Canon Rebel XT - Can't get good pictures.

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

  1. Mark² 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 ...


    Hmmm... I didn't ever find a post with a link to the photos...
    ???
    Got a link?

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 26, 2006
    #41
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  3. Mark² Guest

    wrote:
    > Here they are again:
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg


    Thanks.

    The cat photo doesn't surprise me since the center is white. It's not
    unusual for a shot like this to fool a meter--just as a white wedding dress
    can.

    But...I see nothing in the guitar photo that would throw a meter off. It
    looks like a near-perfect scene to render a decent auto-exposure. So...I
    agree that you've likely got a defect somewhere...either with the flash
    itself, or the communication with the flash. Either way, it does look like
    something besides user error.

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 26, 2006
    #43
  4. In article <>,
    "" <> wrote:

    > Here they are again:
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >
    > http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg


    They look correct when considering that the camera tries to error on the
    underexposed side when using a flash. Try turning up the contrast in
    the camera (JPEG) or changing the contrast profile in DPP (raw).

    Point'n'shoot cameras usually have more accurate exposure because they
    can scan the whole sensor as a VGA device. SLR cameras have a separate
    multi-point sensor for light and focus. Point'n'shoots are capable of
    more accurate exposure but it results in shutter lag.
     
    Kevin McMurtrie, Oct 26, 2006
    #44
  5. Ray Fischer Guest

    <> wrote:
    >Here they are again:
    >http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg


    canon2,jpg is definitely underexposed, but I don't see why it should be.
    The EXIF data shows the usual metering and flash modes, you used the
    18-55mm kit lens at 30mm and wide open at f4, ISO 400, and the serial
    number of your camera is 1920723417. You cropped or resized the
    photo, and if that white door was in the center of the field of the
    original photo then that would explain why the guitar is so dark.

    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, Oct 26, 2006
    #45
  6. Mark² Guest

    Ray Fischer wrote:
    > <> wrote:
    >> Here they are again:
    >> http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >> http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg

    >
    > canon2,jpg is definitely underexposed, but I don't see why it should
    > be. The EXIF data shows the usual metering and flash modes, you used
    > the 18-55mm kit lens at 30mm and wide open at f4, ISO 400, and the
    > serial number of your camera is 1920723417. You cropped or resized
    > the
    > photo, and if that white door was in the center of the field of the
    > original photo then that would explain why the guitar is so dark.


    Ah!! He cropped the shot that originally had the door centered.
    If that's true, then there's likely nothing wrong with his camera.

    Any time you meter off of white...without adjustment...it will appear too
    dark.
    Yes.

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 26, 2006
    #46
  7. > 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.


    Plus less agressive sharpening, less saturation and less in-camera
    processing in general. You can turn it all up of course...
     
    Derek Fountain, Oct 26, 2006
    #47
  8. have you tried resetting the whole camera?? I have a digital rebel and it
    works great, I got some nice pix... kk

    "Daniel Silevitch" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    www.kevinkienlein.com, Oct 26, 2006
    #48
  9. something just occurred to me, maybe the lithium battery (not the one you
    charge, the one for the memory etc) change that and see if it helps... that
    could cause lots of problems... kk

    "Frank ess" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    www.kevinkienlein.com, Oct 26, 2006
    #49
  10. Bill Funk Guest

    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


    OK, now try this:
    Place the camera somewhere where it will be stable (do you have a
    tripod?), and shoot the same scene (or something like it) without the
    flash.
    I'm thinking there may be a problem with the camera's exposure
    settings when the flash is used.
    You'll need to use the "P" settng instead of the Auto setting, or the
    flash will pop up.
    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 26, 2006
    #50
  11. Bill Funk Guest

    On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 21:02:30 -0700, Kevin McMurtrie
    <> wrote:

    >In article <>,
    > "" <> wrote:
    >
    >> Here they are again:
    >>
    >> http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/canon2.jpg
    >>
    >> http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b246/emrlaw/Canon1.jpg

    >
    >They look correct when considering that the camera tries to error on the
    >underexposed side when using a flash. Try turning up the contrast in
    >the camera (JPEG) or changing the contrast profile in DPP (raw).


