Fuji newb, DR settings *for jpeg shooting*

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
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AyeYo Regular Member • Posts: 104
Fuji newb, DR settings *for jpeg shooting*

First off, yes I know DR settings have been beaten to death 100x, brought back to life and beaten to death again over 9000x more - I've read all the topics. The problem is, these are always in the context of how DR works or doesn't work and how it does or doesn't effect RAW files. None of these cover my question.

I bought a Fuji as a fun camera (heavily used X-E2S) strictly because as a full-time pro so much of my time is spent in front of a computer editing photos. I just want to enjoy shooting again and spend as little time as possible in front of the computer after.

I've been doing a lot of experimenting and can't decide on decent settings that don't need to be constantly adjusted for almost every shot (which is a little time consuming with the X-E2S), so wanted to see how other mostly jpeg shooter handle this. It matters A LOT, unlike RAW, because it has a huge impact on the final dynamic range of the JPEG image.

I thought I'd be able to set Auto ISO and Auto DR, then adjust per shot with the exposure comp dial, but Auto DR seems terrible. It almost never chooses DR400 in scenes that need it, even with the proper ISO is available. It seems to like to stick to DR200 for 90% of shots, only occasionally choosing DR100 and in rare instances choosing DR400 - which half the time isn't even appropriate for the scene anyway. On top of that, I can't seem to pin down what I'm actually adjusting with the EV comp dial in this mode. Is it the shadow exposure, the highlight pull-down, or an average of the two? Seems to be different every time.

Now I'm wondering, why not just set it to DR400 in every profile and leave it? If the scene has low dynamic range, I can always shoot to preserve highlights and then raw convert to DR100 later. This however seems to have weird effects on the highlight roll-off of the resulting files while doing nothing to deepen shadows.

I also read in a lot of threads with people saying DR forces you to underexpose, then the camera boosts the shadows. This doesn't appear to be the case vs what's depicted on the LCD preview. While, yes, you are technically underexposing, you need to expose for the shadows because what the camera actually does is pull back the blown highlights without touching the shadows, which makes proper exposure a guessing game (unless shadow exposure is all you care about) because you can't see this highlight pull-down in the picture preview.

So, TL;DR - not sure if I'm doing something wrong between DR settings and EV comp or if anyone has any tips/tricks/recommendations on DR settings FOR JPEG SHOOTING ONLY.

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Fujifilm X-E2S Fujifilm X-T2 Panasonic G85 Sony a7 III Sony a7 IV
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