Odd exposure problem with m4/3

Started Apr 14, 2014 | Discussions
Jim T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,288
Odd exposure problem with m4/3

With all of my m4/3 cameras I occasionally get strange exposures when using the Olympus FL50R. The exposures don't look just over exposed they have this weird tone that happens on only some of the images taken in sequence. Attached are two samples taken with my GH3 using the Olympus 12-50 lens. I took 6 shots of this group last night before their concert at our church and all but one of them were messed up. As I indicated all were taken in sequence with no changes to camera or flash settings. Any idea why this happens. I shot with RAW and jpg and while the RAW images can be tweaked, the final jpg images are not as good as the one unaffected image right out of the camera. This has happened mostly with my GH1, GH3.

The first image is cropped and resized but the messed up image is unchanged from OOC jpg (RAW looks the same).

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lambert4
lambert4 Senior Member • Posts: 2,206
That's a new one for me....

I shot with the GH1 for years and had no oddities like that when shooting single frames.  I did notice under mixed lighting with fluorescent tubes or that that in burst or rapid succession shots there seemed to be odd color casts from outside light sources.  But this looks more extreme than what I remembered.  Though my memory isn't always exact.

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Pikme Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

That's really weird - and awful!  What settings are you using with the camera?  Does it only happen with flash?

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Roberto M.

SF Photo Gal
SF Photo Gal Senior Member • Posts: 2,228
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

Noticed a difference in shutter speeds between the two, the second one at 1/600 - does't sync correctly at that speed.  Wondering why it changed?  What mode are you using?  I have two FL-50R's and I always shoot in shutter priority with speed at 1/120.
SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

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James Pilcher Veteran Member • Posts: 9,107
A wild guess
1

I see that the properly exposed photo was made at 1/60 second. The "odd" photo was made at 1/600 second. I'll guess you had the camera/flash in FP mode so it will sync at all shutter speeds. FP mode severely limits the distance that the flash can cover. So, I'm guessing on the second one, the flash went off, but underexposed because of distance, and that is the result you see. Ambient light could be having some effect on color also since the flash was so weak.

This is just a wild guess to help you consider all possibilities while you sort out the problem.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

Jim T wrote:

With all of my m4/3 cameras I occasionally get strange exposures when using the Olympus FL50R. The exposures don't look just over exposed they have this weird tone that happens on only some of the images taken in sequence. Attached are two samples taken with my GH3 using the Olympus 12-50 lens. I took 6 shots of this group last night before their concert at our church and all but one of them were messed up. As I indicated all were taken in sequence with no changes to camera or flash settings. Any idea why this happens. I shot with RAW and jpg and while the RAW images can be tweaked, the final jpg images are not as good as the one unaffected image right out of the camera. This has happened mostly with my GH1, GH3.

The first image is cropped and resized but the messed up image is unchanged from OOC jpg (RAW looks the same).

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SF Photo Gal
SF Photo Gal Senior Member • Posts: 2,228
My Bad

SF Photo Gal wrote:

Noticed a difference in shutter speeds between the two, the second one at 1/600 - does't sync correctly at that speed. Wondering why it changed? What mode are you using? I have two FL-50R's and I always shoot in shutter priority with speed at 1/120.
SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

Didn't read the data correctly.  Just realized both at same shutter speed.  But again, make sure you're shooting in shutter priority and faster than 1/60.
SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

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OP Jim T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,288
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

Pikme wrote:

That's really weird - and awful! What settings are you using with the camera? Does it only happen with flash?

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Roberto M.

Yes only happens with the FL50R flash.  I had the camera set on P-mode to make it quick and simple.

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OP Jim T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,288
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

SF Photo Gal wrote:

Noticed a difference in shutter speeds between the two, the second one at 1/600 - does't sync correctly at that speed. Wondering why it changed? What mode are you using? I have two FL-50R's and I always shoot in shutter priority with speed at 1/120.
SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

The reported shutter speed seems to be an issue with Adobe Elements, the OOC reports as 1/60 whereas the good processed image from the RAW file reports as 10/600, works out to the same shutter speed though.

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OP Jim T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,288
Re: My Bad

SF Photo Gal wrote:

SF Photo Gal wrote:

Noticed a difference in shutter speeds between the two, the second one at 1/600 - does't sync correctly at that speed. Wondering why it changed? What mode are you using? I have two FL-50R's and I always shoot in shutter priority with speed at 1/120.
SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

Didn't read the data correctly. Just realized both at same shutter speed. But again, make sure you're shooting in shutter priority and faster than 1/60.
SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

Will try shutter priority from now on to see if it happens again. Thanks.

