What the F-stop is wrong with my Canon?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. Dear all,

    I just bought an EOS 350D and I've noticed it has a peculiar issue. I
    noticed about a week ago that the exposure compensation was set 2 stops
    under - most likely it was set like that when I first got it.
    Naturally as soon as I noticed it I set it back to normal, and now all
    the photos seem to come out 2 stops over-exposed, with or without
    flash. Has anyone else had an experience like this?? I'm wondering if
    the dealer sold me a lemon and set the compensation down in the hopes
    that I wouldn't notice. I guess it's not a huge problem unless I want
    to do low-key shots, but I don't like the idea of paying good money for
    a faulty camera!!! Any thoughts?

    Thanks : )
    ~ Martin
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. martin_loebbing

    Mark² Guest

    Where did you buy it from?
     
    Mark², Dec 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. heh. eBay. I saw one for $200 off the cheapest price I found in
    stores and just HAD to have it NOW. :p
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #3
  4. martin_loebbing

    Smudger Guest

    Do you think it may be just that you're used to the -2.0ev images; such that
    they now just appear over-exposed? Do the new images you have have blown
    highlights?
     
    Smudger, Dec 25, 2005
    #4
  5. The images are very noticeably over-exposed when exposure compensation
    is set to normal. Even at two stops under I still sometimes get blown
    highlights, which makes me wonder if it's even more than 2 stops out!
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #5
  6. martin_loebbing

    Mark² Guest

    What ISO is it set to?

    Have you taken shots at a known neutral tone on auto or P?

    What happens if you use manual settings (which ignore +/- compensation
    unless it's flash compensation)?
     
    Mark², Dec 25, 2005
    #6
  7. How curious...One of the google ads on this page was actually relevant
    and may provide the answer....

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/fixing-dynamic-range.htm

    It talks about how digital cameras tend to over-expose white because of
    their lack of dynamic range; and he even recommends under-exposing by 2
    stops! So maybe the dealer was just wise... I'll try taking a shot of
    something white tomorrow and post it here. Getting too dark to do it
    now though.
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #7
  8. martin_loebbing

    Mark² Guest

    You can't just "take a picture of something white" and expect that to show
    anything.
    Actually, if you shoot something that is all white, any properly working
    camera SHOULD under-expose and render the white subject too dark.
    You need to shoot something that is neutral.
    --If you have green grass outside, shoot that.
    Since green grass is very close to a neutral tone, this will give a good
    indication of whether it's exposing correctly.

    Another item fairly close to neutral is blue jeans (assuming they aren't too
    faded or super dark).

    If you have been making judgements based on small white elements within
    otherwise neutral or darker scenes as the basis for this over-exposure,
    and/or blown highlights...there may be nothing wrong with your camera that a
    little learning won't help.

    -But if green grass comes out way off under normal conditions on auto or P,
    there's a problem.
     
    Mark², Dec 25, 2005
    #8
  9. Mark... I use various ISO speeds but it has done it at both 100 and
    1600. The photos were mainly taken using P, though I did take some in
    Tv mode with the shutter speed set to around 2000, and it happened as
    well.

    Actually I've found a good example on my camera...(This is the worst
    case I've had though). I've blacked out everyone's faces because they
    probably don't want to be splashed all over the 'net. : )

    http://tinyurl.com/dtsnw

    And here's another one, a bit more typical perhaps...

    http://tinyurl.com/7nkzp

    Whatd'yareckon? Something wrong with the camera, or just typical
    digital over-exposure? I still think there's something wrong,
    especially since the photos don't seem to look dark when the
    compensation is set under.

    Thanks! : )
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #9
  10. martin_loebbing

    Mark² Guest

    Based on these samples, I don't think there's anything wrong with your
    camera.
    This is typical of shots under high, bright sun...and the reason high bright
    sun is poor light to shoot under.
    There is just too much contrast between lights and darks.

    Try these same shots in the late afternoon, and I'd wager your results will
    be beautiful.
    Film will result in similarly difficult shots.

    Note that the other elements in your shot are properly exposed.
    It is quite common for people to expose for the highlights, so that they can
    bring up the shadow detail later.
     
