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05-02-2011, 07:56 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanWeso Quote
Someone in a different posting (sorry don't remember who it was to give credit to) suggested using the PDCU4 software which came with the camera. Edit a few pictures in custom mode using the custom image tab. Once you find some settings to your liking, note them and enter them into the camera. It really reduced the trial and error of just doing with the camera.
I tried this and it worked great other then in the Auto Picture mode. From what I have observed or found, there is no way to change settings (contrast) for that mode. So, unless I want to edit each photo, I will avoid that mode and stick with manual or one of the other modes that uses the Custom Image options.

05-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #17
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I think I may have solved my problem using EV compensation. By setting it one click towards the plus side, I am getting photos that seem to be correct (in my eyes). I am going to have to take some more photos outside (if it ever warms up a bit) to see if this setting works for me.

Want to thank all for the helpful comments.
05-02-2011, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #18
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EV compensation is *not* the same thing at all. All it does is make the picture brighter overall; it won't increase contrast. The camera tries to expose scenes to look as bright as it "thinks" the scene should look, based on what it "sees", but of course, a camera neither thinks nor sees. So sometimes you might happen to want a brighter picture than the pciture would choose, sometimes you might want a darker one. You need to learn in which situations the camera is likely to make the shot too dark and in which it is likely to make it too bright. Any good basic book photography should explain the principles of metering and how and why a camera makes the decisions it does, and when you will likely need to override the default. Then you will be able to decide when EV compensation makes sense, and in which direction (of course there is also trial and error).

But leaving it +1 all the time is pretty much guaranteed to ruin a lot of your pictures, as the amera right now is trying very hard to protect light areas from being blown out (rendered as pure white with no color or detail), and a +1 EV setting is going to end up blowing out a lot of highlights in a lot of pictures. And in pictures of inherently dark objects, the +1EV settings is going to make them look unnaturally light colored (a black cat, for instance, will come out light gray).

So by all means play with EV, but learn what it really is and why it is sometimes needed - and why sometimes you need positive compensation and why sometimes you need negative. But that has nothing to do with contrast. If you want increased contrast and still want a fully automatic picture taking mode, set the mode dial to "P", increase contrast in the camera settings, and then you can still use EV as needed on top of that.

But frankly, in your posted examples, I think the original looked far better than the version you postprocessed - the latter looks very artificial to me. The only issue with the original was that it was a little dark overall - meaning in this particular case, a little positive EV compensation would have helped. This is very easy to predict - any scene dominated by a light colored object will require positive compensation, as any book on photography will explain.
05-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #19
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Thank you for the input Marc. After reading more on the Ev setting, I came to the same conclusion; Ev was not what I was looking for.

It is interesting that you felt the first picture was better and really I guess what I was looking for. I know computer monitors are all different and what looked good to me on this monitor, may not be what looks good to someone else. I guess the only sure way is to make a print of the image and then compare the results.

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