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

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Sdaniella Contributing Member • Posts: 538
V.disappointed T4i (650D) washed out pictures INDICATES inexperience and incorrect assumptions

V.disappointed T4i (650D) washed out pictures INDICATES inexperience and incorrect assumptions

and expectations about what your camera is supposed to do compared to past cameras (Sony F828)

Omni88 wrote:

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.

most of your pics are taken with the WRONG settings for a BRIGHT High Contrast Scenario (your 'default' setting was untouched, but this is the MISTAKE most beginners make (especially when all they do is shoot in AUTO))

Canon's REBEL (entry level consumer model) has a different default contrast setting compared their other higher level models, as it is oriented to folks who assume a 'contrasty' colorful shot (vivid) is a 'good' pic. so they skew the default settings for contrast higher for entry level models than, say a higher XXD model or XD (7D, 5D, or 1D) model

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.

yes, since you shot entirely in 'default' AND 'full auto', it indicates your misconceptions that 'all cameras' have identical default settings (especially for contrast; they don't).

worse, do not assume when going out into a high-up sun bright sunny day where contrast is the most extreme (even as the sun rises or sets) and highlights are brightest relative to shadows which would be darkest. this is the widest DR scenario possible to expose for.

THUS, if you step out into a clearly BRIGHT CONTRASTY scenario USING a DEFAULT 'contrasty' setting with your Rebel, you are sabotaging your image capture, especially in JPEG.

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?

NO, the problem is your inexperience and assumptions drawn from past digicams (F828 is not even the same mfr)

the fact you are STILL using 'Full Auto' tells me you do not want to explore/learn/understand the 'why/hows' of dealing with bright hi-contrast scenario shooting. in the past if you ever used the 'easy' modes like 'sunny bright beach' modes, they would have at least controlled (TAME!!!) contrast a bit more for all your shooting (automatically).

in your case, you expected 'regular' auto equates to 'ideal exposure' (it isn't, and never will be in the harshest of bright contrasty scenarios). if you point at one area (like peoples/faces/skin tones; they will be 'middle' brightness [auto exposed for 0 EV]; but the sky/ground if LIT BRIGHTLY, will surely WASHOUT, if your contrast setting is 'default' [+3 to +4 'plus' EV, too bright])

remember... 'contrast setting' isn't the same as 'exposure settings' and you could inadvertently allow them to CONFLICT when hoping to tame a contrasty lit scenario. you didn't know. but that comes from EXPERIMENTATION, how else would you really learn (have someone criticize you for not finding out sooner? lol).

if you had SHOT in FULL M/M ISO (say ISO 100), then AT LEAST you could have SEEN in your IMAGE PREVIEW at what speed/aperture settings the highlights start to blow out. WHY didn't you do that BEFORE you took ANY shots???

This is, after all, a CANON LV dSLR, w/ ExpSim LV (probably the MOST underutilized 'digital' tool by beginners and experienced shooters alike; even pros), and especially making FULL M/M ISO the 'easiest-exacting-perfect' mode in digital photography in existence (no exaggeration).

of course, if you use ALO, but nullify it's intended function by using TOO CONTRASTY a 'default' setting, you will still get compromised image capture.

MOST of your shots show EXIF you used 'default' everything, nothing 'custom', and clearly just 'auto' exposure.

I did an 'aggressive' inspection on all your shots, by doing a massive LOW CONTRAST shift (Neg -48 to Neg 60) as well as SUNK the Gamma to the dark end Gamma 0.6 down to Gamma 0.4, to see if you really overexposed or not. Most of it was NOT overexposed and MOST of the highlights were NOT BLOWN, but only spotty tiny patches (dot sized) on the ground/beach, and some bricks, but all the rocks were fine. The blown areas COULD have been totally averted had you 'known' you could bypass the DEFAULT 'contrast' setting of your 'beginner' T4i to a more reasonable setting, say, Neg -2 or -3 instead of 0 (some beginners make the mistake of actually cranking the contrast up to +1 or +2, which the wrong thing to do for bright sunny contrasty scenarios).

basically, if you get a low contrast setting for image capture, you get a 'flatter' image, but with MORE shadow and highlights retained than had you used the default (too contrasty setting) on the Rebel.

if you migrate to another Canon dSLR, say up level, DO NOT MAKE the assumption the default setting is identical to the Rebel, it isn't!!!!

if you are serious in 'fully learning' the REAL attributes of your Rebel T4i, at least LEARN to understand how/why 'custom' contrast settings are used for in-camera JPG shooting.

there is NO need to rely on RAW, as the JPGs you shared, had considerable LATITUDE still there in order for you to RECOVER MOST (not all of) your blown highlights.

the others were right, if you truly want to remain in 'auto' mode, at least switch to an AE mode where compensation is available, and that you could have opted for compensation 'negative' to bring the overall exposure darker so the highlights would be blown (you should be able to SEE this in a PREVIEW before you press the shutter button).

use ExpSim LV to 'assess/determine' exposure especially in Full M/M ISO, means never getting an exposure wrong in 'any' lit scenario, whether bright contrasty, or dim low-contrasty.

using ExpSim LV also does NOT mean you have to 'shoot at arms length' (who does that really? i never do!) in good light... you can use your OVF 100% of the time but ALREADY know your 'exposure chosen' is perfect as you 'see' Preview it. WYSIWYG. WYS (in a Live Exposure PREVIEW before the shot is taken) IWYG (after you press the shutter, confirmed like-for-like in any REVIEW).

others unaware of ExpSim LV, will say odd things like, well check your shot after you take it if you used the wrong settings [duh, why after, when you can check BEFORE your shot???]... (yes, lots here still think like this; which tells me most are still either fiddling with AE modes (fiddling w/ AE-lock, lock-n-recompose, etc), 'just-in-case' bracketing, or relying on RAW for 'fix-it-later' 'cos they shot-exposed it wrong to begin with.)

MOST Canon prosumer digicams (PowerShots) w/ FULL M/M ISO modes are also capable of allowing one to CUSTOM CHOOSE CONTRAST (avoid default!!!), and offer Exposure Simulation Live (Pre)View ES-LV, which is the digicam version of ExpSim LV on EOS LV dSLRs. Those that LACK Full M/M ISO, will NOT exhibit full ES-LV, but only 'autogain' LV, meant for 'auto-only' exposure shooters (thinking they get 'nice pics' for a basic camera... lol... in good light, yes, because CONTRAST in the most basic models are also set for you (sunny, snow, beach, day, etc))

for ANY NEW digicam or dSLR u get, don't just 'read the manual' but TEST what the MFR's DEFAULT is relative to YOUR PREFERENCES and EXPECTATIONS. once u figure out the 'boundaries' of what a camera can or cannot do, custom set the in-camera JPEG ENGINE to ur liking.

MORE experienced STILL shooters already know this, especially those in Cine/Video world, they do this automatically, set for a 'low contrast'/'flat'/gamma-control setting, and test-test-test them.

People UNDERESTIMATE the immense optimization done for IN CAMERA Customizable JPEG ENGINES; as soon as one fall back to RAW, one is essentially exposed to the variableness and inexperience of a shooter 'post-processor' trying to reinvent the wheel when trying to create their OWN JPEG from 'post-processing' Software like LR, and others.

People mistakenly assume in-camera jpeg engine is 'limited' and non-optimal 'canned' JPEG renderings, when it turns out when a person uses RAW, they are essentially navigating how to re-CAN an 'custom' JPEG rendering that is just as flawed, as it cannot be used on any other image for the same effect unless shot under identical conditions.

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