650D metering mode problem?

Started Dec 30, 2012 | Discussions
letsgofishing
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650D metering mode problem?
Dec 30, 2012

Just got my 650D - was shooting a moonrise on the beach and the resulting RAW files are incredibly "light" - they are not overexposed so that the whites are blown, but it looks like the entire scene was lit up with movie lights! It was so dark that I couldn't make out the buttons on the camera....

I was using the "evaluative" mode which the manual says is a "general purpose mode suited for even backlit subjects".

Guess I should have used spot metering and taken a reading on an area of sky away from the moon and then locked the exposure?

I attach a jpg from the original untouched RAW file as well as a jpg of what the scene looked like (more or less) to the eye.

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MAC
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 30, 2012

l



http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50564157

try my super duper LV method

etsgofishing wrote:

Just got my 650D - was shooting a moonrise on the beach and the resulting RAW files are incredibly "light" - they are not overexposed so that the whites are blown, but it looks like the entire scene was lit up with movie lights! It was so dark that I couldn't make out the buttons on the camera....

I was using the "evaluative" mode which the manual says is a "general purpose mode suited for even backlit subjects".

Guess I should have used spot metering and taken a reading on an area of sky away from the moon and then locked the exposure?

I attach a jpg from the original untouched RAW file as well as a jpg of what the scene looked like (more or less) to the eye.

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R2D2
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 30, 2012

letsgofishing wrote:

650D metering mode problem?

Not likely.

Just got my 650D

More likely.

was shooting a moonrise on the beach and the resulting RAW files are incredibly "light",

they are not overexposed so that the whites are blown

That's actually my preferred method of shooting. Google "exposing to the right."

but it looks like the entire scene was lit up with movie lights! It was so dark that I couldn't make out the buttons on the camera.

Regarding exposure, the first thing to remember is that the meter will always try to turn your scene into a medium grey (average). No matter if what you're shooting is black, or white...

I was using the "evaluative" mode which the manual says is a "general purpose mode suited for even backlit subjects".

Additionally, "evaluative mode" throws an extra wrench into things by trying to "guess" what you're taking a picture of. And as you have seen, it can often be completely wrong.

I strongly recommend not using that metering mode, ever.

Guess I should have used spot metering and taken a reading on an area of sky away from the moon and then locked the exposure?

Yes, that is certainly one way to do it. Personally I like "center-weighted" metering as it's the most consistent and reliable, IME.

But to really start understanding how exposure works, throw your camera into "Manual" mode, set your aperture for how much depth of field you desire, and then set your ISO to give you enough shutter speed to eliminate blur. Now adjust your shutter speed to give you the exposure you want. Take a shot and review on the LCD, paying attention to the Histogram and the Blinkies (and Focus). That's it!

I attach a jpg from the original untouched RAW file as well as a jpg of what the scene looked like (more or less) to the eye.

In addition your camera has a function called Live View. A feature almost Custom Built for shooting scenics, as the image on the LCD will reflect whatever settings you select on the camera. Give this method a whirl next time you're out. You'll become a very Happy Camper, guaranteed.

Best of luck,

R2

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WilbaW
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 30, 2012

The histogram shows that the meter did exactly what it's supposed to do. Congratulations, you have a perfectly functioning camera. 

If you want the image darker or lighter than the meter gives you, it's up to you to make that happen. It can't read your mind. Your raw data is fine, and you were able to get the image you wanted from it, so the only problem is that you expected the camera to do something different.

Try the exposure compensation controls in Tv, Av, and P to see how the image brightness and histogram changes with the meter display. Try the same control actions in M mode to see how that's fundamentally the same thing.

You'll find a whole bunch of useful information in the unofficial Rebel Talk FAQ.

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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to WilbaW, Dec 30, 2012

WilbaW wrote:

Try the same control actions in M mode to see how that's fundamentally the same thing.

I would add that in Manual Mode, the exposure will stay the same no matter where you point the camera/meter.  This can be very useful in a lot of shooting situations.

