Bragging about our expensive mirrorless/DSLR vs a point and shoot

Started Jun 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,885
Yes, you were quite Incorrect

jkjond wrote:

photoreddi wrote:

Acrill wrote:

photoreddi wrote:

Acrill wrote:

You need to use a filter then. Like I said, you are using the camera incorrectly.

Wake up Acrill. I didn't use the camera, the OP did. You are also wrong to suggest that a filter should be used. It wouldn't help at all even if it's an ND filter. If you think about it you might understand why.

Sorry, a bit sleepy here.

A filter would allow the OP to use a more normal aperture. It is only one solution to the problem.

Yes, it would. The problem is that an ND filter would also reduce whatever light the flash emits by the same amount. So if you used a 3 stop ND filter (allowing f/16 to change to f/5.6, a 3 stop aperture increase), you would have to increase the flash's power by the same 3 stop's worth (8 times the output power) because the light that the flash emits is also reduced the same amount by the ND filter.

there is something amiss here, and misleading.

If the foreground is underexposed by 3 stops you have three options to balance the exposure:

+3 stops of flash to balance the shot

That won't happen with a weak flash that's probably already used at maximum output power.


+3 stops by opening the aperture, no flash and blow the background.

Unacceptable if the goal is to include a properly exposed backlit foreground as well as the background.


+3 stops of aperture, -3 stops from filter, + 3 stops of flash

That still won't happen. Unless a more powerful external flash is used, of course.


Yes the filter is reducing the amount of flash reaching the sensor, but the increased aperture is cancelling that effect. Although the flash is illuminating the background it has a diminishing effect on the distance. You could juggle with the aperture, shutter speed, iso and flash output to get the exact balance required if the background were closer - so long as there was some separation.

Exactly, but you seem to be looking at it backwards. Instead of saying "the filter is reducing the amount of flash reaching the sensor, but the increased aperture is cancelling that effect."

Try saying "the increased aperture is increasing the amount of flash reaching the sensor, but the ND filter is cancelling that effect".

So when the filter is used the background exposure remains the same which is presumably a good thing. But the flash's effect on the subject remains the same and that's not good because it was originally underexposed. The OP's complaint was that the his X-E1 wasn't able to duplicate what the cheap Sony P&S was able to produce, which was :

That same photo with the beach behind everybody, and the sun and water and white clouds was NOT over exposed, but most importantly, my friends were PERFECTLY exposed in the front and i just could not believe it. My wife looked at my XE1 photo and she asked me why my photo was way way darker and why we could barely see everybody in that photo.

I don't see you proposing anything that would keep the background properly exposed while increasing the foreground exposure unless another flash is added. You might be able to reduce the internal flash's output by 3 stops but you won't be able to increase it by 3 stops. The point remains that adding an ND filter won't solve the problem. The ND filter cancels (balances) the increased aperture for both the foreground and the background. The shutter speed can't be made any faster because of the 1/250th max. sync speed. If it's made slower it won't change the effect of the flash, but it will change increase the exposure of the background and the amount of ambient light that contributed to the foreground exposure, but the OP does not want the background overexposed. As someone else mentioned, changing the positional relation of the camera to the subject to the background could help, and shooting closer to the subject would help because the flash's intensity on the subject would be greater.


Wedding and fine art photographer based in the Lake District, UK

Oh? Solutions available with your gear in your studio or during a wedding weren't available to the OP. He didn't even want to use his more powerful SB600 external flash (which would have helped) because as he wrote :

i don't carry my SB600 where ever i go, it is a little on the heavy side.

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