Canon Rebel XT - Can't get good pictures.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by emrlaw@att.net, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Paul J Gans Guest

    Rich <> wrote:

    > wrote:
    >> I just bought a Rebel XT and I just cannot get good indoor photos from
    >> it. I've only used it on "automatic", but I've used it with the
    >> built-in flash and with an external flash. All of my pictures look too
    >> dark and lack any vivid color. I've always been a huge Canon fan, so
    >> I'm really disappointed in this one. (My previous camera was a G6,
    >> which I sold to get the XT). Any advice would really be appreciated!


    >Canon is know for it's neutral (flat, washed out looking) image
    >renditions. The vividness produced by some other cameras is considered
    >cartoony by some Canon shooters who prefer a more natural image.
    >Nothing preventing "revamping" those images in PS though.


    He says his images are dark. That's not washed out. And
    his previous camera was a Canon.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Oct 25, 2006
    #21
    1. Advertising

  2. Mark² Guest

    Paul J Gans wrote:
    > "Mark?" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote:
    >> Paul J Gans wrote:
    >>> <> wrote:
    >>>> I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR
    >>>> and I will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in
    >>>> manual mode. That said, I still think I should be able to get
    >>>> decent photos in automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the
    >>>> built-in flash, no flash, the external flash straight-on, and the
    >>>> external flash bounced off the wall. None of the photos have been
    >>>> properly exposed. I just wonder if I somehow got a lemon. I
    >>>> think a camera this expensive should take good photos in auto
    >>>> mode. Otherwise, it shouldn't have an auto mode. Anyway, I
    >>>> appreciate all of your comments.
    >>>
    >>> I happen to agree with you.
    >>>
    >>> What I'd do is take some daylight shots on automatic outside.
    >>> See how they come out.
    >>>
    >>> If they are no good, you have a problem.
    >>>
    >>> If they are, try taking a photo of something that won't move
    >>> such as a chair. Do this from about three feet away. The image
    >>> should not be dark and even may be washed out.
    >>>
    >>> Do it again from six feet away. Compare. Then try nine feet.
    >>> Let us know what happens.
    >>>
    >>> And don't pay any attention to the folks who like heaping scorn.
    >>> Canon did not make the XT so that "green zone" pictures would be
    >>> lousy. That negates the entire purpose of the camera.
    >>>
    >>> It is, as some have said, true that you can do *better* with
    >>> more manual control, but you should be able to get usable pics
    >>> on automatic.

    >
    >> That's only true if you're shooting a scene that is a neutral
    >> tone...like blue jeans, or green grass.
    >> If you're shooting something predominantly dark or light, the meter
    >> will be thrown off.

    >
    > No. The camera will take the scene and make it (subject
    > to the current color balance) make it a neutral gray.


    Exactly...which is preciselywhat I said. Whites will be too dark, and
    blacks will be made grey.
    -Or...as I said..."thrown off."

    >
    > In other words, the XT in "green zone" mode should do
    > what a P&S would do.


    That depends on how various camera zone their meters.
    This is far from standard.


    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 25, 2006
    #22
    1. Advertising

  3. >> You should be disappointed in yourself. Don't blame the tool because you
    >> don't know how to use it.

    >
    > Why do you folks assume that. In any of the "automatic"
    > modes, the camera takes care of everything, including
    > white balance and popping the flash.


    Yes, but it can only do so much. A DSLR is set up differently from a
    P&S. A P&S is programmed to produce the best photograph possible under
    the conditions it detects. A DSLR is programmed to allow the user to get
    the exact results he wants. That's a compromise, and it's why we "folks
    assume that." With a DSLR you *have* to help the camera towards the
    result you want.

    > The resulting photos, if the subject is not too far away,
    > should be reasonable. If they are very unreasonable, something
    > strange is going on.


    Or, as in this instance, the camera is being used under difficult
    circumstances (dark, indoor, flash used, vivid colour results wanted)
    and needs user input to get to the results the user wants.
     
