Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-27-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere in VA
Posts: 104
Exposure compensation..umm what?

I understand what exposure compensation is, and used it all the time with my film bodies...long lens+ low light where you stand+ good lighting "over there" = don't trust the meter and crank the aperture open a little more.... right?


Now that I have switched to digital and am happily shooting with a K10 I don't get how to use all these buttons! I mean sure I can poke the button and let the camera do whatever it does, but exactly how?

I mean how does this work and moreover how do I use it? Sure I can read the manual, but that doesn't really tell the use of exposure compensation when I just know how to do it

I am all kinds of CONFUSED.


Thanks guys! this forum is awesome.

12-27-2009, 11:56 PM   #2
Veteran Member
pop4's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: YMML
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,877
I've never shot film, but I'd assume it would work in a similar manner. The camera's in-built metering system meters for a certain exposure, approx 18% gray. But if you want an image that's brighter, add positive EV compensation. +1/3EV increases the exposure by 1/3 of a stop. +1EV increases the exposure by 1 stop.
If you want an image that's darker than what the camera meters, dial in -EV compensation.

The best thing about digital is it won't cost you film to try it out, so play around with it. Take a photo with no EV compensation. Then retake the scene with EV compensation, and go from there.
12-28-2009, 12:17 AM   #3
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,679
At the same time, exposure doesn't have to be (and shouldn't be) trial and error.
The exposure triad is the same from film to digital, so carry your experience to your K10D.
As for all the buttons, just read and re-read your manual - it does lay it out in simple and easy to understand terms.
12-28-2009, 12:38 AM   #4
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,652
Here's the way I look at it:

The camera reads the scene you're pointing at and determines what settings are necessary to expose that scene properly and turn it into a picture that resembles what you see with your eyes. So if you're in Auto mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to get the proper exposure. In Av mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed to match the aperture you've selected, again with the goal of getting the exposure it calculated. In Tv mode, the camera adjusts the aperture to match the shutter speed you've selected, and so on and so forth for all the other modes. The camera will also adjust ISO settings if you have it set to Auto ISO.

BUT, the camera's metering is easily misled! As mentioned above, it makes assumptions about the scene (ie. that there's 18% grey) to base its decisions on. This doesn't work so well if you're shooting a picture of a lot of snow. In that case, since you know the camera will get it wrong, you can adjust the EV compensation. By adding +2 EV compensation, you're essentially telling the camera that you want it to give you that much more exposure over what it calculated. Therefore the camera will adjust the camera's settings differently to accomodate your wishes.

Take my example of a snow scene; If the camera is in Av mode with the aperture set to F10, and the metering system determines that my scene needs 1/800 shutter speed for proper exposure, the snow will probably end up looking gray. But if I set the EV compensation to +2 EV, then the camera will set the sutter speed to 1/200 instead (2 full stops higher than it would normally choose) and the snow will come out a lot whiter. I essentially determined that the camera's metering was wrong, and corrected it with EV compensation.

I could've done the same thing by switching to Manual mode and changing the shutter speed myself, but that would defeat the whole point of automatic metering. Plus this way, I can switch modes on the fly while leaving the EV compensation set for my current shooting conditions.

The beauty of digital cameras is that I can take 10 pictures of the same thing, with just minor adjustments to the EV compensation, and pick the one that gets me the nicest results.

Since I usually shoot in Program mode, EV compensation is extremely useful for me. I can switch to Hyper-Av or Hyper-Tv mode on the fly to fine-tune the image results, but I can't adjust those settings beyond a reasonable range, based on the metering determined by the camera. Adjusting the EV compensation moves that range of settings around so I can get the perfect shot.

12-28-2009, 12:48 AM   #5
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere in VA
Posts: 104
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Here's the way I look at it:

The camera reads the scene you're pointing at and determines what settings are necessary to expose that scene properly and turn it into a picture that resembles what you see with your eyes. So if you're in Auto mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to get the proper exposure. In Av mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed to match the aperture you've selected, again with the goal of getting the exposure it calculated. In Tv mode, the camera adjusts the aperture to match the shutter speed you've selected, and so on and so forth for all the other modes. The camera will also adjust ISO settings if you have it set to Auto ISO.

