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

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Sdaniella Contributing Member • Posts: 535

marilynR wrote:

Hi sdyue - you have made some interesting comments.

I agree with you that it is important to test your camera in a lot of situations, in order to learn its strengths and what settings work best for you.

the settings I pointed out has NOTHING to do with what works 'best for me'; what I was teaching the OP was to use the proper settings for the given conditions. all other sensor mfr requires the SAME thing; the confusion arises due to the fact 'beginners' get 'good' photos out of the box, but they are simply using cameras that use DIFFERENT JPEG default settings (unbeknownst to them), and it has nothing to do with sensors itself.

the 'reviews' on 'Amazon' are only reflective of newbs who don't know what they're doing, so their friends tell them to use RAW; which is intended for those who don't know what to do if they inadvertantly use the wrong settings, as well as think 'auto' will give them ideal exposures (w/o realizing their contrast settings were wrong to begin with; and such 'default' values vary with mfr; most don't know this, they just ASSUME a new camera is the same as the one they used before; that's preposterous of course)

the 'fixed' photos I shared with the OP, are PROOF, the OP didn't use the proper CONTRAST settings in the first place, especially given the OP still uses beginner 'auto' for exposure control 'blindly'; the OP doesn't even know how to assess 'exposure' perfectly in LIVE PREVIEW (which the OP has; but does NOT know how to use it; maybe the OP does NOT even know s/he has it!!!).

my point about the 'fix' is that such a 'fix' is NOT NECESSARY if one simply adjusts exposure DIRECTLY VIEWING IT BEFORE taking the shot, how hard can that be to comprehend???

you look at your PREVIEW... the image is adjusted to look 'perfectly exposed' (via M/M ISO w/ExpSim LV)... and shoot. the image created is the SAME as the one in the 'live preview'; not different, not unexpected, not unpredicted, just exactly as chosen and seen in the initial preview!

once you 'assess' a lit scenario, like a 'sunny day', you only need to use ExpSim LV ONCE for the entire tour, until the lighting changes. this means one NEVER has to use ExpSim LV WHILE SHOOTING. one simply shoots, and shoots, and shoots, till the lighting scenario changes significantly, only then does one even need to 're-assess' the exposure settings.

'auto' exposure is alway dependant on the user to understand why it does what it does, it adjust to 0 EV at anything one points to:

1) So if one points to a BLACK CAT, the AE system will shift the look of that cat to 'middle grey 0 EV', so 'auto' actually gets a black cat WRONG (this is what Negative Compensation is for; to get the 'dumb auto' to bypass 0 EV, and shift towards a blacker cat, say at -2 EV or -3 EV)

2) So if one points to a WHITE BUNNY, the AE system will shift the look of that cat to 'middle grey 0 EV', so 'auto' actually gets a white bunny WRONG (this is what Positive Compensation is for; to get the 'dumb auto' to bypass 0 EV, and shift towards a whiter bunny, say at +2 EV or +3 EV)

3) example 1 and 2, above, will be 'iffy' if the user is oblivious to the fact, if one 'for a moment' points at something else, or a something crosses ones FOV, or the light changes just before taking the shot, the 'auto' will SHIFT in the wrong direction if one hasn't locked it fast enough. this is the problem with 'auto' whether the AE mode is 'full auto', Av, Tv, or P, it can be tricked by simply lower the camera from ones face, and holding it down by one's side. as soon as you decide to lift it up to shoot again, the conditions have changed from before, and the 'auto' assessment will be off. if you point ever so slightly above the horizon or below the horizon, one's AE 0 EV setting shifts accordingly, and can THROW OFF ANY exposure. This PROBLEM is eliminated by shooting in FULL M/M ISO, nothing will get thrown off, it can't be 'tricked' to change to a wrong settings, because you've already 'chosen it correctly' to begin with; which can always be SEEN BEFORE any shot is taken (via ExpSim LV!!!)

