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Old Aug 16, 2004, 8:38 AM   #1
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I have a Kodak DX4330 which is about 1 1/2 years and 7,700 pictures old. I don't know if it is just different lighting conditions but I am noticing many dark pictures in bright sunlight lately. Looking back at pictures taken a year ealier (some 4,000 pictures earlier) in similar lighting conditions, I don't see so many dark pictures. To get better results I actually have to bump the EV a bit, which produces a bit of overexposure on the sky in many cases.

Do digital camera sensors lose their sensitivity over time?

In case it makes a difference, I am talking about landscape pictures. For short range pictures with people or other objects under bright sunlight I normally use the fill flash.
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Old Aug 16, 2004, 12:29 PM   #2
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To get better results I actually have to bump the EV a bit, which produces a bit of overexposure on the sky in many cases.
Sounds like you are just running into normal exposure limitations. Dynamic range on cameras with little sensors isn't that great. You can expose for the sky or things in the shade, but not both.

If you have an advanced image-editing program you can fix things up with techniques like contrast masking. Your best bet there is to get the highlights right in the exposure and bring out the shadow detail. Blown highlights are just gone, but the shadow detail can usually be recovered if it isn't too dark.

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Old Aug 16, 2004, 1:25 PM   #3
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Does your camera have a spot-metering option. If so, it sounds like you might have accidentally turned it on. If the spot is pointed at a bright area of the scene, it can result in the overall picture being dark.

Another possibility with matrix metering is if the overall scene is very dark, the meter will resolve the exposure to 18% gray, resulting in a dark photo.

If your camera can use filters, I highly recommend the Cokin graduated neutral density filters. By filtering a bright sky or bright sidewalk in the foreground, your metering system applies more weight to the rest of the scene, resulting in a much better overall exposure.

Cal Rasmussen
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