A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?

Started Oct 25, 2011 | Discussions
Gary Friedman
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A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
Oct 25, 2011

Hi, all.

I realize nobody here uses flash (preferring instead to shoot at high ISOs no matter how bad the light ) but I'm experiencing consistent flash exposure accuracy problems on my A77, and am wondering if it's just my unit or others are experiencing this too.

I just took some quick test shots using the A55 and A77 under identical conditions: ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/160th.

The first row is the A55 with Flash Exposure Compensation set to 0, -2, and +2. Works as it should.

The 2nd row is with the A77 with flash exposure compensation set to 0, +2, and -1.3 (which gets it as close to "normal" as I can get).

This happens consistently with the 58 and 56 flashes (either on top of the camera or in wireless), and the pop-up flash.

Is this happening to anyone else?

harleydavidson
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 25, 2011

Make sure flash is set to TTL not ADI

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=39655273
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Ken
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5 Tamron lenses, 10-24, 60m, 180m, 70-200, 200-500

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LesP
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 25, 2011

Hi Gary
Unsure what you are saying here..
0 looks correct (on web thumbnails)(whereas under on non-A77
+2 looks OX
-1.3 looks.. well.. UX a bit
Part of lack of clarity is swapping around the compensations?
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LesP

PS when is A77 book out???

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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to LesP, Oct 25, 2011

Well, I'm embarrassed about the order. Not enough sleep.

So you're saying that on your screen the A77 with FEC=0 looks good to you, but the A55 with FEC=0 looks too dark?

ADI is automatically disabled when you're in wireless mode. (And I always have it disabled anyway. )

-Gary

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VIPZone
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 25, 2011

Hi Gary,

On my screen, the A77 with FEC=0 looks good to me, but the A55 with FEC=0 looks too dark.

Glad you are working hard on the book!

Tony

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digititus
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 25, 2011

Gary,

I don't have an A65 of A77 yet so I can't help with the question of cosistency. But I'll give you my subjective assessment of how your photos look on my calibrated monitor.

Photo 1 & 6 look to be exposed very close to the same, with 1 very slightly less exposed than 6. Both look to be slightly unerexposed. Photo 5 is exposed more than 3, but both overexposed. Photo 4 is exposed more than 1 & 6, but possibly a tad overexposed - it looks like the white shirt might be slightly blown out. No need to comment on photo 2.

I would say the perfect exposure, if there is such a thing, would be between photo 4 & 6.

Hope this helps.
Regards

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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to digititus, Oct 25, 2011

So Photo #1 and #6 look the same to you. They look the same to me too.

But I had to set the A77 to Flash Exposure Compensation -1.3 in order for it to look the same as the A55 set to "normal". (This isn't just an isolated test... I was shooting our grandson's 1st birthday party with the A77 and had to set the flash to -1.3 for the entire day just so the pictures would come out right.)

@harleydavidson, thanks for pointing me to that other thread. Missed it somehow. Sounds like I'm not the only one experiencing these problems.

Maybe the next question to ask is "Is anyone experiencing proper flash behavior with the A77?"

-Gary

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MarkyM
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

Hi Gary,

Does your A77 have version 1.03?

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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to MarkyM, Oct 26, 2011

Of course!

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digititus
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

Gary Friedman wrote:

So Photo #1 and #6 look the same to you. They look the same to me too.

But I had to set the A77 to Flash Exposure Compensation -1.3 in order for it to look the same as the A55 set to "normal". (This isn't just an isolated test... I was shooting our grandson's 1st birthday party with the A77 and had to set the flash to -1.3 for the entire day just so the pictures would come out right.)

@harleydavidson, thanks for pointing me to that other thread. Missed it somehow. Sounds like I'm not the only one experiencing these problems.

Maybe the next question to ask is "Is anyone experiencing proper flash behavior with the A77?"

-Gary

Yes, I understand there was a Flash Compensation adjustment to get them looking the same. I was just trying to give you the benefit of what I was seeing on hopefully a well adjusted monitor.

I could understand there being a slight difference in exposure between the two cameras, but you had to use a pretty large compensation to get them looking nearly the same. It would appear Sony has another issue to work on. This is the kind of stuff that makes you wonder what kind of testing they did before they went into production. It certainly doesn't help the brand!

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Lineypi
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

Hi Gary,

I've got the a77 and f56 (or 58.. can't quite remember :P) flash and a33. If you like I can do a similar comparison test tonight?

What's your preferred setup? (flash position, distance to subject, etc).