4) by AVOIDING 'auto' or 'AE' or 'RAW' or 'PP', one can actually get the shot right first time and SEE it coming!!! no unexpected surprises. THIS IS PRECISELY WHY NON-CANON shooter STILL 'discuss exposure' (when they don't have ExpSim LV even available on their digicam or dSLR). NOT ALL LV digicams/dSLRs even have ExpSim LV; most do not!

But unfortunately, with Canon sensors, it seems like you have to take some extra amount of care with the settings and exposure methods as well. For example, if you read people's comments on Amazon, some camera owners (of other brands) say that they do not have to exercise such care, and that their shots come out wonderful, right out of the box.

it takes NO 'extra' care to just SEE one's chosen exposure adjustment is perfect BEFORE a shot is taken.

it takes MASSIVE 'extra' effort to NOT look until AFTER a shot is taken then FIX IT OFFLINE in Post-Processing, because all ones shots are incorrectly captured in the first place. (why go the long route, when the shortest/quickest route done properly makes more sense???)

That is why I brought up the subject of Dynamic Range. I have been wondering if I should buy a different camera with a better sensor, perhaps, for example, an Olympus PEN camera.

DR is most relevant if one is shooting in BRIGHT CONTRASTY LIT situations.

so if you do a lot of 'sunny bright contrasty blue sky day' shots, BUT you set your CONTRAST INCORRECTLY (too contrasty (=default = '0')), then you will end up 'fixing it' in POST. (as you say you do use RAW to fix your pics in pp)

To understand what HI-CONTRAST is, if one is shooting in a BRIGHT HI-CONTRASTY situation, one essentially has an BROAD DR (broad dynamic range), which is overwhelmingly read as a 'wide/FAT' luminance histogram that goes BEYOND both lower/left and upper/right side of the luminance axis/scale/chart. IF you inadvertently ASSUME your DEFAULT JPEG CONTRAST capture setting is 'okay' (which it isn't), it will be set to a image capture setting that maintains TOO WIDE/FAT a luminance histogram, this is how/why one gets HIGHLIGHT CLIPPING (BLOWOUT), and SUNK SHADOWS.

To understand what LO-CONTRAST is, if one is shooting in the SAME BRIGHT HI-CONTRASTY situation (as above), one essentially has an BROAD DR (broad dynamic range), which is overwhelmingly read as a 'wide/FAT' luminance histogram that goes BEYOND both lower/left and upper/right side of the luminance axis/scale/chart. IF you USE the CORRECT JPEG LOW CONTRAST capture setting (which it is), it will be set to a image capture setting that PULLS TOGETHER the luminance histogram so it is NO LONGER too wide/fat !!!, this is how/why one KEEPS HIGHLIGHT details from CLIPPING (NO BLOWOUT), and LESS SUNK SHADOWS (more shadow details are kept, rather than lost).

In the end, I decided to spend more time learning how to get the most out of my Canon Digital Rebel 450D. I feel that its supposed limitations in its dynamic range can be largely handled by shooting in RAW. It also seems that the newer Canon EOS 650D would give a photographer much more control and options than what I have with my older model. When I can afford it, I will upgrade.

in the end... you also SPEND MORE TIME fixing your images in POST w/ RAW.

your 450D has ExpSim LV in Full M/M ISO (if you turn it on; it is NOT the same thing as 'bestview' LV; which is just 'autogain' LV, not the same thing, it's more like an 'auto/AE' mode where no simulation is shown, just an autogain look (which is MISLEADING to begin with).) your 450D will also have a DIFFERENT default 'contrast' setting than the 650D.

if you had SHOT your JPEGs correctly exposed to begin with (this is the easiest step of all; especially in Full M/M ISO!!!)... then you wouldn't be spending ANY time 'fixing' any RAW or JPEG afterwards!!!

any 'post-processing' off line after shooting should only be used for 'creative variations' of your originals; nothing more. no corrections. at most slight adjustments for 'presentation' differences which exist between 'light displays/projections' vs 'opaque displays/prints'.

