Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-29-2008, 06:09 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 187
Idea: Highlight/Shadow Priority Button

Since Pentax cameras tend to underexpose, do you think that on the next series of Pentax cameras, there should be a button to toggle your metering priority to Highlights or Shadows? I think it would be great.

I think the Green button would do well to function as a button that can toggle metering priority to Highlight or Shadow priority. It would be a welcome addition in Av or Tv mode. When shooting a wedding dress for example or a room with white walls, you won't have to push your shots as much by exposure compensation or by using your spot metering. Just push the Green button to toggle on highlight priority and shoot.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

10-29-2008, 08:14 AM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,915
that's a good idea, not sure if it deserves its own button. i would like to see an Expose to the Right feature.
10-29-2008, 09:14 AM   #3
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Quote
I think the Green button would do well to function as a button that can toggle metering priority to Highlight or Shadow priority. It would be a welcome addition in Av or Tv mode. When shooting a wedding dress for example or a room with white walls, you won't have to push your shots as much by exposure compensation or by using your spot metering. Just push the Green button to toggle on highlight priority and shoot.
I don't know, that doesn't seem any different than simply dialing in positive exposure compensation. And it would have exactly the same downside - if you forget to switch back to normal mode, you'll end up with overexposed pictures when *not* shooting white objects.

I would, however, think it an interesting idea to have a mode where the camera still went for the basic ANSI standard exposure (average a little darker than an 18% gray card), but *didn't* also try to protect highlights. Learning to anticipate when a scene will be rendered darker than you want simply because it consists mostly of very light objects, that's easy, as is learning how to compensate. Learning to how to anticipate and compensate for situations where a scene will be rendered darker than you want simple because there is a bright highlight somewhere that the camera is trying protect, that's much harder. That's because highlights tend to be transient - appearing and disappearing with every change in the wind or slight change in camera angle. It's also very difficult to gauge just how much brighter than the rest of the scene such highlights are.

On the other ahnd, I'm not convinced this mode would actually produce results that much different from center-weighted metering. I'm convinced that most people who think of a DSLR as underexposing would end up much happier on the whole if they switched to center-weighted metering, precisely because it *won't* try so hard to protect highlights.
10-29-2008, 12:55 PM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 187
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I don't know, that doesn't seem any different than simply dialing in positive exposure compensation. And it would have exactly the same downside - if you forget to switch back to normal mode, you'll end up with overexposed pictures when *not* shooting white objects.
Of course.

The way I was taught photography was to decide what was your priority, highlights or shadows and push and pull your film (today what we call exposure compensation) accordingly. Since our cameras don't have as much latitude...I guess what I'm really referring to altogether has to do more with not more dynamic range, but controlling what the camera records within it's dynamic range and cutting off metering for things in the scene beyond x amount of stops from the brightest highlight or something like that. Yeah, I guess it really is exposure compensation.

Basically, personally, I don't want to have exposure compensation on after every shot. Only for the ones I know that the camera will need. Just push the button to toggle the priority. Then, the camera returns to my normal exposure compensation after the shot. Therefore, using the Green button to do this would be easier that using the dial to dial back down your exposure compensation. Normally, I add about 1 stop of compensation more or less, just for shooting "normally". I don't want to keep my eye on the EV meter.

It's just that sometimes, on Multi segment and even spot metering, my K10D underexposes surprisingly. I would expect maybe 2/3 of a stop but not a stop and a half or close to 2 stops. Not still in beginning of the 3rd bar in the histogram. Why not it go further and be less conservative?

QuoteQuote:
I would, however, think it an interesting idea to have a mode where the camera still went for the basic ANSI standard exposure (average a little darker than an 18% gray card), but *didn't* also try to protect highlights.
Great idea! It's really the same idea I have. Just one button to toggle both modes.

QuoteQuote:
I'm convinced that most people who think of a DSLR as underexposing would end up much happier on the whole if they switched to center-weighted metering, precisely because it *won't* try so hard to protect highlights.
That's something to think about. Protecting those highlights is the culprit. I'll try that.

Overally, you gave me a lot to think about Sabatella. Just thought out better than me and more intelligently. Thanks for the corrections and tips.

