not too happy with full auto

Started Mar 22, 2012 | Discussions
cptnslw
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not too happy with full auto
Mar 22, 2012

I've been shooting predominantly fully manual with the x100 (that is the reason we all buy it right? the subtle nuances of manual controls) and recently took the puppy out to the snow. Tons and tons of reflection off the pristine snow caused my transition lenses to go super dark and made gauging the exposure in the viewfinder difficult, even seeing the overlays. As a result the x100 went to f16, something like 1/4000 or so at iso 100 and provided the image on the left:

The image in the center is after about 12 minutes in Aperture, the one on the right is after about 2 minutes in iPhoto for the new iPad.

I'm very happy with just how smooth and quick iPhoto makes quick editing but and curious where most of you would have shot given the subject matter and incredible light. F8? 5.6?

I've definitely learned my lesson about full auto, a lot less satisfying than the S5 Pro.

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John Bean (UK)
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, Mar 22, 2012

Did you have the histogram turned on? If so it should have shown the exposure error very clearly.

Which metering mode were you using?

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gava
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, Mar 22, 2012

Histogram + EC dial.
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gacetillero
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, Mar 22, 2012

Snow's notorious for foxing cameras, which try to make it middle grey. Interesting it's such a pronounced under exposure on the x100 though.

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MPA1
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, Mar 22, 2012

Spot metering off the dog would have correctly exposed the dog but over exposed the snow.

Spot metering and minus a bit on the compensation dial would probably have worked. Always useful to bracket with tricky lighting etc to give yourself more options to work with later I have found.

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cptnslw
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to MPA1, May 13, 2012

It's been several months and the x100 is still doing it. any situation with a lot of natural light outside, flower fields, a porsche on the corner, an air show, a sign on the wall of a building, it always chooses f/16 and 1/4000 when set to auto dramatically underexposing the scene regardless of metering. I'm not someone who uses auto most of the time but rely on it when shooting in scenarios I'm not comfortable with.

I'll be contacting Fuji Monday morning and sending the camera in next day - I'm not keen to be without it and have an XTi + 50mm on loaner from a sympathetic friend.

This'll be the first time I've sent a camera in to any manufacture in my DSLR owning history for something like this, and a first for any Fuji I've owned. Here's hoping it won't require a subsequent trip as I've seen people mention here.

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Torq
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, May 13, 2012

In situations like that, particularly in snow, at least under clear skies, meter off the blue sky, lock exposure, and then compose and shoot.

It's two button presses if you set the camera to AE-L.

No meter is perfect in every situation.

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gava
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, May 13, 2012

cptnslw wrote:

It's been several months and the x100 is still doing it. any situation with a lot of natural light outside, flower fields, a porsche on the corner, an air show, a sign on the wall of a building, it always chooses f/16 and 1/4000 when set to auto dramatically underexposing the scene regardless of metering. I'm not someone who uses auto most of the time but rely on it when shooting in scenarios I'm not comfortable with.

I'll be contacting Fuji Monday morning and sending the camera in next day - I'm not keen to be without it and have an XTi + 50mm on loaner from a sympathetic friend.

This'll be the first time I've sent a camera in to any manufacture in my DSLR owning history for something like this, and a first for any Fuji I've owned. Here's hoping it won't require a subsequent trip as I've seen people mention here.

There is almost certainly nothing wrong with your camera.

Why don't you send yourself on a photography course instead? Once you learn how to meter a scene you will be fine.

Alternatively get a Nikon DSLR, their matrix metering is essentially idiot-proof.

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Davidgilmour
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to gava, May 13, 2012

gava wrote:

send yourself on a photography course instead
get a Nikon DSLR.. idiot-proof

and welcome to the friendly folks of the fuji forum

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lnbolch
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to Davidgilmour, May 13, 2012

Davidgilmour wrote:

gava wrote:

send yourself on a photography course instead
get a Nikon DSLR.. idiot-proof

and welcome to the friendly folks of the fuji forum

In fact it is not, if an idiot is using the camera. Auto-exposure can be easily fooled by the most sophisticated metering systems, if the photographer is too a fool.

A wise shooter learns the basics and knows when the subject matter does not match the AF or AE mode to which the camera is set. It is so much easier to blame the camera than to acknowledge ones own ignorance. Amazing that there ever was a single keeper shot during the era of film, if one is to read the postings of those whose superior photographic skills were let down by their cameras.

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gava
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to Davidgilmour, May 13, 2012

Davidgilmour wrote:

gava wrote:

send yourself on a photography course instead
get a Nikon DSLR.. idiot-proof

and welcome to the friendly folks of the fuji forum

No it's not friendly. But what exactly is the OP's problem?

Do you genuinely believe it is a camera problem or that the OP despite now MONTHS of time to try to improve their knowledge of the metering system of the X100 still is putting the camera into full auto mode and getting poor results? And what metering mode is being used? Spot? Average? Matrix?