That is also why I suggested that for now, while he is learning his new camera, the original poster use software to improve the look of his Jpegs, so that he can enjoy the shots he already got. I agree with you that there is a lot he can do with them. But if he had shot them in RAW, he could possibly recover even better highlight detail.

using SOFTWARE to FIX his 'incorrectly set' jpegs will be only for the photos the OP took before learning how to shoot with the proper exposure settings (before the shot it taken is more efficient than doing it wrong, and finding out after the shot is taken, right?)

As for post-processing, I prefer using Adobe Camera RAW in many cases. Its newest 2012 version (which comes with Photoshop CS6, and also with Lightroom 4) has been really tweaked to be very effective and easier to use.

i don't have either PS CS6 or LR... i prefer to spend time w/ just a digital camera, not a computer.

i just use a dSLR on Full M/M ISO w/ExpSim LV and 'correct' contrast capture setting to get my photos capture (which need NO fixing later).

ExpSim LV, is essentially a photography exposure teacher/instructor 'built-in' with REAL-TIME LIVE instant 'preview-adjust-shoot' effects.

with ExpSim LV you get to SEE LIVE in REALTIME... INSTANTLY PREVIEW 'as you adjust', all of the following... SEE...

how exposure shifts brighter (if one adjusts shutter speed longer/slower)
how exposure shifts darker (if one adjusts shutter speed shorter/faster)
how exposure shifts brighter (if one adjusts aperture diameter wider/larger)
how exposure shifts darker (if one adjusts aperture diameter narrower/smaller)
how exposure shifts brighter (if one adjusts ISO higher)
how exposure shifts darker (if one adjusts ISO lower)
how ISO sensitivity looks more noisy/brighter (if one adjusts ISO higher in the dark)
how ISO sensitivity looks less noisy/darker (if one adjusts ISO lower in the moderate light)
how WB shifts (as one shifts WB lighting type, or Temp K)
how DOF shifts SHALLOWER (if one adjusts aperture diameter wider/larger); must have DOF button*
how DOF shifts DEEPER (if one adjusts aperture diameter narrower/smaller); must have DOF button*
*prosumer PowerShot digicams running with ES-LV and Full M/M ISO, the aperture is always stopped down anyway, so DOF can be previewed full-time.

depending on the EOS LV dSLR model, all of the above can be done MENULESS, and adjustments 'on-the-go' are done WHILE LOOKING AT A LIVE IMAGE CHANGE as one shifts speed/iso/aperture/wb values, instantly.

how CONTRAST DIFFERS (if one SETS Contrast to low (negative) or high (zero to positive))
how SATURATION/TINT DIFFERS (if one SETS to low (negative) or high (zero to positive))
how Softness(keeps original details, if LOW)/Sharpness(creates 'sharpness' artifacts, if HI (avoid!)) (if one SETS to low (negative to zero) or high (positive))

all of the above EFFECTS can be SEEN on the IMAGE ITSELF without ever looking at any exposure meter scale reading or histogram, ever. all BEFORE the shutter is even touched to take a shot.

SINCE one can SEE the EXACT exposure BEFORE shooting... there is no reason to choose the wrong exposure settings (provided the contrast setting is correct for conditions lo-Con setting forhi-contrasty situations) to begin with! this means 'exposure bracketing' (just in case settings) are REDUNDANT.

it doesn't get any more direct and self-evident as ExpSim LV in Full M/M ISO.

any POWERSHOT with Full M/M ISO can do the exact same thing as a dSLR (5DMkII/III, 1DMkIII/IV/1DsMkIII,1DX,7D,60D) with ease... controls on a Rebel (650d) lack EOS-1 dual controls, so Rebels are even less effective than a PowerShot G1X/S110/S100/S95...

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