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Thread: 'Highlights' viewing mode in-camera

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    'Highlights' viewing mode in-camera

    For a long time, I've used the 'highlights' mode to view shots on the back of my D90, with the understanding that any part of the image flashing is overexposed and no detail will be able to be recovered from this part of the image. However, I read somewhere that this 'highlights' display is actually based on a rudimentary in-camera JPEG conversion, meaning that possibly some detail in these areas would be recoverable from the RAW file? Can anyone confirm or refute this?
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    Hmmm - I think you have essentially posed a 'depends' question.

    I was taking some portraits the other night of a local roller derby team. I had the 'blinkies' turned on (got that from David Ziser, look him up, great wedding photog and his book 'captured by the light' is a must have IMO)....I was able to recover detail in most of the pictures but some were totally blown - - - which was my intent with the background.

    So, the short answer, it depends how much you blow them out by according to the camera display. At the end of the day it is intended to give a guide for you to think about changing settings if you feel it is required.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I've never used the blinkies display on any of my cameras, and usually turn that 'page' off in the menu.

    Histograms are a much better indication of what you can recover.
    But yes you're right.
    Note that this jpg image is not limited to the highlights review section .. the entire image review process is based on an embedded jpg file in the raw file.
    The image review is a jpg image of the raw file with the in camera Picture Control settings used to render the image.

    FWIW tho: In my experience, the differences in histograms between actual raw files on the PC and these embedded jpg files is negligible anyhow .. so while you may think you're not seeing every bit of info in this jpg file ... the differences are too minute(if there at all) between the review image and the actual raw file. ie. histograms will be the same.

    So if you shoot an image with the Portrait PC setting, and shot the same scene with Landscape PC settings(Landscape is more contrasty than Vivid) ... the image will not only look different, but the blinkies will blink differently too(less of them in Portrait mode).

    What you see later on on the PC via your raw converter may not necessarily be the same thing as you saw on the camera tho!
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Sounds like an "aid" you can switch off.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Generally, yes, you can still find the detail in those areas when shooting RAW. I often get the flashing black areas in my photos because I try to err on the side of brightness. Unless you're way off with exposure, the highlights can be tamed in ACR, and the detail is still there. This is especially the case with newer models. I still find it a useful tool when working in changeable light.
    Last edited by Warbler; 17-10-2013 at 7:55am.

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    Ok, thanks for the info guys. I suppose in future I can not worry so much about those 'blinkies' and concentrate more on the histogram.

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