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OP Jim T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,288
Re: A wild guess

Both shot at 1/60 but one of them reports at 10/600, not sure why the difference.  Flash was in Auto mode I think, never use FP mode.

I was worrying about the fact there are incandescent pot lamps in the ceiling but kept the out of the shot I thought, same thing with the daylight from the windows off to the right side.  Have the camera set at the 23 point exposure setting, but tried the face recog setting as well but didn't help.

I thought I was rushing the shots without fully recharging the flash for one of the exposures and it showed in the shot review, so I waited for the flash to fully recharge before taking the next shots (over the protests of the subjects that thought I was working fast enough).  Waiting for the flash to fully charge didn't help at all.

Only setting I see that I'm not fully versed in on the GH3 is the Flash-Auto Exposure Comp. which is set at ON.

James Pilcher wrote:

I see that the properly exposed photo was made at 1/60 second. The "odd" photo was made at 1/600 second. I'll guess you had the camera/flash in FP mode so it will sync at all shutter speeds. FP mode severely limits the distance that the flash can cover. So, I'm guessing on the second one, the flash went off, but underexposed because of distance, and that is the result you see. Ambient light could be having some effect on color also since the flash was so weak.

This is just a wild guess to help you consider all possibilities while you sort out the problem.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

Jim T wrote:

With all of my m4/3 cameras I occasionally get strange exposures when using the Olympus FL50R. The exposures don't look just over exposed they have this weird tone that happens on only some of the images taken in sequence. Attached are two samples taken with my GH3 using the Olympus 12-50 lens. I took 6 shots of this group last night before their concert at our church and all but one of them were messed up. As I indicated all were taken in sequence with no changes to camera or flash settings. Any idea why this happens. I shot with RAW and jpg and while the RAW images can be tweaked, the final jpg images are not as good as the one unaffected image right out of the camera. This has happened mostly with my GH1, GH3.

The first image is cropped and resized but the messed up image is unchanged from OOC jpg (RAW looks the same).

 Jim T's gear list:Jim T's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX10 Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Olympus PEN E-PL2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 +12 more
micksh6
micksh6 Senior Member • Posts: 2,613
Re: A wild guess

Jim T wrote:

Both shot at 1/60 but one of them reports at 10/600, not sure why the difference. Flash was in Auto mode I think, never use FP mode.

I was worrying about the fact there are incandescent pot lamps in the ceiling but kept the out of the shot I thought, same thing with the daylight from the windows off to the right side. Have the camera set at the 23 point exposure setting, but tried the face recog setting as well but didn't help.

I thought I was rushing the shots without fully recharging the flash for one of the exposures and it showed in the shot review, so I waited for the flash to fully recharge before taking the next shots (over the protests of the subjects that thought I was working fast enough). Waiting for the flash to fully charge didn't help at all.

Flash LED stopped blinking, right?

This can happen when flash capacitor is dischargerd during the burst series and flash didn't have enough power for the last shot. Ideally camera should have stopped shooting, but sometimes it continues (minor issue IMO).

If you look at raw file in RawDigger it should be dark. Camera brightened JPEG (and might include brightness increase in raw metadata so it looks the same in raw processors), but since the shot is severely underexposed it looks flat due to lack of dynamic range.

Only setting I see that I'm not fully versed in on the GH3 is the Flash-Auto Exposure Comp. which is set at ON.

So, since you waited for flash to recharge this setting probably caused the problem. I guess, after shooting with underpowered flash camera started to "like" very low flash intensity for some reasons.

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Pikme Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

I'm just guessing, too, but to me it doesn't look like a flash problem but a camera setting problem - it looks like the camera has done some sort of auto exposure 'correction' that just looks odd.

The exif data is a bit different for each - were they both shot raw or was one a camera jpg?  Were you using any kind of portrait mode or HDR mode or anything like that?  Both say they were shot using spot metering, one says with face detect, the other doesn't have the maker notes available.  I haven't used the GH3 but one Panasonic camera i had several years ago overrode most settings when using face detect and did do some exposure 'corrections' if I recall.  I'd take a good look at your camera settings and make sure you aren't using anything where the camera 'corrects' things for you.

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Roberto M.

tanniewu
tanniewu Regular Member • Posts: 256
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

clearly it's underexposure problem, so the question is how it happened?

