In other words, when shooting an event, (i.e. a wedding in a dark reception hall) do you ever trust that what you see on your LCD is what you will get on your monitor at home? The reason I ask is that I was shooting with my D7000 set at ISO 1000/1250, 24-70mm 2.8 lens set mostly @ f/4, 1/400th, flash set to high-speed sync and bounced off the ceiling. There was very little ambient light.
I didn't even *think* look at the histogram because everything appeared fine on the LCD. Boy was I wrong. I had to bring this, and most of my other images up by about 2 stops. Not something I am proud of.
This has been a problem with previous events I've shot and thought since the rooms each time were so dark, the LCD was relatively bright enough in such a dark room to lead me to believe everything was good to go.
"set mostly @ f/4, 1/400th, flash set to high-speed sync and bounced off the ceiling. There was very little ambient light."
Your LCD may have "lied" to you in dim lighting, but perhaps you should have considered before hand that those settings are a recipe for underexposure. High-speed sync flash already greatly reduces light output and bouncing would only make that worse. If there wasn't much ambient light, you could have used a slower shutter speed, avoided high-speed sync, and gotten good exposures.
I agree Aolander, there were times I used a slower shutter and no HS sync, but had too much motion blur from dancing for my taste. It's histograms for me from now on. I guess I am just preaching to the choir - my intent was to make my post a learning tool so others don't make the same mistake of relying on the LCD previewed image.
I do trust my LCD, and here is how: I took several pictures, loaded them into Photoshop, and then put the card back in the camera. I compared the image on the LCD to the image on the screen, and then adjusted the brightness on the camera LCD. I found that on the D800E this was minus 3. I now find that under exposed pictures show up as under exposed on the LCD.
1) If you were using spot or center weighted metering, your camera's meter will underexpose this image due to the very bright subjects: the dancers shoulders, faces, white dress, etc. Reflected illumination meters will always try and render an image in a neutral tone, thus overexposing dark subjects and underexposing bright subjects.
2) Make sure your monitor brightness is set to the normal range. If you need to keep the brightness high, study the correlation between monitor brightness and the histogram for images like this one.
3) I keep all internal adjustments in my cameras set to their neutral or off settings: kind of a "what I see on the monitor is what I get when in post processing" approach.
Hope this helps a bit.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
Sat 09-Nov-13 10:41 PM | edited Sat 09-Nov-13 10:44 PM by Arthur Laurent
I look at the histogram only when I'm setting up the shot, then I ignore it and use the viewfinder. The only exception to that is when I use Live View in a very dark room to check critical focus. (I'm getting ready to quit that, too, as the D4's AF system works excepionally well in coal-mine-at-midnight-without-a-light situations.)
I'm not used to chimping, having only recently come over from the film world, and don't see much point to that pactice. I know my Nikon stuff well enough that I know it'll continue to do exactly what I tell it to do.
So there are no suprises when I pop the exposures up on th Big Monitor at home.
Of course this assumes you can even see your LCD, or in-viewfinder LCD. I do mostly outdoor photography and in bright sun both LCDs are almost useless. I miss an optical viewfinder, and a split image or ground glass for focusing. I've only got a Coolpix P520 though. Histogram? Can hardly see it.
If you are shooting "RAW", neither the LCD nor the camera histogram can give you reliable information.
The picture on the LCD is affected by the settings in "PictureControl"; these are only preserved, if you use NX2 for PP. The dynamic range of the high resolution Nikon cameras is much greater than can be displayed in the histogram. As an example, with my D800 I can over expose by up to two stops without blowing the highlights. You can use the inexpensive program "RawDigger" to get a realistic representation of the RAW file.