    Mark², Dec 25, 2005
    #10
  11. Thanks for that! Good to know there's nothing wrong with it, although
    I do find it a bit strange that underexposing seems to produce
    indiscriminately better exposed shots. I never seemed to have such
    frequent trouble with film, regardless of the conditions. But anyway,
    I guess the advantage of digital is that I can see the results
    immediately and reshoot if necessary.

    Thanks for your help. Merry Christmas! : )
    ~ Martin
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #11
  12. Doesn't matter what our thoughts are. What does Canon say about or
    haven't you bother to call them?


    *****************************************************

    "He that we last as Thurn and Taxis knew
    Now recks no lord but the stiletto's Thorn,
    And Tacit lies the gold once-knotted horn.
    No hallowed skein of stars can ward, I trow,
    Who's once been set his tryst with Trystero."

    "The Crying of Lot 49"
    Thomas Pynchon
     
    John A. Stovall, Dec 25, 2005
    #12
  13. I thought I would ask some people who presumably actually know what
    they're talking about before I "bothered" to ring some call centre
    operator who will just tell me there is nothing wrong with it and then
    provide advice directly from the troubleshooting section of the manual
    - i.e. "my camera doesn't work" "have you checked if the battery is
    installed?"
     
    martin_loebbing, Dec 25, 2005
    #13
  14. I've never found that Canon Tech support would tell me "there is
    nothing wrong" or to just read the manual.

    If it's under warranty just send it in to the repair center with
    sample images of the problem.


    *****************************************************

    "He that we last as Thurn and Taxis knew
    Now recks no lord but the stiletto's Thorn,
    And Tacit lies the gold once-knotted horn.
    No hallowed skein of stars can ward, I trow,
    Who's once been set his tryst with Trystero."

    "The Crying of Lot 49"
    Thomas Pynchon
     
    John A. Stovall, Dec 25, 2005
    #14
  15. martin_loebbing

    Skip M Guest

    I wouldn't underexpose by two stops, 1/2 to 2/3 stop should be sufficient,
    if you just can't live with the results from a "proper" exposure.
    And photographing something white will only reinforce your thought that it
    is overexposed, white is white, no matter how overexposed it is,
    underexposure results in grey.
     
    Skip M, Dec 25, 2005
    #15
  16. martin_loebbing

    JimmyG Guest

    I agree with Mark. Exposures look fine.

    Rather contrasty, but decently exposed.
     
    JimmyG, Dec 25, 2005
    #16
  17. martin_loebbing

    PcB Guest

    <<Good to know there's nothing wrong with it, although
    I do find it a bit strange that underexposing seems to produce
    indiscriminately better exposed shots. I never seemed to have such
    frequent trouble with film, regardless of the conditions.
    I think that digital tends to behave more like slide film in its exposure
    latitude; as a result, blown highlights are so much worse than underexposed
    shadows. You really do need to make use of the post-shot histogram function
    whilst you learn how to use the camera.

    --
    Paul ============}
    o o

    // Live fast, die old //
    Gallery at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pcbradley/NewGallery2.htm
     
    PcB, Dec 25, 2005
    #17
  18. martin_loebbing

    ABC Guest

    Does this model have a way to reset all settings to their original factory
    defaults? Might be worth a try since it was apparently played with.
     
    ABC, Dec 25, 2005
    #18
  19. martin_loebbing

    Bill Funk Guest

    It's interesting that you wrote this.
    When I got my DRebel/300D, I set the compensation to -1/2 stop almost
    immediately, and got much better pics. It's still set that way now.

    For the OP, the pics you supplied are of very contrasty subjects,
    which will make the highlights look overexposed.
    Also, buying something like a camera on Ebay is a pretty risky thing;
    you have no idea of whether the item is new or not.
     
    Bill Funk, Dec 25, 2005
    #19
  20. martin_loebbing

    Rich Guest

    You also have to make a choice; Do you want to save as much highlight
    as possible, or do you want to have to dig tone and colour out of huge
    exanses of vastly underexposed and now noisy image area?
    -Rich
     
    Rich, Dec 25, 2005
    #20
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