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07-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #1
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Why are all my pictures over exposed? and red flashing on LCD screen?

Good morning all,
I am a recent member as well as new to photography. I purchased a K200D with the kit lens. and I have not had the opportunity to play with my camera often due to my work. If you don't mind I have a couple of questions that I do not find in the manual.
1) I was out camping last weekend and almost all of my shots seem to be over exposed. They were taken at different times of the day outside in sunshine as well as cloudy days. I have chosen to use the AV setting for most shots and occasionally I will take the same picture on various settings to see the difference. How do I know that the setting the camera has chosen is correct? and if I adjust it myself how do I know how much to adjust? Could the camera be set to over expose?
2) As well all of a sudden I noticed that when I review my pictures with the play back button, any part of a picture that is bright or bright white will flash red on the camera's LCD screen. This does not appear when I download the pictures in the computer. Shoul I return the camera for repairs?
Again thanks in advance for your replies.

07-05-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sitting Bull Quote
Good morning all,
I am a recent member as well as new to photography. I purchased a K200D with the kit lens. and I have not had the opportunity to play with my camera often due to my work. If you don't mind I have a couple of questions that I do not find in the manual.
1) I was out camping last weekend and almost all of my shots seem to be over exposed. They were taken at different times of the day outside in sunshine as well as cloudy days. I have chosen to use the AV setting for most shots and occasionally I will take the same picture on various settings to see the difference. How do I know that the setting the camera has chosen is correct? and if I adjust it myself how do I know how much to adjust? Could the camera be set to over expose?
Being camping implies you were likely trying to take photos of shaded subjects. There's a reasonable chance that you were using Center or Center Weighted Auto Exposure measurements. If so the correct exposure for your subjects was likely much longer than needed for objects in bright sunlight.

What to do about it? Not much but be aware of it, maybe set your AE to multipoint (which will decrease the exposure but result in darker shadows.)

QuoteQuote:
2) As well all of a sudden I noticed that when I review my pictures with the play back button, any part of a picture that is bright or bright white will flash red on the camera's LCD screen. This does not appear when I download the pictures in the computer. Shoul I return the camera for repairs?
Again thanks in advance for your replies.
The camera is just telling you which areas are overexposed; it is a "Feature" not a "Fault". Nothing is wrong with the camera, rather the problem is physics - the "dynamic range" of any Digital Camera is to small to capture in a single shot the brightness range that our eyes can see in a brief time.

A Dave in Iowa

PS there is a multi-exposure technique loosely referred to as HDR (High Dynamic Range) that lets one squish a broader dynamic range than usual into a single picture - used modestly it works well.
07-05-2009, 09:05 AM   #3
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You might want to post some examples with Exif data.

What metering mode were you using - Matrix, Center-weighted or Spot ?
Be careful with CW or Spot metering - they can be very useful, depending on the situation, but be aware the metering logic may be accurate, but other parts of your photo can still have overexposed areas.
Did you have Exposure compensation accidentally set ?

(A lot more people complaint Pentax tends to underexpose).

For (2) you have the Bright/dark of the Playback Display Mode "ON". Not a bug.
Its useful to tell if your shot has overexposed burned-out areas. It can happen even if the overall exposure is accurate. You can turn it "OFF" in the Menu if its irritating.
07-05-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Sorry could not remember how to upload pictures, they were all to big. I will be away for the next couple of hours so I will check back then. I did not expect such quick replies on a Sunday am. I am not sure where to get the exif info you would like.
Thanks again.

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07-05-2009, 11:33 AM   #5
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There doesn't seem to be EXIF info embedded in the first two shots - it was probably stripped by whatever means you used to downsize the photos, but in the third shot EXIF shows...
QuoteQuote:
Exposure Bias (EV) = 10/10 = 1
This means that the camera was set to overexpose by one stop - this setting is controlled with the "+/-" button on the camera... Press that button and roll the thumbwheel ("e-dial" is the proper term I think), while looking at the top lcd... you'll see a + or - EV setting which you can adjust to make bright or dark scenes turn out like they should. In this case, the setting is set to +1, and it's making your camera overexpose.

Notice that for very bright scenes like the third one which, while slightly overexposed, is not far from correct. If you had EV compensation set to 0, that shot would actually be somewhat darker than the reality because the camera would meter all that white dirt and assume it should be gray instead of white. This demonstrates what EV compensation is useful for - adjusting the metering of a shot for the actual conditions.
07-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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Thank you for replying,
I have the manual in front of me and am checking to see if I can set it to not over expose.
07-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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Yes I did have EV set to +1 so I changed it to 0.0
I also moved the metering to center weighted. Do you think that is a good position?or is multi segment better?
07-05-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
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I prefer center weighted because it is easier for me to predict how it will behave. but that's because I know how it works. If both are mysteries to you, then neither will seem more intuitive. I'd recommend a visit to the local library or bookstore to get a book that explains the basics of exposure - the concepts are common to pretty much all all SLR's, digital and film, going back several decades.

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