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Rondo5570

San Diego, US
365 posts

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Rondo5570 Silver Member Charter Member
Sun 28-Apr-13 09:22 PM | edited Sun 28-Apr-13 09:24 PM by Rondo5570

I have recently gotten an 800E and have been actively learning its functions. Purchased Winston Hall's video series on the settings and controls for the D800/E and highly recommend it. One of the things that has really impressed me is that in Live View I can now see the image histogram and exposure compensation scale prior to making the image. I may be late to the party, but I have never seen this feature in other Nikon DSLR's. I've owned the D700, D3 and D7000, but this is the first one that I knew would display the histogram in Live View. Not saying that other Nikon cameras didn't do this but if they did I never discovered this feature.

I am really excited now to use this in the field and know what the histogram will look like BEFORE I make an image. I think his will help my photography a lot and will be a real time saver. Thanks to Nikon and thanks to Winston for helping me understand this great feature.

I would appreciate it if anyone who actively uses this would offer their opinion or experience with it and how they use this in their image making and workflow.

Ron

It's all about the light.

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10633 posts

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#1. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 29-Apr-13 12:37 PM

It is a new feature - and quite useful. The live view histogram has been in the Canon DSLR bodies and seems to be a pretty simple addition.

Eric Bowles
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Rondo5570

San Diego, US
365 posts

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#2. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 1

Rondo5570 Silver Member Charter Member
Mon 29-Apr-13 06:06 PM

Eric-
Thanks for your comment. I appreciate knowing that it really is a new feature. I agree that this is a very useful addition to the Live View mode. Seems like it only makes sense to have the histogram displayed "live" in live view so it can be as useful as possible.

Thanks again.

Ron

It's all about the light.

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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16968 posts

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#3. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Mon 29-Apr-13 06:40 PM | edited Mon 29-Apr-13 06:47 PM by walkerr

These features were in the D3 series (D3, D3s, and D3x). They're very handy given my experience with those cameras, and I rarely used my D700 for landscape work because it lacked this feature (plus you couldn't adjust the aperture while in Live View).

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

larsch01

Los Angeles, US
307 posts

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#4. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 3

larsch01 Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2009
Tue 30-Apr-13 02:24 AM

Is there a particular setting(s) that one must use to see the "live" histogram in Live View? I know that pressing the Info button cycles through various things, and although I see the exposure meter, I cannot get the histogram to display. I'm sure it is something simple that I am missing, but just can't figure it out.

Advise/guidance greatly appreciated.

Larry

Larry

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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16968 posts

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#5. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 4

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Tue 30-Apr-13 03:11 AM

Hit the "OK" button to activate exposure preview mode and then cycle displays using "info" until it appears.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

larsch01

Los Angeles, US
307 posts

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#6. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 5

larsch01 Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2009
Tue 30-Apr-13 11:20 AM | edited Tue 30-Apr-13 11:24 AM by larsch01

Rick,

Thanks, that's it. I kept pushing the "OK" button and wondering why it wasn't working. I think I need to get some sleep instead of playing with the buttons.

Larry

Larry

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Rondo5570

San Diego, US
365 posts

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#7. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 3

Rondo5570 Silver Member Charter Member
Tue 30-Apr-13 12:54 PM

Rick-

Thanks for the information. I owned a D3 for a couple of years and shot in LV mode quite a bit. I never knew that the histogram was available. Just goes to show that I need to be sure I understand ALL of the features of my equipment. That is one reason I am finding Winston's D800 guide very useful. I have learned a lot from that guide and now I've learned from your experience also.

Thanks again.

Ron

It's all about the light.

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#8. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 7

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Tue 30-Apr-13 03:44 PM | edited Tue 30-Apr-13 07:41 PM by GaryPk

Hi. I shoot D800e/Live View for most Landscapes. Live View manual focus is great. When I shoot Manual Mode/LV, I set exposure with Spot Metering based on the digital Zone System before even putting the camera on the tripod where the light is not likely to change soon. At other times when I am bracketing or focus stacking I use Aperture Priority / LV with Exposure Compensation usually set to -.3 to -.7 to start. I then check the RGB only to make sure no color channel is clipped.

www.GaryPackPhotography.com

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Rondo5570

San Diego, US
365 posts

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#9. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 8

Rondo5570 Silver Member Charter Member
Thu 02-May-13 12:57 PM

Gary-
Thanks a lot for sharing how you use the D800E and Live View. Interesting approach. I assume you do the Spot Metering hand-held just to be sure you can get the image you want before you go to the trouble of putting the camera on a tripod--right? Can you share your reason for always using Exp. Comp set to -.3 to -.7 when bracketing and stacking? Is this from experience?

Again, thanks for sharing. I also looked at your website and a lot of your images. Very nice. You do some really great work. Glad to have found your site.

Ron

It's all about the light.

