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OK, flysurfer, you seem to have a lot of experience with EXR generally and already a bit of a head start with the X10. Everything I'm reading about EXR is its primary advantage is to give a more film-like roll-off of the highlights and fewer total blowouts, as are generally more of a problem with digital than with old negative film. So, it sounds like a good walking around shooting mode in average to bright daylight conditions might be to keep the M resolution in PASM (A for me most of the time), set the ISO to Auto-400 or just manually keep it at 400 or below, keep the DR at 400 (or would you put it on auto and let it choose to go as high as 400), and then just shoot as you usually would, adjusting the aperture and/or shutter speed and/or ISO and/or exposure comp on the fly, keeping the 400 ISO limit in mind.
I think I get your approach for non-flash low light shooting above, but that's a relatively smaller percentage of what I do. As a good walking around setting though, does the above sound like a reasonable approach. There's more to think about here than with most any other camera I've used, where I pretty much always stick to one of the PASM modes and just adjust the 3-4 primary variables to taste as I'm shooting. Having to think about whether I'm in EXR and how the different EXR modes react adds another layer that's gonna take some time to fully wrap my head around. So, as a starting point, assuming I'd like to take advantage of EXR and just leave it in Medium resolution all the time, does the above approach sound about right? Or, how would you change it?
Thanks much for your patience.
It all depends on what you want to do with your pics and on your personal taste. The X10 is fully capable of producing rich DR400 photos both in L mode and in EXR DR (or M) mode. Actually, it may sometimes be hard to distinguish the results when you put both versions next to each other. But typically, colors and tones will look a little bit nicer in EXR DR than in conventional DR expansion (with scenes that benefit from it).
The Photolife blog only shows microscopic renditions of an EXR DR shot made at ISO 800, and I suspect you would either see either noise or smudging in a larger rendition. My tip would be to just give it a try, take the same shots in different modes, compare them at home on your PC, then save your favorite settings under the C1 and C2 custom presets. Many things are simply a matter of personal taste (or how you post process your JPEGs), so it's very hard to come up with universally "best" settings. It's hard enough to figure out what's best for me in a specific situation. And this is true with every camera.
And don't forget, there's always the possibility to have the X10 figure it out for you in EXR Auto mode. So, before entirely missing a shot due to overthinking and menu fiddling, keep it simple: point, frame and shoot.