Earlier in the thread people tried to be helpful, even including unfriendly me. I suggested activating the real-time histogram and using the EC dial, which may not be accurate to fractions of a stop, but will certainly prevent 3-stops underexposure.

Digital is less forgiving than negative film when it comes to exposure, but by way of compensation we can check the histogram when shooting.

To suffer for MONTHS with shots that are 3 stops underexposed without being able to learn to chimp or switch on a real-time histogram suggests that the OP needs someone to actually tell them that the most likely problem is either :
1. a lack of knowledge - in which case a photography course will help.

2. a lack of interest - in which case a camera like a Nikon DSLR which has awesome P&S capabilities will help.

But it's almost certainly not going to help to sit around and commiserate over how bad the X100 is at auto-mode or wish them good luck on a camera repair that is most likely not going to help.

Part of learning how a camera works is to learn how it's metering works; unless you are a spot metering kind of person, you should choose a mode and learn with just a little bit of experimentation how the camera is going to meter different kinds of scenes.

I use my EC dial a LOT. I love how easy it is to turn because I now have a pretty good idea when framing a shot of how much EC I need to dial in.

If a person is repeatedly banging their head against a brick wall often they just need to be convinced to stop rather than keep doling out aspirin and sympathy.

But to cptnslw please accept my apologies for my lack of good manners. I did actually try to edit the post before being pulled up by David. DPReview is very restrictive in that regard however.

And of course it is possible that there is a fault with your camera. But honestly it doesn't seem likely.

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Acrill
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to gava, May 13, 2012

Your camera is broken, send it to Fuji.

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MPA1
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, May 13, 2012

Bracketing!

Sometimes there is no right answer there is just a least wrong answer when talking about what you can do in camera - the least wrong answer is easiest to fix when you get it home.

Bracketing gives you choices.

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Vic Chapman
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to MPA1, May 13, 2012

MPA1 wrote:

Bracketing!

Sometimes there is no right answer there is just a least wrong answer when talking about what you can do in camera - the least wrong answer is easiest to fix when you get it home.

Bracketing gives you choices.

Hmmm - with a moving subject - I think not.
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cptnslw
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to gava, May 13, 2012

gava wrote:

Davidgilmour wrote:

gava wrote:

send yourself on a photography course instead
get a Nikon DSLR.. idiot-proof

and welcome to the friendly folks of the fuji forum

No it's not friendly. But what exactly is the OP's problem?

Do you genuinely believe it is a camera problem or that the OP despite now MONTHS of time to try to improve their knowledge of the metering system of the X100 still is putting the camera into full auto mode and getting poor results? And what metering mode is being used? Spot? Average? Matrix?

Earlier in the thread people tried to be helpful, even including unfriendly me. I suggested activating the real-time histogram and using the EC dial, which may not be accurate to fractions of a stop, but will certainly prevent 3-stops underexposure.

Digital is less forgiving than negative film when it comes to exposure, but by way of compensation we can check the histogram when shooting.

To suffer for MONTHS with shots that are 3 stops underexposed without being able to learn to chimp or switch on a real-time histogram suggests that the OP needs someone to actually tell them that the most likely problem is either :
1. a lack of knowledge - in which case a photography course will help.

2. a lack of interest - in which case a camera like a Nikon DSLR which has awesome P&S capabilities will help.

But it's almost certainly not going to help to sit around and commiserate over how bad the X100 is at auto-mode or wish them good luck on a camera repair that is most likely not going to help.

Part of learning how a camera works is to learn how it's metering works; unless you are a spot metering kind of person, you should choose a mode and learn with just a little bit of experimentation how the camera is going to meter different kinds of scenes.

I use my EC dial a LOT. I love how easy it is to turn because I now have a pretty good idea when framing a shot of how much EC I need to dial in.

If a person is repeatedly banging their head against a brick wall often they just need to be convinced to stop rather than keep doling out aspirin and sympathy.

But to cptnslw please accept my apologies for my lack of good manners. I did actually try to edit the post before being pulled up by David. DPReview is very restrictive in that regard however.

And of course it is possible that there is a fault with your camera. But honestly it doesn't seem likely.

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You guys are fine. I come from a history of shooting mostly A or P on my previous Fuji and Nikon bodies and slowly learning to shoot manual. But that's the rub. When I shoot manual the x100 provides results far superior to what I've managed in the past with either Nikon or Fuji bodies. It's incredible and a complete and utter joy to use, a few decent shots from this weekend:

But the moment i go all auto, as mentioned in a wide variety of situations, differing light conditions, etc. It's all F16 1/4000 all the time:

my shot (left), Auto (right)

Auto (left), my shot (right)

Auto (left), my shot (right)

Auto

I've a ton of examples but trashed most of the under exposed shots. I'm not here screaming the x100 is a poor camera, it's incredible in manual mode. I've just not experience any of my previous fujis or nikons simply deciding f16 1/4000 is optimal in all auto conditions. I've also two good buds with x100s and neither of their bodies were doing the same in the control scenarios, and I've noticed a few cases here where users have reported the same issue.