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#10. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 9

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Thu 02-May-13 04:57 PM

HI. Thank you. Even when I am not bracketing but in Aperture Priority Mode I set exposure compensation to -.3 to -.7

My experience is the my D800e tends to over-expose a little so the "default" exposure compensation I build in almost always gives me an RGB histogram where the color farthest-most to the right is just barely touching the right wall. Works for me and my camera. Thanks again, Gary

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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16968 posts

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#11. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 10

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Thu 02-May-13 05:14 PM

I have both a D800e and a D800 and find that zero compensation works well with both of them. I would base any adjustments on what you see with your individual camera. Keep in mind that for a camera that perpetually meters "hot or cold", you can use a custom function to re-center it.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#12. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 11

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Thu 02-May-13 06:36 PM

HI. Yes, as always, your mileage may vary. In my case the standard "black & white" histogram always looked good. Viewing the RGB Histogram, however, usually indicated that I was clipping a color channel. Gary

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3574 posts

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#13. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 12

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Thu 02-May-13 06:54 PM

The Histogram is based on a rendered JPG so any PC settings you use will influence the histogram but not the Raw file captured. It might be clipping a color prematurely on the histogram even if it is well within the DR of the raw data.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#14. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 13

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Thu 02-May-13 06:59 PM

Ahhhh.... good point. Thanks Stan

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Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
6130 posts

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#15. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 5

Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter Member
Thu 02-May-13 07:44 PM

>Hit the "OK" button to activate exposure preview
>mode and then cycle displays using "info" until it
>appears.

Also, to see the live histogram, Active D-Lighting must be 'OFF'. When I first got my D3, it took me a long time to figure that out!

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2688 posts

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#16. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 13

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Thu 02-May-13 09:20 PM

>The Histogram is based on a rendered JPG so any PC settings
>you use will influence the histogram but not the Raw file
>captured. It might be clipping a color prematurely on the
>histogram even if it is well within the DR of the raw data.
>Stan

This is a very valid statement

I believe your camera JPEG is closest to the "Raw Image", if all in-camera settings are set to their lowest value. Also, the dynamic range of a camera like the D800 is significantly higher than can be displayed by the histogram. To recover as many data as possible and to minimize noise in the shadows I believe it is wise to over-expose by up to one stop. The overexposure is then corrected in PP, but you still have the data points.

Tristan

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Rondo5570

San Diego, US
365 posts

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#17. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 9

Rondo5570 Silver Member Charter Member
Thu 02-May-13 10:28 PM

John Shaw had an interesting post on his blog a few weeks ago about ETTR. In fact he called it exposing WELL to the right.

He looked at exposures that appeared to be overexposed on the original histogram. When those raw files were loaded into his imaging processing software they were not overexposed at all. He did a test of his camera and determined that he could go 1, 2 or 3 stops more than the histogram indicated for overexposure. Seemed to indicate that the camera histogram may not be as accurate as we would like.

His point was that by testing his camera and determining that he could go past the point of histogram indicated overexposure, he still had an image whose highlights were not clipped and he could get an even better image (less noise), Seems to be the same thing several replies here are indicating.

Ron

It's all about the light.

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#18. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 17

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Thu 02-May-13 11:03 PM

While I thought mine may be the opposite and have gotten good results, I will certainly give "Well To The Right" a workout..

What I love about this is that I could live to be 200 and never know it all. Thanks

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3574 posts

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#19. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 18

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Fri 03-May-13 03:51 AM

I have found that the D800 is such a different animal that what has come before that most of the habits and rules of thumb can be explored to see if they help or hinder, whereas when cameras had 8-9 stops DR on a good day, the 8 bit per channel JPG depth was good enough to describe the data well enough. It isn't with cameras capturing a linear range of 14 stops. Experimenting and finding what works best is going to generate a new generation of rules of thumb. We are in the initial phases of that now.
By visualizing what the sensors that detect the values that the indicators or displays actually tell you, it is easier to make adjustments on the fly.
For example, all the complaints of "over exposing" on some models, where rules of thumb to dial in universal -.7 EC for example suggests the person is taking the readings as some absolute when it is not. The meter is referenced to 18% mid tone and knowing the pattern, biases and resolving power of the metering sensor lets us use the metering data in its proper context of what IT sees, not the total scene.
The same misunderstanding of AF is based on the assumption is that the focusing sensor is detecting targets as we intend, not as what the sensor can and can't see or resolve. Cameras are so good that we expect them to mimic how we detect focus or tone range, which it can't because the sensors and processes are based on different models.