R2

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10s
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What RAW converter did you use?
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 30, 2012

As far as I know, Canon's DPP honors the ALO setting in your camera (also the HTP setting btw). Might be that Lightroom also catched up with the Canon meta data for HTP and ALO. If in your case ALO is switched on that might explain the extra boost in the shadows. Just switch it off in DPP and your shadow curve is like you  are used to from the older Rebels.

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MAC
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to R2D2, Dec 30, 2012

R2D2 wrote:

WilbaW wrote:

Try the same control actions in M mode to see how that's fundamentally the same thing.

I would add that in Manual Mode, the exposure will stay the same no matter where you point the camera/meter. This can be very useful in a lot of shooting situations.

R2

This is true in manual mode, unless you have the dial set on auto iso, which wouldn't be the correct setting for scrapes, you want low iso. That is the flaw I made in my advice which applies to indoor shorting without flash and not scrapes.

I ETTR also in manual.

i agree with other poster also - turn off ALO.  Use raw and bring back headroom from ETTR - exposure to the right in post.

I'm not an expert at these, but maybe the following would work.

iso 100

AV mode evaluative.

LV, shift camera side to side until you see exposure you want.  Lock exposure with back button with pre-defined exposure lock time in menu - eg 30 seconds.

f6.3 and focus point to give you deep dof coverage

set on tripod.

use mirror lockup.

use exposure bracketing.

use remote.

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R2D2
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to MAC, Dec 30, 2012

MAC wrote:

I'm not an expert at these, but maybe the following would work.

iso 100

AV mode evaluative.

LV, shift camera side to side until you see exposure you want. Lock exposure with back button with pre-defined exposure lock time in menu - eg 30 seconds.

f6.3 and focus point to give you deep dof coverage

set on tripod.

use mirror lockup.

use exposure bracketing.

use remote.

That would work, although I'd shoot at f13 for deepest DOF with negligible diffraction.  And MLU wouldn't be necessary in Live View.

R2

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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to R2D2, Dec 30, 2012

R2D2 wrote:

MAC wrote:

I'm not an expert at these, but maybe the following would work.

iso 100

AV mode evaluative.

LV, shift camera side to side until you see exposure you want. Lock exposure with back button with pre-defined exposure lock time in menu - eg 30 seconds.

f6.3 and focus point to give you deep dof coverage

set on tripod.

use mirror lockup.

use exposure bracketing.

use remote.

That would work, although I'd shoot at f13 for deepest DOF with negligible diffraction. And MLU wouldn't be necessary in Live View.

R2

right o on the MLU not needed in LV

on the dof he reaches infinite pretty quickly when looking at my dof calculator at 10mm- so he should chose the sweet spot sharpness of his 10-22 lens at 10mm.

and stay below a dla of 6.8 in this instance.

lenses go sharply south above f11 on 18 mpxl crop.

I learned in the below if no close focal point, to focus approx 1/3 up in the frame

http://digital-photography-school.com/where-to-focus-in-landscape-photography

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/05/16/26-landscape-photography-tips-every-pro-photographer-still-uses/

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/406-canon_1022_3545_50d?start=1

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-Rebel-T4i-650D-Digital-SLR-Camera-Review.aspx

It's "sweet spot" of maximum sharpness ranges from f/5.6-8.0 at 10mm

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/135/cat/11

DLA = 6.8

* DLA (Diffraction Limited Aperture) is the result of a mathematical formula that approximates the aperture where diffraction begins to visibly affect image sharpness at the pixel level. Diffraction at the DLA is only barely visible when viewed at full-size (100%, 1 pixel = 1 pixel) on a display or output to a very large print. As sensor pixel density increases, the narrowest aperture we can use to get perfectly pixel sharp images gets wider.

