Exposure Compensation confusion??

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 1,279
Re: Exposure Compensation confusion??

Joe94 wrote:

when I think about it give the true reason meaning behind why EC works well in the semi auto modes

Exactly. EC, AFAIK, started with early semi-automatic cameras. The meters used a center-weight pattern and it was known that there were some scenes that were going to throw them off -- like snow or a sandy beach. The photographer was supposed to know what types of scenes would meter incorrectly and with a manual camera could adjust accordingly. But in automatic mode (and auto-only cameras) there was no way to do that -- hence an EC dial.

I own several film cameras with EC dials and I believe the older ones actually changes the meter output, not the actual exposure. Most of these cams have only an aperture-priority mode and they would choose a slower shutter speed based on the output from the meter. Alternatively, if you didn't have EC, you could just change the ISO setting.

Compact point-and-shoots often had a backlight button for EC -- on my Pentax I think it added a stop and a half.

Matrix metering (late 1980s) did a better job with some tricky lighting situations. Now I believe cameras compare the scene you are framing to a database of scenes and can often figure out when you're shooting snow, backlit windows, etc. Amazing.


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