I was having a similar problem on my a33, but it turned out to be the ADI/TTL mess up that someone has already mentioned.

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hanugro
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

Hi Gary, I did took a non formal family pictures the other day with 3600HS(D) bounce and after I saw your picture I realised that it is a bit overexposed. I didn't think much at that time.

BTW, it might be Sony strategy is to a bit overexposed to combat noise in higher ISO with flash (strange since if you use flash you would use low ISO anyway). You should contact Sony directly. I did prefer the norm in A55 + just a bit overexposed. Another thing that differ (with older alpha) is electronic 1st curtain but I doubt it is the culprit.

Anyone has pict with the new 43 flash? I am afraid Sony tweak a little bit with the new flash that make this combination perfect but overexposed with older flash. Even though it is strange because the body that should take care of it.

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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to digititus, Oct 26, 2011

Well, not to defend them or anything, but I've been involved in very big projects where Management sets a firm product introduction deadline hoping that everything will be ready by that time. When unforseen things happen (an earthquake or tsunami, for example, or more commonly, software problems), the schedule might move a little but not enough. And it's the QA folks who always absorb the schedule slip. They didn't have time to test properly because management didn't want Canon to announce their next big thing first.

Shortsighted? Yeah, but it happens all the time, and how many of us remember the previous incidents?

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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Lineypi, Oct 26, 2011

Yes, it's always best to have these problems either verified or, even better, to have someone try the same thing and have them declare "It looks good to me!"

Here's all the details of the setup. Let me know if I left any pertinent details out:

1) A77 (duh!)
2) CZ 16-80 lens
3) 56 flash off-camera, wireless (used a softbox, which is completely optional)
4) 1/160th at f/5.6, ISO 400
5) DRO Auto
6) First Curtain Shutter = ON (same behavior with it off)

7) Flash Control = pre-flash TTL (doesn't matter, since ADI is meaningless when the flash is off-camera or bounced)
8) Multi-segment metering

I think that's everything. In my experience this overexposure happens no matter which flash is used, whether it's on-camera or off-camera, or even when the pop-up flash is used.

Eagerly awaiting anyone else's report!

-Gary

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Lineypi
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

I don't have the CZ 16-80, but I can definitely set up something similar with my tammy 17-50 or 90 macro (in fact maybe I will use that, since that's currently on the a77 lol).

As it turns out, I have taken one photo with the a77 using the popup flash:

I can't remember any of the settings - it was my first night with the camera and I was trying everything out, however I was pretty happy with the exposure. Less of a 'deer in headlights' appearance than I usually see from a pop up flash

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hanugro
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Lineypi, Oct 26, 2011

I think built in flash is OK. Problem is when using external flash.

Edit: well, sory seems that Gary said his built in flash also has problem. Most of my flash pic so far is use as fill in flash and so far it is OK until that night when I took family picture. The flash is mainly the main source of the light at that occasion and that when it appear to over exposed.

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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Lineypi, Oct 26, 2011

Exposure-wise, this looks fine to me!

Thanks for the data point.

-GF

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tom
tom
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

Gary,
Maybe this is what's going on:

Your subject is dark. Camera exposure meters try to make things look mid-tone.

The A77 is an advanced camera - so with zero comp it tries to make the black jacket gray, which it did. And you have to add minus comp to bring it back.

The A55 is a consumer camera so it compensates if the subject is dark (and maybe also if it is very light?) Or it underexposed which with this subject worked fine, but Sony "fixed" it in the A77 which made this subject over expose.

Try using ADI without any comp on the A77 (with on camera direct flash). If ADI is working correctly, it should result in a properly exposed dark subject. At least that's how my other a-mount cameras worked.

How do more "average mid-tone" turn out when using the flash?

tom

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Edward Sargent
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Gary Friedman, Oct 26, 2011

You are getting a lot of opinions but not many tests, need another? I don't have a A55, the CZ lens, or 56/58 but I do have the 77 and a HVL 42 and the lenses listed in my signature.

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Sarge

A77, A700 8mm Bower, 50mm 1.7, 35-70 F4, 90mm Tamron, 18-250 Sigma & 50-500 Bigma
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Gary Friedman
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Re: A77 flash exposure accuracy - anyone else experiencing this?
In reply to Edward Sargent, Oct 26, 2011

Testing is always better than speculation.

And I really ought to be shooting a grey card instead of something with a dark background (although every other camera I've ever owned has handled that subject properly with flash).

But to answer the other question... ALL of my flash pictures have been overexposed to degree.

-GF

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