Re: Sony tells DSLR shooters they're idiots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris Malcolm, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems wrote:
    > On Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:42:24 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:


    >> writes:
    >>
    >>> On Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:48:41 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> writes:
    >>>>
    >>>>> On Tue, 4 Dec 2012 23:45:42 +0100, Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>>In article <>, David Dyer-Bennet says...


    >>>>> Exposure mistakes are in the eye of the beholder... the camera thinks
    >>>>> it did fine, but it doesn't have an incident light meter, which is the
    >>>>> only way to get perfection.
    >>>>
    >>>>Incident metering is by no means perfect. In fact, it's less accurate
    >>>>than reflected metering done carefully; it's a quick-and-dirty kludge
    >>>>that's useful in some situations, especially with low-contrast lighting,
    >>>>plus it's useful in the studio when reading the effects of individual
    >>>>lights as you set things up. I do still have my separate light meter
    >>>>(including flash meter), but I see no reason to use it these days.
    >>>
    >>> Of course, the metering method must be tempered by the knowledge and
    >>> experience of the photographer, but the incident meter tells you how
    >>> much light is available, the camera only tells you the average of what
    >>> is reflected, which means nothing in a noon hour snow scene!

    >>
    >>It means a lot -- it gives you the vital data you need to know that
    >>you've avoided blowing out the highlights! With incident, you can apply
    >>experienced intelligence to account for that, but you're doing it by
    >>inference, whereas a reflected reading of a highlight tells you what the
    >>actual brightness is. The reflected light is what the film actually
    >>sees!


    > Actually, the camera measures the average of the reflected light, which in a
    > snow scene, is probably not the item you want to photograph... and you will end
    > up with a gray photo, rather than white snow.


    What kind of camera are you using? It's a very primitive (or very old)
    camera if that's how it does autoexposure! Only my very first very
    cheap digital camera in 2002 was as stupid as that in doing its
    autoexposures. My last few cameras all auto exposed both snow scenes
    and black cats on black cushions well enough to need no adjustment. I
    thought most digital cameras had pretty good auto exposure these days.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 7, 2012
    #1
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  2. Chris Malcolm

    nick c Guest

    On 12/7/2012 12:38 PM, Alfred Molon wrote:
    > In article <>, Chris Malcolm says...
    >> I
    >> thought most digital cameras had pretty good auto exposure these days.

    >
    > They do in fact, which is why I was surprised to hear that the Nikon
    > D700 is off by 3/4 of a stop.
    >


    I say ole chappie, I have not found my D700 to be off by 3/4's of a stop.
    nick c, Dec 7, 2012
    #2
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  3. Chris Malcolm

    Trevor Guest

    "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems wrote:
    >> On Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:42:24 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <>
    >> wrote:
    >> Actually, the camera measures the average of the reflected light, which
    >> in a
    >> snow scene, is probably not the item you want to photograph... and you
    >> will end
    >> up with a gray photo, rather than white snow.

    >
    > What kind of camera are you using? It's a very primitive (or very old)
    > camera if that's how it does autoexposure! Only my very first very
    > cheap digital camera in 2002 was as stupid as that in doing its
    > autoexposures. My last few cameras all auto exposed both snow scenes
    > and black cats on black cushions well enough to need no adjustment. I
    > thought most digital cameras had pretty good auto exposure these days.



    You are right only because digital no longer requires the traditional
    "correct" exposure that slide film did. Exposing everything to the centre
    between black clipping and white clipping is now the "correct" exposure if
    it can be adjusted before printing. Without correction the black cat and
    white cat will both be grey however, the camera can't tell.

    Trevor.
    Trevor, Dec 8, 2012
    #3
  4. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Trevor <> wrote:
    > "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems wrote:


    >>> On Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:42:24 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <>
    >>> wrote:
    >>> Actually, the camera measures the average of the reflected light, which
    >>> in a
    >>> snow scene, is probably not the item you want to photograph... and you
    >>> will end
    >>> up with a gray photo, rather than white snow.

    >>
    >> What kind of camera are you using? It's a very primitive (or very old)
    >> camera if that's how it does autoexposure! Only my very first very
    >> cheap digital camera in 2002 was as stupid as that in doing its
    >> autoexposures. My last few cameras all auto exposed both snow scenes
    >> and black cats on black cushions well enough to need no adjustment. I
    >> thought most digital cameras had pretty good auto exposure these days.


