Best settings for RAW shooter?

Started Jun 30, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Ido S
Ido S Senior Member • Posts: 4,923
Best settings for RAW shooter?

I've been shooting RAW exclusively ever since I got my OM-D E-M5, and have never looked back. What's tricky, though, is finding roughly how much I can push the histogram to the right, or rather, roughly when highlights start clipping.

I want to use the live clipping warnings that the camera offers instead of the histogram, because sometimes there are highlights that can, and should be clipped with no worries at all, and the histogram doesn't tell me where the clipped highlights are.

I currently have the Histogram Settings set to 250 for the highlights and 5 for the shadows, as suggested in's User Guide for the E-M5, but that's too conservative for the camera's versatile RAW files. That being said, I don't want to push it too far, and risk unexpected clipping. What figures work best?

Another part that seems important, and often overlooked, is the Picture Mode. I have mine set to Muted, as RAW files certainly are muted. But even with that Picture Mode, I guess the JPEG preview in the EVF is punchier than the RAW will look in Lightroom, and higher contrast = earlier clipping. Is that a right course of thought? If so, do you adjust the contrast, sharpness and saturation of the Muted preset, and which figures?

I basically want the best RAW files I can get without using a calibration tool, like a ColorChecker Passport, and/or a handheld light meter. What Histogram Settings and Picture Mode adjustments do you use, if you shoot RAW exclusively?

 Ido S's gear list:Ido S's gear list
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II +1 more
Olympus OM-D E-M5
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