Thank you everyone for feedback, It's sincerely appreciated. As someone who is learning and consistently bettering my skills I'd hoped to be able to set the camera on P occasionally and see how it would handle situations, that's my primary issue here, it should be able to expose a given frame properly, it shouldn't always, as noted above in a variety of situations ALWAYS choose f/16 1/4000 and ALWAYS under expose any outdoor shot. Again behavior I've never witnessed on any of my Fuji or Nikon bodies in the past.

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DRabbit
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, May 13, 2012

May seem like a stupid question, but you have both dials set to "A" correct? The shutter speed dial and the aperture?

If both are set to "A" and you set the camera to ISO 200 (just to rule out auto ISO), if you are still getting f/16 1/4000 shots no matter the lighting, in every situation, then obviously, something is wrong. Send it to Fuji.

Amy
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Moti
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, May 13, 2012

It might be the camera, it might be the settings, it might be your lack of skills. No one can advise you here because without shooting with the camera, it is all just speculations.

You have got an excellent reply from gava who suggested that you take a photography course. This will not only teach you how to take good photos but will also give you the knoledge to find yourself the answer to the problem you have.

As far as I see it, this is by far the best and the most friendly tip you have got here and it is up to you to decide what you do with it, that of course if you are serious about photography.

Moti

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Muggestutz
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to cptnslw, May 13, 2012

Since you are using Lightroom there is another option: Could it be that you are shooting with DR200%, DR400% or auto-DR (which will almost certainly choose DR400% with the cars reflections) and saving the RAW file?

DR200% and DR400% will appear (or are , that is another discussion) 1 and 2 stops under-exposed in Lightroom.

Long shot, I don't know how this rhymes with the 1/4000 1/16 combination, but something to check anyway.

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MPA1
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to Vic Chapman, May 13, 2012

That dog ain't moving.

Also at 6fps, movement between shots will be relatively small if the shutter speed is high.

Try also ISO bracketing which only takes one shot and merely saves several versions according to the manual.

Vic Chapman wrote:

MPA1 wrote:

Bracketing!

Sometimes there is no right answer there is just a least wrong answer when talking about what you can do in camera - the least wrong answer is easiest to fix when you get it home.

Bracketing gives you choices.

Hmmm - with a moving subject - I think not.
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cptnslw
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Re: not too happy with full auto
In reply to MPA1, May 13, 2012

DRabbit wrote:

May seem like a stupid question, but you have both dials set to "A" correct? The shutter speed dial and the aperture?

If both are set to "A" and you set the camera to ISO 200 (just to rule out auto ISO), if you are still getting f/16 1/4000 shots no matter the lighting, in every situation, then obviously, something is wrong. Send it to Fuji.

Amy
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That's why I mentioned I've been doing controls over the period of a few months. Shoot a shot Manual, love the result, switch x100 to full auto, get f 16 1/4000 every time.

Moti wrote:

It might be the camera, it might be the settings, it might be your lack of skills. No one can advise you here because without shooting with the camera, it is all just speculations.

You have got an excellent reply from gava who suggested that you take a photography course. This will not only teach you how to take good photos but will also give you the knoledge to find yourself the answer to the problem you have.

As far as I see it, this is by far the best and the most friendly tip you have got here and it is up to you to decide what you do with it, that of course if you are serious about photography.

Moti

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Certainly, but I'm not sure why we keep getting stuck here.

Full Manual I'm very very happy with the camera, giddy even. I've no issues producing the results I'm looking for.

Every other Body I've owned has not shot f16 1/4000 completely underexposed on Program, I've never experienced this in a camera before and have a very difficult time understanding where lack of skill comes into play when a camera consistently shoots underexposed regardless of metering, subject, etc.

I'll say it again, perfect, fantastic, brilliant results manual. I shoot manual 99% of the time. The results come out fantastic. The moment I switch to Program/Auto they're Utterly rubbish. Given the control of multiple environments, multiple meterings of the same subject, fantastic results manual than switching to Program to find the same f16 1/4000, I'm curious why we keep circling back to that suggestion. Am i missing a page in the manual that informs us in program the camera will select F/16 and 1/4000 regardless of metering, situation, etc?

Muggestutz wrote:

Since you are using Lightroom there is another option: Could it be that you are shooting with DR200%, DR400% or auto-DR (which will almost certainly choose DR400% with the cars reflections) and saving the RAW file?

DR200% and DR400% will appear (or are , that is another discussion) 1 and 2 stops under-exposed in Lightroom.

Long shot, I don't know how this rhymes with the 1/4000 1/16 combination, but something to check anyway.

Shooting DR100%.

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