Very techincal discussion by professional about 10D flaws.See sample +shot info

Started Apr 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 11,389
Technical response... respectful and detailed

Ken,

Looking at the exif date, I'd say the camera performed exactly as it should have, and that correspondingly, the images look exactly as one would expect.

Digital is very different than film. A great deal of work must be done in post-processing. (For that matter, alot of changes are made during film processing... it's just that the LAB is the one who generally sees them instead of us.) Color and density corrections are made without us ever realizing the extent. Does that 35mm SLR REALLY make such great exposures, or is the lab consistently correcting exposures by as much as three stops up or down?

I shoot weddings digitally and have for three years (beginning with the quite capable but VERY misunderstood Nikon D1). Looking at the exif data and comparing the image results, here are some observations on your examples:

  1. 1

Technically speaking... ETTL judges exposure based on the ACTIVE FOCUS POINT. In this image, the center point is selected. The center point, however, is consumed with black, which will cause tremendous overexposure. Just -1/2 EV flash compensation isn't enough. In digital, it's a good idea to expose for highlights.

You'll be amazed how much detail you can pull out of total shadows, but loose those highlights, and you're sunk. Think of the highlights analagously to 0dB in digital audio; go past 0dB in analog and you've still go some headroom... however, 0dB is an absolute in digital, and if you hit that ceiling, you'll get just a nasty sounding square wave. In this photo's case, one solution might have been to FEL off of the priest's face.

Other technical notes on this image:

The shutter speed is MUCH too slow. The - 1 1/2 EV ambient compensation is fine, but in Av mode, you're putting yourself at the mercy of any shutter speed the camera deems necessary. You'd have been better off in Program mode, which would have selected the same aperture, most likely, but then would have gone a bit further by also selecting the shutter speed but NOT allowing shutter speeds as so as Av mode allows. Only use Av mode when 1) you're got PLENTY of available light or 2) you're using a tripod. I know you wanted to capture some ambient lgihting, but there's a practical limit as to how much balance can be achieved before shake becomes a more severe issue. There's some "ghosting" going on here that has everything to do with user selections, and nothing to do with camera fault, real or imagined. In addition, the aperture of 4.0 doesn't leave much room for depth or error.

  1. 2

Again, a black tuxedo is chosen for metering. The matter is made worse by selecting Partial metering. Looking at the image, then, we see that a black tux and a predominantly black background will be use for determining the exposue. Evaluative metering would have done a better job. The camera performed EXACTLY as would have expected.

  1. 3 and #4

The exposures are different because the composition is different. Again, partial metering is selected. Looking at the center focus point, it's clear that the meter was influenced by two different center areas, one dark and one bright. Not surprisingly, the first overexposed the subject and the second underexposed. Exposure and focus lock on the faces would have been approprite here.

  1. 5

The best image of the lot. Notice that while the faces are a little dark, the dress isn't blown. You can always brighten the faces later in PS. (I adjust levels in Lab mode, and then UNDO the operation, and then finally PAINT the adjustment onto ONLY the desired areas using the history brush. This method is like a turbo charged version of the dodge tool.)

I noticed you used manual mode here.. GREAT choice. The best for many wedding shots. Of course, manual mode is actually quite easy... ETTL still handles subject exposure, so you're really just exposing for ambient in this mode. BUT... 1/20? Isn't that awfully risky? Even if you're on a tripod, subject motion is simply too great a risk at that speed.

  1. 6

What the...?

There's that slow shutter speed again. Did you really not think you would get this result with that setting? In addition, you're really close to the subjects, and they vary in distance from one another, yet you've only got f4.0. Even with a completly safe shutter speed, somebody is gonna be out of focus on this one.

In respect to all of the image, I notice you're using AI Servo mode. Be very careful with that one. Using AI, focus never really locks. Rather, it changes according to subject. Since you already have used Canon film, you probably already know this, but it's worth mentioning anyway, as few users actually use this mode, especially for something like a wedding. For instance, #2 is also severely out of focus. Even if exposure had been perfect, you wouldn't have been able to use it. Something as simple as performing a combine AE/AF lock on one of the faces, and then recomposing, would have resulted in a completely sale-able image.

Respectfully, Ken, the camera performed exactly as I would expected it to in each and every shot. Is film easier? You bet! And some wedding photographers have gone back to it. With film and an autothyristor flash, you'll have few problems, ever. (Actually, you will, but only the lab will realize it.)

You've already been scolded about using a new camera on a job, and quite frankly, whether you came here for that or not, you deserve. All of the problems here are USER ERROR... not CAMERA ERROR. There's little room for technical discussion with these samples other than to point out the technical misuse of the camera. Believe me, I'm a VERY kind, compassionate person that never wishes to offend anyone... I'm just being honest here.

If you choose to continue shotoing weddings digitally, plan to invest lots of time really learning the system. You'll find that some aspects of the Canon system that you were already comfortable with need to be re-learned.

Best of luck

M

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