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06-06-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
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Highlight and shadow correction usage

Hi guys I got a K50 a few days ago.
I'm familiarizing with all it's features, I'm quite impressed with it's video quality.
Putting aside Image Stabilization. Talkin about highlight and shadow correction usage. Does it worth to have them on?
I think this wont help if we're looking for natural shots. I must say I couldn't test it out carefully yet. I think I'm going to do some portraits to compare.

What do you gusy think?

Thank you in advance

06-06-2014, 12:22 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjuanmartin Quote
Hi guys I got a K50 a few days ago.
I'm familiarizing with all it's features, I'm quite impressed with it's video quality.
Putting aside Image Stabilization. Talkin about highlight and shadow correction usage. Does it worth to have them on?
I think this wont help if we're looking for natural shots. I must say I couldn't test it out carefully yet. I think I'm going to do some portraits to compare.

What do you gusy think?

Thank you in advance
If you're not a RAW person, then yes, it's worth using when shooting scenes with really bright or dark areas. Try them out for yourself and see how they work.

One thing to note: using shadow/highlight corrections adds about 2 seconds of processing time, which locks up your camera after shooting.

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06-06-2014, 01:03 AM   #3
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I find these settings make the shadows much too noisy for even on-screen viewing, but I need to experiment more.
06-06-2014, 04:36 AM   #4
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They work well for high-contrast scenes, as Adam also points out. I disagree with him on the processing time. IMO, it's only the lens corrections that add processing time. Shadow and highlight correction are implemented as curve alterations in the JPEG generation, not as a firmware post processing step.

Giklab is also right they make the noise more visible, that's the nature of shadow lifting. So take care when going over say ISO 400-800.

You can also experiment with the high/low key slider in the custom image screen. It controls the midtones in the JPEG contrast curve. When you combine max shadow correction and +4 high/low key, you can obtain close to 2EV of shadow lift in the camera. That's great for handling backlit scenes when flash is impossible.

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06-06-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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If you're shooting RAW, I suggest turning them off. One of them will simply underexpose by 1 stop and then increase EV in software. I'd had my K-30 for about a year until I realized this, and it was messing up my calculations, and making me wonder why I had more noise in the photos than I should. Also, my RAW editor does not recognize when this setting is enabled, and so it would always show up a bit underexposed.
06-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #6
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I agree to switch them off for RAW working because they have no actual effect on the recorded image ... The settings will be recorded in metadata. But for the same reason I find it hard to believe the report from beetleb above, AFAIK and have heard, the only software that will interpret & act on that metadata in a RAW is Pentax Digital Camera Utility. I an surprised to hear of any visible effect in any other programs???
06-08-2014, 01:00 PM   #7
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Of course there is a visible effect, if you have Highlight Protection ON the camera underexposes the image by a stop. JPEGs get pushed in-camera, RAWs are interpreted by the camera or PDCU, other programs don't recognize the feature so they show the image for what it is - underexposed by a stop.
06-08-2014, 01:53 PM   #8
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I find that hard to accept .. Highlight correction will compress the dr at the top during jpeg processing on the camera or in PDCU by activating the highlight panel, but a one-stop reduction in exposure would have a big effect on the mid-tones and many shots would be underexposed significantly by this. I have not seen any such under-exposure by '1 stop' with hc activated.

06-08-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
I find that hard to accept .. Highlight correction will compress the dr at the top during jpeg processing on the camera or in PDCU by activating the highlight panel, but a one-stop reduction in exposure would have a big effect on the mid-tones and many shots would be underexposed significantly by this. I have not seen any such under-exposure by '1 stop' with hc activated.
My experience has been different. When I have HC turned on, the RAW images are underexposed by exactly one stop compared to the corresponding JPEGs.
06-08-2014, 10:14 PM   #10
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Consider that the minimum ISO increases by a stop in HC mode. 100->200 or 80->160
06-09-2014, 06:32 AM   #11
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Would iso differences make any change to the exposure value that is shot? Surely another setting will just adjust to compensate.



Ichabodcrane, I'm not trying to deny that what you have seen us real, but maybe we are not talking about the exact same things ... I would expect a raw image to be a bit darker than its corresponding jpeg if it has not had any processing ... This is normal. What I am curious about is your points about highlight correction activation making images 1 stop darker when opened in third party editors ... I have no idea how this could be occurring. The base exposure value, ie the mean mid-tone values, should be unaffected by hc in theory ... I have not seen any difference between shots apart from highlight compression in camera jpegs and in pdcu. But maybe I should take a closer look and try it myself using another program?
06-09-2014, 06:44 AM   #12
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why not try to test it with RAW+JPEG so you can see if there are any differences?

I tried using both RAW+, RAW and JPEG setting, HC and SC did affect the shutter speed and iso settings on both RAW and JPEG files.

Last edited by aleonx3; 06-09-2014 at 10:47 AM. Reason: add more info
06-09-2014, 07:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Would iso differences make any change to the exposure value that is shot? Surely another setting will just adjust to compensate.



Ichabodcrane, I'm not trying to deny that what you have seen us real, but maybe we are not talking about the exact same things ... I would expect a raw image to be a bit darker than its corresponding jpeg if it has not had any processing ... This is normal. What I am curious about is your points about highlight correction activation making images 1 stop darker when opened in third party editors ... I have no idea how this could be occurring. The base exposure value, ie the mean mid-tone values, should be unaffected by hc in theory ... I have not seen any difference between shots apart from highlight compression in camera jpegs and in pdcu. But maybe I should take a closer look and try it myself using another program?
HC works by underexposing the image and then pushing everything except the highlights by around a stop. That's why the camera shows minimum ISO as 200 in HC mode (because ISO 100 + 1 stop is ISO 200) and that's why third-party editors show the RAW as underexposed - because it actually IS underexposed. Turning HC on is like having it off but setting EV compensation to -1 and using software to correct the brightness.
06-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for that explanation, i will take a closer look for sure and try some test shots on my favourite software. I'm not really getting the point about the iso really ... Its getting late here! I always found it annoying to have to go to iso200 just to have hc active.



Si, does this technique of 1 stop underexposure only apply to camera jpegs? I mean if you didn't activate it in raw and then used pdcu to apply highlight correction, we wouldn't lose Iso 100 nor the stop of brightness i'd assume?
06-09-2014, 04:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
HC works by underexposing the image and then pushing everything except the highlights by around a stop. That's why the camera shows minimum ISO as 200 in HC mode (because ISO 100 + 1 stop is ISO 200) and that's why third-party editors show the RAW as underexposed - because it actually IS underexposed. Turning HC on is like having it off but setting EV compensation to -1 and using software to correct the brightness.
I wish it was just that simple... although the result seems to indicate that it is underexposed. I tend to think it changes the tone curve and/or histogram - there must be some sort algorithm that Pentax uses to achieve the result.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Thanks for that explanation, i will take a closer look for sure and try some test shots on my favourite software. I'm not really getting the point about the iso really ... Its getting late here! I always found it annoying to have to go to iso200 just to have hc active.

Si, does this technique of 1 stop underexposure only apply to camera jpegs? I mean if you didn't activate it in raw and then used pdcu to apply highlight correction, we wouldn't lose Iso 100 nor the stop of brightness i'd assume?
I just did a quick test (not scientific)... using both RAW+, RAW and jpeg independently, seems to me that HC and SC applies to both RAW and JPEG settings.
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