Took the same shot after having prefocussed and locked exposure on the trees. Sky was blown to pure white. Using the highlight/shadow display on the back screen the whole sky was flashing orange.

    Try this with your camera. Make sure you are metering the brighter part of the scene and see if you don't get blue skies. You need to restrict the metering to center weighted average or spot.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Hi Gus,

    Get yourself a polarizing filter and use the "graduated filter" pull down in Lightroom (click on exposure) and presto- it's fixed.

    I get the same with my EP-2, and simply fix it.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. fezza56

    fezza56 New to Mu-43

    Jul 6, 2011
    Is the E-PL1 lurking, waiting to outshine on a level that people do not expect on a price/perfomance ratio that people ignore when new tech arrives?
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Not owning an E-P3, I can't comment on how it chooses to meter a scene and if the metering choices are different to previous models. Your examples give the impression that, if spot metering was not selected, then the metering is very heavily centre-weighted. Some of the examples would be difficult scenes for a camera to meter regardless, but if you're noticing a distinct difference between your E-PL1 and E-P3 you'd assume that there is a difference under the skin in how the two cameras meter. I don't really have an answer for you, sorry. Centre-weighted metering is the method I've used on all my cameras including m4/3 for the same kind of scenic-style photography.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I've run into similar issues with the E-PL1 when the conditions are difficult. I was thinking about this the other day, and looked at the blue sky with a critical eye, and thought, "it actually is almost white", because of the moisture haze in the air.

    A few examples are in this other thread.

    Try shooting paired shots with each camera and do a side by side so see just how real the differences are.
  7. Toonman

    Toonman Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2010
    If you are using centre weighted the chances are it is metering for the darker area of the scene and will likely overexpose the highlights.
  8. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    You could try resting the camera on a stable surface or a tripod and change between all of the metering modes and set the camera to a 2s delay to minimize any camera shake.

    That being said, scenes where you have a very bright sky and dark landscape will always be tough without a graduated ND filter. A polarizer should help a bit too. You can try spot metering for the sky and spot metering for the foliage, comparing the settings and then deciding how best to compromize in manual mode for the detail your after and adjust with post-processing to bring out shadows or darken the sky etc.

    For the 1st 3 images on the path next to the water, considering the scene predominately very bright (like a beach shot) I would meter for the brightness and thereby underexposing for the treescape and bring up the treescape in post-processing. OOC jpg without lens filters imo is impossible for those exact exposures - slight changes in composition may have helped a bit or waiting a couple of hours for different light would have helped.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I'm not sure how the E-PL1 would compare to the new E-P3 in these situations, but in high contrast shots most cameras would have a hard time exposing it correctly.

    • Try a ND filter or a polarizing filter
    • Try the AUTO gradation setting. On the E-P3, it lifts the shadows and protects the highlights.
      You must remember to turn this off when shooting low light and/or high ISO!
      As it lifts shadows, at high ISO you will get images with more noise than you can shake a stick at!
    • If you don't mind post-processing, expose for the sky, then lift the shadows in Lightroom/Aperture (this is effectively what AUTO gradation is doing in-camera)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. CityFox

    CityFox New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2011
    London E16
    Light direction and intensity

    Looking at the posted photos it is clear to me at least that the key difference between photos 1 and 2 is the direction of the light. If you look at the shadows photo 1 has the light at 45° behind the camera and photo 2 45° in front. Also blue sky is a lot darker than hazy sky especially with light behind the camera and therefore a lot easy to balance with the rest of the scene (less DR) hence the perfect exposure which is within the DR of the EP3. All the other shots seem to be shooting into hazy cloud ie very bright light, hence far more DR than the EP3 can cope with, so it will either have to choose an exposure more for the sky or the shadows not both.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    x2 CityFox's post, and would add that a polarizing filter helps minimize this difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, this. :) 

    Watch the direction of your shadows... you should have them going away from you and not towards you, otherwise your subjects will be in shadow and require extra exposure.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Gusnyc

    Gusnyc Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    New York
    Wow! Thank you very much for all of this wonderful suggestions.

    I will get the filters for my lenses and try again.

  14. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Polarizing Filter w/ EP2

    View attachment 175301
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    Gus center weighted generally works for me.

    For a blue sky more saturated in A mode use -0.7 EV or -1EV

    Alternatively try the "SPot Shadow" metering this exposes for the Sky

    Use the Super menu to get quick access

    Olympus use odd naming but yes Spot Shadow biases in favor of the Sky (or any highlights)
    Use Fill light to bring out shadows.
  16. Gusnyc

    Gusnyc Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    New York
    What kind of polarizer filter is that? Linear or circular?
  17. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    It's a circular polarizer.
  18. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    +3 for Cityfox.

    Gus, your washed out skies seems to appear when the scene is backlighted (to various degrees). When the scene is backlighted most of the elements in the frame are in shadow. When the camera opens up to correctly expose for the shadows, the sky (all the non-shadow areas) falls off the dynamic range and get blown out. Go back to the park, same time as before, and in one spot shoot in a full circle and see what happens to the sky.

    A photographer needs to look at the light coming from the source as well as the light being reflected off the subjects.


    PS- I hope it's not the camera.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. bmlsayshi

    bmlsayshi New to Mu-43

    Oct 31, 2011
    Thank you for this thread. I am having the EXACT same problems :( 

    I've tried a CPL and it doesn't seem to be helping, but I might have gotten a cheap / not good one. Can anyone recommend a decent CPL? Also a specific ND filter?

    It seems to me that the recommendations about the direction the light source is facing might be the problem, but I've never had to pay attention to that with my previous cameras to this degree.

    How much would a lens hood help in this situation? I would prefer to keep the camera slim but if I have to use one then I will.
  20. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    Realistically speaking, this is what you get when you shoot against the light.
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