    Derek Fountain, Oct 25, 2006
    #23
  4. Celcius Guest

    "Paul J Gans" <> wrote in message
    news:ehmccc$me0$...
    > Celcius <> wrote:
    >
    >><> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>> I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR and I
    >>> will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in manual mode.
    >>> That said, I still think I should be able to get decent photos in
    >>> automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in flash, no
    >>> flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash bounced
    >>> off the wall. None of the photos have been properly exposed. I just
    >>> wonder if I somehow got a lemon. I think a camera this expensive
    >>> should take good photos in auto mode. Otherwise, it shouldn't have an
    >>> auto mode. Anyway, I appreciate all of your comments.
    >>>

    >
    >>Try to put your camera on "P" (to take the photo with flash, you have to
    >>open the flash by pressing the flash button on the left had side of the
    >>flash), then the white balance (WB) at "automatic", try also white balance
    >>on "Flash". Try taking the flash with ISO 100, then 200... Remember that
    >>on
    >>the XT, once you've chose the WB, or the ISO... you have to hit the
    >>"Enter"
    >>key, otherwise it remains as it was. You didn't say how far you were from
    >>the subject or whether the room was dark or partially lit... Just a few
    >>ideas. Marcel.

    >
    > NO. The camera should take a reasonable picture when set to
    > the "green zone".
    >
    > The camera then takes care of white balance, iso number, and the
    > flash. If that produces lousy pictures, there is something wrong
    > with the camera. Taht you might be able to compensate for it
    > in other ways is quite beside the point.
    >
    > ---- Paul J. Gans


    I know, Paul.
    It was simply to verify further...
    Green mode? You use Pentax?
    Marcel
     
    Celcius, Oct 25, 2006
    #24
  5. Bob Burns Guest

    wrote:
    > I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR and I
    > will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in manual mode.
    > That said, I still think I should be able to get decent photos in
    > automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in flash, no
    > flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash bounced
    > off the wall. None of the photos have been properly exposed. I just
    > wonder if I somehow got a lemon. I think a camera this expensive
    > should take good photos in auto mode. Otherwise, it shouldn't have an
    > auto mode. Anyway, I appreciate all of your comments.
    >

    I'd take it back to the store. I bought a XT last year which has always
    taken excellent photos on auto both with and without flash..

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------
    "Every day is Saturday when you're retired."

    Bob Burns
    Mill Hall PA
    (email is a spamtrap)
     
    Bob Burns, Oct 25, 2006
    #25
  6. Celcius Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I just bought a Rebel XT and I just cannot get good indoor photos from
    > it. I've only used it on "automatic", but I've used it with the
    > built-in flash and with an external flash. All of my pictures look too
    > dark and lack any vivid color. I've always been a huge Canon fan, so
    > I'm really disappointed in this one. (My previous camera was a G6,
    > which I sold to get the XT). Any advice would really be appreciated!
    >

    Hi again!

    Where are you at now, since your first thread?
    Have you taken it back to the store to try it out? To get a new one?

    Thanks,

    Marcel
     
    Celcius, Oct 25, 2006
    #26
  7. Ray Fischer Guest

    <> wrote:
    >I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR and I
    >will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in manual mode.
    >That said, I still think I should be able to get decent photos in
    >automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in flash, no
    >flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash bounced
    >off the wall. None of the photos have been properly exposed. I just
    >wonder if I somehow got a lemon.


    How do you know if they're properly exposed?

    Are you judging by what you see on the computer, by the prints you got
    back from the lab, or by the display on the camera's screen?

    The photo might be correctly exposed and the problem might be somewhere
    else.

    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, Oct 25, 2006
    #27
  8. timeOday Guest

    Derek Fountain wrote:
    >>> You should be disappointed in yourself. Don't blame the tool because
    >>> you don't know how to use it.

    >>
    >>
    >> Why do you folks assume that. In any of the "automatic"
    >> modes, the camera takes care of everything, including
    >> white balance and popping the flash.

    >
    >
    > Yes, but it can only do so much. A DSLR is set up differently from a
    > P&S. A P&S is programmed to produce the best photograph possible under
    > the conditions it detects. A DSLR is programmed to allow the user to get
    > the exact results he wants. That's a compromise, and it's why we "folks
    > assume that."


    What compromise? A DSLR in auto mode *is* a P&S, and should not take
    worse pictures than any other P&S. It has a bigger sensor, bigger lens,
    and (most likely) more powerful flash. The auto pictures should be
    better, not worse. Canon is not so stupid as to intentionally make a
    disfunctional auto mode so elitists can taunt newbies, for that we have
    usenet. That in no way detracts from whatever else a DSLR can do when
    it is not in auto mode.
     
    timeOday, Oct 25, 2006
    #28
  9. Guest

    Thanks for everyone's input (except Derek Fountain's comment that "you
    should be disappointed in yourself. Don't blame the tool because you
    don't know how to use it." That's not helpful and I would never
    respond to someone's good-faith plea for help with a ridiculous comment
    like that.)

