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SL3 Exposure Preview Issue Firmware Request


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Hey Leica SL/Q Users! Can you join me in asking for a firmware request!

I'm a commercial advertising photographer of over 15 years and been a Leica M user since my college days. I've recently switched over to the SL system and have never experienced this issue with any other digital camera system (Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Sony)

SETTINGS: Manual ISO, Shutter, Aperture

P-A-S-M on for exposure preview

If exposure meter is not in the middle, when half pressing for focus the preview will darken or lighten the screen in both AF-S and AF-C modes.

This is very distracting especially in backlit situations and it makes the very difficult to see your subject clearly.

If you are in Auto ISO, A or S modes it will not do this.

You can message them using the Leica app or try: app-feature@leicacamera.com.

I'd really appreciate if many folks did this, as i love this system but this has been a major point of frustration for me and for others!

Here is a video clip of the issue: 

 

 

s! Can you join me in asking for a firmware request! I'm a commercial advertising photographer of over 15 years and been a Leica M user since my college days. I've recently switched over to the SL system and have never experienced this issue with any other digital camera system (Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Sony) SETTINGS: Manual ISO, Shutter, Aperture P-A-S-M on for expos preview If exposure meter is not on in the middle, when half pressing for focus the preview will darken or lighten the screen in both AF-S and AF-C modes. This is very distracting especially in backlit situations and it makes the very difficult to see your subject clearly. You can message them using the Leica app or try: app-feature@leicacamera.com

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The camera shows exactly what you have selected:  selected ISO, selected aperture, and/ or selected exposure time. If you dial in an under or over exposure then of course the preview will show you the result of your choice: darker or lighter. There is no issue to address here. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jean-Michel - The issue is when focus is pressed. Even when the SL3 is in the other modes it will not do this, just only in full manual and with AF. For AF-C and tracking you can't even see your subject in a backlit situation. No other professional camera system does this.

Edited by Steve Babuljak
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15 minutes ago, Steve Babuljak said:

Hi Jean-Michel - The issue is when focus is pressed. Even when the SL3 is in the other modes it will not do this, just only in full manual and with AF. For AF-C and tracking you can't even see your subject in a backlit situation. No other professional camera system does this.

Steve. Is this what you are experiencing?

 

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Not sure what that person was experiencing. If you watch my video you can see the issue. I've asked Leica about it and they say this is how the camera should operate but I'd like to see that change. I'm kinda assuming most users don't shoot in full manual so it is not some thing that many experience.

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I don't know about the OP's settings, but those are my settings. I shoot Manual mode 100% with Highlight-weighted metering. I think what we are trying to achieve is a way to disable the ever adjusting EVF so it looks like what my eyes are seeing. To me, my exposure preview is taking a picture and review if it looks close to my intended exposure.

Apologies to Steve if this is not what he is writing about.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jonathan Levin said:

I don't know about the OP's settings, but those are my settings. I shoot Manual mode 100% with Highlight-weighted metering. I think what we are trying to achieve is a way to disable the ever adjusting EVF so it looks like what my eyes are seeing. To me, my exposure preview is taking a picture and review if it looks close to my intended exposure.

Apologies to Steve if this is not what he is writing about.

Easy to do. See the post just above: set your viewing to PAS, this disables the exposure preview; typically you would use this when working with strobes in a studio. With PAS the resulting exposure will be as you set it, either manually or A or S mode, but you will not see the image as exposed. That is what you get when using a Leica M for example, or any SLR or dSLR as none can show you the ‘exposed’ image before you actually press the shutter.

In a mirrorless camera you have the luxury of effectively seeing the exposed image: PASM gives you a constant view of the resulting exposure given the ISO, aperture and exposure time. If you want to see the effect of any exposure compensation you need to use PASM. 

The focus style, manual or any of the autofocus modes has zero effect on the exposure. 

Edited by Jean-Michel
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P-A-S won't work for me. My viewfinder would be changing constantly and when in back lit situations ,which I am in often, the viewfinder would go dark as it would be "seeing" all the light from behind the subject especially if the subject was to the side. 

I appreciate everyone's suggestions but every other professional mirrorless camera can do what I'm talking about. I shot film SLRs, rangefinders, DSLRs for year. but now we have a digital viewfinder with exposure preview and it should be able to achieve focus without changing the preview (which is does just fine with auto ISO or in A and S modes.) 

I would suggestion one try this. Place your SL, SL2, SL3, Q2, Q3  in Manual, Manual ISO, AF-C,  place a subject in front of a bright window and hold down the shutter half way and track them, you will not be able to see their face well. I'd rather have a DSLR for at least the viewfinder would not be changing brightness while I am shoot. 

@Jean-Michel i understand the focus mode doesn't effect the actual image, the issue is that the camera changes the preview while it is focusing. There is no reason for it to do this and while not only is it distracting you can't see your subject's face in AF-C well. I think now that the SL3 has actual usable tracking more will notice this. In the past the other SL/Q2 cameras did not track well so AF-C wasn't a good option. 

