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Re: [OM] The viewfinder display I'd like to see

Subject: Re: [OM] The viewfinder display I'd like to see
From: Chuck Norcutt <chucknorcutt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 13:10:11 -0400
I wasn't praising the A1's overly busy displays.  I just said I wanted a 
histogram and I'd prefer that it be full screen and all by itself.  But 
I do care about the size of the humps if they're near the head or the 
tail... but that's OK as long as I know that only 1 or 3 or whatever 
percent is blown.  I don't get excited over a small percentage being blown.

I don't shoot sports and if I find a gator or diamondback I'll keep a 
respectable distance... at least 6".  :-)

Chuck Norcutt


Ken Norton wrote:
> Chuck thus wrote:
> 
>> I found Ken's article interesting but I have a much different view of
>> spot metering (single or multi) for the future.  A live histogram is
>> possible with any form of live view.  With a good histogram (maybe
>> turned on and off with a simple button press) I don't need any spot
>> metering at all.  Even today with my 5D I have never used the spot
>> meter.  If I have any serious question about exposure I'll simply take a
>> test shot and examine the histogram.  Live view would just make that
>> much simpler and faster as it does in the Minolta A1.
>>
> 
> 
> While I like the way the Minolta A1 implements the live-view histogram, I
> find it EXTREMELY bothersome for several reasons--reasons that will crater
> proper use of said item until specific display systems are developed.
> 
> 1. Delay. The live-view histogram is slow to generate and display. It's
> usually running about a second behind what is going on.
> 
> 2. Overlay. I despise overlay information on the image area. The only thing
> I find acceptable is a grid and maybe an active focus spot. I find it
> extremely offensive that the manufacturers place static information on the
> overlay that means absolutely nothing to the image itself. With all of the
> various things that can be turned on and so forth, by the time the overlay
> is showing everything, you can barely see the image itself!
> 
> See this page for examples of all of the overlay information!
> 
> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/MinoltaDiMAGEA1/page8.asp
> 
> So, what I am proposing has very specific reasons and is founded in the
> display and operational behavior of well-established exposure tools that
> professionals have used for decades.
> 
> 1. The shutter-speed scale. This is only software, and could be done the
> opposite way where the shutter-speed is set (shutter-priority) and the scale
> indicates the aperture.  But what is so important here is information
> comprehension. Let me use the OM-2S as an example, as this display is
> essentially identical to it. With the OM-2S, you can see the movement and
> position of the bar-graph without looking at it. Same with any SLR with a
> moving needle or the new Zeiss rangefinder camera which uses LEDs next to
> the shutter-speeds. This is a tried-and-true method and I know what my
> general shutter-speed is at any given time. I actually prefer the OM-2S over
> the OM-3Ti and OM-4Ti displays because it is to the left where my peripheral
> vision can see it and just like a mercury thermometer, you know how hot or
> cold it is by the height.
> 
> 2. The scale to the right is actually exactly the information you need for
> determining dynamic range. When taking a picture with a digital camera, what
> is the information you are trying to glean from a histogram?  It's the
> extremes. You really don't care much about the shape of the humps, you just
> want to make sure your highlights don't blow out and you're not pushed into
> the mush on the bottom end. By defining where the red thresholds are (1%,
> 2%, 5% for example), you know at a glance whether or not the scene is going
> to cause problems and you and adjust accordingly.
> 
> I really have a problem with the shoot-review-adjust-shoot methodology.
> That's fine and dandy for the static shots, but for a dynamic, action-filled
> situation, you don't have time to do that and even if you did, it means
> taking your eyes away from a potentially hazardous situation. If you are
> shooting wildlife, for example, you need to know that your exposures are
> correct without reviewing because any unnecessary noise and movement is
> going to scare them off. Sometimes, you are even in a situation where you
> cannot chimp anyway because of one-handed operation or dangerous
> conditions-when in a war-zone with snipers shooting at you--is chimping such
> a good idea?
> 
> The bar-graph displays that I'm presenting give you the most important
> aspects of the histogram without presenting a histogram. This is the "Zone
> System" simplified to it's rawest form. BTW, I use multi-spot metering in
> manual-exposure mode with the OM-3Ti and OM-4Ti in this exact manner. I
> meter the highlights, the shadows and a couple other spots to generally get
> a feel for the dynamic range of the scene and then I adjust exposure till
> all the dots are within the dynamic range of the film.
> 
> Like I've said many times before, there is no way the average photographer
> is going to know what relationship 1/320 has to 1/180 or 1/125.
> 
> AG
-- 
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