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Old Sep 12, 2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default Why is it so dark???

Hi All,

I am using my new Pentax K-X, and I don't know much about how to set the camera to get better result.

Here are a few examples, do I need to use flash even though it is bright sunny day?

40mm
1/1000
F7.1
ISO 800
AWB
+/- 0.0


1/6000
F5.0
ISO 3200
+/- 0.0
23mm
AWB

Last edited by raylee011; Sep 13, 2010 at 1:41 AM.
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 7:28 AM   #2
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Well flash would help. What shooting mode were you in in both shots? I'm surprised on the first shot the camera set such a low exposure as the whole shot is underexposed. Did you crop that first shot at all?

On the second shot I can understand it - the sky and buildings in the back are much brighter than your subjects so I can understand the camera setting the exposure to protect the highlights there. This second shot is a classic example of a scene where the dynamic range is simply too great. So you have a couple choices. First, you could use flash - but you'd likely need an external flash. That's the ideal solution. Second solution is to expose for your subjects but that would really blow the highlights in the background so the shot wouldn't work well. An HDR approach COULD be tried - but that's difficult with human subjects and sometimes with trees (as leaves move in the wind)
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 2:50 PM   #3
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Also - why on earth are you using such high ISO on those shots?

There is lot of light around, you don't need anything over ISO200.
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 3:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Also - why on earth are you using such high ISO on those shots?
With that higher ISO why he get those results?
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 5:29 PM   #5
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Easy now. The ISO was a crazy setting. I'd suggest starting over. Set up the camera. Then take pictures. So, set it to Aperture priority and f/8. set the iso to 200. Go out in the daytime (sunny. harsh shadows) and take a pic. The shutter speed selected should be around 1/250 or so.

If so your camera is working fine and you need to work on your technique.

(I got the above info using
http://www.calculator.org/calculate-.../exposure.aspx
)
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 6:10 PM   #6
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The high iso is causing the noise in the shadows. But the dark photos is really form shooting in the shadows.

A filler flash would have help allot. The other option is to EV to +1/3 to 2/3 so the camera overexpose a bit bring the subject out of the shadows a bit. But the flash option is the better of the 2. As the EV up will blow out some detail in the bright areas of the photo in the second shot.

Also the k-x tends to underexpose a little, shooting at +1/3 what I do when I shoot the k-x.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imut View Post
With that higher ISO why he get those results?
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 6:17 PM   #7
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There's really no reason for those shots to be dark. I think raylee011 is experimenting with M Mode, when he really should be using P Mode. And when he's outside he should set the ISO to 100. Just to be sure, he should probably also do a factory reset.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 2:02 AM   #8
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Every camera meters slightly differently. Most have pretty good matrix/auto metering. If the top shot was shot on any kind of auto mode - A, V, P and is not cropped then the metering on the camera is very conservative or possibly even slightly broken - the top shot is underexposed by at least 1/2 stop, possibly more.

There are 3 possible strategies:
1. Learn all about proper metering and learn when to use matrix, when to use spot metering, and always think about what you are doing before you take the shot.
2. Stick to one metering mode (probably a matrix/auto) and learn it well. It will differ between camera models slightly, and between manufacturers quite a lot. Once you learn how a scene is likely to be metered then you can dial in exposure compensation to expose the image the way you want.
3. Leave it on auto mode, shoot with as low ISO as possible in RAW and correct in post. As long as you are not dramatically overexposing a decent RAW processor allows you to push and pull the image around, use fill light, etc. So that very respectable results are possible even with a relatively poor exposure.

I have been using Canons for 20+ years and have a very good idea of how their matrix metering is going to expose a given scene. So I dial in exposure compensation as necessary. I know how to use spot metering, but find it is very seldom necessary for my purposes, I only really use it with strobes as a rule, and then use an off-camera meter.

Finally however, it's worth pointing out that we are using digital here. So - LOOK AT THE HISTOGRAM. If you are learning a new camera, or experimenting, or going for a particular creative effect, take a test shot and check the histogram. In the old days photographers often had to use lots of bracketing, and polaroid cameras to check exposures on location. But now - just learn to read the histogram and check it when you are out and about.

Remember, the main purpose of the LCD screen on a DSLR is not to see how your pictures look, it's too low resolution for that, rather it's to check your histogram to make sure you are exposing properly!

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...stograms.shtml
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