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anrando

Exposure Preview Issues

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Hello,

 

I am new to this forum, and have a question regarding my experience with the Q.

 

I have observed the following issues and am seeking advice about whether this is a firmware issue or I have a defective camera.  Has anyone else notice these issues?

 

Camera is a 2016 build with current firmware.

 

1:  When the thumb button is set to AEL the exposure preview does not function.

 

2:  When ISO is set to AUTO with ISO and shutter speed limitations set under "Auto ISO" settings, exposure preview does not function in aperture priority or full automatic modes.

 

The exposure preview does not change from the pre-preview view on the EVF / LCD. The optimum obtainable exposure using the total range of the camera is always displayed and the limitations set are totally disregarded .  It seems that the algorithm used to calculate the exposure to show in the preview is ignoring the set limitations.  The actual exposure however does apply those restrictions resulting in greatly under exposed photos in low light situations.

 

The correct exposure preview is seen in full Manual Mode and Shutter Speed Priority Mode even when ISO is set to AUTO, and limitations to ISO and Shutter Speed are set.

 

This could indicate a software issue, BUT from a hardware point of view, it could be said that exposure preview does not function when the Shutter Speed dial is set to "A", which could indicate a hardware issue.

 

This behavior can only be observed in low light situations where the required exposure is outside of the limitations set.  I never noticed it during good light situations, as the optimal exposure shown by the viewer can be obtained within the parameters set so no difference in the photo and view is noticed. I only became aware of it when I noticed a string of grossly under exposed images taken indoor under poor light conditions.

 

3:  Exposure compensations applied are NOT shown in the preview when the shutter is depressed. They show in the pre-exposure view, but when the shutter is depressed the preview goes back to the optimal exposure determined by the camera.

 

Reset has been tried a few times with no effect.

 

 

Thanks for any input,

William Unland

Edited by anrando

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I don't know for the other details, but I do use the thumb for AE-L and the screen does updates with exposure locked.

Indeed my way of doing is

- set exposure to central point only

- aim at the part of the scene I want the exposure to be correct, press thumb, get AE-L

- correct my aiming, which clearly shows the exposure I want is maintained, even if the central scene is now very brilliant for instance

- shot

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If you set limit for ISO - min. shutter speed and exposure is under that limit Q will underexpose an image... without warning about wrong exposure...

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If you set limit for ISO - min. shutter speed and exposure is under that limit Q will underexpose an image... without warning about wrong exposure...

That is exactly correct. I observed this recently when photographing in a museum under low light conditions. My take is you can set limitations that the camera cannot exceed and that guarantees the exposure will be under. The lens can only open to f/1.7. If you set a minimum shuuter speed and a maximum ISO, the bounds what scenes it will correctly expose. The camera is operating exactly as designed. I raised the maximum ISO and it operated perfectly.

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I don't know for the other details, but I do use the thumb for AE-L and the screen does updates with exposure locked.

Indeed my way of doing is

- set exposure to central point only

- aim at the part of the scene I want the exposure to be correct, press thumb, get AE-L

- correct my aiming, which clearly shows the exposure I want is maintained, even if the central scene is now very brilliant for instance

- shot

 

Thank you for your response.  If I have the thumb button set to AEL the exposure preview will ONLY work if I press and hold the thumb button.  Exposure preview is otherwise disabled in all modes when the shutter is half pressed without the AEL engaged.

 

It does seem that the firmware has some very strange quirks.

 

regards,

William Unland

Edited by anrando

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That is exactly correct. I observed this recently when photographing in a museum under low light conditions. My take is you can set limitations that the camera cannot exceed and that guarantees the exposure will be under. The lens can only open to f/1.7. If you set a minimum shuuter speed and a maximum ISO, the bounds what scenes it will correctly expose. The camera is operating exactly as designed. I raised the maximum ISO and it operated perfectly.

The problem is that the camera does not warn you of the under exposure as the preview does not reflect the set limitations but rather the "wide open" maximum obtainable by the camera.  It does NOT preview the exposure that will actually be made.  Nor does it reflect the under exposure on the scale at the bottom of the view.  If this is the way this camera is suppossed to work it is a poor design.

 

 Of course raising the auto ISO limitations to meet the requirements of the light conditions will stop the under exposure, but that defeats the purpose of having the limitations does it not.  I want to limit noise so I limit the ISO, and due to old folks hand shake I have to keep the shutter speed at something above 1/125.  If the preview showed the under exposure manual ajustments could be made.  As it is, you think you are taking a usable image but end up with a black frame.

