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Old Dec 24, 2005, 6:39 PM   #1
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Newbish question..

I'm still getting used to my new Kodak P850..

I'm having a few issues. First, some colors (mainly red) are oversaturated. Even in full auto with "natural" color selected.

Secondly is white items being too bright or over-exposed.

Not sure where to go with the color issue, but setting the exposure value and or flash compensation seem to help with the brightness. But which is the preferred method.

(See picture, 800x600, unedited) The first thing that grabs my attention is the dog bone. Secondly is the bandana. In person its actually a much darker red.

Thanks


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Old Dec 25, 2005, 9:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to the exciting world of compromises! One of the biggest on-going battles in photography is trying to get good highlight detail and good midrange and good shadow detail. More times than not, you will have to accept less than perfect rendering of one or more of these areas. It's especially hard to get a shot like the one you posted where everything comes out good straight from the camera.
The contrast between the black dog and the white bone is just too great to expose them both properly. The dog is a more important picture element than the bone, so overexposing the bone is preferable to underexposing the dog.

The common wisdom is towards slight underexposure so that the highlight detail is not lost. The midrange and shadows can be brought up more in post processing, but if you blow out the highlights, the data is gone and no amount of post processing will recover data that just isn't there.

Yes, as you use the camera, you will have to find out, through trial and error, which settings give you the best results under prevailing conditions. Adjusting the exposure compensation and the flash power. Which one is better? I would say that the flash power adjustment is better when you want to use the flash. If you adjust the camera exposure compensation it will affect all the light coming into the lens -- including the ambient lighting that you might not want altered. If you adjust the flash power, that shouldn't affect how the camera "sees" the rest of the light in the shot.

If you are generally getting reds that are too saturated, look for a color saturation adjustment in your camera's menu and see which setting gives you better results. You might find that that a setting that gives you better reds will desaturate other colors too much. If that happens, then your best bet would be to reduce the red levels in post processing. The tools that you have to do this will vary depending on the editing software you have. But you should be able to isolate the red channel and adjust its strength up or down.

Good luck with the new camera!

Grant
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 11:07 AM   #3
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#1 - It's not uncommon for a lot of digital cameras to favor red.

#2 -Your camera probably defaults to spot metering, or center weighted. Try setting it to field, or average.

#3 - Due to the smaller range of lateral exposure ofa CCD compared to film. Out of range light, and dark areas produce harsh over exposed shots. Stopping down on your EV about - 1 will help in these situations. Using medium flash output will also keep from blowing out all the high lights, when using it.
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for everyone's input.

After a day of taking lots of Christmas pictures and tweaking settings I think I found some to work suitably. -.3 EV and -.3 Flash seem to work. If the subject is close, as in the dog shot the next step down on the flash helps.

The metering seems to make a pretty big difference with the colors.. My options are Multi-Pattern, Spot, Center Weighted, or Selectable. The camera seems to default to multi-pattern, however I feel I get better results with Center Weighted. Is this a matter of prefrence or is there a right and wrong depending on the scene?

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 11:56 AM   #5
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It will depend a lot on the scene. If your metering actually works on flash, I can see the center weight function working better. But most cameras let the meters light sensor controll the exposure.
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Old Dec 26, 2005, 7:17 PM   #6
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Glad you're getting better results.

The Multi Pattern metering reads the whole frame and gets an average. This is good for stuff like landscapes or other shots where you want the best "over all" exposure.

Spot meters off of a central target area in the middle of the viewfinder and ignores the rest. This is helpful in scenes of high contrast where the proper exposure of the subject is more important than the over-all exposure.

Center-weighted is good for similar situations, but where the exposure of the whole scene is more important. This mode reads the whole scene but puts a heavy emphasis on the central portion of the viewfinder.

Selectable will let you shift the metering emphasis to various off-center points around the viewfinder. I've never used this mode because it doesn't seem all that usful to me. Most cameras have this feature so it must be good for something. If I want to expose for a specific off-center point, I just meter it in spot or center-weighted mode, depress the shutter release halfway down to lock the settings and then recompose the shot and then trip the shutter.

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Old Dec 27, 2005, 4:44 AM   #7
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granthagen wrote:
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Welcome to the exciting world of compromises!
This doesn't have so much to do with compromises.
It's about what all Disneyland Point&shoots do, overprocessed/-saturated results.

Other typical feature of those is way too hard contrast setting which leads easily to blown highlights and still dark shadows.
And neither is underexposing much better, amplifying those shadows just brings more noise so more preferably turn down contrast step or two. (because its default setting is already too high)
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 6:17 AM   #8
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E.T wrote:
Quote:
granthagen wrote:
Quote:
Welcome to the exciting world of compromises!
This doesn't have so much to do with compromises.
It's about what all Disneyland Point&shoots do, overprocessed/-saturated results.

Other typical feature of those is way too hard contrast setting which leads easily to blown highlights and still dark shadows.
And neither is underexposing much better, amplifying those shadows just brings more noise so more preferably turn down contrast step or two. (because its default setting is already too high)
Well, the typical point and shoot is what I was trying to get away from by buying the P850. But thats beside the point I guess..

I havn't messed with the contrast setting yet actually. It can be set at low med or hi. By default it's on medium.
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