Pls show examples where increasing brightness in post better than increasing ISO.

Started Oct 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 60,589
Re: Pls show examples where increasing brightness in post better than increasing ISO.

Andre Affleck wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Andre Affleck wrote:

Andre Affleck wrote:

PhilPreston3072 wrote:

With the latest sensors, some have been proclaiming it's better to shoot at base ISO and increase brightness in post rather than increase ISO in camera.

I would like to see some examples of this. Are there any examples where increasing brightness in post delivers better IQ than increasing ISO in camera? And please, disable all NR settings.

bobn wrote here :

So, in the direct route, you would set the maximum exposure (subject to shake and the rest) and then set the brightening to match, whereas the other way you guess at the maximum exposure (via setting a guesstimate on the ISO dial). What most people will do, who don't know that it is exposure which matters, is centre the meter (or let the camera do it) and that will usually result in a lower exposure than had they set the maximum in the first place. No matter how you argue, that is how it really is. People using the ISO first technique will vary rarely set the maximum exposure

Not true, one starts raising ISO when they are already aperture and shutter limited.

Even so, it's unlikely that they will set the maximum exposure, simply because of what people think they have to do, and what they think their priorities. Somehow they will arrive at what they think is the right ISO for shooting, maybe by trial end error as you suggest and possibly just by making a guess, which is the impression that I get from people about setting ISO. You often get statements like '1600 lets me get the shutter speed I need'. Anyhow, however they get there, they now are at the ISO that they want to work. Then they centre the meter (maybe with some EC) to 'nail' the exposure, which means adjusting for some fixed output brightness at that ISO. To do that, they will almost always get a smaller exposure than they need. Supposing they decide that the DOF and motion blur are alright, they'll shoot, even though they might still have been alright up to half a stop more exposure. If they don't think they'll be alright, they'll raise the ISO (usually by a whole stop, I'd guess) and then centre the meter, and the same situation applies.

I think the reason why people are inclined to do what you suggest is because cameras are ergonomically designed that way.

Misuse of the word 'ergonomically' ;-).

They are not designed with exposure as a priority. This is probably another throw back from the film days.

Not so much a 'throwback'. Digital cameras were very expressly designed with a film-like user-interface.

One uses EC to fine tune exposure because it is intended to be used that way conveniently, and because the ISO control is buried in a menu somewhere. In addition, you can't simultaneously adjust ISO while watching the exposure meter. The cameras is almost forcing you to do the wrong thing by design.

Well, not making it easy, certainly. More easy on some than others. On my Nikon, I can see the ISO setting and the meter as I change ISO, on my Canon I can't. On the other hand, on my Nikon they've put the ISO button so it's very hard to adjust at eye-level, on my Canon its OK (but you can't see what you're doing)

I think it would be great if they allowed you to remap that dial to adjust ISO instead. Ultimately, ISO-less is the way to go, hopefully soon.

Yes, that would work well - with maybe a slight change in the meter presentation.

Only when by co-incidence does the maximum exposure that their pictorial constraints allow is the same as the one that centres the meter at that ISO, will they have maximised the exposure, I don't think it often happens.

In any case, even if it does, the rigmarole that they have gone through to get there is a whole lot longer than the simple route, set the aperture and shutter for the largest exposure that your pictorial constraints allow

Using what method to determine that maximum exposure? The camera meter is still tied to whatever ISO you are on and doesn't protect highlights well. If you rely on feedback from a histogram or preview, that too is tied to an even more arbitrary ISO. It would be nice if manufacturers would provide a raw histogram, but again cameras are not designed with these priorities in mind.

Well, the truth of the matter is that you only have to check the exposure when it's bright enough to max out the camera as a whole (that is base ISO) because you know it's max anyway. In dim light you'll probably be sacrificing DOF for light, but you already knew it was dim and made that trade in the first place, and set f/1.4. So, mostly the metering is checking highlights. The easy technique is to set 2 1/2 or a bit more stops of EC and spot meter off the highlights (if your camera lets you use EC in M). On most camera there are a few ISO settings to be working with, and you know those pretty well anyway.

So I'm still not convinced it is your exposure philosophy that is responsible for poor choices.

I got to the position I am by coming to the conclusion that it was, after looking at some of my own 'poor choices' and working through how and why I got there. I really don't think that the way I used to work was that unrepresentative of the general 'ISO first' method.

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