10-29-2008, 03:32 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Quote
The way I was taught photography was to decide what was your priority, highlights or shadows and push and pull your film (today what we call exposure compensation) accordingly. Since our cameras don't have as much latitude...I guess what I'm really referring to altogether has to do more with not more dynamic range, but controlling what the camera records within it's dynamic range and cutting off metering for things in the scene beyond x amount of stops from the brightest highlight or something like that. Yeah, I guess it really is exposure compensation.
Actually, when you put it that way, it makes more sense to me. I have a better concept of what you mean now. I could see this being useful in a scene that has both lit areas and shadows in it - which is to say, most scenes. Normally, the camera sees the light and the darks and in some way tries to "average" them, giving you an exposure that is ideal for neither. In this new mode, the camera would separate out light from shadow as best as it could, then choose to expose for one or the other based on which way you have it set. This is basically what I normally do using center-weighted or spot metering by pointing directly *into* the lit or shadow area when setting exposure.

Quite cool, actually.


QuoteQuote:
It's just that sometimes, on Multi segment and even spot metering, my K10D underexposes surprisingly. I would expect maybe 2/3 of a stop but not a stop and a half or close to 2 stops.
I guess I'd want to see examples of what you're talking about. I mean, standard metering should produce images where the histogram averages slightly left of center. It is true that in many cases this is darker than you might subjectively prefer but it isn't underexposure, per se. Although if the camera produces an even darker photo to protect highlights, that might more properly be called underexposure, even though it's also perfectly correct to do so. Which is why switching to center-weighted often produces results more in line with our expectations. There will be blown highlights, but they are often recoverable in RAW if you really need them, and the overall exposure is usually closer to how we perceive the scene. With center-weighted metering I dial in *negative* compensation rather more often than I ever dialed in positive compensation in multi-segment mode, but I find it easier to predict when I'll need compensation at all, and easier to do the sort of thing I referred to at top (pointing directly into the shadows versus the lit areas to set exposure, or find the reasonable range of exposures).
10-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #6
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,043
QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Quote
Since Pentax cameras tend to underexpose, do you think that on the next series of Pentax cameras, there should be a button to toggle your metering priority to Highlights or Shadows? I think it would be great.

I think the Green button would do well to function as a button that can toggle metering priority to Highlight or Shadow priority. It would be a welcome addition in Av or Tv mode. When shooting a wedding dress for example or a room with white walls, you won't have to push your shots as much by exposure compensation or by using your spot metering. Just push the Green button to toggle on highlight priority and shoot.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
I'd like to see a more accurate metering system so that I don't have to fart around with exposure compensation at all.
Hmmm, novel concept, a light meter in a 2008 model year camera that is as accurate as what I was using 20 years ago in my F3.
I find I spend a lot of time second guessing my K20 for exposure, and I have given up on the pattern metering completely.
10-29-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
Veteran Member
creampuff's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,955
Having a Highlight and Shadow button is not a new concept. The Olympus OM-3 and OM-4 film cameras had this feature which allowed the photographer to identify parts of a scene that should be exposed as white or black respectively.

However this only makes sense in the context of spot metering rather than center weighted or matrix metering. On the Olympus OM-3 & OM-4 cameras, multi-spot metering enabled the user to take a series of spot meter readings, all of which would be used by the camera to calculate the correct exposure.

As a one time OM-4 user, I can say the system is incredibly accurate but the photographer behind the camera must know how and where to take spot meter readings. I can attest that one has to be a pretty proficient photographer to get best out of multi-spot metering. Most photographers, especially newbies will be better served with centre weighted metering, which is pretty dependable. The Nikon's 80/20 weightage on the F3 is pretty much foolproof in my experience.
10-29-2008, 06:26 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Borås, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,165
While we're at it, how about a button to set hyperfocal distance?

10-30-2008, 12:17 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I'd like to see a more accurate metering system so that I don't have to fart around with exposure compensation at all.
Until mind-reading technology is perfected, there is absolutely no way any metering system can prevent the need for exposure compensation.

All the Pentax cameras I have used have very accurate meters in the that they do exactly what they were designed to do. But it is true they don't read minds.

As for your F3, it is important to realize that film and digital are rather different in the need to preserve highlights.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
button, camera, cameras, dslr, pentax, photography, priority, toggle
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Highlight and shadow options Tony3d Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 10-11-2010 04:23 PM
Aperture Priority Shooting DSNAPP Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 01-09-2010 06:21 PM
Highlight and Shadow? maxmagnum Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 1 12-29-2009 07:36 PM
Using International Priority Mail jbevans General Talk 9 12-10-2009 06:25 PM
K20D - still no release priority setting? sklathill Pentax DSLR Discussion 49 05-24-2008 03:45 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:32 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top