    Anyway, my outdoor photos look great. It's only indoors (at night)
    that I have a problem with. Regardless of the amount of light in the
    room, the photos look like they were taken with a cheap film camera.
    They're too dark and the features look "washed-out". (Those are the
    only words I know to describe them. I would post some samples, but I
    don't know how to do it.) It helps when I use the external flash
    bounced off the ceiling, but they still don't look very good. I think
    a dSLR on "auto" mode should function as good, if not better, than a
    point & shoot camera. But I guess I'm wrong about that. The reason I
    got this camera was because I thought the rest of my family could use
    it, without messing with the manual controls. And I'd still be able to
    use the camera in manual mode to try to improve my photography.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your help! Thanks again.
     
    , Oct 25, 2006
    #29
  10. On 25 Oct 2006 14:36:10 -0700, <> wrote:
    >
    > Thanks for everyone's input (except Derek Fountain's comment that "you
    > should be disappointed in yourself. Don't blame the tool because you
    > don't know how to use it." That's not helpful and I would never
    > respond to someone's good-faith plea for help with a ridiculous comment
    > like that.)
    >
    > Anyway, my outdoor photos look great. It's only indoors (at night)
    > that I have a problem with. Regardless of the amount of light in the
    > room, the photos look like they were taken with a cheap film camera.
    > They're too dark and the features look "washed-out". (Those are the
    > only words I know to describe them. I would post some samples, but I
    > don't know how to do it.) It helps when I use the external flash
    > bounced off the ceiling, but they still don't look very good. I think
    > a dSLR on "auto" mode should function as good, if not better, than a
    > point & shoot camera. But I guess I'm wrong about that. The reason I
    > got this camera was because I thought the rest of my family could use
    > it, without messing with the manual controls. And I'd still be able to
    > use the camera in manual mode to try to improve my photography.


    Go to flickr.com or photobucket.com and register for a free account.
    Those sites (among others) make it pretty easy to upload pictures to the
    web. Then put up a couple of the bad shots; that will give people here
    something definite to look at, which should help in diagnosing the
    problem.

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Oct 25, 2006
    #30
  11. Guest

    , Oct 26, 2006
    #31
  12. Lefty Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Here are two photos I took with the camera. I just took them with the
    > camera set to full "auto" mode. Thanks again for your help!
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg
    >


    Yes they both look very dark. Autolevels immediately improves both of them
    immensely.

    www.rudybenner.com/album/Canon1_copy.jpg
    www.rudybenner.com/album/canon2_copy.jpg

    Something wrong for sure. Its like the EV is set down a few notches. Anyone
    else have any ideas?

    r.
     
    Lefty, Oct 26, 2006
    #32
  13. Mark² Guest

    Ray Fischer wrote:
    > <> wrote:
    >> I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR
    >> and I will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in manual
    >> mode. That said, I still think I should be able to get decent photos
    >> in automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in flash, no
    >> flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash bounced
    >> off the wall. None of the photos have been properly exposed. I just
    >> wonder if I somehow got a lemon.

    >
    > How do you know if they're properly exposed?


    An easy test would be to shoot green grass under daylight...with a small
    piece of paper off to the side...then switch the camera to center-weighted
    metering (since it doesn't have a spot meter). Meter off of the grass, and
    then include the paper in the edge of the photo. Green grass is extremely
    close to a neutral value for metering...so if it the paper is much too dark
    or light, you've likely got a problem.

    This will only test the meter, though, and not the interaction of the flash
    with the meter.


    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 26, 2006
    #33
  14. On 25 Oct 2006 16:11:10 -0700, <> wrote:
    >
    > Here are two photos I took with the camera. I just took them with the
    > camera set to full "auto" mode. Thanks again for your help!
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg


    They do look somewhat on the dark side. I'm not familiar with the
    details of the dRebel; in full auto mode, is it possible to set exposure
    compensation? If so, you might want to check to see if you've
    accidentally set exposure compensation to -1 or so. If that is indeed
    the case, set it back to zero.

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Oct 26, 2006
    #34
  15. Guest

    I reset the camera to the default settings before I took these
    pictures. I don't think there's anything else I can adjust in the full
    auto mode.
     
    , Oct 26, 2006
    #35
  16. On 25 Oct 2006 17:25:26 -0700, <> wrote:
    >
    > I reset the camera to the default settings before I took these
    > pictures. I don't think there's anything else I can adjust in the full
    > auto mode.


