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08-28-2008, 09:20 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by explr1 Quote
Why can't the K10d meter correctly when Canons and Nikons can?
For the first one, you set it Spot Metering, and therefore it metered using Spot Metering. Why did you change it from the default to a mode which requires you to know exactly what you are doing? as it is, the camera did *exactly* what you asked it to. The problem is, you don't seem to know what you were asking it to do!

On the others, the problem is an age-old one - it is simply impossible for a camera to preserve detail in both the shadows and highlights in backlit scenes like this. A camera has a choice - expose for the foreground and blow out the highlights, or expose for the background and have the foreground dark. Neither is "right" or "wrong" - they are just different choices. And your camera is certainly capable of doing either, but you do have to learn to use it. I recommend sticking with center-weighted metering, and learning how to use that to meter off the part of the scene you care about - eoither the foreground or background. So you can choose which part of the picture looks correctly exposed.

QuoteQuote:
Mmy wifes lowly 3.2 mega pixel Canon PowerShot A75 took better pictures of the same objects and exposed them correctly.
I'd like to see those pictures. As others noted, it's very likely they are full of blown out highlights- meaning *they* are the ones ruined, from a technical perspective. Yours, on the other hand, are completely correctable vi PP.

But also, FWIW, P&S cameras often apply some pretty heavy-handed curves in their JPEG processing in order to *try* to preserve detail in both the lights and shadows, to save you the trouble of doing so in post processing. DSLR cameras generally assume you'll want to do that yourself.


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-28-2008 at 09:29 AM.
08-28-2008, 09:24 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
While it's true that RAW will improve the ability to correct this during PP, you'll still get better images if you do your best in-camera. Bringing up the shadows will also increase noise, and by underexposing you're generally not collecting as much detail and texture as you might have had the image been properly exposed in the first place.

This has always been true with any camera. Meters are not infallible, it's the operators responsibility to know how they work if they want the best results.
Absolutely agree!
08-28-2008, 11:10 AM   #18
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In the first photo you used spot metering. The white sail is just about dead center of the frame. If you meter off of something white, the camera tries to make it 18% grey. The sail, to me anyway, looks exactly as I would expect a white object to look if it were the only thing included in the metering.
08-28-2008, 12:06 PM   #19
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Is this a great forum or what? Where else can you get such great, knowlegable feedback! Great responses all! Lot's that an innocent bystadder on the sidelines can pickup. Please keep it coming...

08-28-2008, 02:21 PM   #20
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Chris, the answer to your problem lies in your images:

No.1: spot metered on the the white sail. And ALL meters will calculate an exposure that makes a medium grey of the scene. So a white sail will be darkened to a medium grey. This obviously will also darken the rest of the image. Spot metering should only be used, if you know exactly how metering works. It is an expert tool.

The other images are not that grossly off, because you have used more "standard" metering. BUT:

No. 2 is underexposed, because 2/3 of the image are filled with bright white clouds. This leads even this averaged metering to reduce the exposure, as. As the ship is very dark or even black, even a smaller amount of exposure reduction will lead to a loss of shadow detail. The dynamic range of the original image is far too high, to be recorded on a digital sensor of any camera on the market. Even film would be struggling with such a high contrast ratio.

No. 3 is again a little bit better, as the bright sky fills only 1/2 of the image. So you still have all the detail in the ships. This about as perfect as one could wish for a digital image, because exposing brighter would have rendered the bright sky featureless. But with the image now you are able to bring out more detail of the ships, without blowing the sky in post-processing

No.4 is very dark, because again you are shooting directly against a very bright sky. Look at the highlights in the woman's hair - a telltale proof of the strong backlight. There is no way to record the bright sky and the scene on the boat at the same time without employing a flash gun to fill-in the foreground.

What could you learn from your examples?
1. if shooting against the bright sky, you need to use exposure compensation of 1 or 2 f-stops.
2. you might then loose details in the bright sky/clouds, but that may be acceptable, if it makes the foreground better exposed
3. don't use spot metering unless you know exactly why and how to use it.
4. you should employ techniques to reduce the contrast between a bright sky and a dark foreground (especially with backlight). That can be:
-- using a graduated neutral density filter to darken the sky, but preserve foreground brightness.
-- using fill-flash for the foreground, if it is not too distant.

So for the images No1, No 2 and NO. 3 a Grad ND filter would be the best choice and for No. 4 a fill-flash would be great.

regards
Ben
08-28-2008, 02:48 PM   #21
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Well, your skies are well exposed. I'm guessing that's what you wanted to photograph?

