X-Pro 1 lack of exposure compensation in manual mode: what's the problem?

Started Jun 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,597
Aperture is more than DOF, Manual+AuotISO is un-compensatable
In reply to wilburpan, Jun 7, 2012

There's a little more to Aperture than DOF. Your maximum Aperture is fixed for a given focal length, constraining the max available light, and the lens is rarely performing best when wide open.

For example, in the Jungle when shooting birds and Animals with a Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, you are physically limited to 4.5-5.6, but might want to be shooting between 5.6-8.0.

I posted an orangutan photo earlier in the thread which was 400mm, F8, 1/125s, ISO1600 (included below for convenience).

The 1/125s is too slow and there is some subject blur on the hands. It's fine for this shot but other shots at this speed were lost due to excessive subject blur. The shots at 1/250s and 1/500s were more successful.

At F8, I am centred around the area she is swinging into and she is only just in the acceptable DOF. She can swing 6-10 feet in less than a second. For static subjects F5.6 is just about okay but the lens is not at its sharpest.

So adjusting Aperture may not be desirable, and once you reach the maximum, it is no longer possible and essentially becomes fixed. You can have quite limited Aperture variability for several reasons.

I don't think it can be argued against that AutoISO is useful in these variable lighting situations, after all it's a feature now adopted by every camera maker.

What many don't seem to have picked up on is that for most cameras this mode is un-compensateable.

If you set:

F8, 1/250 and Auto ISO chooses ISO 400

You can't simply 'manually compensate' by changing to F6.3 or 1/500, because Auto ISO will simply change to ISO 200 or ISO 800.

Without EC, Auto ISO is un-compensatable. Your only options are to disable Auto ISO or change how/what you are metering. EC-1 is still an auto mode and will apply shot to shot, a manually selected ISO is not and will likely be wrong shot to shot in this kind of environment.


wilburpan wrote:

3. I learned that exposure compensation in manual mode with auto ISO isn't a common feature to digital cameras! This was a big surprise to me. I went from a Nikon F to a Canon point and shoot 6 years ago, and the X-Pro 1 is my first "real" digital camera. So I'm not up on exactly what features better digital cameras have today. From the way that people were talking about the X-Pro 1's lack of exposure compensation in manual mode with auto ISO, I assumed that this was a widespread feature, and that Fuji just didn't implement it for some bizarre reason.

Instead, it appears that Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony all don't seem to have this feature, either. This is based on reading the manuals for the latest offerings from these companies, and searching the various subforums here on DPreview. Nikon apparently has had this feature for a while, but it's completely undocumented in their manuals, even though I've gone over the manual for the D800/D800E several times, including doing text searches for "exposure", "compensation", and "ISO" to see if I happened to miss it. There isn't a single reference in the Nikon manual to such a feature, and in fact there is language in there that suggests that it doesn't have it at all. I want to get my hands on a Nikon DSLR myself to see what happens.

There is only one camera that I could find that explicitly states that you can use exposure compensation to adjust ISO in manual mode with auto ISO: the Pentax K-5. If this was such a killer feature, I'm sure that the K-5 would be way more popular than it is.

So here's my executive summary. Exposure compensation in manual mode has been around for a long time. The X-Pro 1 does not have exposure compensation with manual mode and auto ISO. It's nice to have, if you have it. Many other cameras don't have it, either. There are many ways around not having this particular feature.

And don't be afraid to twiddle your aperture ring.

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