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

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Discussions
Omni88
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Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
Dec 10, 2012

I purchased a T4i a couple of months ago.  I recently went to Mexico for a couple of weeks and took the new camera and shot around 1000 pictures in various modes (automatic, landscape, night, some portraits shots, etc. etc.)

Almost everyone of those 1000 pictures are washed out and/or over-exposed.  Anything that has white or shades of light greys are crushed into a bright white.  Outdoor shots of what should be beautiful dark green palm trees and green grass are washed out or over-exposed.   I shot pictures of the jungle from on top of one of the Mayan ruins, and I distinctly remember how lush green the jungle looked from on top those ruins.  When I came back and had a look at these photos, the jungle look from atop those ruins looks like a pale lime greenish-yellow... and looks completely washed out.

When I got back home and viewed all these disappointing pictures, I was obviously upset.  About 90% of the pictures look like I shot them with a $5.00 camera from Kmart.   I checked all the settings of the camera assuming I changed an exposure setting, but all settings were fine.

I am wondering if I have a problem camera?

Canon EOS 650D (EOS Rebel T4i / EOS Kiss X6i) Pentax K-m (K2000)
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Midwest
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

There is a setting - highlights exposure compensation or something like that - which can cause this very issue. Maybe someone can follow up with exactly what it is called.

This is a good example of why one should never buy a brand new camera and take it on a trip without making sure of the settings and that it all works. Not blaming you, but just saying it is always best to work with and try out any new camera before leaving on a trip where the photos are really important.

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Do people really spend $700 on a camera so they can take a picture of a squirrel or a duck?

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seri_art
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

Did you get good results from the camera during the time you had it before your trip?

Omni88 wrote:

I purchased a T4i a couple of months ago. I recently went to Mexico for a couple of weeks

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Canon PowerShot S100 Canon EOS 650D Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
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Pete4
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

You should check exposure on camera's LCD after each shot, so you don't end up with 1000 lousy pics from the trip, you may not do again for long time. There is even a graph showing you RGB levels, if you don't trust small LCD display.

I would suggest full reset first, maybe you missed something. If that doesn't help, then  I would play with settings: exposure compensation, color saturation, make sure you're set for sRGB, not Adobe RGB etc. How about your monitor, is it at least in the ballpark of being properly calibrated? Without seeing the pictures and reading EXIF it is hard to say what exactly the problem is, but if you need to compensate exposure more than 1/2- 1 F-stop to get it right, maybe there is something wrong with camera or lens, could be iris not closing aperture properly for example. My camera takes great pictures with proper exposure without any tinkering, so there is something wrong with yours albeit just yesterday I took few flash pictures of my daughter and they were all way overexposed, I went to the flash menu, double checked all the settings and I don't even remember changing anything, but all is fine now, so I Just need to watch it, if it happens again.

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sailaway78
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Pete4, Dec 10, 2012

On my T3 I leave the EC set at -2/3, and for white birds or very light objects I dial in even more.  As much a -2 on a close up of a white egret.  Have sent it back to Canon, but not much if any improvement.

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I want to go to my grave, tires bald, fenders knocked off, out of gas, and yelling, WOW what a ride.

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AJohn
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Any samples?...
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

...See if you can post a couple of the images in question. Maybe we can get an idea of what was happening regarding the settings and results. Also, learning to read your histogram for each image will tell you if your exposure is OK or not. Then you can adjust accordingly. It's easy. This link explains it well.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-histograms.shtml

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Andy
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http://imageevent.com/ajrphotos

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Pete4
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to sailaway78, Dec 10, 2012

What metering are you using? smaller bird against very bright sky, or dark forest would call for spot metering, except that camera is expecting 18% (I think it's 18%) gray, so all black or all white bird would cause wrong exposure even with spot metering.  Your monitor could also need some calibration as well. One way to check if something is in a ballpark or way out of whack: some paint programs have auto exposure correction, load few evenly exposed pictures from your camera into such program and apply auto exposure, does it change a lot or not? Also download few pro pictures from internet and see how those get auto corrected  (mostly those will have no correction applied since I would assume they would have proper exposure already).

Looking at RGB curve right after taking a picture will also tell you if the exposure was even or biased to one side. In some more difficult cases metering will always be wrong and manual compensation will be required by the user, but mostly it should work fine, at least that's how it is with my cam.