BUT, the camera's metering is easily misled! As mentioned above, it makes assumptions about the scene (ie. that there's 18% grey) to base its decisions on. This doesn't work so well if you're shooting a picture of a lot of snow. In that case, since you know the camera will get it wrong, you can adjust the EV compensation. By adding +2 EV compensation, you're essentially telling the camera that you want it to give you that much more exposure over what it calculated. Therefore the camera will adjust the camera's settings differently to accomodate your wishes.

Take my example of a snow scene; If the camera is in Av mode with the aperture set to F10, and the metering system determines that my scene needs 1/800 shutter speed for proper exposure, the snow will probably end up looking gray. But if I set the EV compensation to +2 EV, then the camera will set the sutter speed to 1/200 instead (2 full stops higher than it would normally choose) and the snow will come out a lot whiter. I essentially determined that the camera's metering was wrong, and corrected it with EV compensation.

I could've done the same thing by switching to Manual mode and changing the shutter speed myself, but that would defeat the whole point of automatic metering. Plus this way, I can switch modes on the fly while leaving the EV compensation set for my current shooting conditions.

The beauty of digital cameras is that I can take 10 pictures of the same thing, with just minor adjustments to the EV compensation, and pick the one that gets me the nicest results.

Since I usually shoot in Program mode, EV compensation is extremely useful for me. I can switch to Hyper-Av or Hyper-Tv mode on the fly to fine-tune the image results, but I can't adjust those settings beyond a reasonable range, based on the metering determined by the camera. Adjusting the EV compensation moves that range of settings around so I can get the perfect shot.

This makes the kind of plain english sense I needed thanks!
01-15-2010, 02:07 PM   #6
New Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 2
QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Here's the way I look at it:

The camera reads the scene you're pointing at and determines what settings are necessary to expose that scene properly and turn it into a picture that resembles what you see with your eyes. So if you're in Auto mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to get the proper exposure. In Av mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed to match the aperture you've selected, again with the goal of getting the exposure it calculated. In Tv mode, the camera adjusts the aperture to match the shutter speed you've selected, and so on and so forth for all the other modes. The camera will also adjust ISO settings if you have it set to Auto ISO.

BUT, the camera's metering is easily misled! As mentioned above, it makes assumptions about the scene (ie. that there's 18% grey) to base its decisions on. This doesn't work so well if you're shooting a picture of a lot of snow. In that case, since you know the camera will get it wrong, you can adjust the EV compensation. By adding +2 EV compensation, you're essentially telling the camera that you want it to give you that much more exposure over what it calculated. Therefore the camera will adjust the camera's settings differently to accomodate your wishes.

Take my example of a snow scene; If the camera is in Av mode with the aperture set to F10, and the metering system determines that my scene needs 1/800 shutter speed for proper exposure, the snow will probably end up looking gray. But if I set the EV compensation to +2 EV, then the camera will set the sutter speed to 1/200 instead (2 full stops higher than it would normally choose) and the snow will come out a lot whiter. I essentially determined that the camera's metering was wrong, and corrected it with EV compensation.

I could've done the same thing by switching to Manual mode and changing the shutter speed myself, but that would defeat the whole point of automatic metering. Plus this way, I can switch modes on the fly while leaving the EV compensation set for my current shooting conditions.

The beauty of digital cameras is that I can take 10 pictures of the same thing, with just minor adjustments to the EV compensation, and pick the one that gets me the nicest results.

Since I usually shoot in Program mode, EV compensation is extremely useful for me. I can switch to Hyper-Av or Hyper-Tv mode on the fly to fine-tune the image results, but I can't adjust those settings beyond a reasonable range, based on the metering determined by the camera. Adjusting the EV compensation moves that range of settings around so I can get the perfect shot.
Awesome explanation, thank you!
01-15-2010, 02:16 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,255
QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
Now that I have switched to digital and am happily shooting with a K10 I don't get how to use all these buttons! I mean sure I can poke the button and let the camera do whatever it does, but exactly how?
With furious determination.
01-15-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
Pentaxian
Clicker's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,241
Works the same, you just have to read the manual to find the features via the menu/buttons. I find Pentax has the simplest intuitive function/menu interface.

