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Old Oct 10, 2002, 7:06 PM   #1
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Default How to shoot in bright sunlight with an A40

I have a Canon A40 which I am thrilled with. The only problem I have, and I found this to be true with other digital cameras I have tried, is that bright sunlight can wash out the pictures you are taking. The A40 has numerous manual settings, and I wondered if anyone could tell me which settings might have a positive effect on this problem. Under even a light cloud cover, the pictures are almost always perfect. Is this the nature of all cameras in bright sunlight? Or should I try different settings or shooting technics? Thank you for your help.

P.S. Obviously I am not an experienced photographer, but I am trying to learn.
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 1:29 AM   #2
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Default Canon A40

Please try to use the minimum apperture and maximum shutter speed. This will allow the least amount of light to go in and the photo should be OK.
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 10:10 AM   #3
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Just a thought. I have an A40 and love it but I know what you mean about pictures being washed out. Have you tried shooting in "Program Mode" and setting the exposure compensation to the minus side? I find myself using this a lot and it seems to help. I'd be curious to know how you make out.

Good luck

Steve
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 11:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemartin52
Just a thought. I have an A40 and love it but I know what you mean about pictures being washed out. Have you tried shooting in "Program Mode" and setting the exposure compensation to the minus side? I find myself using this a lot and it seems to help. I'd be curious to know how you make out.

Good luck

Steve
Thanks for the advice Steve. I tried it, and it seems to help a lot. The pictures this camera takes are incredible under most conditions, but it does tenhd to over expose in bright sunlight. I pulled the exposure compensation down a couple of notches and makes a big difference. Thanks again.
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 11:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Canon A40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathew
Please try to use the minimum apperture and maximum shutter speed. This will allow the least amount of light to go in and the photo should be OK.
Thanks for the advice Matt. I am trying to learn how to best set the shutter and apperture manually. Takes some practice. Anybody know of a a good website that helps novices learn the basics of manual camera settings?
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 7:53 PM   #6
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Another quick way to get a better exposure in bright sunlight if you don't want to take the time to change the exp. comp. setting is to tilt the camera up slightly to get more sky in the frame, half press the shutter to lock in exposure, then recompose the shot and press shutter all the way to take the pic. This lets less light in and gives a better exposure. If you get into the habit of shooting several shots of all your shots, you will soon learn about where to point to get a good exposure. It's a fun skill to learn too. You just have to keep checking the lcd at first to get feedback. This works especially well for sunsets and landscapes. Try it.
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Old Oct 31, 2002, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcdev1
Another quick way to get a better exposure in bright sunlight if you don't want to take the time to change the exp. comp. setting is to tilt the camera up slightly to get more sky in the frame, half press the shutter to lock in exposure, then recompose the shot and press shutter all the way to take the pic. This lets less light in and gives a better exposure. If you get into the habit of shooting several shots of all your shots, you will soon learn about where to point to get a good exposure. It's a fun skill to learn too. You just have to keep checking the lcd at first to get feedback. This works especially well for sunsets and landscapes. Try it.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a try. I have found sunsets are hard to get good exposure on, so I am hoping your idea will help. Thanks again!
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Old Oct 31, 2002, 4:24 AM   #8
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The problem you explain is common for most digicams due to the reduced dynamic range and headroom (latitude) in the ccd and processing and the light to voltage conversion characteristic.

Cams, using any form of auto exposure, do the best they can for average scenes. If you experiment and understand whether the auto expose is working on average or centre measurement, you can fool it, as others suggest, by moving the cam up or down, then half pressing the shutter. Incidentally, this is also useful to find another focus point if the cam struggles to find one in the shot.

When you take your pics at particular settings, have a look at the 'histograms'. Use the Exif shot data to recall the test settings. If you're seeing a lot of pixels in the 254 level area, that suggests there are many over level 255 i.e there are pixels which are white saturated. Unfortunately you will not recover lost highlight detail in post editing, so under expose is better than over. For really bright sunlight you can afford to reduce the equivalent film speed as well.

Oh I wish all digicams could include a 'zebra' or white clip warning!
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Old Nov 8, 2002, 12:34 PM   #9
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Maybe you have already solved your problem, but here is a users group which is mostly aimed to the A40 and A Canon series in general...

You might want to check it out..

http://www.powershot-a.com/
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