EXR Confusion not fully resolved

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: EXR Confusion not fully resolved

Axel Vercauteren wrote:

Elyharbour wrote:

alexisgreat wrote:

The moral of this story is that if you really want hardware EXR highlight protection you must manually select ISO 100 or 200 at M size DR 200 or 400. DO NOT USE AUTO ISO or you will get the same kind of highlight protection that L size uses, regardless of the ISO selected by the camera. Since AUTO ISO is not selectable in M mode, this conflict never happens.

It seems nobody has reacted to this statement (or have I missed it?). This is very important, as I suspect many of us have Auto ISO selected on the assumption that when low ISOs are chosen through Auto, EXR hardware DR is implemented in M size with DR400.

For shooting JPEG only Kim Letkeman recommends Auto ISO. This would be rather pointless if hardware EXR is not involved, which I can't imagine to be true but you never know with EXR, do you? Perhaps Kim or another expert can shed some light on this.

Is Alex right? Could Kim possibly be wrong? I suspect many of us would like to know.

Kim could not possibly be wrong, trust me on that

People spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find the perfect combination of settings for every possible situation, which will absolutely ensure that they almost never get a good image because they are too busy trying to remember the perfect settings. Seriously.

Others are certain that shooting at L size all the time is the only way because with trivial examples it actually looks better. But that is also hopeless as a general strategy, as it never uses EXR technology.

So my recommendation, forged by extensive testing of the F70EXR in 2009 and not changed since then -- despite testing many samples of every EXR sensor and generation of body -- because the basic issue has never changed. My perspective on the hardware versus software EXR issue is:

  • Use P mode with auto ISO and DR400 to get hardware DR when possible and whatever other DR solution Fuji uses otherwise (and I am not entirely convinced that it is purely the software DR mechanism)
  • If you shoot L size, you have to tolerate DR200 in bright light so that you can avoid the double whammy of raised ISO and noise reduction on smaller pixels ... 
  • Once ISO has gone above 400, the Fuji does whatever it does. In my experience, the DR400 setting remains optimal because as light dims, the presence of artificial lighting in the frame still looks considerably better with the smoother rolloff of DR400

All of what says that DR400 in P mode with AUTO ISO remains optimal as a general purpose setting. And for most people, it is all they ever need to make the best use of the best mode on an EXR camera.

 Kim Letkeman's gear list:Kim Letkeman's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 990 Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR Nikon D600 Nikon D7200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 +17 more
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