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AJohn
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monitor calibration,...
In reply to Pete4, Dec 10, 2012

...Since Pete and a couple of others have mentioned it, I figured these 2 links might be helpful. They can give you an idea if your monitor is at least in the ballpark or not. Both these pages have been very helpful to me in the past.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/Calibration/monitor_black.htm

http://www.epaperpress.com/monitorcal/

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Andy
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BAK
BAK
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It's probably your lack of knowledge about photography
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

I thought this was an old thread because it sounded so familiar.

Beginners get fancy cameras all tyhe time, and unfortunately trust the TV commercials thatmake everything look so easy.

I'm betting the problem with the wased out colors is, more often than not, caused by failure to user the proper light meter mode (evaluative, partial, center weighted,spot); the failure to point the camera at the right place; and the failure to use exposure compensation as judged necessary by using your brain full of the experience I suspect you do not have.

For instance, shooting down on a dark jungle filling much of the viewfinder requires you to stop down the lens aperture, because the meter is going to read the dark scene and automatically try to brighten it for you.

It's the reverse of the need to open up the lens (make the aperture bigger) when there is lots of white sand or snow in the photo.

The bad news is obvious -- your photos are not good.

But the GOOD NEWS is that reading a good book about photography theory will solve your problem with no need for camera repairs.

AM I RIGHT? Can you show us some samples?

BAK

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DSHAPK
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

As others have said, post samples with the exif attached.

 DSHAPK's gear list:DSHAPK's gear list
Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 650D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM +3 more
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migibson99
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to DSHAPK, Dec 10, 2012

Could be a bad camera.  Could be operator error.  I  have not heard anyone else complaining about over exposed photos on the T4i, so I suspect it is one or the other.  Most people who have the T4i, including myself, have not experienced the problems you are describing.

As others have suggested, post some of the photos and perhaps that might offer some clue as to what the problem is.

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10s
10s
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

Almost everyone of those 1000 pictures are washed out and/or over-exposed. Anything that has white or shades of light greys are crushed into a bright white. Outdoor shots of what should be beautiful dark green palm trees and green grass are washed out or over-exposed.

Maybe the camera auto mode made compromises you did not want to make (see below).

It might also be your monitor is badly calibrated, displaying images brighter than they really are. This can be judged by inspecting the histogram of your pictures, preferably right after you took the shot.

At midday in Mexico the light is very bright and the light intensity differences between light and dark is too high for any camera to capture. Then you as a photographer have to choose what is more important: the highlights or the shadows. You can use the AV+/- button to change exposure. Highlight tone priority also helps to improve the dynamic range by a stop. I use RAW to be able to recover blown out highlights (to a certain extent this is also possible in JPEG except for the clipped and extreme highlights).

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Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS M Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS +7 more
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ledittmar
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to 10s, Dec 10, 2012

Shoot in RAW!

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Chris Yates
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to ledittmar, Dec 10, 2012

The guy is yanking your chain fellas. This is his first post and all he has done is complain without posting any samples with Exif data as proof. Highly unlikely he will post again or with samples.

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Omni88
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Re: Any samples?...
In reply to AJohn, Dec 10, 2012

AJohn wrote:

...See if you can post a couple of the images in question. Maybe we can get an idea of what was happening regarding the settings and results. Also, learning to read your histogram for each image will tell you if your exposure is OK or not. Then you can adjust accordingly. It's easy. This link explains it well.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-histograms.shtml

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Andy
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I will post some sample pics tonight for comments

Thanks

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Omni88
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Re: monitor calibration,...
In reply to AJohn, Dec 10, 2012

AJohn wrote:

...Since Pete and a couple of others have mentioned it, I figured these 2 links might be helpful. They can give you an idea if your monitor is at least in the ballpark or not. Both these pages have been very helpful to me in the past.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/Calibration/monitor_black.htm

http://www.epaperpress.com/monitorcal/

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Andy
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I don't think this is a monitor issue.  I do a lot of video editing and photoshop work on my computer... so I've done calibrations on my monitors including the one I'm using now.  Plus... yesterday we had some friends over and decided to show some pics of the Mexico trip.  The over-exposed pics on my computer monitor are the same quality as on my television.

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Omni88
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Re: Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures
In reply to Chris Yates, Dec 10, 2012

Chris Yates wrote:

The guy is yanking your chain fellas. This is his first post and all he has done is complain without posting any samples with Exif data as proof. Highly unlikely he will post again or with samples.