    EXIF info (from the first image):

    Exposure Time: 1/60 sec
    F-Number: f/5.0
    Exposure Program: Normal Program
    ISO Speed Rating: 400
    Lens Aperture: f/5.0
    Exposure Bias: 0 EV
    Flash: Flash, Auto, Red-Eye Reduce

    So, the bias wasn't set negative, so that theory goes down the drain,
    Guessing: Maybe there's something wrong with the flash?

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Oct 26, 2006
    #36
  17. Frank ess Guest

    Mark² wrote:
    > Ray Fischer wrote:
    >> <> wrote:
    >>> I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR
    >>> and I will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in
    >>> manual
    >>> mode. That said, I still think I should be able to get decent
    >>> photos
    >>> in automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in flash,
    >>> no
    >>> flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash
    >>> bounced off the wall. None of the photos have been properly
    >>> exposed. I just wonder if I somehow got a lemon.

    >>
    >> How do you know if they're properly exposed?

    >
    > An easy test would be to shoot green grass under daylight...with a
    > small piece of paper off to the side...then switch the camera to
    > center-weighted metering (since it doesn't have a spot meter).
    > Meter
    > off of the grass, and then include the paper in the edge of the
    > photo. Green grass is extremely close to a neutral value for
    > metering...so if it the paper is much too dark or light, you've
    > likely got a problem.
    > This will only test the meter, though, and not the interaction of
    > the
    > flash with the meter.


    It's difficult to tell if the camera is metering wrong, same for the
    external flash, but ... Looks to me as if the 'flat' is due to the
    metering pattern; it doesn't take much glare on one of the elements in
    the frame to upset the overall exposure. That whitish flower on the
    chair, and the white cat could convince the camera's exposure brain it
    needs to back off a stop or so. Pretty clear the cat is headed toward
    gray, which is what I'd expect an 'auto' instruction would say. Not so
    much for the shapely but wooden subject in the other photo, but on the
    same continuum.

    I remember quite a bit of complaint about flash function when the 20D
    came out, repeated for the 350D; underexposure was rampant, and I
    disremember if the problem just became a known 'feature' and accepted
    fault, or if it was resolved in firmware. I do remember seeing plenty
    of examples similar to yours, or worse, and people resignedly
    commenting that as a matter of course they were cranking in two-thirds
    or a stop-and-a-third of overexposure whenever flash was employed.

    My wife wants your cat; I want your guitar ...

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Oct 26, 2006
    #37
  18. Guest

    Frank ess wrote:
    > Mark² wrote:
    > > Ray Fischer wrote:
    > >> <> wrote:
    > >>> I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a dSLR
    > >>> and I will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in
    > >>> manual
    > >>> mode. That said, I still think I should be able to get decent
    > >>> photos
    > >>> in automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in flash,
    > >>> no
    > >>> flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash
    > >>> bounced off the wall. None of the photos have been properly
    > >>> exposed. I just wonder if I somehow got a lemon.
    > >>
    > >> How do you know if they're properly exposed?

    > >
    > > An easy test would be to shoot green grass under daylight...with a
    > > small piece of paper off to the side...then switch the camera to
    > > center-weighted metering (since it doesn't have a spot meter).
    > > Meter
    > > off of the grass, and then include the paper in the edge of the
    > > photo. Green grass is extremely close to a neutral value for
    > > metering...so if it the paper is much too dark or light, you've
    > > likely got a problem.
    > > This will only test the meter, though, and not the interaction of
    > > the
    > > flash with the meter.

    >
    > It's difficult to tell if the camera is metering wrong, same for the
    > external flash, but ... Looks to me as if the 'flat' is due to the
    > metering pattern; it doesn't take much glare on one of the elements in
    > the frame to upset the overall exposure. That whitish flower on the
    > chair, and the white cat could convince the camera's exposure brain it
    > needs to back off a stop or so. Pretty clear the cat is headed toward
    > gray, which is what I'd expect an 'auto' instruction would say. Not so
    > much for the shapely but wooden subject in the other photo, but on the
    > same continuum.
    >
    > I remember quite a bit of complaint about flash function when the 20D
    > came out, repeated for the 350D; underexposure was rampant, and I
    > disremember if the problem just became a known 'feature' and accepted
    > fault, or if it was resolved in firmware. I do remember seeing plenty
    > of examples similar to yours, or worse, and people resignedly
    > commenting that as a matter of course they were cranking in two-thirds
    > or a stop-and-a-third of overexposure whenever flash was employed.
    >
    > My wife wants your cat; I want your guitar ...
    >
    > --
    > Frank ess


    Frank,

    So, in general, do you agree the photos are not what they should be?
    When I use an external flash, they're not much better. (My cat and my
    guitar are my prized possessions. But don't tell my wife that. :)

    Thanks for your comments.