Sorry, but I don't see a camera problem here. In addition to the variety of metering methods you could use, there's also the histogram for immediate feedback that will tell you if the shot is properly exposed.
08-28-2008, 02:50 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Spot metering should only be used, if you know exactly how metering works. It is an expert tool.
I agree with everything you said except the above. I'm certainly no expert, and I use spot metering about half the time, often with exposure lock. It's really pretty simple.

Another trick for the OP is to shoot a scene with all three metering modes and see what he ends up with. Or use matrix metering with auto-bracket.

It's often said that Pentax is for photographers, and I think this is a good example. A Canon XSi doesn't even have spot metering, but I wouldn't know how to get along without it. The capabilities are in the camera, but they need to be understood and used properly.
08-28-2008, 03:09 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
As far as I can see it's mostly all there.
I always underexpose about 1/2 a stop and bring it up in PP.
The picture looks great now, what program did you use on it? The K10d is my first DSLR. My previous digital cameras have been a Canon PowerShot S2, a Fuji Finepix 2800 and a S6000fd. I thought by using spot metering I just needed to point it at the darkest part of the scene, lock exposure and the shot would be properly exposed. I guess thats not how it works. I thought about shooting everything in 400 ISO and using matrix metering but I didn't. I'm use to point, shoot and forget about it. I see that I have to learn how to use the camera correctly and also need to buy a good photo shop program. I did get some good pictures, but the dark ones made me want to take a hammer to my K10d.

08-28-2008, 03:14 PM   #24
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Just a few minutes into Picassa and it looks like, even with these small shots, there is enough detail there to recover a usable shot. As others have said, correct exposure can be tricky. It really depends on the lighting and the subject at hand. Yes, point and shoots are much more forgiving. My wife tells me that quite often. the big thing I use is the histogram. I try to keep that centered if not biased a touch to the bright side, as long as the highlights are not blown. As others again said, program mode is much more flexible. It is simple to shift exposure to correct issues.
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08-28-2008, 04:19 PM   #25
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So kind of on the same topic...
Me being a relative novice when it comes to photography with the SLR... Would you say that using Program mode would be a better choice for taking pictures? I admit that I'm usually just leaving my camera on Auto Pict mode which is probably not the best choice. I'm still trying to learn how to take a good picture and I'm curious what would be a recommended mode to use the camera in.
08-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by madmikess Quote
So kind of on the same topic...
Me being a relative novice when it comes to photography with the SLR... Would you say that using Program mode would be a better choice for taking pictures? I admit that I'm usually just leaving my camera on Auto Pict mode which is probably not the best choice. I'm still trying to learn how to take a good picture and I'm curious what would be a recommended mode to use the camera in.
YES YES YES. I don't know why the K10D has an Auto mode.

On the K10D (and K20D) P gives you pretty much all of the ease of use of Auto, but at the same time gives you the opportunity to start taking control of the camera. If you don't WANT to take control of the camera, why did you buy a DSLR?

Will
08-28-2008, 04:31 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
YES YES YES. I don't know why the K10D has an Auto mode.

On the K10D (and K20D) P gives you pretty much all of the ease of use of Auto, but at the same time gives you the opportunity to start taking control of the camera. If you don't WANT to take control of the camera, why did you buy a DSLR?

Will
I agree with you 100%. I've been easing my way into the SLR world. Trying new things, experimenting with aperture and things like that. But mostly using Auto mode because I'm still not really there yet. But I will kick over to Program mode and go from there and discover more. Thanks.
08-28-2008, 04:39 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by madmikess Quote
I agree with you 100%. I've been easing my way into the SLR world. Trying new things, experimenting with aperture and things like that. But mostly using Auto mode because I'm still not really there yet. But I will kick over to Program mode and go from there and discover more. Thanks.
Great. Try it, you'll like it.

There are some nice things about P on the K10D/K20D that make it very attractive even to a fuddy-duddy like me.

Put the camera into P and you're basically in Auto. But you can switch into aperture priority mode by moving the rear e-dial; or you can switch into shutter priority mode by moving the front e-dial. Sweet and couldn't be easier. The green button returns you to the camera's default guess about the exposure.

Will
08-28-2008, 04:51 PM   #29
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Read a Book on Exposure

Pick up and read, then re-read, a recent copy of Brian Peterson's "Understanding Exposure".

Especially read the section about light metering. It's very well-explained.
08-28-2008, 04:51 PM   #30
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I actually have an *istDL. I don't have the front dial like the K10D but I do have a manual I can read to familiarize myself with the controls in P mode. I know I can figure it out.
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