Olympus E-M5 seems to be very forgiving

Started Oct 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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FrankParis
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Olympus E-M5 seems to be very forgiving
Oct 10, 2012

A couple days ago I started a thread asking how to do "hands-off" exposure bracketing with the Olympus E-M5: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50032619. For me, this was a very productive thread, because I learned about a lot of features of the E-M5 I hadn't dug into yet. Among those were how AE BKT worked, and I set it to 3f 1.0EV, which means bracket with 3 frames, one with 0 exposure compensation, one with -1 exposure compensation, and one with +1 exposure compensation. It meant that the next three frames would be shot according to that formula.

Now it was time to learn how to do to high speed sequential shooting, where as long as you hold the release button down, images are shot at 9 frames per second. So I set the camera in that mode as well. What I failed to realize when I was in the field (in an arboretum) is that the 3 frames do not have to be fired by holding the shutter button down for the three shots. The three bracket shots will be taken no matter how far apart in time they are taken. So I was bracketing when I had no intention of doing it!

Imagine my shock when I got home and looked at the images and saw 1/3 of my shots overexposed by a full stop and 1/3 of them underexposed by a full shot. I figured at least the overexposed shots would be unsalvageable, but when I ran my images through Photoshop Elements, I was able to recover every one of my inadvertently overexposed and underexposed images!

Here are a couple of examples of images of stunning Holly taken a few seconds apart, the first underexposed a full stop, the second overexposed a full stop. Maybe I'm blind, but after correcting these images in the Levels dialog, I could not visually detect a tonal difference: both looked as if they were shot with no exposure compensation.

Underexposed by a full stop, corrected in Elements

Overexposed by a full stop, corrected in Elements

For those of you interested in seeing a bunch of over and underexposed images from the album these were taken from, and corrected in Photoshop Elements, go to this link:

http://www.pbase.com/fjp/ha_2012_10_09

The full exif displayed by PBASE will reveal which images were originally under exposed by a full stop and which images were overexposed by a full stop. Personally, I can't tell which is which just by looking at the corrected images. It's been a while since I was processing images from my Nikon D2x, but I certainly don't remember it having the dynamic range of this E-M5, even though its images were great when "properly" exposed. Technology marches on.

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Frank Paris

 FrankParis's gear list:FrankParis's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS +12 more
Nikon D2X
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