As mentioned in another previous post... I will post some pics tonight when I get home

Thanks

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007peter
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I know the problem, here is an easy Solution = Turn Off ALO (Auto Light Optimization)
In reply to Omni88, Dec 10, 2012

Hey buddy, I know exactly what you talking about.  My old XSi/450d takes great outdoor photo, but when I upgraded to a newer Canon T1i/500d, all my outdoor photo came back WASH-OUT and OVER-EXPOSED.  As as long time canon shooter, I'm familiar with all the in-n-out of canon, and its not my technique since I'm been taking great photo with canon for a long time.

The culprit is canon's horrible implementation of AUTO LIGHT OPTIMIZATION.

Canon take a (1) properly exposed photo + (2) over-exposed to eliminate any shadows = (3) a badly over-expsoed photograph that is lifeless.

Take a look at this review from ww.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/eos_rebel_t4i-review/print

without ALO

from www.dcresource.com on ALO OFF 

with ALO

from www.dcresource.com on ALO ON

Focus your attention on the TREES & SHRUB on the LEFT.  Noticed:

  • outdoor Trees & Shrub are probably exposed without ALO, but
  • outdoor Trees & Shrub are badly over-exposed with ALO (like a fake HDR)

Solution are:

  • TURN OFF ALO
  • SHOOT RAW
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Midwest
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That's the one!
In reply to 007peter, Dec 10, 2012

007peter wrote:

Hey buddy, I know exactly what you talking about. My old XSi/450d takes great outdoor photo, but when I upgraded to a newer Canon T1i/500d, all my outdoor photo came back WASH-OUT and OVER-EXPOSED. As as long time canon shooter, I'm familiar with all the in-n-out of canon, and its not my technique since I'm been taking great photo with canon for a long time.

The culprit is canon's horrible implementation of AUTO LIGHT OPTIMIZATION.

Canon take a (1) properly exposed photo + (2) over-exposed to eliminate any shadows = (3) a badly over-expsoed photograph that is lifeless.

Take a look at this review from ww.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/eos_rebel_t4i-review/print

without ALO

from www.dcresource.com on ALO OFF

with ALO

from www.dcresource.com on ALO ON

Focus your attention on the TREES & SHRUB on the LEFT. Noticed:

  • outdoor Trees & Shrub are probably exposed without ALO, but
  • outdoor Trees & Shrub are badly over-exposed with ALO (like a fake HDR)

Solution are:

  • TURN OFF ALO
  • SHOOT RAW

The auto lighting optimizer setting is what I've seen get the blame for washed out photos before. I bet the OP had this turned on.

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Do people really spend $700 on a camera so they can take a picture of a squirrel or a duck?

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Omni88
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Re: That's the one!
In reply to Midwest, Dec 10, 2012

Midwest wrote:

007peter wrote:

Hey buddy, I know exactly what you talking about. My old XSi/450d takes great outdoor photo, but when I upgraded to a newer Canon T1i/500d, all my outdoor photo came back WASH-OUT and OVER-EXPOSED. As as long time canon shooter, I'm familiar with all the in-n-out of canon, and its not my technique since I'm been taking great photo with canon for a long time.

The culprit is canon's horrible implementation of AUTO LIGHT OPTIMIZATION.

Canon take a (1) properly exposed photo + (2) over-exposed to eliminate any shadows = (3) a badly over-expsoed photograph that is lifeless.

Take a look at this review from ww.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/eos_rebel_t4i-review/print

without ALO

from www.dcresource.com on ALO OFF

with ALO

from www.dcresource.com on ALO ON

Focus your attention on the TREES & SHRUB on the LEFT. Noticed:

  • outdoor Trees & Shrub are probably exposed without ALO, but
  • outdoor Trees & Shrub are badly over-exposed with ALO (like a fake HDR)

Solution are:

  • TURN OFF ALO
  • SHOOT RAW

The auto lighting optimizer setting is what I've seen get the blame for washed out photos before. I bet the OP had this turned on.

-- hide signature --

Do people really spend $700 on a camera so they can take a picture of a squirrel or a duck?

This is interesting!  I will have to check when I get home to see if this is in fact turned on...  (I can't remember right now where that setting is buried in the menus... so I'll have to look it up)

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