01-15-2010, 03:25 PM   #9
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,652
QuoteOriginally posted by Clicker Quote
Works the same, you just have to read the manual to find the features via the menu/buttons. I find Pentax has the simplest intuitive function/menu interface.
I don't know about other models, but this is especially true with the K-7. I can adjust the exposure triad (shutter, aperture, ISO) lightning fast with only my right hand, and I never need to take my eye off the viewfinder. Leaves my left hand free to do... other things
01-16-2010, 05:52 AM   #10
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
I understand what exposure compensation is, and used it all the time with my film bodies...long lens+ low light where you stand+ good lighting "over there" = don't trust the meter and crank the aperture open a little more.... right?
Wrong
01-16-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere in VA
Posts: 104
Original Poster
huh? I definetly have been in plenty situations when the meter is totally telling me lies.
01-16-2010, 07:49 AM   #12
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
Yes, but that's not because the light where you're standing is different from the light where your subject is. It also does not have to do with a 'long lens'.

It has to do with the ratio of light versus dark (as indicated by others).

Last edited by sterretje; 01-16-2010 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Elaborated a bit
01-16-2010, 08:27 AM   #13
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,012
With my Spotmatic, I would meter and then adjust the shutter speed knob or the aperture ring to center the meter needle. If I wanted to intentionally over or under expose, I would adjust either to get the exposure I wanted (or hoped for). That extra EV button allows the camera to do the same thing in the auto modes. GoremanX explained it well. With digital, we also have the instant benefit of being able to see the shot on the LCD and a histogram to determine if the exposure is what we wanted.
01-16-2010, 10:33 AM   #14
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,314
Exposure compensation is generally used to do one of the following functions, some have a definite correlation back to film, others do not.

1) with film, expecially Kodachrome, many people (self included) set the ISO to 80 from the base 64, or on later cameras that supported DX coding set compensation to -1/3 of a stop, in order to get maximum color saturation and preserve highlights. Some people still do that with digital.

2) when you are shooting a backlit subject, but want to expose the subject detail in the shadow, yoou might deliberately set exposure compensation to as much as +3 stops (ev) to compensate for the influence the backlighting has on the camera metering.

3) some lens / camera combinations have a tendancy to under or over expose consistently, for example my K10D with my sigma 70-200F2.8 and 1.4x or 2x TCs will always over expose by about 1 1/3 stops, due to a well discussed (in this forum) metering issue with the K10D focusing screen. I regularly use this combination on the K10D so I simply dial in the compensation to prevent over exposure.

4) you are shooting at night, and there are very bright lights that may ingluence the metering and you want to get the shadow detail, you set exposure compensation to +1-3 stops and let the lights burn out, or set it a few stops under exposed to protect the lights as points with an overall dark scene.

All of these conditions might be trial and error at the onset, but once you know how your equipment works, and understand the general lighting of your scene, it should be almost automatic as far as selecting what you need.
01-18-2010, 12:33 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Outside of Philly
Posts: 1,564
QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
I understand what exposure compensation is, and used it all the time with my film bodies...


I mean how does this work and moreover how do I use it? Sure I can read the manual, but that doesn't really tell the use of exposure compensation when I just know how to do it

I am all kinds of CONFUSED.


Thanks guys! this forum is awesome.
Exposure compensation works the SAME as it did with film cameras. The three aspects of exposure (shutter speed+ISO+f/stop) have NOT changed with digital....oh, except you can now "change" the film speed (ISO/ASA) from shot to shot. Light (and the capturing of light) has NOT changed since the advent of digital.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, compensation, dslr, exposure, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
using the exposure compensation tinabalagosa Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 04-25-2010 01:55 PM
What is exposure compensation doing? Javaslinger Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 12-11-2009 09:38 PM
Your Exposure Compensation lurchlarson Photographic Technique 21 07-18-2009 05:42 AM
exposure compensation basket-balls101 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12 05-11-2009 10:52 PM
exposure compensation... DanLoc78 Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 10-08-2008 01:19 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:35 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top