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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #16  
Old 30th January 2017
RovingMike RovingMike is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Well, I dunno. Hard to argue against someone with Graham's experience but here's my take...

- The shot is a little underexposed, but the snow on those mountains is getting cose to clipping (rawdigger reports the G2 channel at almost 3200 - clipping is at 3880). Maybe an extra half to one stop of extra exposure, but no more.

- I actually think the overall shot is OK. There is a little noise in the sky, but this is common on the 16Mp u43 sensors. It'll never show in a print but if you need it clean at 100% on screen then adding a little NR will help.

I'd personally be quite happy with the shot. If you feel strongly otherwise then I think it might be time to go and buy a Sony FF!

Just my 2c.
Yes I did explain to Graham, probably offline, that I was very much afraid of clipping the clouds, as they were such a part of the image. Also by far the worst areas are the darker ones, which is confusing. Really trying to use a camera I bought for street/urban for something I would never have chosen it for. But I have certainly now become aware that raw is not a panacea and you can't rescue everything in pp.
Thanks to all.
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  #17  
Old 30th January 2017
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
Expose to the right!

Why? Because half the data in a scene is in the brightest stop. This means that if you underexpose by just one stop, you've missed half the data. If you then PP the image and stretch the data to get a full range of tones, you risk introducing discontinuities in the tones which manifests itself as banding/posterisation.

Did I mention - expose to the right?

Jim
Whilst ETTR is a laudable aim (for reasons of improving the signal to noise ratio), I'm not totally convinced it's the right thing all the time for several reasons:

- If the DR of the scene is wide, there is a very real risk of blowing highlights. This is a MUCH WORSE problem than introducing a bit of noise if you need to lighten shadows.

- Modern cameras have pretty good S/N ratios - even u43 cameras - so the potential gain from ETTR is not always that large.

- ETTR only really makes sense at base ISO. At higher ISOs, you're reducing the DR (sensor DR reduces with increased ISO) and in any case, ETTR is much the same as shooting further left at a lower ISO (i.e. you're increasing exposure time which is much the same as shooting at a lower ISO and metering normally). With modern sensors (esp Fuji and Sony), they behave in an almost ISO-less fashion so it makes no difference. Even our u43 sensors are ISO-less to a few stops.

- ETTR (or more precisely the action of shifting the resulting image left with a tone curve) can result in histogram depopulation (or "combing"). This becomes more of a problem as the bit depth of the file reduces. Since u43 cameras are still in 12-bit world, this *might* cause a problem in some scenes.

IMHO, I tread cautiously with overexposure and am prepared to live with a little noise if necessary (which is what the manufacturers do with their metering strategy). At base ISO (or even better at extended low ISO), it has NEVER caused an issue in print and is only visible if I go pixel peeking at 100% on-screen. I try to avoid that.

At the end of the day, if uber-smooth, noise-free images at 100% viewing is what you're after then u43 is probably not the system for you.

EDIT: This idea that without ETTR you "lose half the data" is a myth. I could explain, but this article has it all:

https://photomorrobay.wordpress.com/...nder-exposure/
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  #18  
Old 30th January 2017
Clockwork Donkey Clockwork Donkey is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

As a landscape photographer having just moved to m43 from Canon full frame, I am still getting to grips with the needs and requirements of the camera. I say this advisedly as in my case, having gone through many cameras over the years, I invariably find that the standard of my images deteriorates to a greater or lesser extent when first using a new model. When I first bought a Canon 7D (which I used for birds in flight and sports), I very nearly threw it in the skip three months afterwards as I was so disappointed with he image quality. Then I found a number of articles written by greater snappers than I who had similar issues initially. A lot of reading and even more practice later and I started producing good quality work. That camera was an extreme example however.

On to my new EM-1 MarkII and the few landsacapes I have produced so far have been good enough for me but it took a fair bit of experimentation. Of course the images aren't as good as my faithful 5D2 at 200% and I wouldn't expect them to be (I never look at my images at that magnification!) but what matters to me is the print quality and my Em-1 MkII certainly doesn't disapoint there.

Oh heck I've rambled a bit here, sorry. My message is to keep on experimenting and I'm sure you will get there.
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  #19  
Old 30th January 2017
Jim Ford Jim Ford is online now
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
- ETTR (or more precisely the action of shifting the resulting image left with a tone curve) can result in histogram depopulation (or "combing"). This becomes more of a problem as the bit depth of the file reduces. Since u43 cameras are still in 12-bit world, this *might* cause a problem in some scenes.
Don't you mean ETTL?

Jim
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  #20  
Old 30th January 2017
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

Not sure I can contribute to the "pixel peeking" discussion but I do enjoy photographing skies.

A significant factor in a scene such as you have photographed is that a large part of the content (the sky and the hills/mountains) are at a considerable distance and therefore atmospheric haze is always present to a greater or lesser extent depending on the weather. I find that with such scenes better results can be achieved by making adjustments at the raw conversion stage rather than altering "Levels" etc. after conversion to JPEG.

My raw converter of choice is DxO Optics Pro which (like some other alternatives) has a Haze processing function, Micro Contrast adjustment and a very good Noise Reduction facility.

As an exercise to show how I would have processed your shot I have run it through DxO applying these processes.



Not sure if this stands up to pixel peeking but it has brought out the cloud detail I think.

Regards.
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  #21  
Old 30th January 2017
RovingMike RovingMike is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by Clockwork Donkey View Post
My message is to keep on experimenting and I'm sure you will get there.
Many thanks. In this case, rather than change from camera to camera, it was really genre to genre, but I know what you mean. I very rarely have sky in pics and when I do it is usually irrelevant, so to see it coming up with that amount of noise was a shock.
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  #22  
Old 30th January 2017
RovingMike RovingMike is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by PeterBirder View Post
As an exercise to show how I would have processed your shot I have run it through DxO applying these processes.


