Exposure Compensation

Started Dec 31, 2012 | Questions thread
Topaz Contributing Member • Posts: 588
Re: Exposure Compensation

WilbaW wrote:

Great. So you understand how deviating from the what the meter wants by the same amount has the same effect on image brightness regardless of the shooting mode. If you call that "exposure compensation" in semi-auto modes, what do you call it in M?

"Exposing".  Look, you're on your own here in terms of terminology.  Google for "exposure compensation" and "manual mode" and "canon" together, and you'll see similar threads everywhere, where all the responses say exposure compensation has nothing to do with manual mode.  And you can take a look at page 120 of the 60d manual, titled "Setting Exposure Compensation".  Point #1, in big bold letters, says "Set the mode dial to <P>, <Tv>, or <Av>".  Note <M> is not on the list.  I don't think many people agree with you, including Canon.

I don't care what happened in 1938 or what Ansel Adams wrote about "exposure compensation" (which, incidentally, I believe is precisely nil, but I might be mistaken).  Exposure compensation is not the terminology anybody, in 2013, uses to explain the metering in manual shooting modes on a modern camera.

This is completely off track from the OPs problem which is that he's (presumably) blowing out his photos.  What the feature is called doesn't matter.  What metering mode he is using DOES matter, because that needle pointing to 0 or -1 or -2 means something entirely different, depending on his metering mode.

please note you botched the specs for your "experiment".

Makes you feel good when you think you've "got" someone on a tiny procedural point, doesn't it? As if that makes everything they've said invalid.

No, I was just trying to respond to your condescending attempt to make me try little experiments to understand the basics of exposure.  I thought it was amusing, in your attempt to belittle me, that your experiment made exactly the opposite point you were trying to make.

It's good that you spotted the deliberate


error, now I know that you actually tried it (unless you have C. Fn IV-3 = 1, like I do). Too bad the point is irrelevant.

Actually, I admit I did not actually try it.  Haven't touched my camera since a family event photo shoot yesterday.  I know how my camera works like the back of my hand, and didn't need to turn it on to know your example was backwards and nonsense.

the on-screen information means something different in semi-automatic modes and manual modes.

Please explain how "1/60 | F8.0 | ISO 200 | -1" in Av means something different for image brightness compared to the same values in M.

It doesn't mean a difference in image brightness for that one shot.  There is a difference in ergonomics and workflow when the needle is pointing to -1.  In Av mode it means that every time you snap the shutter, the camera's going to adjust the shutter speed to make sure the image is 1 stop darker than the standard exposure calculation (based on your metering mode).  The shutter speed changes every time, and you get consistent brightness across photos: always 1 stop darker than standard calculations.

By contrast, in M mode it means what you are CURRENTLY pointing at is 1 stop darker than the standard exposure calculation.  But every time you release the shutter after that, the brightness will be different unless you keep shooting exactly the same subject in the same lighting.  Recompose and you're no longer at -1.  Wait until a cloud passes overhead, or the sun's position changes, and you're no longer at -1.  Your settings in no way guarantee the brightness of your image, other than the one you're shooting immediately.  That's probably why nobody calls this "exposure compensation"

Avoiding confusion like yours and the OPs...

On the contrary, the OP made perfect sense to me, since (as you acknowledge above), -1 in any shooting mode is as bright as -1 in any other shooting mode using the same metering mode, and therefore exposure compensation is shooting and metering mode-independent.

... is probably the reason none of the camera manufacturers use the terminology "exposure compensation" when they are simply talking about metering away from 0 in manual mode.

Aaaaaand back we come to the beginning. They aren't explaining what it is, they are explaining how to do it.

Look up some definitions of exposure compensation from prior to 1938. (Bonus points for knowing why 1938.)

Per my note above, I don't think anybody cares about 1938 terminology, even if you're right about it (so I am not going to bother asking for references).

I think most people are more interested in the OP's metering problem than the argument over philosophy and terminology.  I'll say again that the OP's nonstandard terminology is a sign that he might not accurately describing his problem.  And more importantly, lack of any info about metering mode means there is no way we can solve his problem.

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