DLA does not mean that narrower apertures should not be used - it is simply the point where image sharpness begins to be compromised for increased DOF and longer exposures. And, higher resolution sensors generally continue to deliver more detail well beyond the DLA than lower resolution sensors - until the "Diffraction Cutoff Frequency" is reached (a much narrower aperture). The progression from sharp the soft is not an abrupt one - and the change from immediately prior models to new models is usually not dramatic.

Check out this specific diffraction comparison example using the ISO 12233 chart comparison tool. The mouseover feature will show you the degradation at f/11 compared to f/5.6.

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BAK
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Operator error
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 30, 2012

Instead of pushing a lot of buttons, learn the very basics of photography, like how to use a light meter and why shooting in the dark requires skill and knowledge.

Photography is, apparently, hard in the dark.

You need a book. Find a big store and look through the titles written by Tom Ang. Pick one that looks challenging but, with work, understandable.

BAK

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R2D2
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to MAC, Dec 30, 2012

MAC wrote:

and stay below a dla of 6.8 in this instance.

Thanks.  Didn't read the EXIF (10mm focal length).

I learned in the below if no close focal point, to focus approx 1/3 up in the frame

This technique depends on where your horizon line is.  It's actually better to focus 1/3 into the frame.  But of course at 10mm, your DOF is so huge it won't make any difference, and a person could focus at 3 feet (at DLA) and still be sharp out to infinity.

R2

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letsgofishing
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to R2D2, Dec 31, 2012

R2D2 wrote:

letsgofishing wrote:

650D metering mode problem?

Not likely.

Just got my 650D

More likely.

Like your sense of humour!

was shooting a moonrise on the beach and the resulting RAW files are incredibly "light",

they are not overexposed so that the whites are blown

That's actually my preferred method of shooting. Google "exposing to the right."

but it looks like the entire scene was lit up with movie lights! It was so dark that I couldn't make out the buttons on the camera.

Regarding exposure, the first thing to remember is that the meter will always try to turn your scene into a medium grey (average). No matter if what you're shooting is black, or white...

I was using the "evaluative" mode which the manual says is a "general purpose mode suited for even backlit subjects".

Additionally, "evaluative mode" throws an extra wrench into things by trying to "guess" what you're taking a picture of. And as you have seen, it can often be completely wrong.

I strongly recommend not using that metering mode, ever.

Guess I should have used spot metering and taken a reading on an area of sky away from the moon and then locked the exposure?

Yes, that is certainly one way to do it. Personally I like "center-weighted" metering as it's the most consistent and reliable, IME.

But to really start understanding how exposure works, throw your camera into "Manual" mode, set your aperture for how much depth of field you desire, and then set your ISO to give you enough shutter speed to eliminate blur. Now adjust your shutter speed to give you the exposure you want. Take a shot and review on the LCD, paying attention to the Histogram and the Blinkies (and Focus). That's it!

I attach a jpg from the original untouched RAW file as well as a jpg of what the scene looked like (more or less) to the eye.

In addition your camera has a function called Live View. A feature almost Custom Built for shooting scenics, as the image on the LCD will reflect whatever settings you select on the camera. Give this method a whirl next time you're out. You'll become a very Happy Camper, guaranteed.

I was using live view and that's what threw me - what it showed was nowhere neaar the actual the actual lighting of the scene!

Best of luck,

R2

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letsgofishing
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to WilbaW, Dec 31, 2012

WilbaW wrote:

The histogram shows that the meter did exactly what it's supposed to do. Congratulations, you have a perfectly functioning camera.

If you want the image darker or lighter than the meter gives you, it's up to you to make that happen. It can't read your mind. Your raw data is fine, and you were able to get the image you wanted from it, so the only problem is that you expected the camera to do something different.

Sorry, I don't believe you're right. The live view of the scene was MUCH lighter than the actual scene - why was this? Yes, I could have underexposed by 2-3 stops and then would have got an "actual" result, but why would this be necessary if the metering was supposed to be right iin the first place?

Try the exposure compensation controls in Tv, Av, and P to see how the image brightness and histogram changes with the meter display. Try the same control actions in M mode to see how that's fundamentally the same thing.

