Image quality Hi. When I'm taking photos and set my exposure manually on my Canon 20D, the image looks right exposed on my LCD screen, but when I download all the photos on my PC, all the photos are VERY DARK. This takes lots of time for me to edit it and then after I've got the right brightness on my PC I discovered that the image quality is VERY BAD!!! There is lots of noise on the image. Can someone help me to find a solution to correct the exposure on my camera, so that I can save time on my PC when editing my photos?
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Re: Image quality
If you are correctly metering the exposure of your photos, and you suspect it may be the camera, try resetting the camera to its default settings using the menu. Clearing all the custom functions as well can sometimes help. I have seen some cameras get "stuck" into a weird shooting mode. Also, don't always trust your LCD. It is only there for reference, but is almost never a true representation of what you're going to get.
Hope this helps!
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Recompose The Photo
This is probably the simplest solution. When taking a photo of a scene with very bright and very dark parts, move your camera to eliminate one of the extremes. In the case of the band, I would have either closed the curtains for the shot, or recomposed completely and photographed from the window looking at the band, and the crowd behind.
Use Exposure Lock
If you can't recompose the photograph, instead tell the camera what part of the image you would like to see. The rest of the photo will be either over or under exposed (too bright or too dark) but at least you will see your subject. You can dothis by placing the center of the image at your subject; half depressing the shutter to lock the focus and exposure; move the camera to re-compose the image; and fully depressing the shutter.
In the band image, the camera chose to correctly expose the scene outside, but even if the band member had been correctly exposed, the window would have ended up being over exposed and you would just have seen white.
Some cameras have an option called 'spot metering' to set the part of the image you'd like to be correctly exposed. If your camera has this setting, enable it before using the technique above.
Use Fill In Flash
If your scene has a sunny background, but your subject is in the shade (or has a hat on), turn on the flash (as I explained way back in tip number 9 - Using Flash During The Day). I know it seems wrong but it really does work! By using the flash, your subject will look as bright as the background. This would have worked well for the child shot above.
High Dynamic Range Imaging
This technique is not for the faintof hearted. It requires a subject that does not move; a good camera with the capability to set the exposure and output RAW images. A tripod and image editing software like Photoshop CS3 are also needed.
High Dynamic Range Imaging (or HDR for short) is a technique for placing both very dark and very light areas in the same photo. It requires you to take a number of photographs of thesame scene - each with a different exposure. First take the shot using the camera's recommended settings. Then, in manual mode and keeping the aperture at the same value as the first shot, take a sequence of shots - each shot having a different shutter speed (above and below the original). You'll have 5-9 shots of the same scene all in different exposures.
Merging the three images to the left creates the HDR image below. Thanks to Photomatix for the images.
Now import these into your favorite paint program. I use Photoshop, but you can as easily use a cheaper program designed specifically for HDR photos like Photomatix. Follow the HDR directions and the paint program will merge these images into one great looking shot!
Use a Filter
If your scene is of a brightsky and a dark ground (for instance at sunset, or on a cloudy day), you can use a graduated neutral density filter. This filter cuts out someof the light from one part of the photo (the sky). This will correctly expose the ground and the sky without needing to use HDR. These filterscan be complex to setup, so I don't usually recommend them for beginners.
Fix The Original Photo in an Image Editing Program
Finally, if you can't take another shot at the same location, you can fix the original image by changing the levels using a paint program. This works best when your subject is darker than the rest of the photo (because cameras lose detail in over-bright areas). I've brightened the band member in the top image using this technique and while it looks okay in thissmall shot, this technique can tend to amplify any noise in the image. The darker the subject, the harder time you will have fixing the image.
I discuss exactly how to use this technique in lesson 2 of my free Image Editing Secrets course. I have a tutorial for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and the free Google Picassa.
- See more at: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/140/6-ways-to-fix-too-bright-and-too-dark-photos/#sthash.58eENOTt.dpuf
You should carefully review the settings especially the Mode and Function settings (Func/Set button). The Exposure Compensation, White Balance, ISO and Image Quality settings may require adjustment. Have your manual open when you do this and work through it step by step. Try the camera after each change so that you will learn which setting was at fault.
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.
While displaying an image on the screen, press the up or down arrows on the rocker switch (instead of the left or right arrow to change the displayed image). You'll page through the histogram and one or two others before the image alone is displayed.
Blown highlights indicate over exposure. You'll need to reduce aperture size / increase shutter speed to prevent this. You may have the light meter set to meter an unexpected location in the frame or have set the camera to over expose by 1, 2 or even 3 exposure values. Check you manual to review these settings if you can't find them by scrolling through the menus on your own.
The only reason the camera will be taking dark photos is when it is under exposing the image taken. This can be due to the exposure compensation set to under expose the metered exposure. Make sure the expsosure compensation is set to '0' or increase it to compensate for the dark photos.
Also inaccurately metering a scene (such as a high contrast scene) can easily fool the meter into under exposing, especially outdoors.
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.
The symptoms you're describing could be caused by either the "Fireworks" special scene selection mode, or manual mode with too much exposure compensation. Look at your mode selector (back of the camera, upper left hand corner). Is the mode set to the still image setting (pointing at the liittle red camera)? Or is it set to special scene selection (SCN)?
If you are unintentionally in SCN mode, to get it out of "Fireworks", just turn the mode selector dial to select "still image" (pointing at the little red camera). Or you can also select an SCN mode more appropriate for outdoors. Just turn the dial to SCN, press the FUNC button, then press the left/right arrow buttons to select Portrait, Beach, Snow etc...
But if your mode selector is already in still image selection, then check to make sure that you're not in "Manual" picture mode. Turn the mode selector dial to "still picture mode" (pointing at the little red camera), then press the "FUNC" button. Now look at the bottom of the screen. If it says "Manual", press the "left" button controller once to select and put the camera in "Auto" still picture mode.