People say, Olympus Micro Four Thirds image sensor is small, hence has limited capabilities when it comes to overall dynamic range captured in a photograph. We have been told that larger image sensors such as full frame sensors can retain more details in the extreme highlight and shadow regions, preventing from highlight and shadow clippings. While we do not defy the rules of science and physics, my question here remains valid, how much more dynamic range do you really need?
I have to admit I am not one of those technical freaks who would scream out loud when I spot a tiny bit of highlight burns in my photograph. I am very forgiving and may tolerate a lot more loss of dynamic range in my photographs than many others. However, I have also rarely encountered an issue whereby the dynamic range of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system is not sufficient.
E-M5 and 25mm F1.8 lens
I did a mistake in the above photograph. It was noon. I wanted to slow down the shutter speed to capture motion blur of the coming school bus. School bus with school children in school uniform crossing the road near a school after school hours, the idea seem to work as a good photograph. All I wanted to add was that motion blur for the extra "ooomph" in the image. I turned the mode dial to "shutter priority" and quickly dialed down the shutter speed to 1/4sec. ISO was at 200. Unfortunately the day was just being too bright, without lower ISO settings (ISO200 is native) or an aid of ND filter (even if I had one it would be not in time to shoot this frame, bus was coming fast), I captured an over exposed frame. Like, super seriously over-exposed.
At first I wanted to just delete the photograph, but thankfully it was shot in RAW. I opened up the Olympus viewer 3 and toned down the exposure to the lowest possible, and managed to recover a useable image. Nope, I could not recover all the highlights at such severe burn (yes yes, bigger sensor may be able to) but in all honesty, I was happy with the image I was able to recover. For a street photograph, it was good enough.
I do not encourage sloppy techniques, I still strongly emphasize on proper exposure control during shooting to obtain best possible well exposed image. The insurance of being able to recover so much after an extreme over-exposure, was a plus.