We use a lot of processing power in our brains to handle extended depth of field or tone range by using scanning and memory to create an impression of a composite. Our impression of a scene being razor sharp to our eyes at infinity and the immediate foreground and all inbetween is a brain generated illusion. We scan and sample at various depths and build a composite of what we believe. We are not resolving with acuity of the far distance and near field at the same time, but stacked "captures" that are used to build the image we "see".
Same with wide tone range. With all our senses, what we are conscious of is highly processed by our brains using clues from fairly low res detectors. If we were conscious of the information detected by our ears, we would not understand the person talking to us 10 feet way, any information would be lost in a sea of echo and reflected sound.
If we "felt" what really was touching us, we would be distracted into inaction but the brain filters out the 99.999% of static information and makes us conscious of only the change in pressure of some of the reporting skins sensors. The same with vision and how different cameras and vision are even if cameras and eyes are pretty good analogies of each other. Eyes and vision are very different things.
By thinking of how the camera sees the world, instead of just how we believe it should, we are in much better position to make appropriate adjustments on the fly without needing to apply inappropriate rules of thumb.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#20. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 19

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Fri 03-May-13 03:43 PM | edited Fri 03-May-13 04:18 PM by GaryPk

Well, my first reaction was " I want some of that".

So what you are saying is . . think of the histogram as "roughly" and experiment, but compensation adjusting for "over exposure" is an inappropriate "misunderstanding"? Seems therefore that the best approach is to Spot Meter in Manual Mode off something in the scene that is Neutral and assume the camera sensor sees that as 18% grey? I respect your knowledge greatly, but I have slipped further into the circle of confusion.

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10633 posts

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#21. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 20

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Fri 03-May-13 04:51 PM

Gary

My initial inclination was to dial in -0.3, but on 80% of those images I find that adjustment slightly underexposes the image. The camera is remarkably good - and better than earlier models - in correctly metering the scene.

I find the histogram is not precise for small blown highlights that can be extremely hard to recover. I often use a combination of the histogram and blinking highlights. And there is an art to metering as lighting conditions can easily change in a few seconds if little more than a wispy cloud covers the sun. You need to understand how changes in light affect your chosen exposure mode and the meter.

Matrix metering is much more than simply spot metering. It takes into consideration the entire scene and references the scene against a range of similar scenes to determine exposure. It is remarkably good - but still may need adjustment. For wildlife, center weighted tends to work better. And for some subjects (moon, white birds, snow), an old rule of thumb with spot metering and manual exposure may work better.



Eric Bowles
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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#22. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 21

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Fri 03-May-13 05:16 PM | edited Fri 03-May-13 06:21 PM by GaryPk

Hi. Thanks Eric. I often check both the Histogram and the Blinkies also and frequently have to correct for those small blown highlights with negative exposure compensation .... )) I do understand that there is no "one setting fits all" because every range of light, every subject balance and every situation is different. My initial camera settings are a "starting Point" subject to change after analysis when there is time. I frequently start with -.3 to -.7.

Having said that, the bears are coming out of hibernation up here. I have to be prepared to grab the camera off the wood stove and start shooting ... so, I am set in Aperture Priority mode, F8, ISO640, Matrix and -.3 exposure compensation. I have found that in that grab and shoot situation I am most likely to get a good usable exposure. My initial setup for Live View Landscapes is, of course, completely different and is as I stated above.

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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16968 posts

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#23. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 20

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Fri 03-May-13 10:03 PM

>
>So what you are saying is . . think of the histogram as
>"roughly" and experiment, but compensation adjusting
>for "over exposure" is an inappropriate
>"misunderstanding"? Seems therefore that the best
>approach is to Spot Meter in Manual Mode off something in the
>scene that is Neutral and assume the camera sensor sees that
>as 18% grey? I respect your knowledge greatly, but I have
>slipped further into the circle of confusion.

Spot metering off of something that's medium grey can work well if the lighting in the scene is consistent or if the object you're metering is in bright light and you're trying to do minimal post-processing (think jpegs). If you're shooting raw and you'd like to have an image with the most flexibility for post-processing, including the greatest dynamic range and the least noise in the shadows, you simply want to keep your histogram (preferably the RGB one) shifted as much to the right as you can without blowing highlights. This won't necessarily result in an image that looks good on the back of the screen - it might very well look too bright - but you'll be able to get a lot out of it in post-processing. How you get this result can be done a variety of ways (matrix, spot, center-weighted); the important thing is interpreting the results and then adjusting the exposure accordingly.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

PhotoSpydie

Buckeye, US
226 posts

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#24. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 18

PhotoSpydie Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 17th Jul 2011
Sat 04-May-13 12:08 PM

AMEN!!

Carol
photospydie.com

GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#25. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 24

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Sat 04-May-13 12:38 PM

Exactly... That's why I said way back in the beginning:

"I then check the RGB only to make sure no color channel is clipped."

Thanks, Gary

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Rondo5570

San Diego, US
365 posts

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#26. "RE: D800E and Live View" | In response to Reply # 0

Rondo5570 Silver Member Charter Member
Fri 10-May-13 02:54 PM

This has all been good information. Just what I expect from Nikonians! Thanks to all for your input.

Ron

It's all about the light.

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G