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07-04-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
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K-10D Dark Photos (examples & EXIF attached)

My wife has had a K-10D for 3 years. She has a passion for photo taking and takes a zillion photos a month, mostly of our kids. She is not looking for perfection, but for good serviceable images. She generally uses AV for normal stuff and TV for action photos. She NEVER has had to adjust EV to be happy.

In January, her camera took a 3-ft drop to the floor. There was no noticable damage but after a while we realized her stock 18-55mm lens was having to hunt a lot during autofocusing. We replaced the lens and all seemed OK.

However, it has dawned on her that an overwhelming majority of her photos are coming out too dark, compared to the previous years with no issue and same fundamental usage/settings. She then has to painstakingly autocorrect them. I have tried adjusting settings to see if I could correct the problem, but I have had no luck. This same behavior occurs with the 18-55mm lens and two zoom lenses (200mm, 300mm)

She is pushing for a new camera, but I wanted to rule out that this is a SW/SETTING problem or somehow user error before doing that.

Can any of you provide some feedback/advice? I am attaching 'good photos' from January 2011 before the drop and 'bad photos' from June 2011 including 'corrected' versions. (Yes, she has been complaining to me about this for about 4 months )

Data is in this order:
Exposure Time
Exposure Program
Exposure BIAS
F Number
ISO
Flash
Metering Mode

Good Photo, overcast day

1/60 sec
Aperture priority
0 EV
F8.0
400
Off, surpressed
Center Weighted Average

Good Photo, in shade

1/125 sec
Aperture priority
0 EV
F8.0
100
Off, surpressed
Center Weighted Average

Dark photo & Corrected Photo


1/250 sec
Aperture priority
0 EV
F8.0
400
Off, surpressed
Center Weighted Average

Dark photo & Corrected Photo


1/180 sec
Aperture priority
0 EV
F8.0
400
Off, surpressed
Center Weighted Average

Dark photo & Same area with flash


1/125 sec
Unidentified
0 EV
F8.0
100
Off, surpressed
Center Weighted Average


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-05-2011 at 09:18 AM.
07-05-2011, 04:14 AM   #2
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Location: Melb. Aust
Posts: 841
well on my screen your dark photo's look better... a couple a little more under-exposed than others but the 'corrected' ones have blown out highlights. As a test I copied them into PS and hit autolevels (not the complete answer to exposure but a fair guide) and the first 3 didn't change hardly at all. 4th one (watermelon) brightened up a fair amount but not as much as you've pushed it in your corrected version. Same happens for the last one. Looking at the last ones histogram, the corrected one is hard up against the RHS which indcates you've adjusted it too much.
07-05-2011, 04:56 AM   #3
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Posts: 2,542
My 1st step would be to "reset" camera found at Menu > Setup > Reset... You should also reset Custom Setting...

Try the camera at one ISO, take a few shots and see what you come up with. Use Av mode with an aperture and one ISO and Shutter Speed will be auto in this setting. Then try it in Tv mode and one ISO, etc... plus use metering other than "Center-Weighted"

Also, if you are familiar, make sure the AE lock is not stuck (an * will appear in VF)...
07-05-2011, 09:17 AM   #4
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In the first couple of example, the ones you call "dark" are actually alreayd overexposed - the sky is blown out. The camera doesn't know you don't care about the sky but would rather expose for the foreground. This is a basic photographic problem, one with several solutions - I normally meter off the ground and then lock exposure in such backlit situations.

Not sure abut the other two. It is rather distracting to have to scroll around such large photos. In the future, please use reduced0sized versions of photos when posting,. I'm editing your post to ue IMGWIDE tags instead of IMG, which helps when you do for some reason absolutely need to post a larger version.

Only one of the posted pictures doesn't appear to be explained that way.

07-05-2011, 10:16 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Thank you for the feedback. I will try some experiments including resetting the camera.

The feedback seems to be that the pool pictures were probably not the best pictures to provide. I should have had some more like the 'watermelon' one but you get the idea.

I had resized the pictures 50% but obviously not enough. I'll do that better next time. Thank you for adjusting...
07-06-2011, 07:04 AM   #6
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If it doesn't fit on your screen, it won't fit on ours, either. A typical figure to shoot for is not more than 800 pixels wide for web viewing.
07-07-2011, 11:12 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Original Poster
Thank you for the feedback.

I took countless sample photos yesterday to perform this experiment but did not reset the camera [Try the camera at one ISO, take a few shots and see what you come up with. Use Av mode with an aperture and one ISO and Shutter Speed will be auto in this setting. Then try it in Tv mode and one ISO, etc... plus use metering other than "Center-Weighted"]

I couldn't see any clear problems or anything that stood out except that everything seemed slightly darker than [we] expected

I set the camera to +1 EV and my wife said all of the photos she took today looked great outdoors and indoors w/ flash. I agree. She's happy. We'll see if it lasts...
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