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-   -   New 20D takes dark pictures using built-in flash (

odell Nov 21, 2004 4:55 PM

I am looking for any suggestions you may have. I have a new Canon 20D that takes really dark pictures when using any of the auto modes and the built in flash and taking pictures indoors. Even when taking pictures with the subject at 5 or 6 feet the pictures are dark. The firmware is at 1.0.4..not sure if this makes any difference. I am able to make adjustments in the creative modes to correct for the darkness. But I cannot see how the darker pictures would be considered normal for a $1500 camera out of the box. I had the same trouble with the first 20D as this one is a replacement and it is doing the same thing. How can this be considered normal? Have others experienced this same thing??? Thanks for any suggestions you may have. I love the camera except for this aspect and to me this is MAJOR.
Thanks for your help!!!
DonB :-)

Pekkle Nov 21, 2004 9:01 PM

Is the flash being reflected by something shiny and confusing the camera?

I was using a 380EX on my 20D yesterday at a motor museum. The pictures came out darker WITH the flash.

Too many shiny bits on the cars :(

jcarboski Nov 21, 2004 9:33 PM


I had the same thing happen with my new 20d. The problem with mine was simple, the pop up flash was bad. I didnt know untill a friend taking a sample of me shot a picture and i realized the flash never went off. There is a ambient light beam that did get shot out proir to the expected falsh to go off so i never thought the falsh was the problem. I got it back fixed but was very dissapointed the how it was packaged and sent back. I actully filed a complaint and got it on record just in case it dies in the next few months. I wanted to reply because i know how frustrated you are, i was myself. John

jjgncmg Nov 23, 2004 11:34 AM

Is your entire picture too dark or is a close subject lit and everything around it dark. To solve this type of situation set your camera to use Center-weighted average metering and see if you get the desired results.

balexsey Dec 3, 2004 6:55 PM


I just traded in my 10d for the 20d. The pics I take indoors with the 20d also come out dark. The histogram is heavily scewed torwards the left. My 10d shots always had a nice histogram distribution. My 20d shots are clear but I am asking myself the same question as you, is this normal, especialy since the 10d were much more evenly balanced.

mike67x Dec 4, 2004 5:52 AM

Odell and all-- You are not alone. Over the past several months, there have been many postings on various boards about underexposure using the built-in flash with the 20D. Also reports that this condition persists even when using the new 580 external flash. I have a 20D and a 10D and the difference is noticable as you pointed out. I believe that this has something to do with the E-TTL II metering/flash system. I, like many others, have found that adjusting flash compensation +2/3 to +1 provides the type of pictures that I am looking for, comparable to the 10D. Not sure yet why the condition exists--- perhaps someone with more techincal savvy can explain that part.

mf_blues Dec 4, 2004 9:57 AM

I had the same problem with my 300D, I now use FEL before taking the picture which seems to have resolved the problem. This doesn't work in full auto mode but does in 'P' mode which is pretty much the same thing.

I assume the 20D has this feature.:lol:



NHL Dec 4, 2004 10:35 AM

Switching the lens mode from AF to M prior to taking a shot will also force the camera to center-weighted metering (instead of evaluative based on the AF points) for flash! ;)

This is the same metering as if the camera is put on manual and the flash exposure will also be much more consistent :idea:

Ghostwriter Dec 6, 2004 7:01 PM

Wow. I just bought a 20D... it'll be here by the end of the week.

I'll have to see if mine does the same thing.

Thanks for the pointers, though! (Gee, do I have a lot to learn....)

The Mayor Dec 8, 2004 6:39 PM


ME TOO !! Thank heaven we can screwup a lot of practice digital images almost instantly to try to teach ourselves how to compromise the meter vs. reality of performance. I remember 25 years ago when I think I spent a couple of weeks and 10 rolls of Kodacolor (and processing costs) to learn that I had a problem of flash/shutter coordination.

Hey one of you "Old Guys" ( ok 'More experienced') please tell me how you get a photo on your signature box? I looked all over the profile page for a place to launch it but can't find the directions for that particular post. Help?:?

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