 

I am somewhat relieved to hear that this seems to be a firmware issue rather than a malfunction, but that said the firmware certainly seems "quirky" to say the least.  Coming from a manual film camera background it is easy enough for me to use manual mode, but that defeats the advantages of the "automatic" functions of the camera.

 

Under "normal" light conditions this is a non issue as the required exposure will fall within the limitations set, but it seems really odd to me that the software controlling the camera does not calculate the exposure preview to include the limitations set, but assumes you are using all of the camera's available ISO, shutter, and aperture capabilities and displays the best available image as the preview, not the actual exposure.

 

Clearly a firmware failing if others reproduce the same problem.

 

regards,

William Unland

Edited by anrando

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If you set limit for ISO - min. shutter speed and exposure is under that limit Q will underexpose an image... without warning about wrong exposure...

 

Exactly correct....no warning at all.

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William,

 

welcome to the forum and congratulations to your new camera.

 

If you want to shoot in low light I recommend to choose Auto ISO. Then you should think about the lowest speed which will provide sharp pictures. Then you can set your f-stop. With the wideangle lens you get sharp pictures at 2.8 or 4. Ususally this is enough for architecture etc. I customized the FN button so that I can push the exposure comfortably. This can all be seen on the screen, so I wonder what your problem is.

AF will still work in low light very well. If not you can set the focus manually with focus peaking. This is a quick and successful way to get good exposures. You can rely on a noisefree picture up to 6000 ISO or even more if the situation is not too bad. The rest of noise can be easily handled with software reduction.

 

If your settings were like you described then of course too many limitations will cause problems as the other forum members already told. And they are right.

 

Good luck with your experiments!

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I appreciate the responses.  They have confirmed to me that the issues that I have listed above are indeed firmware issues that I feel that Leica needs to address.  I feared that the camera was defective, but that does not appear to be the case.  I am a bit surprised by the software limitations.  The auto ISO controls are an excellent idea.  I have a Sony RX1 and it does NOT allow such control over the system.  Unfortunately it seems that this feature was "tacked on" by whomever wrote the software for Leica without considering the exposure preview when auto ISO limitations were set.

 

It also seems that the software assumes that if you select the thumb button as AEL that you will ALWAYS use AEL and consequently links the exposure preview to that function and disconnects it under all other modes of operation.  Very strange decision indeed.

 

As far as my problem with exposure compensation settings not being seen in the exposure preview, but rather in the live view, I must assume that this is also a software "quirk".

 

As others have suggested there are indeed "work arounds" for these issues.  That said at this price range I would rather not be put in the position of having to use "work arounds", nor of memorizing all of the quirks to make certain that I don't mistakenly assume the camera is doing what it seems to be doing when in fact it is not.  This camera is definitely NOT " WYSIWYG" as far as the exposure preview function is concerned in low light conditions.

 

At least my $125 Minolta SRT 101 that I started taking photos with 50 years ago always "stopped down" every time I pressed the lever.  That can not be said of the Leica Q at this point.  Luckily the limitations are limited to extreme low light situations so they are probably not even noticeable to most users, AND the problems (in my opinion they are problems) can be corrected by firmware if Leica chooses to do so.

 

Regards,

William Unland

Edited by anrando

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Hello,

 

Leica has confirmed that my observations regarding the firmware and the exposure preview were reproducible by them at their technical center.

 

They indicated that the issues will be considered for inclusion in a future firmware update.

 

Also of interest to many here, they indicated that the next firmware update will be issued in July of this year.

 

Regards,

W.Unland

Edited by anrando

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Hi, an interesting post, and series of responses. Your observations have also been quietly bothering me since I purchased my camera in January, so it's reassuring to know it wasn't just me! And thanks for the tip on a possible firmware update date of July - I think there are quite a few users of the Q with high hopes for numerous 'fixes'. 

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Unfortunately the issues that I pointed out to Leica will not be included in the upcoming update.  Their mail indicated that there was no time as the firmware had already been finalized.  The technician indicated that the preview issues would be "considered" for the following update.  I am surprised that nobody else seems to have noticed the problems I found, or at least did not contact Leica about them.  The Leica technical guy was very accommodating and seemed quite interested in receiving user feed back.

 

Regards,

William Unland

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If a camera was totally without compromise, it certainly wouldn't say "Leica" on it LOL

 

The Q has some quirks, and some of them do seem like they should be easy to fix with a few lines of code (like how about allowing the Fn button to select AF mode, something I use WAY MORE than the need to adjust WB (meaningless since I shoot DNG anyways), but I've found with Leica's there are likely always going to be little things like that. They stand out because other aspects of the camera are so perfect.

 

I've grown to feel that I can either let them annoy me, or simply think of them as a bit of the camera's character, and something that probably never will change.

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