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Re: 400D manual mode
You are exposure compensation in manual mode. If you want the shots lighter, either open up the aperture or slow the shutter. The exposure compensation feature is to override the automatic settings determined by the camera in the auto-exposure modes.
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Yes, there is a setting called exposure compensation, which you may have altered. Try switching the camera back to A (Auto) mode, and see if that fixes it. In the manual setting modes, exposure compensation will look like this: http://images.digitalcamerainfo.com/images/upload/Image/new/Photokina08/Canon/sd880is/photos/Canon-sd880is-menu-functionset-375.jpg Make sure that you haven't set the exposure compensation to +2, for example. It should usually be set on 0.
When you change the exposure compensation setting, the camera will change the aperture, the shutter speed, or the ISO depending on the mode you're in and the shooting situation. That's what "compensation" means.
When you turn on the camera, there's an option to turn the switch beyond "On", indicated by an angled line. Move your power selector switch there. Then half-trigger a scene and turn the Quick Control dial behind the camera to adjust the Exposure Compensation. Note: Being in "On" mode doesn't enable exposure compensation, leaving the settings stuck at previous.
An slr has a mirror that needs to flip up at the moment of exposure so you don't get anything on the screen. As for the overexposure, you need to experiment with the ISO settings, the white balance and even the exposure compensation.
Try your EOS in AV (aprature value) mode. You should be able to adjust your aperature value in 1/3 or 1/2 steps dependind how you have your Custom Functions set in your camera's menu. Possibly the lens you purchased is for an EOS 35mm. If you use a 35mm lens on your eos there are some calculations you must use. When using a 35mm lens on the EOS 20D, 30D, 40D and 50D bodies, you must first calculate your focal leingth by 1.6 times. With this, your exposure changes as well.
The only EOS Digital SLR bodies that use a 35mm x 24mm CMOS sensor are the 1D and 5D. My wife uses a Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 lens on her 20D and loves it.
If this makes no difference, you may have a defective lens.
Could be the metering mode you are in. Could be the subject is too far away. Could be ISO is set wrong. Could be the lens aperture can't open up enough. Could be the exposure compensation isn't set correctly. Could be FE Lock is still on and the composition has changed. Does the <flash> icon continue to blink? Then you are too far away.
If you want the subject sharp, but the background blurred, use a large aperture and high speed exposure. This will reduce the focal length.
Remember that a large apertures are often used for night shots because they allow more light through the lense. A fast exposure will prevent the shot from being over exposed if you are taking it in daylight.
Flash photography is not recommended for the effect you are after.
exposure compensation can be dialed through the '+' and '-' keys in the upper right hand side of the camera body. The shutter speed should alone take care of the exposure meter if the aperture is more or less good...
ps: sometimes when we increase the shutter speed to 1/2000 th of a sec..it takes a while to reach the zero mark in the exposure bar since you need to dial more to reach an acceptable shutter speed like say 1/10th ...or 1"...