Wow many thanks. Will certainly check that out. When I shoot in raw I pp in Tiff, rather than Jpeg, but I have to admit I only use Oly's Viewer3 to convert and then only really use it to adjust exposure if there seems to be danger of some clipping.
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  #23  
Old 30th January 2017
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Graham_of_Rainham Graham_of_Rainham is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

I too use DxO Optics Pro (that's where the histogram is from) and when I processed, the image improved the issues in the clouds.

Micro contrast control is excellent and by far my favourite feature.

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  #24  
Old 30th January 2017
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by RovingMike View Post
Many thanks. In this case, rather than change from camera to camera, it was really genre to genre, but I know what you mean. I very rarely have sky in pics and when I do it is usually irrelevant, so to see it coming up with that amount of noise was a shock.
A little luminance noise at base ISO, especially in skies, is normal on the 16Mp sensors. It can be very easily removed with some selective noise reduction. The newer 20Mp sensors do better. Using ISO low will also help, but you'll get a little less highlight headroom.

What is your target output medium? If it's sensible-sized prints (say up to 16*20) or DPIs then you'll never see it. On line galleries such as Flickr are usually viewed at lower resolution too so it's unlikely it'll be an issue there. The only times it'll really matter are if you crop a lot, do very large prints, view on large 4k monitors from 6" away or if you go pixel peeking. I personally wouldn't bother with it. A great shot (like the one you posted!), will not be any less great for a tiny bit of noise.

BTW - I'm somewhat of a sky-a-holic and have lots of images from my E-M1 that I'm very happy with. This one is probably my favourite - a little noise, but really nothing at all to worry about. Click through to the Flickr image for higher res...

https://flic.kr/p/EZriGD
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  #25  
Old 30th January 2017
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by RovingMike View Post
Wow many thanks. Will certainly check that out. When I shoot in raw I pp in Tiff, rather than Jpeg, but I have to admit I only use Oly's Viewer3 to convert and then only really use it to adjust exposure if there seems to be danger of some clipping.
Oly Viewer is really only the same as the firmware in the camera but with the option to change a few basic parameters. DxO has built in corrections for specific camera/lens combinations plus all the facilities to crop, correct perspective distortion, level horizons etc.etc. I never use Elements etc. for any pp. For simple edits on JPEGs like "levels" adjustment and re-sizing etc. I use the free FastStone.

Regards.
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  #26  
Old 30th January 2017
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by RovingMike View Post
Wow many thanks. Will certainly check that out. When I shoot in raw I pp in Tiff, rather than Jpeg, but I have to admit I only use Oly's Viewer3 to convert and then only really use it to adjust exposure if there seems to be danger of some clipping.
BTW - a TIFF might be big and lossless, but it's not the same as the raw file. A good raw developer (DxO, LR etc) will be able to do things that Photoshop on a TIFF won't be able to do.
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  #27  
Old 31st January 2017
RovingMike RovingMike is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post

What is your target output medium? If it's sensible-sized prints (say up to 16*20) or DPIs then you'll never see it.
BTW - I'm somewhat of a sky-a-holic and have lots of images from my E-M1 that I'm very happy with. This one is probably my favourite - a little noise, but really nothing at all to worry about. Click through to the Flickr image for higher res...

https://flic.kr/p/EZriGD
In fact in this case it could never matter because I will just do a Blurb book of our Patagonia tour for family use. I no longer supply Rex Features because they are flooded with Shutterstock stuff, so it was a slightly academic question. But people do ask me for shots and some have been doing 1m enlargements, which has caused embarrassment on occasions when I have been out with older things that won't take it.
But been very mono for a few years eg:
http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/6512012-doing-london
http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/5943794-fin...leeding-london
Last colour was years ago and featured almost no skies, in fact I was the opposite of a skyaholic : http://www.blurb.co.uk/books/1932477-cochin
Thanks again, love the work.
Mike
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  #28  
Old 31st January 2017
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Beagletorque Beagletorque is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?



Most newcomers to m43 make the same mistake I did of stopping down to FF standards. F4 would have been a better bet for this image IMHO. The 12-40 is sharp enough wide open and DoF would have been fine @ f4. Pixel peeping on the RAW looked like it was not in critical focus. The beauty of RAW and PS is you can end up with more or less anything you want, that's not camera specific!

I suppose to answer your question "Is this best I can get from E-M1?" then yes, you've done your best but you will improve with time and practice like the rest of us(*).

* except for Mark, he's had enough time and practice for all of us.

Last edited by Beagletorque; 31st January 2017 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Aussie baiting!
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  #29  
Old 1st February 2017
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Phill D Phill D is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

Interesting thread with some good advice. I like the original and Peter's edit but for me just somewhere in between would work best. Something that has greater definition as Peter brought out but that kept a bit more of that bright glow that was in Mike original. Overall it was a stunning capture Mike.
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  #30  
Old 1st February 2017
RovingMike RovingMike is offline
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Re: Is this best I can get from E-M1?

Thanks Phil. In fact I was fighting a 40-60mph wind, which is typical in those regions. As I said, I am not a landscaper, and didn't even have the tripod handy when that cloud formation appeared, so it was a matter of instant decisions.
I love to see what you landscapers can achieve with a good use of all the tools, which is a long way from my usual urban / street, or even travel genres. Must say the earlier f4 recommendation never entered my mind, plus the thought of going over rather than my usual under with so much white about.
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