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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:57 pm 
There's something really confusing me so I hope this is going to make sense!

I'm getting my D80 in a couple of days and I'm getting a bit anxious about the exposure compensation that so many people seem to have to make in matrix metering mode. I'm sure I'll get used to my own D80 and making the necessary adjustments by looking at the histogram, but this is where I'm getting confused.

I'm planning on only shooting in Raw, but in this course I'm doing on color correction it says that most of the histograms produced on DSLRs are based on the information that would be contained in the equivalent Jpeg image. There was an example of an image where the highlights in the jpeg were completely blown out and the histogram correctly reflected that, but the Raw image was perfectly exposed in the highlights and the shadows so it was saying that if you used the histogram to judge the exposure in this example, it would have been a big mistake because you would have ended up totally under exposing it. Does that make sense?

So my question is, for people who shoot in Raw, do you use the histogram or does correct exposure become irrelevant in raw because you can fix it all in post processing?

Does that also mean that if I shoot in Raw, I don't have to worry about compensating for the D80's matrix metering?

Thanks for any feedback.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:09 pm 
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I only shoot in RAW but I don't really use the histograms. I tend to use the "highlight" view though. Having said that, what you're saying about the histogram only showing what the resultant jpeg will look like doesn't make sense. Surely the histogram is showing what the camera sees beforeany processing. Otherwise what's the point of it.

It is true that shooting in RAW will give you more latitude when it comes to pp but it would be a mistake to think it can fix everything. It can't. It's always best to get the very best exposure you can, then, if necessary, you can tweak it without damaging the original capture.

Zorro.

P.S. I don't really get this idea that a "correct" exposure exists. I always tend to err towards what some would call under-exposure. I just seem to prefer it that way. I think a lot of digital photographers get a bit carried away with this constant quest for exposure accuracy. I just get the image the way I want it. That's good enough for me.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:25 pm 
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I tend to glance over the histograms in camera. I also lean towards under exposure. I do that because you can always post process a RAW file to correct under exposure and recover some detail but once a photo is over exposed there is no way to recover blown highlights.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:07 pm 
I had another look at this section of the course and this is what it says. There's a subtitle: "Don't trust the in-cam histogram" and the bit underneath says "The in-cam histogram measures the results of jpeg-type presets applied to the Raw image, not the Raw data itself."

During the lesson the guy says that it's better to just rely on the preview image and in this case, if the image would have been shot to jpeg, the highlights would have been blown, but because it was shot to Raw, the exposure was fine.

So it would seem that the histogram doesn't reflect what the camera sees before processing, but after it. Pretty useless for me then, if I just want to shoot in Raw, I'll just have to rely on the preview instead.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:12 pm 
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I obviously need to do more research because I just don't believe that. I simply don't see the point in it. I'll get back about this.

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:26 pm 
I know, that's why I'm confused because I spent a lot of time learning about histograms and how to read them for all different situations etc and this is more or less saying that they're useless, or useless for shooting in Raw anyway.

Added note: I just found this on Adobe's website in a PDF document and it says, "Most cameras apply a fairly strong S-curve to the Raw data so that the Jpegs have a more film-like response, with the result that the on-camera histogram often tells you that your highlights are blown when, in fact, they aren't."


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:21 pm 
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I have the histograms on post-mortem analysis. So here's just my experience:
- If a single color looks blows out a little bit in the histogram, don't worry! That can easily be retrieved in RAW (if you like). But in most cases you don't even have to correct it. The D80 exposure is dead on.
- Should more than one color look seriously blown out, you should worry and try to correct the exposure. I NEVER had this case.

So even if the histograms are calculated by the respective jpeg processing it still tells you how the cam thinks it would expose this pic quite accurately. Just think of having another +1EV (and -1EV) reserve in your RAW.

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Last edited by Thomas on Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:45 pm 
Thanks Thomas, now I've been reading more I'm not so worried anymore. Like you say, Raw images have a kind of built in exposure bracketing so you can't go far wrong even with its quirky matrix metering.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:17 pm 
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Nobody should call the D80 matrix metering "quirky". It's as good as it can get! In my opinion and on my D80 it's almost always perfect. The additional + or - 1EV I eventually need to expose it to my liking I easily get from the RAW...
So shoot RAW at factory default (just adjust auto-ISO to your liking) and forget about exposure hassle on the D80 :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:17 pm 
Sounds good to me Thomas :D This time tomorrow I will be on my way to HK and very shortly I'll be joining your D80 fan club!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:36 pm 
I got many infos about exposure histogram from many sites

Just search for "exposure histogram" and the 2 first sites that appear are very helpfull. (in google)

just in case you miss them:
http://www.livingroom.org.au/photolog/t ... m_tips.php

http://photography.about.com/cs/digital/a/a030104.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:33 pm 
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I don't mean to be controversial but I'd certainly call the D80's meter "quirky". I take mainly landscapes and almost always get better results using CW metering. I haven't used any other dSLR and so maybe it's common to them all but it's certainly not that great for landscapes.

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:05 am 
Quirky how exactly?

I'm interested because in the months I've been using it, I've noticed that it does definitely have a tendency to overexpose the scene to make sure that any darker areas are exposed correctly. To me, this defeats the object of matrix metering and I usually have to dial in -0.3 EV comp.


Last edited by TelexStar on Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:31 am 
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Same here. Anywhere between 1/3 and 1 stop under is almost always required. I still wouldn't have any other camera though. I've got used to it now and work around it automatically. It's important though that people don't think it's going to do the work for them, it won't.

Having said that, I take landscapes and so your mileage may vary.

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:26 pm 
The D80's matrix metering is quirky. There, I've said it!


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