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w2010no

Leica Q highlights area blown

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I have Leica Q over one month, I noticed it gets good dynamic ranger in shadow area, but the highlights area are really blown and can not be recovered in Lightroom. This side is not as good as RX1 I had. Hope Leica can fix this at next firmware update later.

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I personally don't find this to be the case. In fact I tend to expose a little to the right as I find highlight recovery to be very good and shadow recovery can sometimes suffer from banding if too underexposed. I presume you are talking about the DNG files

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Guest jvansmit

My experience is the opposite...the Q holds highlights very well, and metering is very accurate. It's one of the features that I really like about the camera, and I much prefer the files over the RX1.

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I don't have a Q, nor an RX1, but I know one thing. A firmware update cannot  replace correct exposure.

Blown highlights are always pilot error.

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I prefer spot metering, or failing that, an external light meter, preferably incident. Bracketing is too much of spray and pray for my taste. It comes from shooting slides for most of my life, which have about zero exposure latitude and are expensive to waste.

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Having owned the RX1 and now owning the Q, I can say that it has one of the best highlight recoveries I have seen and this seems to be born out in various reviews made by others.

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Guest jvansmit

Having owned the RX1 and now owning the Q, I can say that it has one of the best highlight recoveries I have seen and this seems to be born out in various reviews made by others.

 

My experience as well...I think the Q has the best metering & highlight recovery that I've ever experienced. If Leica can carry this through to the next M then I'll be delighted.

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It's funny some cameras recover the shadows better than the highlights. For example, shooting RAW, the A7 highlights will come back decently, but with the M9 you really must watch it. On the other hand, the M9 shadows will come right back from the dead with only modest noise increase compared to the Sony shadows.

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Yes, i always shoot pics in DNG raw. Many pics that shot under sunny day the highlights can not be recovered in Lightroom, I had rx1 before, it may do better for recovery of it, not 100% white as Q. Maybe rx1 gets HDR setup in camera. I read some reviews of Q, they talk also about the highlights is blown in background.

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Couple of samples would be nice. May be those photos would lead to solution that helps you and your photography.

I read a really good review of Q from a Danish photographer. He said do not use center-weighted metering (which I am using now), or highlights will be very blown. He just use Multi-field metering, most of pics do not has blown highlights.

Edited by w2010no

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I agree that some more info on your shooting setup and PP workflow might help as I really am not having any problems in this area. Also check your compensation is set to zero as it is easy to forget this if you have ever moved it as annoyingly the Q doesn't really give any warning when this is the case (hopefully they might show the compensation scale in red on a firmware update) this has happened to me more than once!!

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A firmware update cannot  replace correct exposure.

Blown highlights are always pilot error.

 

A firmware update can certainly fix auto-exposure, if there is something wrong with the algorithm.

A good firmware would also allow enabling zebra-pattern on blown highlights, before and after the shot is taken.

Edited by CheshireCat

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Yes - but the problem here is that centre-weighed metering is being used incorrectly.

Obviously the corrections needed in high-contrast situations escape the OP.

 

Given all other responses there appears to be nothing wrong with the algorithm.

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http://www.gizmag.com/leica-q-review-sample-shots/38009/

In this review said:"At lower ISO, you're best off exposing to save your highlights. The Q sensor gives you a lot of latitude to pull detail and color out of shadow areas in post processing, but blown highlights don't fare as well."

 

And talked about it with Photographer Ming Thein and he mean: "All cameras are not recoverable once blown; there is no substitute for proper exposure discipline. The difference is in whether sufficient information is retained in one of the channels to make a visually passable interpolation or not."

 

"The 

 center-weighted metering is useful with manual focusing ont he Leica M, but with Auto Focus it doesn't work that well. That's my experience. It's all good for mixed scenery, but shooting a scene with lots of bright snow around a person skiing, or a portrait with bright buildings behind, this type of metering simply can't comprehend such a scenery that is not even lighted in middle-gray tones. Group photos in grey weather or with the sun coming from behind it can do."

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Well this is basically true of all digital cameras, if you really blow the highlights of course they are gone and this is the reason why one needs to be aware of the issue. After a while I get to know the highlight exposure limits of my cameras be it a Sony, leica or whatever. Personally I think the Q has a very good latitude you just need to get your exposures right. 

Anyway all the gizmo review does is actually reiterate what I said earlier is that you're best off exposing for the highlights then you will have all the benefits of this cameras wonderful DR. 

Ming Thein is only saying that you need to get your exposure right in first place and with the Q this is allowing for the highlights.

Edited by viramati

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Indeed; and when one uses centre-weighed metering the meter will average a fairly large area; this means one must compensate for smaller extra light or extra dark spots in the image, this is where the photographer's judgement comes in, the camera cannot help you.

I do not know the measuring area of the Q, the M8/9/240 are relatively strongly centre-weighed (the film Ms come close to spot metering) It may well be that the Q is more biased to integral.

Whether a highlight is specular and can blown or needs to hold detail is another judgement call that cannot be left to automation.

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Whether a highlight is specular and can blown or needs to hold detail is another judgement call that cannot be left to automation.

 

Indeed, but if the camera does not clearly show blown pixels in the viewfinder, then this judgment call cannot be left to a human either 

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