Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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short version... LOW CONTRAST SETTINGS (not default)... use ExpSim LV in conjunction w/ Full M/M ISO
In reply to Sdaniella, Dec 12, 2012

short version... LOW CONTRAST SETTINGS (not default)... use ExpSim LV in conjunction w/ Full M/M ISO

CONTRAST settings for known bright contrasty scenarios...

● use custom contrast setting (lower than default, below '0'); because 'Rebel default' is 'too contrasty'

● test low contrast settings to your 'liking' forming new 'expectations' (-1, -2, or even -3)

● always be 'aware/know' when you are shooting in bright contrasty situations, where a 'contrasty' setting only makes it worse.

● if you find using a lower contrast setting causes saturation to go down, you may optionally up the saturation in-camera setting by +1, +2 (or as needed)[if available; but otherwise, tweak saturation in post-processing 'to taste']

● if you know you are going to be shooting in relatively dim or muted lighting where contrast is LOW, only then, use the 'default' contrast setting of '0' on your Rebel. if a lighting scenario is extremely low contrast, leave the contrast setting on default '0' and ONLY dial contrast back in in post. using a higher contrast setting in-camera means tossing out any shadow/highlight/texture data that you may want to keep.

● if you USE THE DEFAULT CONTRAST SETTING (that happens to be quite 'contrasty' (=Rebel)), it spells 'exposure' trouble when shooting specifically in bright sunny outdoor contrasty situations!!!! The 'auto' AE system does NOT know what your subject is, whether hi/lo contrast, it simply 'averages' an overall middle brightness [EV=0] of the 'spot/area' you are pointing at!!! (this is why i consider AE modes, 'dumb' mode; not you, the camera!!!)

● never assume the default contrast for image capture and JPEG rendering is same across models of dSLRs/digicams even within the same mfr, much less different mfr.


● USE Full M/M ISO, utilizing the ExpSim LV (below), instead of 'full hopeful auto' or 'AE compensation modes'.

do this BEFORE taking a shot!!!! (not after the shot!!!); you have ExpSim LV (Exposure Simulation Preview) USE IT, this is why it exists. no more 'auto-hopeful' modes, no more 'AE-compensation-almost' modes, no more TTL spot/area light metering at all, no just-in-case-exposure-bracketing at all. no more historgram ETTR, when on can do a 'full image DR-ETTR preview' directly off of the image sensor itself in a live preview.

● in good light (obviously), shoot entirely in 100% OVF, never LV LCD 'at arms length' (as some others balk at)

● only in insanely dark light conditions where an OVF is USELESS, does one resort to LCD to 'assess-and-shoot' with ExpSim LV (if it's super dark; you are more likely to be using a tripod anyway; handheld is impossible too).


● ALO is a kind of shadow optimization for contrasty/bright scenarios, and can help make LOW CONTRAST CAPTURE SETTINGS more or less, depending on how ALO affects IQ itself.

 Sdaniella's gear list:Sdaniella's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II
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