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Old 01-11-2009, 23:05   #1 (permalink)
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Question Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Hi everyone, I have at last taken the plunge and gone digital! Altho I have been using digital compacts at work for a few years, my own photography has been on film. Finally after much heart searching I sold everything and bought a 450D. (Was my film gear really only worth that little?) So far so good but now i find that lots of my shots are overexposed? This wasnt a problem with either of my film cameras, a 5D and Bronny SQA. Is it my technique or have other canon 450D users had this problem?
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Old 01-11-2009, 23:25   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

I think that different cameras will tend to arrive at slightly different exposures. I seem to recall when the 400D came out there was a school of thought that it tended to underexpose.

As long as your camera is consistant you can dial in some exposure compensation to bring the exposures back to your requirements.

Maybe it is just a question of getting used to the way this camera meters, or the different metering patterns that are available?
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Old 01-11-2009, 23:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Thank you, you may be right about just a matter of getting used to a new camera. I have noticed I am having to work harder using exposure compensation to get the shot than I did before. Not an altogether bad thing as I am getting to know the camera controls really well!
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:27   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

.... Have you set the white balance yet?
Also, My 350D had a slight problem until I selected the metering method that suited my style... and yes, at that time, I had no idea there was more than one method...
The "Book of words" that comes with the thing is a very informative piece.
One of my friends bought one, (450)as he was well impressed with mine, and got offered the 450D second hand in imac. condition for an absolute steal...
the Auto levels on that camera are set slightly "Bright", but, (and please dont ask me how just now 'cos I aint got the book in front of me... ) you can set custom levels... have a read up and see what you can get.

I do have problems with levels some times on the auto modes.... I tend to keep the thing on full auto when at rest, 'cos I tend to see things from the corner of my eye, and shoot first ask questions after, just in case its "gone" by the time I work out the manual modes, and in the auto modes, the first tools I look for in editing are "Auto levels" and "Auto contrast"...
If this is your first foray into DSLR after Compacts, it does take a while to find all the buttons... and then again, work out what some of them do!....
It was a bit like re-learning how to ride the bike for me....
One thing digital has taught me, is that its not just the camera now, the editing software is just as important....
There are people out there still, who insist you should "Get it right in the camera", but I dont see why you should throw away a really good shot, just because its not quite right, when a little work in the editor can not only correct that, but do so much more as well.

The price of your old film camera's... I tried to sell on my old Pentax ME super once, the one I inherited from my Dad... he would have not been amused at the woeful offer I was given... it has a motor wind and a really decent lens attached, and yet the offer still came in below £90...
Everyone wants digital these days...
I decided that my Pentax is not worth the selling... for what it is, its worth more than that to me... my Dad would have supported the trade-in for better equipment, but even he would have seen that offer as almost an insult.

Good luck... your on the right board to ask questions...
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:06   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Whilst the dynamic range of dSLRs has caught up with film so you can get the same spread of luminosity, dSLRs are much more unforgiving about exceeding the limits. Burned highlights/clipping occurs at a very distinct point and any greater/lesser values beyond those points will be without any detail (effectively, sensor gets overloaded and responds with either a null or an overload)

Using RAW will certainly help (saves the improved dynamic range) - failing that in-camera settings. Personally, I use RAW, TV/AV and exposure compensation (when wandering around tend to set a exp comp that'll suit 90% and busk it from there according to circumstances!) or manual settings (when the dire Canon exposure compensation of +/- 2.0 is insufficient)
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Old 02-11-2009, 18:56   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Yea, I've heard that before. I was told you should shoot digital as af it were colour slides i.e. slightly underexposed rather than colour print, over exposed
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Old 02-11-2009, 23:54   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Thank you for these replies, I dont use the auto modes often but I do use the Auto white balance, I still havent quite got my head around that particular issue yet! I did shoot some RAW shots recently and was pleased with the adjustments i could make, saving some of the shots. I think as you suggest Steve, Practice will help make perfect!! The thought of using digital like slide film appeals and makes sense. I will give it a go.
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Old 03-11-2009, 00:15   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

One suggestion is to go into your settings and check that " HIghlight alert " is set to enabled.

