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vikasmg

Default shoot at -2/3 compensation on an M8?

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You must keep in mind what you are metering off of. As Jamie mentioned, the M8 meter is center-weighted, so it only sees what's in the middle. The camera's meter is attempting to make whatever it sees go to 18% gray. So, if you shoot a black wall and trust the meter, you will get a gray wall. Same goes for white. For dark wood, deep green foliage, etc. the camera will tend to overexpose by about 2/3rds. If you use a handheld incident meter and use the reading in these situations the exposure would be spot on.

 

I very rarely use the exp comp in the menu. Generally, I'll just set the shutter speed manually, meter off of something brighter in the scene and recompose while keeping the shutter half-depressed, or in cases where depth-of-field isn't critical, stop down the aperture while pressing halfway on the shutter. They all work depending on the situation.

 

David

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Vikas,

 

Funny. I bought my M8 - in Singapore - back in 2007 - and compensate with 1/3.

 

Just as interesting; that house on your picture; I am interested in Malaysian architecture. From where is it?

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-2/3 for me, for [rarely] A mode, but usually M mode. Combined with histogram chimping.

 

....................................... Chris

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-2/3 for me, for [rarely] A mode, but usually M mode. Combined with histogram chimping.

 

....................................... Chris

 

...and remember if you shoot RAW the histo is showing you a JPEG output; you have probably + - a stop more in the highlights than the histo shows you in RAW (depends on ISO)

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Jamie, Now I am confused (not that I use jpg at all), do you mean that if you shoot DNG+jpg or only jpg the M8 overexposes by about one stop while if you shoot DNG only it overexposes by about 1/3-2/3 stop? Or is it just the histogram that turns out 'different' & the DNG's are the same? This is weird unless I completely misunderstand your message.

 

Anyways the systematic exposure compensation that seems to be the consensus means that this is worth upgrading in the next firmware release 160 => 200, 320 => 400, 640 =>800, 1250 => 1500, 2500 => 2000 asa. Then 99% of the (dwindling

) M8 population would be able to set exposure compenasation to 0 & forget about it completely.

 

Note: at 2500 the M8 needs overexposing I understand so that is why I proposed the downgrade. Other suggestions are welcome.

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I generally go with -2/3 too, because the M8 is more forgiving of under- rather than over-exposure (the lossy DNG compression scheme mostly affects the high values). All the same, I do some histogram-chimping, at least for the first few exposures.

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Jamie, Now I am confused (not that I use jpg at all), do you mean that if you shoot DNG+jpg or only jpg the M8 overexposes by about one stop while if you shoot DNG only it overexposes by about 1/3-2/3 stop? Or is it just the histogram that turns out 'different' & the DNG's are the same? This is weird unless I completely misunderstand your message.

 

Anyways the systematic exposure compensation that seems to be the consensus means that this is worth upgrading in the next firmware release 160 => 200, 320 => 400, 640 =>800, 1250 => 1500, 2500 => 2000 asa. Then 99% of the (dwindling

) M8 population would be able to set exposure compenasation to 0 & forget about it completely.

 

Note: at 2500 the M8 needs overexposing I understand so that is why I proposed the downgrade. Other suggestions are welcome.

 

Ok, so the following applies to all digital cameras that I know about. Not just the M8.

 

Your histogram, regardless of what you're shooting, RAW or JPEG, is only showing you exposure based on a JPEG interpretation of the exposure (the thumbnail, usually, that gets created for the preview).

 

So when you shoot RAW and judge overexposure by the histo only, you're doing yourself a disservice and underexposing the shot (gee--all these folks dialled into -1/3 EV!!).

 

The RAW file has at least another third stop of highlight information and at lower ISOs even more, in my experience a full stop or more.

 

So if you chimp the histo a lot, and don't pay attention to proper exposure techniques (like placing your highlight zones above the meter) then you will never see what the camera is capable of producing, especially at higher ISOs, where you need *proper exposure* (not OE--but under exposing is extra dumb there

).