    > You are right only because digital no longer requires the traditional
    > "correct" exposure that slide film did. Exposing everything to the centre
    > between black clipping and white clipping is now the "correct" exposure if
    > it can be adjusted before printing. Without correction the black cat and
    > white cat will both be grey however, the camera can't tell.


    But if it's using a sufficiently detailed histogram it may be able to
    make a good guess. For example, the black cat may have white
    whiskers. There may be white catchlights in the black cat's eyes. And
    so on.

    Last month I visited a woman with a black cat. She told me how
    disappointed she was that neither her own camera nor those of any of
    her friends had been able to take a good photograph of it. Either it
    came out too black to show any detail in the fur, or it came out
    looking like a grey cat. So I yanked the big black camera out of its
    case and did a full face portrait shot on autoexposure as an initial
    experiment. She was delighted with the result as shown on the camera's
    LCD.

    "That's a very good camera you have there!" she said. She was quite
    right. It had solved the black cat exposure problem without needing
    any help from me. As I think any good modern exhangeable lens camera
    would have done.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 9, 2012
    #4
  5. Chris Malcolm

    Trevor Guest

    "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Trevor <> wrote:
    >> "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems wrote:
    >>>> On Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:42:24 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <>
    >>>> wrote:
    >>>> Actually, the camera measures the average of the reflected light, which
    >>>> in a
    >>>> snow scene, is probably not the item you want to photograph... and you
    >>>> will end
    >>>> up with a gray photo, rather than white snow.
    >>>
    >>> What kind of camera are you using? It's a very primitive (or very old)
    >>> camera if that's how it does autoexposure! Only my very first very
    >>> cheap digital camera in 2002 was as stupid as that in doing its
    >>> autoexposures. My last few cameras all auto exposed both snow scenes
    >>> and black cats on black cushions well enough to need no adjustment. I
    >>> thought most digital cameras had pretty good auto exposure these days.

    >
    >> You are right only because digital no longer requires the traditional
    >> "correct" exposure that slide film did. Exposing everything to the centre
    >> between black clipping and white clipping is now the "correct" exposure
    >> if
    >> it can be adjusted before printing. Without correction the black cat and
    >> white cat will both be grey however, the camera can't tell.

    >
    > But if it's using a sufficiently detailed histogram it may be able to
    > make a good guess.


    Nope, the histogram for a photo of a white card/cat and a black card/cat are
    a narrow peak. Should it be placed at the centre, just below white clipping,
    or just above black clipping? Those are your options. Firstly the camera has
    NO way of knowing if its a very dimly lit white card/cat, or a black
    card/cat, and simply CAN'T guess without more information. Secondly the
    photographer may want his black card/cat to appear black, or he may be happy
    to expose towards white, and reduce level of the RAW file in post for lowest
    noise/best tonal range of the black fur.
    But more importantly AFAIC, unlike the camera, the photographer DOES know
    what he is photographing, and CAN adjust for it if s/he wants. If they are
    too stupid to do that, I can only laugh. At least it keeps real photograhers
    in business.


    >For example, the black cat may have white
    > whiskers. There may be white catchlights in the black cat's eyes.


    Or may not be. It's when they don't they have a problem when they are too
    stupid to realise it.


    > Last month I visited a woman with a black cat. She told me how
    > disappointed she was that neither her own camera nor those of any of
    > her friends had been able to take a good photograph of it. Either it
    > came out too black to show any detail in the fur, or it came out
    > looking like a grey cat. So I yanked the big black camera out of its
    > case and did a full face portrait shot on autoexposure as an initial
    > experiment. She was delighted with the result as shown on the camera's
    > LCD.
    >
    > "That's a very good camera you have there!" she said. She was quite
    > right. It had solved the black cat exposure problem without needing
    > any help from me. As I think any good modern exhangeable lens camera
    > would have done.


    Quite possibly for *that* cat, with *that* background. Now shoot a full
    image of a small part of the black fur only. Is the histogram where you want
    it for lowest noise in RAW, or is it where you want it for a straight out of
    the camera Jpeg, it sure as hell can't be both if you shoot RAW+Jpeg!
    Or is it somewhere else completely, as is entirely likely if it's in the
    centre.

