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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Canon XTi and dark pictures...Does anybody know what I should be doing to get brighter pictures with my Canon XTi. All of the pictures ...
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Old 08-03-2007, 18:18   #1 (permalink)
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Canon XTi and dark pictures

Does anybody know what I should be doing to get brighter pictures with my Canon XTi.
All of the pictures I take I need to fix after I put them on my pc. They are very dark. Do I need a external flash. I am knew to the Digital camera world. I got the Canon for Christmas and have just been taking fun pictures but would like to go into business (taking group pictures of local sport teams)
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Old 08-03-2007, 19:07   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

The Canon metering has a tendency to underexpose images with bright things in order to stop those bright things being over-exposed. (Over-exposed in digital is pure white and can't be recovered, this cautious approach Canon take is not the worst thing they could do) The sky, being actually quite bright, can be a real problem for this.

The best advice is to ignore what the picture looks like on the little screen, and just worry about what it the histogram looks like. If the very furthest right hand side has a big spike in it, then you have some overexposure, and some bits of the image in the screen will be flashing at you. You may or may not care about having those bits as pure white.

The problem is, there is only a limited range of brightness than any digital sensor (or film for that matter) can actually capture. Anything outside that range is either pure white (for those bits brighter) or pure black (for those bits darker) The world, especially on a sunny day, has an annoying habit of having a range of brightness much larger than the sensor can capture.
If you, or in this case the camera, chooses not to "blow out the highlights" (the technical term for over-exposure) then everything else is going to be pushed down into the darker end of the sensors range and is going to look dark. If you get those bits the right brightness, you'll probably end up with blown highlights. In time you'll need to get a feel for that balance. It may be that you allow the sky to be blown out (white, a spike on the right-hand side of the histogram) in order to get the subject of the picture the right brightness. To do that, you may need to tell the camera to overexpose the shot a little from what it wants to do (since it doesn't want to blow the highlights) The manual will tell you how to do that.

One trick is to reduce the range of brightness of the picture. The easiest way to do this is not to stick any sky in the picture. Filters can help too, but they can come later, when you have a better feeling for whats happening.
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Old 08-03-2007, 19:47   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

Good advice from Liam - especially regarding the histogram.

This thread also deals with this problem, and may be of interest.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:02   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

It would be well worth you posting some pictures with exif info!
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Old 09-03-2007, 21:06   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

I have posted two pictures that have the problem that I am talking about. I have used software to correct the problem but I want to be able to not have correct it on every single picture I take. I am sure that there is something that I am not doing right. I went to the link that Dabhand 16 gave me lots of good info. But I am still confused.
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Old 09-03-2007, 23:49   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

There is a consumer magazine here in the UK called Which? that has just tested dSLR cameras. They also report the 400D producing dark images compared to the 350D.
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Old 10-03-2007, 00:07   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

would love to see that article tried but I don't live in the UK and need to have a UK address to even try for 30 days
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Old 10-03-2007, 00:22   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

It was only a brief report, nothing in depth. However there are now several reports of this issue with the camera. Might be worth Googling it to see what you come up with.
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Old 10-03-2007, 23:52   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

I notice the pictures all involve you using the flash. I'd be fairly confident your problem isn't the camera, but how you have used the flash. E-TTL II is a wonderfull professional flash system, but that means it's complicated and not always straighforward. I don't use a flash, I just about know how to make the on-board one pop up, but never do, exactly because I know I'd need to first spend some time reading about how to use a flash properly to get decent results.

At a very ill-informed guess, the one with the kids sitting down is getting confused by the reflections off the stripes on their jackets, it uses just enough flash to expose those strips properly, which leaves the rest of the scene dark.
The one with the woman with her back to the camera, at an even more ill-informed guess, is the camera only providing enough light for the subject of the picture, which it sees as the woman, and again, the reflective strip could be causing problems

I would suggest you do some reading about how to use Canon's flash system and try again to see if that improves the cameras performance.
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Old 29-03-2007, 17:35   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

I was wondering if you knew what the exposure compansation was? The little graph in your view finder that has minus marks to 0 then plus marks. You can accidently move this to the left and your pictures will be dark if you do not correct it, it will just stay there. Just wondering, there is so much good information in this thread, I just thought that sense you said you were new that you might not know about this setting.

Last edited by Boofers; 31-03-2007 at 16:44.
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Old 30-03-2007, 05:23   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

Sorry! I do not seem to be able to find the posted examples!

Anybody???
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Old 30-03-2007, 14:15   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

if you shoot manually your pictures will be exposed exactly as you want with any reflex
you just have to put the highest light at the extreme right of histogram , right exposed images are allways better
you can have a look on google for right exposure or expose right key words

350D and 400D are really missing a good spot metering
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Old 16-03-2012, 19:27   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

This thread has so much good information already. After all this time the 400D should be producing good pictures with good light. We have two in the family that we use still quite often and no problems. I would ask if the camera is new to you but used before you have received it. Are all the settings reset to default settings ?, these cameras started to change after the 450D with jpeg inhancements in camera so it really isn't very hard to mess up the settings.
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Old 16-03-2012, 19:55   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Canon XTi and dark pictures

Quote:
Hello all I,m A bit new to this forum stuff but need a bit of advice,I have a canon 400d and when I take any pics they look fine on the viewing screen but when I load them into cs5 via a usb cable they are coming out dark and I have to adjust a lot of them to get them to print as they look on the camera any ideas.
Welcome to Pixalo

First thing to consider is have you got the LCD on the camera set too bright? If you have, the dark images that you see on your computer are actually correct. The best way to check the camera LCD is to look at the histogram and see if it reflects the image that you are seeing. If it is showing that you are under exposing your images you should reduce the brightness of the LCD accordingly, and then increase your exposure until the histogram is balanced then if necessary adjust the LCD brightness.
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