 

In RAW, learn to point the meter at the highest significant highlight and push the exposure into the "OE warning" but barely. You are placing the highlight detail in or around the limit of detail, and the rest of the file falls where it will fall. If your subject is still too dark then you can choose to blow highlights more or add light to the shadows (flash or reflector). Speculars or unimportant lights will get blown.. but that's what you should be shooting for anyway.

 

Make sense? The histogram is unrelated to the actual RAW exposure, so it's only a really rought guide.

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An interesting experiment: In menu set the histogram to RGB with Clipping.Shoot some shots with overexposed highlights. Play one back and press info. Now press the arrow button and the next shot will appear in the info thumbnail. The red area in that small thumbnail, which indicates the clipped highlights, will suddenly get bigger (takes about half a second) What you see here is the difference between highlights that are really clipped in RAW (the first area) and the highlights that appear to be clipped in Jpeg (the expanded clipping indication).

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In RAW, learn to point the meter at the highest significant highlight and push the exposure into the "OE warning" but barely. You are placing the highlight detail in or around the limit of detail, and the rest of the file falls where it will fall.

 

at last, someone who understands that the principles of zone system are still valid with digital

 

Sometimes people wonder why I take two measurements before a shot (one for dark and one for highlights).

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at last, someone who understands that the principles of zone system are still valid with digital

 

Sometimes people wonder why I take two measurements before a shot (one for dark and one for highlights).

 

Its usually those who "know" better and correct later.

 

Sorry, that was not fair. More like they are not familiar with the principles rather.

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Just to add also what I've experienced with the M8 so far.

Well, I usually shoot in manual mode underexposing, more or less, 2/3.

I don't trust the M8 auto capability...

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Just to add also what I've experienced with the M8 so far.

Well, I usually shoot in manual mode underexposing, more or less, 2/3.

I don't trust the M8 auto capability...

 

Trust of anything or anybody is one of my big issues in life but I do trust the meter in the M8 when I do my part.

If i'm lax I get lax results if I'm diligent I get good results. Same with everything, not only the A mode in the M8.

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at last, someone who understands that the principles of zone system are still valid with digital

 

Sometimes people wonder why I take two measurements before a shot (one for dark and one for highlights).

One of the learning benefits of shooting JPEG is that measuring the exposure range and adjusting the contrast setting (the often forgoten control) will help nail the actual exposure and avoid PP problems. Once learned, it can be carried over to RAW and have finer control. When I was trying to find the connection between the Zone System and digital, it dawned on me that the contrast adjustment is what we were doing with N+1, N+2 etc development and that we were capturing and developing in one step, with JPEG. I also suddenly remembered that the Zone System was all about the print, so I had to add my printer, paper and ink to the process. I will admit that this works best with cameras with good JPEG engines..

Bob

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I think the M8 meter the light perfect. I don't use the compensation. I prefer to choose where I meter the light and block it, depending on every picture and what I want. But I can change my way depending on the light conditions and what I am shooting, using the different possibilities of my camera.

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Me too, I was using 1/3-2/3 under.

Now, I don't know: I would like to stop using underexposure and nail the pic with camera's light meter. Still trying...

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at last, someone who understands that the principles of zone system are still valid with digital

 

Sometimes people wonder why I take two measurements before a shot (one for dark and one for highlights).

 

yes--in fact, digital makes the zone system easier to apply in some ways than film, and it's perhaps even more crucial, since digital typically has a lower exposure latitude than film (especially in the upper midtones and highlights).

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I found the same thing. When setting the camera to -2/3EV the shots looked OK on the camera LCD but were dark on my monitor and in print which match each other very closely.

 

Maybe I should try and calibrate my printer and monitor - my images look fine on the monitor but a bit dark on a printer. Printer calibration just takes so long though. Photography is not my day job - not good enough for that :-) - so time spent on it is short and precious!

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Remember, as people have mentioned, you need *more exposure* in higher ISO situations to get lower noise, so I wouldn't be dialling in minus anything shooting 640 or higher.

 

Hadn't thought of that. Interesting. I don't shoot at 640 or higher much but I should try that when I do next. Might get a marginal improvement in quality!

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