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Old Dec 25, 2003, 3:12 AM   #1
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Default Digital Rebel Problems (white balance?)

I just got a digital rebel, after only having owned point and shoot cameras before this. I have only shot automatic mode and the no flash mode, and I am getting horrible results. Since I have not learned enough yet to use the manual modes, I am stuck with much worse pictures than I used to get with my Nikon coolpix 800! Please help point me in the right direction? thanks in advance.

Here are some examples, WAY overexposed!


Horrible auto white balance!
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 7:11 AM   #2
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If you've never owned a SLR camera before, I highly suggest you do some reading on general photography for SLR cameras. There are many good books on the subject available at the bookstore or your local library. The dRebel's automatic modes are available, but you're limiting your potential AND the quality by not learning how to use the creative modes. The camera (any camera) has no idea what you're shooting. It only knows shades of gray and attempts to make the best guess at what you see. It isn't always right. Exposure, flash, aperature, shutter speeds are all tools to help you. Learn how to use them to your advantage and you'll take better shots. Rely on the camera's automatic features and you'll get snapshots -- some that work, some that don't. Good luck.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 9:33 AM   #3
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In the first picture it looks like the camera is setting exposure on the fence (it's nicely exposed) not the person.

Use the AE lock button ( * ) on the right hand side of the camera back and use the P mode not the fully automatic modes. This way you'll tell the camera what to set exposure on (the person) and the fence would be under exposed. With the background being so much darker the camera is trying to expose the fence to 18% grey and the person is way too hot.

The second picture looks like you're using auto white balance under incandescent lighting. Change your white balance to the setting with the bulb (tungsten) and your whites will be whiter! AutoWB indoors is not very good on the dRebel.

Read your manual and use the Program AE mode, it will allow you to take better shots without a lot more work.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help but that's the answer I was afraid I was going to get. Basically, the answer is that the DR is pretty horrible at snap shots....something I have also learned after searching other forums on the web since I posted this question. That is disappointing after spending over 1000 bucks on this thing. I had previously thought I was going to get a camera that at least equaled the performance of my 4 year old, 2x zoom, 300 dollar point and shoot standard digital camera, and then some...but it looks like I have traded the every day point and shoot performance for a camera that can produce higher quality images at the cost of considerably more work.

With my coolpix 800 I could bring it out, snap a picture, and 99% of the time it was a great picture. I guess I didn't realize how good I had it with that camera, lol. When I compare my old photo folders from the coolpix compared to my new folders with the DR it is night and day in terms of the % of "good pictures". IMO this should not be the case, considering they were all shot in auto mode with both cameras. I makes me wonder why they bother misleading people into believing there is an auto mode when in reality it is relatively worthless and to take a good picture you need to use the manual settings anyway? The ONLY situation in which my 1000 dollar DR can compare to my 300 dollar coolpix, when auto mode is used, is at short distances w/flash. Again, very disappointed considering the price I paid.

In any case, I started messing with it and got it working really well inside with no flash by using the custom white balance in P mode. It is actually pretty fun messing with it and I have learned a lot in the last few days. I am confident that I will be able to start taking good pictures in all situations within a couple of weeks (thanks to the web!) and I am trying to make the best out of the situation by using the rationalization that I have wanted to learn all of this stuff anyway and this is preventing me from procrastinating any longer

But after I learn the basics from this Camera I am going to sell it and get a good standard digital camera that can take good snap shots. The DR is a perfect photo hobbyist's camera, but not a good general consumer camera that a person can "grow into" (as I had hoped to do) because it is missing the basic performance that I consider necessary for any "daily use" camera.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 6:13 PM   #5
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The DRebel can take GREAT snapshot pictures, but you do have to understand the camera. It is not a point and shoot camera and does require a bit more effort on the photographer's part.
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 2:55 PM   #6
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I'm glad you agree. The auto mode is horrible and not able to take to take great snapshots like most other cameras. If it were able to, one would not need to "understand" the camera to take great snapshots. Just as one does not need to "understand" how to use cheap point and shoot cameras to get great snap shots. Still makes me wonder why they claim there is an auto mode when it is a considerably disfunctional feature of the camera, to the extent that I don't consider it honest advertising by claiming that it is a feature.
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 10:39 PM   #7
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You misunderstood my reply. I do NOT agree with your assessment of the camera. Given your state of unhappiness with the camera, I suggest that you return it for a refund and buy a camera that suits your needs.
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Old Dec 28, 2003, 11:14 AM   #8
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Default DRebel in Auto modes

I don't agree that the DRebel is unusable in the "Auto" modes. My experience has been that the DRebel gives results far superior to the digital P&S cameras which I have used.

I use my DRebel in Auto modes frequently, and I am getting marvellous results.

Yes, technique makes a difference. But, it can't be that hard to put a DRebel in Auto mode, then point and shoot. Most of the time you ought to see a beautiful picture.

BTW, I've never seen pictures from my DRebel as bad as the ones you posted. Not even close!

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Old Dec 28, 2003, 5:29 PM   #9
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Maybe some DRs take better pics in auto mode than others. I have no idea. That is good that you are happy with yours. I have read many other people posting about the DRs poor auto white balance and they seem to agree with my experience as well as the dpreview site:

"Unsurprisingly the EOS 300D's white balance performance was identical to the EOS 10D. That is that we were disappointed to see the camera's automatic white balance perform so badly under incandescent light, I would have expected Canon to have solved this by now (as I commented in my EOS 10D review HP seem to have almost perfect auto white balance in any light). "

Again, no camera is perfect and no camera can know exactly what you want to see. But for this kind of money I am still disappointed that they have not developed software that allows auto mode to take pictures of equal quality to my coolpix 800 (for crying out loud). If they release a firmware update to fix this problem I will feel a lot less shafted.
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 1:01 AM   #10
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In my limited experience with many cameras (film SLRs and digital PaS) it is only after getting a "feel" for the camera can you take pictures quickly and easily and have them turn out well. I bet if you keep at it with the DR, eventually the controls and features will become second nature enough to satisfy your needs for a PaS. Learning the little flaws a camera has and learning to adjust your style/approach on the fly (and without having to think) comes with time. Whatever you do, good luck .


I sure hope my experience with film SLRs and my G3 and other Canon cameras will alow me to have a more pleasent experience with my DR when it comes
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