    I had a Digital Rebel, and it didn't underexpose that much.
    >
    >Point'n'shoot cameras usually have more accurate exposure because they
    >can scan the whole sensor as a VGA device. SLR cameras have a separate
    >multi-point sensor for light and focus. Point'n'shoots are capable of
    >more accurate exposure but it results in shutter lag.

    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 26, 2006
    #51
  12. Rod Williams Guest

    Rod Williams, Oct 27, 2006
    #52
  13. Guest

    I appreciate what you did in Photoshop. But I sent the camera back to
    Amazon.com today and am going to exchange it for another one. I like
    Canon cameras and I'm not giving up on this one. Thanks again to
    everyone for your advice! Ethan
     
    , Oct 27, 2006
    #53
  14. Paul J Gans 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." With a DSLR you *have* to help the camera towards the
    >result you want.


    Hmm. Why include the "green zone" and all the other automatic
    settings of the camera? The dSLR can be just as automatic
    as a P&S. Certainly my 300D is. Have they removed those
    settings from the 350D?

    >> 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.


    That's true. But we don't know how the camera resonds in
    daylight. Perhaps the OP will tell us. Still, it should
    be able to return a usable flash picture if the subject
    is not too close or too far. Which is why I proposed a
    set taken at various distances (digital images are cheap).

    But right now we are waiting for the OP to get back to us on this.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Oct 27, 2006
    #54
  15. Paul J Gans Guest

    Celcius <> wrote:

    >"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?


    No, Canon. The most automatic mode is indicated
    by a green box on the selector knob. Use that and
    everything is automatic!

    ---- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Oct 27, 2006
    #55
  16. Paul J Gans Guest

    Daniel Silevitch <> wrote:
    >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?


    That would be the most likely choice, at least in my
    opinion.

    Perhaps taking the camera to the store, photographing
    something with the flash, and then taking the identical
    picture with another sample of the same model would show
    something.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Oct 27, 2006
    #56
  17. > Ah!! He cropped the shot that originally had the door centered.
    > If that's true, then there's likely nothing wrong with his camera.
    >
    > Any time you meter off of white...without adjustment...it will appear too
    > dark.
    > Yes.


    Looks like he's sent the camera back without appreciating the gravity of
    your above comment. Shame that, because you're clearly right and the new
    one's going to do exactly the same as the old one.
     
    Derek Fountain, Oct 27, 2006
    #57
  18. steve Guest

    In article <4541b745$0$97215$>,
    says...
    > > Ah!! He cropped the shot that originally had the door centered.
    > > If that's true, then there's likely nothing wrong with his camera.
    > >
    > > Any time you meter off of white...without adjustment...it will appear too
    > > dark.
    > > Yes.

    >
    > Looks like he's sent the camera back without appreciating the gravity of
    > your above comment. Shame that, because you're clearly right and the new
    > one's going to do exactly the same as the old one.
    >

    I have this same camera and have the same problem with flash pictures
    being underexposed indoors. I found the pictures will be underexposed in
    all modes except manual mode. Try manual mode and set the camera to F8
    and a shutter speed of 160. You should find the pictures to be exposed
    properly at this setting. I believe it has to do with they way the
    camera meters the back ground when you take the pics in program modes.
     
    steve, Oct 27, 2006
    #58
  19. DAVE PRICE Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I appreciate what you did in Photoshop. But I sent the camera back to
    > Amazon.com today and am going to exchange it for another one. I like
    > Canon cameras and I'm not giving up on this one. Thanks again to
    > everyone for your advice! Ethan



    Please post again after you have had time to use your new XT
    Regards
    DAVE
    Bristol
    >
     
    DAVE PRICE, Oct 27, 2006
    #59
  20. steve<> writes:
    > I have this same camera and have the same problem with flash
    > pictures being underexposed indoors. I found the pictures will be
    > underexposed in all modes except manual mode. Try manual mode and
    > set the camera to F8 and a shutter speed of 160. You should find the
    > pictures to be exposed properly at this setting. I believe it has to
    > do with they way the camera meters the back ground when you take the
    > pics in program modes.


    The best resource I know of for flash on Canon EOS cameras is:
    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

    The particular issue you're referring to is covered at:
    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index2.html#confusion

    --
    http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/
     
    Richard Kettlewell, Oct 27, 2006
    #60
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