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01-23-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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Exposing to something similar to what my eye sees?

Now that I have this k5.. that basically sees in the dark, I'm getting a lot of night images that are too bright for my taste.

Now obviously I can adjust this manually by underexposing in various ways.

Is there a way I can adjust the camera to always under expose in low light to match what my eye see's more closely? Basically re calibrate the camera to expose differently for different light?

Does this type of feature exist anywhere in the slr world?

01-23-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
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Nope, there is not. The camera does not know what you are doing in manual mode, and is making a light-metered guess in the semi/auto modes.
01-23-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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No. You have to intercede, if you want to do this in automatic, use the exposure compensation function. You might even be able to dial it in on a user mode.

Or, just "print it down" in post processing.
01-24-2011, 07:39 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dutch Quote
Is there a way I can adjust the camera to always under expose in low light to match what my eye see's more closely? Basically re calibrate the camera to expose differently for different light?
What you talk about is a variant of the 18% gray rule.

Normally, the problem is that a white wall turns out 18% gray (by ISO norm) and you have to dial in +2EV compensation to meet your expectation.

Your problem is that a black wall (aka "night") turns out 18% gray as well. So, you have to dial in something like -2EV compensation to meet your expectation.

The consumer line of cameras (K-letter) may have a scene mode for that (snow, night etc.) and may even be able to select it all by itself in auto scene mode. What you ask for. But this was removed from the enthusiast cameras (K-digit) for a reason.

My personal advise would be not to dial in -2EV compensation at night except if otherwise you get blurry results. Because at night there are normally shadows as well you may still want to recover. Rather, bring down overall brightness in post processing w/o touching the highlights and shadows.


You may be able to apply the following trick though:

Shoot RAW+JPG, select an ISO value 2 steps below what you actually require at night (say ISO 1600 rather than ISO 6400) and dial in -2EV exposure compensation. Put that on a "night" USER mode. Then, you get a JPG roughly as dark as you expect it to be but at the same time, you retain a RAW image with the full latitude for shadow preservation and extra headroom for the highlights if you find you need it in post processing.


Last edited by falconeye; 01-24-2011 at 07:48 AM.
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