That will show you such things as blown highlights and overdone skies.

I always use it and have it set on my 5d2 so that I can retake a shot a 1/2 or 1 stop down.

You can almost always recover lowlights and shadows on post processing.

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Old 03-11-2009, 00:24   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Hmm..I think I will have to study the instructions a bit harder...The Highlight alert seems to be a bit elusive on my 450D. I am sure its there somewhere. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-11-2009, 00:59   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Look at page 131 of the manual

http://files.canon-europe.com/files/...0D_EN_Flat.pdf

At the bottom it tells you about highlight alert

Quote:
�� About the Highlight Alert
When the shooting information is displayed, the overexposed
highlight areas will blink. To obtain more image detail in the
overexposed areas, set the exposure compensation to a negative
amount and shoot again.
The 40D and 5d2 can be set to show it on the displayed shot on the screen but it seems like the 450D you have to put the information display on to see it.

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Old 03-11-2009, 19:23   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Bluesman, firstly some basic questions for you:

What metering mode have you set your new camera to?
Are you using a picture style/have you set a custom picture style?
Is the overexposure evident on the LCD, on your computer screen or both?
When did you last calibrate your monitor?

Just things to work through before delving deeper.
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Old 04-11-2009, 00:11   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Hi Chris, thank you for finding that for me I will set it and let you know how I get on.

Hello Lindsay, I have tried evaluative and spot modes and had similiar results with both. As for picture style I have been using the Standard setting? Do you think the other settings would make a difference? The over exposure is evident on both LCD and computer screen. I use a laptop to view my pics on. The screen is pretty accurate I think but I would welcome any tips you may have on calibration?
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:32   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesman678 View Post
Hi everyone, I have at last taken the plunge and gone digital! Altho I have been using digital compacts at work for a few years, my own photography has been on film. Finally after much heart searching I sold everything and bought a 450D. (Was my film gear really only worth that little?) So far so good but now i find that lots of my shots are overexposed? This wasnt a problem with either of my film cameras, a 5D and Bronny SQA. Is it my technique or have other canon 450D users had this problem?
Just wondering why you didn't stick with the D80 you used for this:
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:56   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Hi Bluesman, for now I would leave it in Evaluative Metering mode and if shooting JPEG I would tend to stick with a Neutral setting, but if you're getting evident over-exposure on all of your shots then I do think this camera might merit a trip to Canon for re-calibration. When I got my first 5D I had some similar problems (a lack of mid tones and plenty of blown highlights) but after sending it in for a full re-set it has behaved itself ever since.

However before resorting to that do test it again in a variety of lighting and exposure situations (add or subtract exposure comp as you would normally) and do check that you haven't accidentally left your ISO on an inappropriate setting.

Monitor calibration is an essential step - I highly recommend getting a Spyder (the cheap basic one is an excellent performer) this will make a huge difference to what you see and print.

Last edited by LindsayD; 04-11-2009 at 10:09.
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Old 04-11-2009, 23:53   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Hi Barnsley! The D80 was borrowed from a friend. It was the final decider in me going digital, but because I already had a few canon lenses and could only finance my purchase with the sale of my film cameras I ended up with a 450D!

Hello again Lyndsey, thank you for your advice, I will get a Spyder as soon as I can. In the meantime i will take your advice and take lots more pictures! What a blow that will be!!
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Old 05-11-2009, 00:33   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Just gone digi but now overexposing!

Unfortunately if you go the Spyder route it only calibrates your monitor and has no effect on your printer.

I have a Spyder Pro, and a Spyder Print so have the closed loop of monitor and printer calibration. If you look at this system buy them separate, if you buy Spyder studio it contains exactly the same kit but in a tiny attaché case. Thing is though it's £50 more expensive than buying separate so the case costs you the £50, a no brainer.

If you want an all in one system look at a Colormunki system. It does both your monitor and printer but is a tad more expensive.

One thing to remember is that a lot of DSLR cameras don't cope very well with highlights. I tend to underexpose 1/2 stop most of the time and bring the lowlights back that 1/2 stop in post processing.

I alway have highlight warning set on my camera's to remind me that I may have to stop down slightly.
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