Question about Pentax Optio S40 Digital Camera

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Optio S40 - underexposure problems

Im the owner of an Optio S40 and have had this camera for a couple of months. There is one problem I have found (besides the annoying flash recharge / blank screen), and that is all my photos are quite dark and under exposed. This is when I am using the flash indoors, and even when I use the camera outside. I am wondering if there are any fellow Optio S40 users out there that have experienced this? I also have the "soft upper left hand corner" problem. Has anyone used either of these issues as a basis for getting the camera fixed under warranty? As I understand, steves-digicams.com managed to get another S40 which was much better performance.

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In order to avoid burning out the highlights, Pentax metering system is adjusted to give texture in the highlights - which can have an "underexposure effect" in high contrast situations. It also happens indoors because it's quite common that indoor walls are bright so in order to preserve their texture - the exposure is tuned down. The reason for this is.. * Digital sensors has limited dynamic range / narrow exposure latitude, when compared to print film. * Burned out highlights looks awful, they often has a colour cast - like a purple/violet aura around the highlight. With printfilm, and even with slides (to some extent), you can overexpose parts of the image. They don't look bad, just overbright. With digital, you can't. You don't have this margin. * If you burn out a highlight, you loose it. If you darken a highlight in editing software (Photoshop and the like), you'll discover that there's no information left in the highlight. It's blank, empty. (this is beacuse of the low dynamic range). If you want to have it differently (if you don't mind burning out the highlights), then select spot metering and use this to measure the exposure of the main subject within the image. Do note that if the main subject is dark, the camera will overexpose (making it grey) - and if the subject is bright, the camera will underexpose (making it grey). This is because all metering systems are adjusted after a standard which says that the subject reflects 18% of the light, which is a medium grey tone. However, it's easy to fix the exposure from your camera. Just brighten low and mid tones (without touching the higlight) in image editing software. If you use the print service of a photo lab, they'll adjust the image for you. (they actually does it with printfilm all the time...). I've found "AutoEqualisation" in Corel PhotoPaint working OK, there's a similar function in the ACD software that came with your camera. (ACD FotoCanvas).

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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The underexposed pictures are annoying but it can be easily solved. Just use the 4-way pad and add positive EV compensation. Then decided what works for you (0.3, 0.7 or 1.0, etc...)

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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Good day,

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I've had this problem. The S40 is *really* picky about good connections for the contacts to the batteries. Make sure you use a facial tissue or something similar to wipe off the ends of the batteries to take off as much finger oil or what have you. Then when the batteries are inserted into the camera, spin them around a couple of times to ensure that contacts have a good connection then wipe the tops of the batteries again and close the battery cover. I've had the same problem with NiMH batteries that I've had no problems with *ever* in other digital cameras and game boys. It probably has something to do with the small prongs that pentax uses on the battery contacts.

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