To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Methods

Barty L wrote:

I 'ETTR'. m4/3 sensors need all the light you can give them, especially if you want shadow detail.

If you shoot RAW and post-process your images

What I currently do:

this is what I was hoping someone would explain their setup, thank you

Exposure mode: manual

Metering: spot


- I'm 'aperture-centric' so, after identifying a subject and composition, set an aperture.

- Spot-meter off the brightest surface in the composition in which you want to retain detail - this really is a matter of taste, I've deliberately blown whole backgrounds in order to achieve desired exposure on some portion of the composition that interests me.

- Adjust shutter speed until the area under your metering box is 'over' exposed by +2.7 stops.

- Recompose and make the exposure.

- The resulting image can sometimes appear too bright, so bring down the brightness in post. If this darkens the shadows too much, you can always bring them up by the 2.7 'extra' stops you dialled in prior to capture, with no 'added' noise. The overall brightness of the images is more often just about 'right' though, leading me to think that my E-M1 Mk1s employ a bit of 'negative bias' in metering - probably to protect highlights.

This method is really only suitable for static subjects. That's the bulk of my photography, but it might not be yours.

I will investigate your settings and see if it works for me. I do shoot raw.

What I used to do:

Exposure mode: aperture priority.

Metering: ESP/Matrix


- As mentioned above, I consider aperture first when deciding on control parameters, so I set an aperture.

- With highlight warnings on, increase exposure compensation until the brightest surface in the composition in which you want to retain detail just starts to blink. Remember that the highlight warnings are based on an 8-bit representation of the scene (JPEG), so if you're shooting RAW then you will still have some latitude to further increase exposure - experiment on non-important occasions.

- Make the exposure.

- The approach in post is the same as for the first method, other than that I found that the image was more often less bright than desired.

The advantage of the second method is that it's quicker. For one thing you don't need to recompose because it's all-area metering.

If you shoot JPEG and / or don't really like post-processing

- Set your viewfinder to reflect changes in exposure (WYSIWYG). Use whatever metering and exposure methods float your boat, adjusting them until you like what you see in the viewfinder.

- Make the exposure.

This is the simplest method of all. It's usable in a wider variety of circumstances that the first two methods, and often produces good results.

 Jeepit's gear list:Jeepit's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus E-330 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm 1:3.5-6.3 +16 more
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