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Old Aug 10, 2009, 3:20 PM   #1
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Default Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - technical question

I have this book out from my library. Confused by a couple exercises listed. One example:

"... set your lens opening to f/5.6, place your subject up against a house or 6-8 foot shubbery. Now look through the viewfinder and focus on your subject. Adjust your shutter speed until the camera's light meter indicates a "correct" exposure in your viewfinder..."

Referring to the bold section above, do I need a DSLR or SLR to accomplish this? I have a Kodak Z1012 IS and can accomplish all of these tasks (aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc.) but I don't see a match for my camera's light meter indicating "correct".

Any thoughts on this? Is this a common setting in all cameras, or all DSLR cameras? Or am I missing something obvious here.

Thanks in advance for any comments or advice.

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Old Aug 10, 2009, 4:22 PM   #2
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Your best bet is to ask in the forum for your specific camera. Perhaps looking at a live histogram, perhaps looking at a little green bar, perhaps several trial shots, ...

And of course reading the manual.
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Old Aug 11, 2009, 12:57 AM   #3
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If the exercise is to pre-set the aperture at f/5.6, then adjust shutter speed until proper exposure is attained, then the same end result can be had by setting the camera on the av mode, and the camera will automatically choose the correct shutter speed. If this is not acceptable, then I defer to Bill Drew.

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Old Aug 11, 2009, 7:50 AM   #4
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My father was a professional photographer in the years after WWII. When he wanted to take a photo, he would take many readings on a directional light meter before he decided what shutter speed and aperture to use. My first serious camera was a Voigtlander 35 mm with a needle that was visible in the viewfinder, and seems to be the kind of thing that the author is discussing.

If you have a digital camera with an EVF, the approaches to determining proper exposure are considerably different. First, the EVF is WYSIWYG. You can see what the exposure will look like just by looking in the viewfinder. Second, most EVF systems incorporate a facility for showing blown highlights -- they may show them in red on the viewfinder, for example. Third, as Bill indicated above, most such cameras allow you to see a real-time histogram of the exposure. In all honesty, I find the histogram the least useful of the three indications I've mentioned. But the real take-away to my mind is that the book you are using seems ill-suited to learning exposure controls using a modern digital point-and-shoot camera.
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Old Aug 11, 2009, 7:57 AM   #5
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In manual mode, your camera should have an indicator in the viewfinder showing over or under - exposure. This is often the same +/- indicator used to set exposure compensation in the auto modes. It will probably have a line or arrow which will be green, and centered when 'correct' exposure is attained, and will move off-center and change color (probably) when you adjust the exposure up or down.
I'm guessing that the exercise involves evaluating depth-of-field at various aperture settings. Due to the differences in SLR sensor size vs your camera, you will probably not see the same results as the book will show.

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