    And I'm not sure if you should be pleased or not if you think your camera is
    smarter than you are! :)

    Trevor.
    Trevor, Dec 10, 2012
    #5
  6. In rec.photo.digital Trevor <> wrote:
    > "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message


    >> Last month I visited a woman with a black cat. She told me how
    >> disappointed she was that neither her own camera nor those of any of
    >> her friends had been able to take a good photograph of it. Either it
    >> came out too black to show any detail in the fur, or it came out
    >> looking like a grey cat. So I yanked the big black camera out of its
    >> case and did a full face portrait shot on autoexposure as an initial
    >> experiment. She was delighted with the result as shown on the camera's
    >> LCD.
    >>
    >> "That's a very good camera you have there!" she said. She was quite
    >> right. It had solved the black cat exposure problem without needing
    >> any help from me. As I think any good modern exhangeable lens camera
    >> would have done.


    > Quite possibly for *that* cat, with *that* background. Now shoot a full
    > image of a small part of the black fur only. Is the histogram where you want
    > it for lowest noise in RAW, or is it where you want it for a straight out of
    > the camera Jpeg, it sure as hell can't be both if you shoot RAW+Jpeg!


    Fortunately the capabilities of my camera are more than was required
    in this instance. I wasn't trying to shoot for a huge exhibition
    print. The woman only wanted an A5 size print, so I didn't need to go
    for lowest noise, merely for noise that would be invisible (and not
    compromise dynamic range) at that size of print. Plus paper prints
    have a dynamic range of maybe 6 or 7 stops in a really good light, so
    there was no need to go into the RAW vs jpeg exposure subtleties
    you're talking about. There was far more than enough exposure range
    latitude for plenty of post processing adjustment.

    > Or is it somewhere else completely, as is entirely likely if it's in the
    > centre.


    What the camera tends to do is to expose to the right, i.e., not to
    clip the highlights, but it's usually smart enough to recognise light
    sources inside the image and not to bother trying not to overexpose
    them. My camera can show me the histogram before taking the shot, so I
    was pretty sure the exposure was going to be good enough. It was
    obvious after taking it that it was.

    > And I'm not sure if you should be pleased or not if you think your camera is
    > smarter than you are! :)


    Where did I say I couldn't take photographs of black cats purely
    manually? I learnt photography before there were any auto functions. I
    have no problems shooting manually, and still use some non-electronic
    lenses where absilutely everything is manual. But why should I bother
    doing the fiddling in cases where my camera can do it as well and
    faster?

    I've got a calculator which can do sums faster than me, a chess
    playing program in my computer which I can't beat, and Google can
    translate more languages into English than I knew existed. Why should
    it bother me if my camera were smarter than me?

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 11, 2012
    #6
  7. Chris Malcolm <> wrote:

    > I've got a calculator which can do sums faster than me, a chess
    > playing program in my computer which I can't beat, and Google can
    > translate more languages into English than I knew existed. Why should
    > it bother me if my camera were smarter than me?


    Because 'normal' males are bothered when they aren't the top
    dog in everything.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 17, 2012
    #7
  8. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    > Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    >> I've got a calculator which can do sums faster than me, a chess
    >> playing program in my computer which I can't beat, and Google can
    >> translate more languages into English than I knew existed. Why should
    >> it bother me if my camera were smarter than me?


    > Because 'normal' males are bothered when they aren't the top
    > dog in everything.


    But there can only be one top dog in any pack. So the rest must be
    suffering from chronic botherment. Must be really shit being a
    'normal' male.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 18, 2012
    #8
  9. Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    >>> I've got a calculator which can do sums faster than me, a chess
    >>> playing program in my computer which I can't beat, and Google can
    >>> translate more languages into English than I knew existed. Why should
    >>> it bother me if my camera were smarter than me?


    >> Because 'normal' males are bothered when they aren't the top
    >> dog in everything.


    > But there can only be one top dog in any pack.


    Guess why there are so many competitions and functions: so
    that more people can be "top dog" in at least one category.
    Even if it's "northeastern suburbs coloured height-handicapped
    chess club president" or "best goalkeeper in the shoemaker
    guild of the City of London" (the City --- sized just over a
    square mile, containing the area of most medieval London ---
    contains about 7000 people).

    > So the rest must be
    > suffering from chronic botherment. Must be really shit being a
    > 'normal' male.


    Which explains a lot.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 19, 2012
    #9
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