You'll find a whole bunch of useful information in the unofficial Rebel Talk FAQ.

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letsgofishing
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Re: What RAW converter did you use?
In reply to 10s, Dec 31, 2012

10s wrote:

As far as I know, Canon's DPP honors the ALO setting in your camera (also the HTP setting btw). Might be that Lightroom also catched up with the Canon meta data for HTP and ALO. If in your case ALO is switched on that might explain the extra boost in the shadows. Just switch it off in DPP and your shadow curve is like you are used to from the older Rebels.

I used ACR to process the image and ALO was set to off.

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letsgofishing
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Re: Operator error
In reply to BAK, Dec 31, 2012

BAK wrote:

Instead of pushing a lot of buttons, learn the very basics of photography, like how to use a light meter and why shooting in the dark requires skill and knowledge.

Photography is, apparently, hard in the dark.

You need a book. Find a big store and look through the titles written by Tom Ang. Pick one that looks challenging but, with work, understandable.

BAK

I've been shooting landscapes at sunrise and sunset for the past 2 years on my Panasonic LX5 and have never had this problem using centre weighted metering. Thanks for the advice.

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WilbaW
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 31, 2012

letsgofishing wrote:

WilbaW wrote:

The histogram shows that the meter did exactly what it's supposed to do. Congratulations, you have a perfectly functioning camera.

If you want the image darker or lighter than the meter gives you, it's up to you to make that happen. It can't read your mind. Your raw data is fine, and you were able to get the image you wanted from it, so the only problem is that you expected the camera to do something different.

Sorry, I don't believe you're right. The live view of the scene was MUCH lighter than the actual scene - why was this?

Because the meter's job is to make every scene standard bright, with a normal tonal range between black and white. That's what Live View showed you, and that's what you see in the image. It performed faultlessly.

Give the meter a scene darkly and brightly lit and it will make both images look as bright. Try this for yourself - shoot the same scene in daylight and twilight, or lights on and lights off. Unless you hit a limit, like run out of ISO, you'll get the same image brightness. That's the meter doing its job for you.

You can see what the meter did from the histogram for the first JPEG - it's nicely "in the middle", not bunched up at either end. Whereas the histogram for the processed shot is well to the left. You have to tell the camera that you want the histogram pushed to the left if you want it to give you that dark look.

Yes, I could have underexposed by 2-3 stops and then would have got an "actual" result, but why would this be necessary if the metering was supposed to be right iin the first place?

It's because you think the meter can know what your idea of "right" is, that it should know that you don't want a standard, normal, average, everyday, 18% grey, 50% reflective image brightness. It can't read your mind, you have to tell it what you want.

You just have to accept that the meter is simply giving you a piece of information (a standardised guess of how much light is hitting the scene), and it's your job, not the meter's, to make creative decisions based on that information.

The great thing with digital is that you don't have to rely on the meter and your experience. You just take a test shot and review the histogram, or view the live histogram in Live View, and you know exactly what's going on.

Try the exposure compensation controls in Tv, Av, and P to see how the image brightness and histogram changes with the meter display. Try the same control actions in M mode to see how that's fundamentally the same thing.

Did you do that? What did you see?

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brightcolours
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to WilbaW, Dec 31, 2012

WilbaW wrote:

letsgofishing wrote:

WilbaW wrote:

The histogram shows that the meter did exactly what it's supposed to do. Congratulations, you have a perfectly functioning camera.

If you want the image darker or lighter than the meter gives you, it's up to you to make that happen. It can't read your mind. Your raw data is fine, and you were able to get the image you wanted from it, so the only problem is that you expected the camera to do something different.

Sorry, I don't believe you're right. The live view of the scene was MUCH lighter than the actual scene - why was this?

Because the meter's job is to make every scene standard bright, with a normal tonal range between black and white. That's what Live View showed you, and that's what you see in the image. It performed faultlessly.

