FZ200 - Mystery solved regarding crappy hockey rink shots - underexposure is the culprit!

Started Nov 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
RevsCam Forum Member • Posts: 83
Re: FZ200 - Mystery solved regarding crappy hockey rink shots - underexposure is the culprit!

I think this is the right track. Of course, the acid test Rudy, is going to require another hockey game!

The camera exposure system tries to average everything to the so-called 18% grey. There's an old analogy: take a photo of a white cat in white snow, and another shot of a black cat on coal. Let the camera handle both exposures and the result will be, two grey cats.

The hockey rink is much like photographing in snow. Most everything is white or nearly so, so everything comes out grey.

Low exposure also adds noise. The electrical noise in each pixel is the same; it doesn't care how bright it is. However the signal-to-noise ratio is much lower with less light, so darker images appear more noisy. So the general rule for lower noise is to expose as brightly as possible, without blowing too many highlights. This is sometimes called the ETTR technique: Expose To The Right (of the histogram).

The reason people often recommend exposing at -1/3 EV is because of the sensor's limited dynamic range, less than most scenes. Blowing highlights eliminates information and no information is worse than noisy information. But if the image does not have much dynamic range, as in the hockey arena, it would be better to raise the exposure compensation as high as possible. Turn on the blinkys.

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