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Thread started 12 Oct 2012 (Friday) 16:02
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to use or not to use LCD display?

 
Kellym7
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Oct 12, 2012 16:02 |  #1

I went to a local camera store to have some prints done. I was talking with one of the guys there about photos that looked good on the LCD display but when put on the computer were over exposed. He told me I should rely on the histogram and not the LCD display. It seems as if I read somewhere the brightness on the LCD display should be set to 4 to get an accurate display. Fill me in on the right thing to do prior to getting home to PP. I know the histogram is a valuable tool and I am starting to feel good about reading it. However I would think I should be able to look at the LCD display and get a good feeling for what the photos would look like without PP.


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BrickR
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Oct 12, 2012 16:05 |  #2

I don't recall what my LCD brightness is set to on my 60d, but its pretty accurate exposure wise to give me a good idea. (I did adjust it some)


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Oct 12, 2012 16:12 |  #3

I would not go by the LCD for exposure alone but using the histogram as well would be a better guide.
Did you try and adjust the exposure using an editing program such as Lightroom or Digital Photo Professional (quality software that comes with Canon cameras).
The LCD is good for getting an over all feel for composition, exposure, and focus but should not be totally relied upon.


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Oct 12, 2012 16:19 |  #4

I have taken to bringing my iPad, a USB cable, and the iPad camera connection kit so I can check photos on my iPad instead of the LCD display. I do use the histogram, however there are times when it's desired to underexpose or overexpose parts of an image, for example in landscape photography where one might be merging multiple exposures in PP either with layers or as an HDR.

I've been burned too many times when I would zoom in on the LCD only to later come home and find overexposed, blurry photos instead of nice ones that I thought I saw on my LCD screen.

This brings up the second reason not to use the LCD explicitly: regardless of the histogram, even zoomed in, I find it difficult to judge sharpness via the LCD display. The iPad has solved this issue for me, although it adds extra tasks when shooting and during the golden hours time passes quickly before the best light is gone, so it's not the most practical solution. If I had a camera with live view, the iPad would be my live view LCD screen. I am hoping with WiFi I will be able to do this on the 6D when it becomes available.

Take this with a grain of salt though because I shoot with an XTi, that has no live view, and I am sure the LCD screens on newer cameras have higher resolution and maybe some of the issues I am describing are not applicable with newer cameras.


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gonzogolf
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Oct 12, 2012 16:21 |  #5

Dont use the LCD to measure brightness, there are too many variables. Screen brightness setting, viewing angle, and ambient brightness can all bias your results. Learn to use the histogram.




  
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Oct 12, 2012 16:27 |  #6

gonzogolf wrote in post #15114285 (external link)
Dont use the LCD to measure brightness, there are too many variables. Screen brightness setting, viewing angle, and ambient brightness can all bias your results. Learn to use the histogram.

x2

the only thing the LCD tells you is when you've blown the highlights.


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Oct 12, 2012 17:05 |  #7

Copidosoma wrote in post #15114316 (external link)
x2

the only thing the LCD tells you is when you've blown the highlights.

Two points to this:

1) The histogram on the camera is from the JPG, so your white balance plays into it, etc. This can really mislead you depending on your settings.

2) The histogram and clippies on the LCD is not indicative of true limits, when shooting raw, you actually have more stop headroom at both ends.

So in reality, just because the LCD "says" you have blown highlights, you actually may not have. Now there are some settings you can make to the camera to reduce most of these deltas by shooting neutral picture styles, setting a uniWB for a custom white balance, and choosing adobeRBG instead of sRGB but that is a topic for another day.


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Oct 12, 2012 18:08 |  #8

Kellym7 wrote in post #15114202 (external link)
I went to a local camera store to have some prints done. I was talking with one of the guys there about photos that looked good on the LCD display but when put on the computer were over exposed. He told me I should rely on the histogram and not the LCD display. It seems as if I read somewhere the brightness on the LCD display should be set to 4 to get an accurate display. Fill me in on the right thing to do prior to getting home to PP. I know the histogram is a valuable tool and I am starting to feel good about reading it. However I would think I should be able to look at the LCD display and get a good feeling for what the photos would look like without PP.

The LCD is a processed jpeg according to the camera settings. If that's what you shoot and print, then it should be fairly close. If you shoot RAW, or if you process in something other than DPP, then the results can be quite different. Can you tell us what format you shoot in and what software you post process in?

As others have said, the histogram is your best tool, but even that isn't a guarantee. If you load a RAW image into Lightroom and compare the histogram there to the one in the camera, you will probably see something quite different.


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watt100
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Oct 12, 2012 18:32 |  #9

BrickR wrote in post #15114215 (external link)
I don't recall what my LCD brightness is set to on my 60d, but its pretty accurate exposure wise to give me a good idea. (I did adjust it some)

my LCD display is fairly accurate, I use it to judge exposure




  
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alazgr8
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Oct 13, 2012 14:48 |  #10

I have recently been using highlight alert, does anyone else find that helpful? I have my info set to show the histogram, settings and the image, I am learning, and that information is really helpful. -rick

gonzogolf wrote in post #15114285 (external link)
Dont use the LCD to measure brightness, there are too many variables. Screen brightness setting, viewing angle, and ambient brightness can all bias your results. Learn to use the histogram.


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Oct 13, 2012 15:02 |  #11

My Canon cameras are fine LCD wise. I have noticed on my newly acquired Nikon D90 (Just a camera to kick around... don't freak out:)) sometimes when I try to get dark areas they look nice and dark on the LCD but when I get home the dark areas are visible. I guess I'll be using the histogram on the D90 to get accurate exposure results.


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Oct 13, 2012 18:52 |  #12

Just as an overly bright computer monitor can mislead about image density, yet you get dark prints...you can view images on the camera LCD in an overly bright adjustment and also get dark exposures.

Histograms can MISLEAD, too!!! If you photograph a white snowy scene per the meter, you get a big spike in the center...but that only represents the fact that the white scene was recorded in an underexposed manner resulting in grey snow. So you have to interpret what the histogram tells you in an intelligent manner!


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Oct 13, 2012 20:27 |  #13

alazgr8 wrote in post #15117806 (external link)
I have recently been using highlight alert, does anyone else find that helpful? I have my info set to show the histogram, settings and the image, I am learning, and that information is really helpful. -rick

The blinkies, or highlight alert, is based on the histogram information so yes its part of the same process. As others have pointed out its helpful to learn what the histogram is telling you, and when it might likely be fooled, but its still a more reliable tool than just looking at the review screen.




  
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Oct 13, 2012 21:05 |  #14

The blinkies are also potentially deceptive, too...they are based upon the lower res preview JPG rather than the full res image, so blinkies may be masked when they fall within the pixels which are not within the lower res JPG preview.


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Kellym7
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Oct 15, 2012 09:16 |  #15

Preeb wrote in post #15114720 (external link)
The LCD is a processed jpeg according to the camera settings. If that's what you shoot and print, then it should be fairly close. If you shoot RAW, or if you process in something other than DPP, then the results can be quite different. Can you tell us what format you shoot in and what software you post process in?

As others have said, the histogram is your best tool, but even that isn't a guarantee. If you load a RAW image into Lightroom and compare the histogram there to the one in the camera, you will probably see something quite different.

I shoot in RAW and PP with Lightroom 4


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