    Ethan
     
    , Oct 26, 2006
    #38
  19. Guest

    wrote:
    > I just bought a Rebel XT and I just cannot get good indoor photos from
    > it. I've only used it on "automatic", but I've used it with the
    > built-in flash and with an external flash. All of my pictures look too
    > dark and lack any vivid color. I've always been a huge Canon fan, so
    > I'm really disappointed in this one. (My previous camera was a G6,
    > which I sold to get the XT). Any advice would really be appreciated!


    I have the same camera, but on full auto mode I get great results. The
    exposure appears dead on. I'd suggest having the camera looked at.
     
    , Oct 26, 2006
    #39
  20. Frank ess Guest

    wrote:
    > Frank ess wrote:
    >> Mark² wrote:
    >>> Ray Fischer wrote:
    >>>> <> wrote:
    >>>>> I'm not naive. I understand there's a learning curve with a
    >>>>> dSLR
    >>>>> and I will eventually take the time to learn how to use it in
    >>>>> manual
    >>>>> mode. That said, I still think I should be able to get decent
    >>>>> photos
    >>>>> in automatic mode as well. I've tried it with the built-in
    >>>>> flash,
    >>>>> no
    >>>>> flash, the external flash straight-on, and the external flash
    >>>>> bounced off the wall. None of the photos have been properly
    >>>>> exposed. I just wonder if I somehow got a lemon.
    >>>>
    >>>> How do you know if they're properly exposed?
    >>>
    >>> An easy test would be to shoot green grass under daylight...with a
    >>> small piece of paper off to the side...then switch the camera to
    >>> center-weighted metering (since it doesn't have a spot meter).
    >>> Meter
    >>> off of the grass, and then include the paper in the edge of the
    >>> photo. Green grass is extremely close to a neutral value for
    >>> metering...so if it the paper is much too dark or light, you've
    >>> likely got a problem.
    >>> This will only test the meter, though, and not the interaction of
    >>> the
    >>> flash with the meter.

    >>
    >> It's difficult to tell if the camera is metering wrong, same for
    >> the
    >> external flash, but ... Looks to me as if the 'flat' is due to the
    >> metering pattern; it doesn't take much glare on one of the elements
    >> in the frame to upset the overall exposure. That whitish flower on
    >> the chair, and the white cat could convince the camera's exposure
    >> brain it needs to back off a stop or so. Pretty clear the cat is
    >> headed toward gray, which is what I'd expect an 'auto' instruction
    >> would say. Not so much for the shapely but wooden subject in the
    >> other photo, but on the same continuum.
    >>
    >> I remember quite a bit of complaint about flash function when the
    >> 20D
    >> came out, repeated for the 350D; underexposure was rampant, and I
    >> disremember if the problem just became a known 'feature' and
    >> accepted
    >> fault, or if it was resolved in firmware. I do remember seeing
    >> plenty
    >> of examples similar to yours, or worse, and people resignedly
    >> commenting that as a matter of course they were cranking in
    >> two-thirds or a stop-and-a-third of overexposure whenever flash was
    >> employed.
    >>
    >> My wife wants your cat; I want your guitar ...
    >>
    >> --
    >> Frank ess

    >
    > Frank,
    >
    > So, in general, do you agree the photos are not what they should be?
    > When I use an external flash, they're not much better. (My cat and
    > my
    > guitar are my prized possessions. But don't tell my wife that. :)
    >


    Lucky guy.

    I'm thinking (dangerous, I know) P&S designers might take those
    principles into consideration, and make everything a little 'over',
    whereas the dSLR designers would expect a bit more savvy from their
    intended targets. In the olden days a large majority of film sales
    were to print-as-final-product users, where correction was applied in
    the process. Slide folks were more likely to tune exposures, just as
    (more conjecture) dSLR users will today. Nowadays if you upload your
    flat photos to Costco and don't specify otherwise, they'll come out
    'corrected' and looking pretty good. Your slides will come back with
    what you decided written all over them.

    Just a way of dodging the real answer: your photos are not what they
    could be and should be.

    Uh, Wake Up, Canon!

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Oct 26, 2006
    #40
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