I noticed several things but can't draw a conclusion, so I'm just suggesting and leaving it to you to judge:

1. Does FL-50R really work okay with GH3?  I found many people said 'yes' but I'm just not sure as I never tried to do that.  It could be 'yes' but not perfect?  If your internal flash works perfectly, probably it's becoz of the flash?

2. When you use flash in door, probably it worth setting your ISO to a higher value manually... say ISO 400 ~ 800, depending on the lighting of the surroundings.  For a group picture like that, you should do a test shot, while the people are gathering and finding their place to sit down, and see whether your choice of ISO works fine.  If you set it to Auto ISO, and enabled flash, the ISO will be set to 200 automatically by the camera, which is less than desirable.

3. I'd also suggest you to lower your flash's power output to... say -0.7ev to -1.3ev, such that the flash light source doesn't appear so harsh on the front lady's forehead.  It will also help prevent your flash going under-power, when you are really doing a series of shots rapidly.

4. Generally speaking, I tend to use 1/40 ~ 1/50 for flash in door low light photography, to capture more ambient lighting with stationary people / objects.  It's still okay with 1/60 but that's really almost the limit of it.  Above that the background will look dim and the flash light will look too obvious.  It's showing the sign of it with your first photo.

hope this helps.

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TWu
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micksh6
micksh6 Senior Member • Posts: 2,613
Re: A wild guess

micksh6 wrote:

Jim T wrote:

Both shot at 1/60 but one of them reports at 10/600, not sure why the difference. Flash was in Auto mode I think, never use FP mode.

I was worrying about the fact there are incandescent pot lamps in the ceiling but kept the out of the shot I thought, same thing with the daylight from the windows off to the right side. Have the camera set at the 23 point exposure setting, but tried the face recog setting as well but didn't help.

I thought I was rushing the shots without fully recharging the flash for one of the exposures and it showed in the shot review, so I waited for the flash to fully recharge before taking the next shots (over the protests of the subjects that thought I was working fast enough). Waiting for the flash to fully charge didn't help at all.

Flash LED stopped blinking, right?

This can happen when flash capacitor is dischargerd during the burst series and flash didn't have enough power for the last shot. Ideally camera should have stopped shooting, but sometimes it continues (minor issue IMO).

If you look at raw file in RawDigger it should be dark. Camera brightened JPEG (and might include brightness increase in raw metadata so it looks the same in raw processors), but since the shot is severely underexposed it looks flat due to lack of dynamic range.

Only setting I see that I'm not fully versed in on the GH3 is the Flash-Auto Exposure Comp. which is set at ON.

So, since you waited for flash to recharge this setting probably caused the problem. I guess, after shooting with underpowered flash camera started to "like" very low flash intensity for some reasons.

BTW, what does flash auto exposure compensation do? Olympus cameras don't have it.
If you set your flash to TTL Auto or Auto, you are alredy in automatic mode and flash compensation allows to manually adjusts the automatic measurements.

But, if you set flash compensation to auto, it looks like double-auto mode - camera automatically adjusts its automatic settings. No wonder the camera can go crazy.

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 17,393
Bounce problem?

Just a suggestion - I assume that you bounced the flash.

On one occasion I shot with flash in a restaurant that was in part of a converted church.  The room was long and narrow with a steeply pitched roof in a W shape.

I found that in certain parts of the room small changes to the angle of the flash could cause severe underexposure.  I assumed that this was caused by the bounced light just hitting the wrong side of the W and being deflected in the wrong direction.

Perhaps you has a similar problem?  Was there anything unusual with the roof.

I have to say that my photos were just dark and didn't show the same strange effect as your second shot.

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Chris R

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Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 6,725
Re: Odd exposure problem with m4/3

Jim T wrote:

With all of my m4/3 cameras I occasionally get strange exposures when using the Olympus FL50R. The exposures don't look just over exposed they have this weird tone that happens on only some of the images taken in sequence. Attached are two samples taken with my GH3 using the Olympus 12-50 lens. I took 6 shots of this group last night before their concert at our church and all but one of them were messed up. As I indicated all were taken in sequence with no changes to camera or flash settings. Any idea why this happens. I shot with RAW and jpg and while the RAW images can be tweaked, the final jpg images are not as good as the one unaffected image right out of the camera. This has happened mostly with my GH1, GH3.

The first image is cropped and resized but the messed up image is unchanged from OOC jpg (RAW looks the same).

Your flash to subject distance is all over the place and this will effect some of the exposure.

What part of the picture did you want the correct exposure on.

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