 

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8 hours ago, Jonathan Levin said:

I don't know about the OP's settings, but those are my settings. I shoot Manual mode 100% with Highlight-weighted metering. I think what we are trying to achieve is a way to disable the ever adjusting EVF so it looks like what my eyes are seeing. To me, my exposure preview is taking a picture and review if it looks close to my intended exposure.

Apologies to Steve if this is not what he is writing about.

@Jonathan Levin i think i get what you ate talking about but my issue is just when the camera is engaged in autofocusing if the meter is not right in the middle the preview will lighten or darken when you focus.

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OK. The camera needs the exposure to be at a set point for AF to engage accurately. What you're seeing is the camera setting the sensor to exposure comp=0 while focus is engaged. Different brands do this differently. Some systems require the system lens to be fully open. Some stop down to a predetermined aperture (f8 usually). Other use gain in the sensor to have the camera at where it needs for accurate AF. This is what the SL's do.

I am not aware this behaviour can be modified.

Gordon

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I've watched your video a few times. Looks like you have the right dial set to adjust shutter speed. I was looking to see that at least the dial did something. This is indeed a variant of my issue and that would drive me crazy too.

To me this looks like a variation of the function button on front of camera (the lower button on my set up) which puts the camera in exposure review mode. You have to press again to get out of that. But there is normally a red symbol by the lower bar in viewfinder/lcd when it is activated. Obviously yours does not show that. Weird.

I know it's a PITA, but have you tried to do a complete camera reset? Export your custom settings to CFe first (if you have those). Then after restart and in default mode see if things are behaving better? I would then re-load your settings, power cycle camera power on/off and see if this issue happens again. Let us know. Jonathan

 

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@Jonathan Levin The camera is operating as designed. I’ve experienced this in other SL3s, Q2, and the Q3. 
 

@FlashGordonPhotography the thing is when you are in auto ISO, Aperture or Shutter priority and use exposure compensation dialed in it doesn’t need to change the preview to gain focus. The preview stays the same. It is just in full manual that it does this and I have to imagine this can be changed so I was hoping to get other user to request a firmware update for this. 
 

I shot a commercial ad campaign today. Shot 2000+ images and seeing my screen change constantly while focusing is so distracting. I’m committed to the system as I love the files I get but man, this tech is years behind the other professional systems. 
 

@TwentyEighthParallel thank you! Finally someone who sees how this is not something that should be happening!

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I think the root cause of the problem is that the camera does not know what the subject is and is trying to expose for the overall scene rather than the subject.  With a backlighted subject this can be a real challenge. I did an experiment with my SL2 using the settings described in the original post.  Subject was a statuette in front of a window with a daylight background.  I made the assumption that the OP's camera was set to matrix metering and got the same results as the OP when the shutter was half-pressed.  Then I shifted to spot metering which informs the camera that exposure should be set for the element under the focus point and got a very different result.  If anything, the subject brightened slightly with a half press of the shutter.

I find spot metering very useful.  Recently I shot an informal wedding with the 24-90 and found the camera would not reliably gain focus at the f4.0 90mm end. Apparently, the background was just bright enough that exposure of the scene was slightly too low for the AF system at f4.0.  I went to spot metering since I was focusing on faces, and all was well.

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30 minutes ago, Luke_Miller said:

I did a similar test but with a non-backlit subject and my live image on the rear monitor also brightened up slightly with a half-press. SL2-S with matrix metering. I didn’t try any of the other metering modes.  But the live image before half-pressing matched the final image. 

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Allow me to recap my previous post for clarity.

The Leica SL series cameras appear to autofocus on the data feed to the EVF/LCD and the designers appear to have made the following assumptions:

a) the metering system will always provide an image that will allow accurate autofocus

b) the user settings in manual exposure mode my not provide an image that will allow accurate autofocus

Thus, when in manual exposure mode the camera will momentarily shift out of Exposure Preview and use the metering system to create an image that will allow accurate autofocus.  This works well if the user has selected a metering mode appropriate to the image.  Otherwise, there is a distracting change to the image in the EVF and the manual settings that may have corrected the exposure for the subject are discarded during autofocus.

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What Luke wrote makes sense. Out of curiosity I did this:

Put the camera to Manual focus, Manual aperture and shutter, non-auto ISO. Doing so, there was no momentary change in the viewer brightness. That would indicate that Luke’s thought is correct. 

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@Luke_Miller Hi Luke - Thanks for trying out my issue. I bounce between all the metering modes to try to work around this and it does help. Spot metering is generally better until you have a darker subject, then it will attempt to overexpose the subject. The curious thing is that if one is in auto ISO and you use exposure compensation to overcome a backlit scene the preview will not change when half pressing to auto focus so the camera can accomplish this. 

All other pro systems do not do this so this is why I'm asking users to make the request. The changing preview doesn't add any benefit so why not remove this function?

 

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