Olympus has at long last announced the replacement for the ageing E-5 DSLR, but it might not be what people were expecting. Richard Sibley tests the micro four thirds OM-D E-M1. Read the Olympus OM-D E-M1 review...
Olympus OM-D E-M1 review – Metering
Overall, the 324-zone multi-pattern evaluative metering system works well, producing bright exposures that tend to maintain highlight detail as much as possible. Exposure compensation is easy to apply via the camera’s control dials, and spot and centreweighted metering are also available. Even more useful is the highlight and shadow spot metering that has long been a feature of Olympus cameras.
Highlight metering is more useful than shadow metering. By using highlight spot metering and pointing at a part of the scene that you wish to record as an almost white highlight, the metering will make an exposure around 2.3EV brighter than mid-grey. The resulting image will be the brightest possible exposure of the scene, with as little burnt-out highlight detail as possible. It is a great feature for those who like to ‘shoot to the right’ of the histogram, before darkening the image slightly where necessary, using software, to help keep noise to a minimum.
It is difficult to talk about the metering without mentioning the many different image adjustments. For JPEG users, there are many different ways to adjust images, and it is worth remembering that if you also save the raw files, they might look very different from the corresponding JPEG, which often show a lot lighter or darker than the implied exposure due to the application of image effects.