Settings

Recommended Settings:

  There are only two settings to consider when using a monochrome converted camera: white balance, and creative style. And the WB setting does not matter.

  Probably the nicest benefit from using the monochrome converted camera besides the increased resolution and sensitivity is that you can forget about white balance. Set it to auto, daylight, shade or anything in-between, because it makes no difference—assuming you are saving to the RAW file format. No color management needed. This is truly is a black-an-white sensor. When converting the RAW file, I recommend using Raw Photo Processor to prevent your photo editor from running its color de-mosaic algorithms on the file. Learn more about RPP HERE.

  When you receive your converted camera, the creative style will be set to Black & White. This only affects the monitor and the JPG file, not the RAW file itself. This allows you to see in B&W while shooting—something that was impossible to do in the days of film cameras. I had trained my mind over the years to see in B&W, but this is so much easier. Contrast, composition and tonal ranges become immediately apparent on the screen.


ISO considerations:

  Shooting at a higher ISO used to be a matter of concern, but that’s not the case anymore. I’m now finding that I can push the ISO higher with these converted cameras without ill effect. Mostly I don’t need to push the ISO since the sensor becomes more sensitive after the conversion, but sometimes it is just necessary. See THIS example between two images shot on a NEX-6(m) APS-C sensor at 100 and 3200 ISO. Open the two images in two separate windows to compare them side-by-side. You can certainly see the difference at 100%, but the 3200 ISO image looks good. Even the noise looks more like film grain. It is a totally usable image, especially if you are not pixel peeping—we are only doing it here for sake of comparisons. These two images also demonstrate what that little APS-C sensor can do.

  It is always good to know what the limitations of a tool are, and then keep those in the back of your mind while using that tool. This camera is only a tool, and as such used to achieve a goal. Have a vision in mind, and then use the tool to achieve it.

Next subject: Post Processing