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06-30-2016, 04:55 AM   #1

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Native ISO and bright sunlight

Does anybody know if the native ISO sensitivity of the K-S1 & K-S2 is really 100, or could it be 200?

I'm just curious because I've been trying to work out the best practices for shooting on bright, sunny days. I already know that Highlight Correction is beneficial in these situations. (It also helps skies to look blue instead of turquoise!)

Should I shop for a ND filter for general use on these bright days, or is that redundant with the control options and the shutter speeds that I already have on my K-S2?

06-30-2016, 05:19 AM   #2
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Don't know about highlight correction, but I turned on shadow correction on the K-5 the other day to see how it worked. I took a quick snap of a composition that would show it to its best advantage. It improved the picture greatly. It also wrote an ISO into the EXIF which was higher than the one I had set manually. I will be interested to hear what your camera does when you're already as low as you can go and trying to squelch overexposed areas.

I've never had any issues with letting the shutter speed rise to cover whatever aperture I want to use; if I ever want to do blurred-water shots in bright sun, I have ND filters. They may be your best bet if you want to keep the shutter speed down on a wide aperture for some reason.
06-30-2016, 05:57 AM   #3
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Wouldn't "White Balance" settings likely be an issue if one is getting turquoise skies?

I have, perhaps naively, assumed that the slowest offered ISO is the one with the least extra software enhancement in it, but as all of the ISO levels are based on a lot of digital code, I wonder how much difference it makes if you are talking about the lower ISO levels. If you can see noise artifacts in the high ISOs, that's different of course.

Is not the main issue in very bright scenes exposure latitude, or the ability to record the widest range of tones, from brightest to dimmest. In film, we might expect that quality to be greater in slower films, but exposure techniques and developer choices and techniques can have a profound effect on the result. Whether a digital camera's ability to record the widest range of tones always happens at its slowest ISO setting, I don't know.
06-30-2016, 06:01 AM   #4
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Ehhhhhh, maybe iso 100, thinking more like iso125.
Comparing my MetaData to the Sunny 16 rule, it's very close. Only looking at shots taken before the Humidity sky rocketed here in Mississippi.
Also might mention that my copy of the KS2 is doing some ETTR. This is mentioned in several of the reviews also.
Dialing in a -.5 compensation in some situations.

06-30-2016, 06:02 AM   #5

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I believe Shadow Correction is purely a software feature that only applies to JPEG shooting. I habitually shoot DNG, so fixing shadows is something I'll do in Lightroom. But Highlight Correction, as I understand, actually reduces the exposure by one stop and then gains it back up in software to compensate.

As for aperture. . . I think in the Good Old Days of film a lot of people shot F11 or F16 in the daylight, and it worked Just Fine. But nowadays it seems like we have all the megapickles in the world, and we've ditched the anti-mosaic filters, and we're all squinting at 200% details and crying out for "More sharpness!" And most lenses seem to be sharpest around F4.

---------- Post added 06-30-16 at 08:08 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Wouldn't "White Balance" settings likely be an issue if one is getting turquoise skies?
It doesn't seem to be. When shooting test shots with and without Highlight Correction, I didn't touch white balance. Turning HC on just saved the highlights and saved the color of the sky. However, do keep in mind that this test I did a while back with my Q7, before I even had the K-S2. Obviously, those two cameras have very different specifications, and I probably should repeat the experiment.
06-30-2016, 06:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
I'm just curious because I've been trying to work out the best practices for shooting on bright, sunny days. I already know that Highlight Correction is beneficial in these situations. (It also helps skies to look blue instead of turquoise!)
Lower ISO means lower noise. Highlight correction does a little trick - it labels ISO one stop higher, but shoots at a lower ISO, then digitally brightens the photo, while taking care not to burn the highlights. This is why you cannot choose ISO 100 if you have highlight correction enabled - but when you choose ISO 200, camera actually shoots at ISO 100.
However, doing things like adding brightness and contrast digitally will make the noise more apparent, more noticeable.

Anyway, for blue skies, I would suggest you just take care what settings you use. I don't think an ND filter is needed for regular summer outdoor photos. ND is usually used when you want super fast aperture in sunlight (like f1.4, for shallow DoF) or if you want to take long exposures to make movement blurry (like a waterfall, river). A better choice would be a polarizer. Polarizers will make the skies appear more.. deep, blue, dark. But you need to learn how to use them. And polarizers are not useful on ultra wide lenses, as the sky will appear blotchy (I do mean ultra wide, not just wide).
Using a lens hood can also help with overall image contrast and colour saturation, especially if you are using older or cheap third party lenses.

If you shoot jpeg, you might want to add shadow correction, and then use EV+/- to underexpose (like -1). This will make the whole photo a little darker (including the skies) but will bring up the shadows a little. I usually just shoot raw and check histogram to make sure highlights aren't blown, and then use software on computer for any digital changes, like adding brightness, darkening the sky, whatever. You can even add a digital graduated ND in most software (to make just skies more contrasty and dark).

---------- Post added 30th Jun 2016 at 15:12 ----------

Ah, you just made a reply as I was typing mine. Well, take from it what you can.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
And most lenses seem to be sharpest around F4.
True, but I would suggest you use f8 on bright sunny days. f8 is good because it gives you a wide DoF, good sharpness, good CA control, but it does not yet suffer from diffraction. So even if f4 is technically sharper on your lens, f8 might still render a photo that appears to have more detail. And in photography, its all about appearance. f4 is often too shallow DoF for landscapes and street photography, and it is too bright for very sunny days, high altitude or desert travels

Tl;dr: Use circular polarizer filter of a good brand, shoot f8, use lens hood, lowest ISO, check histogram to make sure highlights are recoverable in post, use EV+/- to avoid blowing highlights. Since you shoot raw, disable all jpeg things like CA correction, distortion correction, shadow correction.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 06-30-2016 at 06:16 AM.

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