Give the meter a scene darkly and brightly lit and it will make both images look as bright. Try this for yourself - shoot the same scene in daylight and twilight, or lights on and lights off. Unless you hit a limit, like run out of ISO, you'll get the same image brightness. That's the meter doing its job for you.

You can see what the meter did from the histogram for the first JPEG - it's nicely "in the middle", not bunched up at either end. Whereas the histogram for the processed shot is well to the left. You have to tell the camera that you want the histogram pushed to the left if you want it to give you that dark look.

Yes, I could have underexposed by 2-3 stops and then would have got an "actual" result, but why would this be necessary if the metering was supposed to be right iin the first place?

It's because you think the meter can know what your idea of "right" is, that it should know that you don't want a standard, normal, average, everyday, 18% grey, 50% reflective image

That is 18% reflective grey, 50% grey image ; ) ...

50% grey is a midtone, and cards that are 50% grey are 18 (or 15 depending on which manufacturer to believe) % reflective grey.

brightness. It can't read your mind, you have to tell it what you want.

You just have to accept that the meter is simply giving you a piece of information (a standardised guess of how much light is hitting the scene), and it's your job, not the meter's, to make creative decisions based on that information.

The great thing with digital is that you don't have to rely on the meter and your experience. You just take a test shot and review the histogram, or view the live histogram in Live View, and you know exactly what's going on.

Try the exposure compensation controls in Tv, Av, and P to see how the image brightness and histogram changes with the meter display. Try the same control actions in M mode to see how that's fundamentally the same thing.

Did you do that? What did you see?

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brightcolours
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Re: Operator error
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 31, 2012

letsgofishing wrote:

BAK wrote:

Instead of pushing a lot of buttons, learn the very basics of photography, like how to use a light meter and why shooting in the dark requires skill and knowledge.

Photography is, apparently, hard in the dark.

You need a book. Find a big store and look through the titles written by Tom Ang. Pick one that looks challenging but, with work, understandable.

BAK

I've been shooting landscapes at sunrise and sunset for the past 2 years on my Panasonic LX5 and have never had this problem using centre weighted metering. Thanks for the advice.

Then the LX5 does a different kind of guess work. Cameras can't really see what you pint it at. It only gets to see a flat image with light and dark spots. Can a camera know you aim it at a white car? or a black car? No...

The LX5 will mess up under different situations. Apparently the engineers have made the camera "recognize" dark skies with bright lights (moon in this case) for instance, and then underexpose to get a "right" exposure. this then can mean it can under expose in other unwanted situations.

Your new Canon just tries to get en evenly exposed image, depending on the main subject, and tries not to under or over expose too much. So it can happen that it sees a scene like you showed and makes it look almost like daylight. Since it shows this also in live view, you can react and turn down the exposure time a few stops to your liking.

Every camera does different guess work at what might the the best exposure depending on the scene, and you have to learn your camera's tricks and trades.

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WilbaW
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Re: 650D metering mode problem?
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 31, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

That is 18% reflective grey, 50% grey image ; ) ...

I knew you'd be able to work that out. 

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Re: What RAW converter did you use?
In reply to letsgofishing, Dec 31, 2012

letsgofishing wrote:

10s wrote:

As far as I know, Canon's DPP honors the ALO setting in your camera (also the HTP setting btw). Might be that Lightroom also catched up with the Canon meta data for HTP and ALO. If in your case ALO is switched on that might explain the extra boost in the shadows. Just switch it off in DPP and your shadow curve is like you are used to from the older Rebels.

I used ACR to process the image and ALO was set to off.

Well, that being clear I think you got used a bit too much to center weighed metering The evaluative approach tries to guess the scene and indeed might guess exposure differently than you expect. With this particular image I prefer the way the camera caught as much light as possible without clipping the highlights; perfect for post processing since its the best way to get an optimal signal/noise ratio. If you're in for more predictability, switch on the center weighed metering. Try live view for a while, especially with landscapes - no more surprises then with the exposure.

Have fun with your new camera, I also use a T4i. It has much to offer (and learn).

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