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Old Sep 19, 2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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Ok. My little experiment will be to tripod mount the camera,take a few shots outdoors, turn OFF DRO, take some more, factory reset, take some more, set it up as I have been and finally, take some more. I'll also print some from the post-factory reset group. Good thing I'm retired.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 6:30 PM   #12
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Well, I did some of my homework today. One of the steps was changing from centre-weighted to multi-segment metering. Hey! No longer too bright. The rest of the changes including DR and Reset Defaults didn't make much difference. I went back to the original kit lens also. It's a lot lighter than the sigma 1770. Tomorrow I'll print a pic from each test just to see.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 12:11 AM   #13
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I'm just reading this post for the first time and I feel the same way about my wife's 550.

I just finished processing photo's from our trip this weekend and the sky and bright areas sometimes seem washed out. When reducing the over exposed highlights during PP it seems to turn the over exposed areas a yellow or brown color that does not look right.

I used both an A700 and a A550 at the event yesterday and the A700 shots were fine. I briefly tried using all three metering settings on the A550 but didn't have much time to experiment, I needed to get the shots.

I'm going to adjust the contrast down in the creative style-standard to -1 contrast and see if that helps but for now -3 or -7 exposure seems to work OK if you remember to adjust.

Is this what your talking about Frank?

example shots processed.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 4:24 AM   #14
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lomitamike,

In both the shots you posted, the metering mode was "spot". My guess is that the "spot" in those shots is properly exposed, but it's significantly darker than the surrounding background.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 7:03 AM   #15
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lomitamike, yep. same thing. what i realize after looking at this carefully, is that i've been taking pictures that just COULDN'T work. Exposing for shadowed areas and hoping the sky would be ok. Naturally, it wasn't. so proper photography technique will sure help. flash too as appropriate. or sometimes, just take it and knowing it won't be great.

that's ok too.

in both your examples, cropping with your feet would have helped. i'm adjusting my photo-taking style too be less grab-it-before-it's-gone to get-in-the-right-position and then grab it. less sky. less back-lit. i was at an outdoor event on the weekend taking pictures and asked the subjects to move from where they were standing to a more photo-friendly lighting situation. When I said the light would make the lady look like an angel, they were laughing. result, a shot i and they are happy with instead of just another throw-away.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 10:17 AM   #16
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lomitamike,

In both the shots you posted, the metering mode was "spot". My guess is that the "spot" in those shots is properly exposed, but it's significantly darker than the surrounding background.
Yes Tcav, both of those were taken with spot metering. I tried center weighted and multi-segment and it surprisingly did not seem to make that much of a difference in the background or surrounding highlights.

example, center weighted and multi-segment metering processed to my best ability with aperture.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 10:43 AM   #17
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Frank

As long as their happy thats a keeper. But you and I probably have standards that are at a higher level then your common point and shoot photographer.

In the photo you have used here I think her face looks washed out in the bright area of her forehead and cheek even at -7 ev. Thats a good example of the typical over exposure of the A550. I know thats getting pretty critical but it does show there's a difficulty to overcome using the metering on the A550. At least when comparing to the A700.

Your discovery of having to shoot at -7 ev for proper exposure is something that were just going to have to deal with when shooting outdoors in high contrast areas. It goes against things that I have learned to this point. I have always preferred to over-exposed slightly then bring down the slightly over exposed areas to correct exposure after the fact during PP to not risk increasing noise. Now we may have to bring up the dark areas and risk noise.

I'll try a few different settings and let you know if I come across anything good.

Mike
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 11:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lomitamike View Post
Yes Tcav, both of those were taken with spot metering. ...
They also show a lot of oversharpening artifacts, and the EXIF data shows that the Sharpness is set to Hard. That's got nothing to do with the exposure, but it contributes to the otherworldliness of the background.

Some of that also shows up in your last photo. The EXIF data shows a Sharpness of Normal, so I presume that's something you did in Aperture.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 2:22 PM   #19
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Frank

As long as their happy thats a keeper. But you and I probably have standards that are at a higher level then your common point and shoot photographer.

In the photo you have used here I think her face looks washed out in the bright area of her forehead and cheek even at -7 ev....
Oh I know i lost her forehead. Only had seconds to do the shot. It wasn't posed except I said "OK. Team pics. Stand here".
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Old Sep 25, 2010, 11:46 PM   #20
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OK.

I have been shooting with the A550 trying to figure out it's strange metering and I'm gaining a little more knowledge through trial and error.

As far as I can tell any shot that has a subject thats slightly backlit or even side lit will not come out looking right. Even at -2 exp comp. It seems this sensor cannot handle the dynamic range. I'm curious as to how many stops of range that this sensor has compared to the A700. The A700 does not have these problems as often as this A550.

Different metering does not seem to help much I have tried all three and there's very little difference between them. It is not a matter of maxing out the shutter speed either, I make sure it's way below 1/4000.

Using a flash seems to help. Also using a neutral density 4 filter seemed to help somewhat.

It reminds me of the lesson I was taught about using circular polarizer filters, you point your index finger at the sun and move your thumb to a 90 degree angle of your index finger. Where your thumb points is the best place maximize the effect of the CP filter.
If you use your finger and thumb the same way anything on the sun side of your thumb will more then likely have a blown out sky.

Here's a couple of shots with a flash and without a flash.
First one is A550 using center weight metering, a Tamron 17-50 @ f/8 and a 58 flash.
Second photo is without the flash. Look at the sky, that's bad. Both were processed identically in Aperture. EXIF is in photo's.
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