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Old Dec 4, 2012, 2:32 AM   #1
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Default SX40 Auto Bracket - Issue

I tried to do some bracketing with my SX40,

Using Av (Aperture Priority) mode, and say 0/-1/+1 EV shots, all the 3 shots taken looked identical under many attempts except one. What I am noticing is that if the shutter speed required is more than 1 sec, it clips it to 1 sec making all shots the same.

I tried Tv mode (and set the speed to 4 seconds) and the 3 shots came out at different exposures. However for bracketing, Av is the recommended mode since changing the aperture for the 3 shots (in Tv mode) would cause varying depth of fields in the shots causing blur...

Edit: I am also seeing the same issue on my Canon S95.

Anyone else came across this (annoying) issue, or am I missing something?

Thanks.

Last edited by panny; Dec 4, 2012 at 2:54 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 4:25 AM   #2
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I'm guessing that in Av,there is a shutter speed limit of 1 sec or thereabouts- so if you're bracketing 3 exposures in a low light scene you may experience the problem of the 1 sec ceiling. Also bear in mind that beyond 1 sec exposure the SX40 limits the iso setting to iso 100- perhaps this is holding the exposure limit at 1 sec..? Are you using an iso higher than 100..? If so,try coming down to iso 100.
Other than using a larger aperture to shorten exposure times in your bracketing- thus not reaching the 1 sec limit- switch to full Manual to get your 3 varying exposures,adjusting the shutter speed- and don't forget to keep to iso 100 to give you up to 15 sec' to play with.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 3:37 PM   #3
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The one second ceiling is crippling. Added to it is the other cripple where the SX40 limits the ISO to 100 at 1 and above seconds. And I realized the max shutter is 15 seconds which also easily became non sufficient for some night shots.

Yes I am using ISO 100. I never thought the limit-iso-to-100 issue is a big deal, I did not see a use-case for it, but when the exposure was not sufficient even at the max 15s and the widest F/2.7, I missed it sorely.

Similar to the 1 second ceiling on the canon, the Panasonics (a LZ8, LX5) seem to have a 8 sec ceiling in the Aperture mode which is far better. Especially with the F/2.0 on the LX5, it should suffice for most situations. Moreover the SX40 does not do exposure bracketing in full manual mode (in M mode it only does Focus bracketing) - I wonder why. If I am not mistaken there was no ceiling on the M mode in the panasonics.

Last edited by panny; Dec 4, 2012 at 5:54 PM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 7:14 PM   #4
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Indeed the camera cannot bracket exposures in Manual mode... but you yourself can.
Just take several exposures with varying shutter speeds- use the exposure meter for guidance also...
But yes- there are limitations to what you can do on the SX40- though there is a software hack available(CHDK) to increase the max shutter speed- and I think possibly the iso ceiling also...

http://www.thedigitalphotoguy.com/20...nd-raw-format/

Food for thought...?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 7:39 PM   #5
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Yes I tried manually taking multiple shots, but they were very minutely misaligned causing blur in the final result, not as good as the camera taking the shots in succession.

I have to try the CHDK. I have played around with it on my A590is, but haven't used it to it's full potential with bracketing scripts etc. Let me explore it a bit, first on my A590. The plethora of scripts and what works for what seems a bit intimidating though.

Otherwise the SX40 seems like a nice camera. Especially the low noise and crisp pics even at the tele-end.

Last edited by panny; Dec 5, 2012 at 1:07 PM.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 2:55 AM   #6
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Btw, I verified that not just the SX40 but a whole slew of the new canons - G15, S110, SX50, SX260 to name a few - all of them limit the ISO to the lowest value (100 or 80) for 1+ sec shutter speeds. Also, on all of them the max shutter is 15 sec, and the shutter speed gets clipped at 1 sec in Av mode. None of the current sub $500 canon cameras seem to offer you 'full' manual control. This is bad. One exception was the 30x zoom SX500 that did not limit the ISO above 1 sec.

So, if you are a little serious about photography, want low (very) light shots, and stay in the sub $500 non-DSLR category, I suggest you jump out of the Canon ship.

Last edited by panny; Dec 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 3:28 PM   #7
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To be honest- quality long exposure work- and using higher iso's at the same time- is not going to be easy to obtain below $500/ non-DSLR, no matter what brand you choose- even if the technical specs allow such shooting.
Long exposure work really is the preserve of the large sensor brigade- certainly if you want high quality images anyhow...!
You don't even need to go beyond a budget/entry level DSLR for quality results in such shooting- and a fast prime lens to aid such shooting is also quite affordable..!
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 3:40 PM   #8
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>> quality long exposure work- and using higher iso's at the same time- is not going to be easy to obtain below $500...

Agreed. But then give me more than 15 seconds. Even one of my old small pocket panasonic (LZ8) seems to provide upto 60 seconds. And it even has built in bracketing.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 3:48 PM   #9
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Having the ability to "take the shot" is quite different to being able to produce a quality shot. Would the LZ8 in low light/long exposures/high iso produce acceptable images..?
It's much like many cameras offering ridiculously high available iso settings, when the results at such settings are awful- negating the use and indeed making their inclusion a complete waste of time.
Perhaps Canon realize the limitations of a small sensor and as such have limited their settings accordingly.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 3:52 PM   #10
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G'day Panny & Simon

Simon - I'm amazed to hear this > but I can see Canon's logic
We all know about noise & small sensor cameras, but I would have presumed that Canon would have allowed up to say, 400iso at least... ?

I've just looked up some after dark / noise test images I did with the old FZ35, and it was chugging along at 1600iso > yes noisy as hell, but it was taking the images easily

Hhhhmmmmm very eye-opening for budget-level canons

Regards, Phil
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