Mary, and Overexposing With the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (#336) 06-27-13

For some reason, while walking around Naples, I wanted to photograph a lady wearing a hat. Not a floppy hat to keep sun off, but a fashion statement hat. I do not appreciate fashion, so I wold not understand a fashion statement. But at least I'd know that she was making one.

And there was Mary, a snowbird from Michigan and visiting Naples. And such a  neat white hat! She was shy, but sheepishly allowed a few photographs. All went well until I saw the files on the computer – they were overexposed. Big time.

So I checked the camera and it was set on ISO800, from the previous evening. Now, I just don't think that this should ever happen. When it comes to inadvertently shooting at high ISO, there are two types of photographers:

1. Those who admit to having done it, and

2. Liars

I think that when a camera is turned off, the ISO should return to a default value, either 100 or 200. But my Olympus doesn't, my Nikons didn't, and I don't know if any cameras do.

The OM-D E-M5 is a complicated beast. It's Byzantine menus are as complete as entry level DSLRS. But within the options is the ability to configure the viewfinder. Whereas it has a electronic viewfinder, I have now configured the histogram to be visible, BEFORE the shot is taken. Nice! That is not possible for DSLRS with optical viewfinders.

So here is the good news. From the reviews that I have read, the sensor in the OM-D is very RAW file friendly. The files have a LOT of latitude for improvement in post processing. Here is a screen capture of the file as it first came into Adobe Camera RAW:

Pretty ugly. And here is what it looks like after yanking the exposure slider to the left:

An impressive improvement in my book! Not perfect, and there isn't much detail in the hat. But I would hate to see this had it been captured as a jpeg.

I am still struggling to get used to the Olympus OM-D E-M5, but so far I LOVE it! If they could just have given it a more intuitive name...