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Old May 14, 2010, 6:59 AM   #1
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Default Blown highlights

I mentioned this to Tullio in a post. I have the 510 and I can't unless the lighting is perfect stop whites from overexposing. I'm not really sure what to do to help the situation other than take the shots at a slower shutter speed or ISO to purposely keep the shots underexposed and then do some PP to bring the lighting back up. Tullio didn't care for the 520 which eliminated some of the issue but lost sharpness. The head of this bird is a prime example of what I mean. Anything white in sunlight seems to have this issue. Does the 620 address both exposure and sharpness issues associated with the 510 and 520 ?
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Old May 15, 2010, 8:14 AM   #2
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Not an easy subject

First thing is are you shooting raw of jpeg. If you blow highlights in jpeg, there is not alot that can be done. Raw may give you a fighting chance.

Second, Yes I tend to underexpose and bring the shadows up in post processing with the E-3. It just works alot better than loosing highlight detail (which I do all the time BTW). My normal exposure bias is -.3 for general. I'll shoot -.6 if the subject has a large area of unbroken white in an area that it is brightly illuminated. My objective is to keep it recoverable in post.

Third is you have the spot, center weighted, and ESP choices for metering. I use center weighted alot with telephoto lenses. In other words, I worry more about the subject than the surroundings. If you need to introduce noise in the dark areas off subject by brightening in post, it may still be a decent photo. The same is more troublesome with wider lenses as your likely to blow the entire sky. I tend to use ESP in many of those situations, or I choose a point and lock exposure to it with spot metering. There are worse choices than the blue sky for choices of what to meter on.

Fourth, there are methods that help expand DR. Zig was working with HDR where multiple exposures at various exposure times are assembled together. You can also take a single exposure and save multiple copies that are adjusted in post processing. One copy brightened by a stop, one decreased by a stop, and the original. You assemble them back in something like photoshop using layers to brighten the dark and toning down the brighter areas. Ive seen some good work done with this, but its too much hassel for me.

Up to number 5???
I have never used the E510, but the understanding I got from those that were succesful with this issue was to lower the contrast, sharpening, and saturation and the DR issue improved.

And last, there are times that the light is better, and other times when it sucks. When its good, grab the camera and fire away. Those times can be magical and you may have several favorite photos within a short period of time. When its bad. go fishing or something.

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Old May 15, 2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for your response Greg. I have the contrast and sharpness at -2 but the saturation at 0. I may drop that to -2 as well. I don't use RAW as I just take to many pictures and have enough trouble playing around with them : )
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Old May 15, 2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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Lowering saturation will make things worse. I've done plenty of tests with various settings when I had the E510 and I noticed that low contrast improves DR but not low saturation. In fact, it was the opposite. I have a pool with slide going into it. The slide is blue but because its old, the color has faded and it is now very light blue. When I reduced the saturation and took a picture of it, most areas were over exposed. But, when I increased the saturation to its max, then only a very small area of the slide was over exposed. The majority of the slide was light blue. So, by increasing the saturation, the camera was able to detect the light blue color of the slide rather than treating it as white. Thus, the DR was improved. This test proved to me that reducing the saturation does not improve DR, on the contrary. I used Natural with Sat +2 on my E510.

From what I've read, the E620 is a much better camera than the E5nn. It has a better DR and produces sharper images. So, it may be worth considering an upgrade. As I mentioned initially, the E510 is a nice camera and images are good right out of the camera. But, it is very aggravating as well because of its limited DR.
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Old May 15, 2010, 1:25 PM   #5
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I always liked the E520 better than the E510. Sharpness was fine if you used +2. Unlike the E510, the E520's metering and noise filter worked like it's supposed to.

First post via iPhone. I'm at the track makin' my bets right now. It's nice & muddy so should be a great day for picture taking!

And nope, no bets on the Preakness!
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Old May 15, 2010, 10:56 PM   #6
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Hi Eric: In my experience the E-520 does a good job, but I didn't think so when I first used it. It has such a wide variety of program options, and the factory defaults are not always the best for shooting Great Blue Herons like your sample photo.

The great blue is an interesting bird, but with the dark blues, the bright white, and the grays, it takes experimenting to get the best balance. Fortunately, with 3 different heron families with nests behind my house, I get to practice on them a lot.

When using the 520 body, I prefer Vivid, Contrast +1, Sharp +1 or +2. Do not use the High or Low gradation, instead use Normal or Auto gradation. And for the heron, I always use the center focus only, spot meter and measure on the heron's eye. I think the 520 does a better job on high contract then the 510, but not at the default setting. And, as mentioned by Tullio higher saturation is usually better.

So keep experimenting.
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Old May 16, 2010, 12:44 AM   #7
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There is no doubt that the E520 has a better DR. However, images are softer that the E510, a lot softer even with Sharpness set to +2. But, I like sharp images right out of the camera. I was never happy with the E520 and would prefer the E510 any time, even with its inability to handle highlights.
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Old May 16, 2010, 8:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
Lowering saturation will make things worse.
Thanks for the correction
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