Exposure Compensation

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MarcusM, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    I've always felt like this is a stupid question so I've never asked but always wondered; I have never really used Exposure Compensation. I see how it could work for the auto mode, but I never use auto mode, mostly only manual.

    Is EC really only for Av, Tv, and Auto mode? I don't see the point for using it at all in Manual.
     
  2. Tennessee Landscape

    Tennessee Landscape TPF Noob!

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    I think it's a bit redundant if you used it in manual, aperture priority, or shutter priority.

    ***EDIT*** Yeah, I goofed here....view my post below....I had to let this one sit for a day, I got so up tight I had to go find a computer on the internet to retract this..............
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I use it all the time. I am old school so I meter a lot of my shots with a good hand held light meter. It is much more accurate than the in camera meter. It meters to 1/3 of a stop increments. It may give me a reading of 1/250th of a shutter speed with an f8 +1 at ISO 100. That translates to a setting of f8 with an EC of + 1 for dead on exposure with an ISO 0f 100 at 1/250th of a second shutter speed.
     
  4. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Oh, so if you absolutely want to have those settings, but the exposure is off, then you would use the EC? So using your example, rather than slowing your SS to 1/125 or increasing the aperture to f/5.6 or bumping the ISO to 200, you would just use EC +1? I guess I can kind of see the benefit there...
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it depends on how and what you shoot.

    For example, if you shoot candids of people and normally focus/meter on
    the person's face, you wouldn't unnecessarily want to meter directly
    on their skin tone without using some compensation.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Huh? How can exposure compensation be redundant in aperture priority or shutter priority? The purpose of it is to over-write the exposure settings you get in this mode. I personally use it quite often in both modes.

    As for being redundant in manual that's also a no. Yes in manual the camera decides what's best. But (on Nikons at least) when you shoot in manual in the viewfinder it shows you how far off your current settings are from the calculated exposure. And the EV compensation affects this metre which is great if you're relying on it.

    Mind you there are some freaks out there who can smell the amount of light in a scene and then hit it on full manual first go ;)
     
  7. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    EC is useful in shutter and aperture priority modes. It allows you to keep the automation of A or S mode and adjust the exposure as needed if you don't agree with your camera. Same for P mode (not sure what's the Canon name for it!) but i don't use it that much.

    Note that EC is not magic; it will change your shutter speed or aperture from what would be normal in order to adjust exposure (on cameras with Auto ISO, EC adjustments have priority - and settings will change according to your EC, then if the shot falls outside your set parameters, ISO will auto adjust). It is just a tool to help you make the most of your light meter in automated modes.

    Now there is something i didn't know, probably because on my Nikon i can only set EC from the menu in manual mode (or switch to another mode, set EC, switch back) :mrgreen:. I can see how it would be useful in some cases, but i prefer the direct exposure feedback and zero automation (i use spot metering a lot too) of pure manual mode when i need just that.



    They are called "old school film photographers" :lol:
     
  8. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I've had three nikon dslr's, and I find that with all of them, I've almost always had the EC set at +1/3, no matter what mode, ISO, WB, etc. I get better shadow highlights and histogram then with the straight meter reading (EC off). Don't know why this is.
     
  9. NYPhotographer

    NYPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    I use it often. Street shots especially sometimes
    it shots fast because of the light but some places which
    I want to be lit up come out in shadows so I bring it up.
     
  10. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I find this very odd. Why would a lightmeter give an EC measurement. In the above case it should meter the scene at 1/125 at f8 or 1/250 at f5.6 to get a correct exposure at ISO100.
     
  11. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Cameras do not always get the exposure right. Take for example a person in front of a bright window. Take a shot letting the camera meter it and it's likely that the person will be under exposed and the outside nicely exposed. Maybe not all the time as spot metering may assist getting a better exposure.

    the reason the camera normally gets this wrong is because it sees lots of light coming from the window and therefore at any given aperture, it will adjust the shutter speed to meter the bright light it sees. The camera tries to make an average scene 18% grey so your subject becomes very dark in the scene.

    In order to expose your subject correctly (negating flash for the moment) you would dial in some +ive EC to slow down the shutter speed (or get a larger aperture) in order to let more light in and get a correctly exposed subject. You may in a scene like this require +2 stops or thereabouts to get your subject bright enough (depending on how much light is there). this will obviously overexpose your background.

    Shooting snow is another time when EC is required. White snow will become grey when you shoot it as the camera tries to meter the scene to 18% grey. So you need to add a stop or two of EC to get the snow white.

    Same goes for when you have a very dark scene. You may find the camera overexposing a syubject on these ocassions so -ive EC may be required.

    I use aperture priority most of the time so when using EC, it changes my shutter speed. You need to be aware of the shutter speed also in case of camera shake, motion blur etc etc.

    Takes some practice to get used to it.
     
  12. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    I use exposure compensation a lot in P, A and S modes. My understanding of it is that the camera will always try and create the same exposure (overall brightness of your photo) no matter what the current conditions. So , for example, if you are shooting at night, the camera will set a high ISO and long shutter speed to try and make it look as bright as a day time shot. So you can use the exposure compensation to force the camera to make a darker (more realistic) photo.
     

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