As has been stated above there are many ways to get the correct exposure, AV/TV/Manual. I shoot as you are Manual with ISO auto. This is and is not your problem. The problem Why it is causing you grief with a white bird is not really your camera setting so much as it is the camera is set to meter for about a %13 grey. This will darken white and lighten black subjects. No matter your shooting mode, if the camera has any choice it will meter for 13% grey. I'll demonstrate the problem with a few images. I shot this flower first with the settings below. Camera set to manual with auto ISO 1/4000 F4 (ISO chosen by the camera) ISO 100 No exposure compensation. As you can see the camera under exposed by quite a bit no comp by Trevor Baldwin, on Flickr Now I raised my exposure compensation. 1/4000 F4 Exposure comp at +2/3 (ISO chosen by the camera) ISO 100 A little better but not quite there yet. +23 by Trevor Baldwin, on Flickr Now I raised my exposure compensation again. 1/4000 F4 Exposure comp at +1 1/3 (ISO chosen by the camera) ISO 125 This is almost right. +113 by Trevor Baldwin, on Flickr I could have used another +1/3 to be perfect but it can be hard to tell on a really bright day on the back lcd screen. One way you can solve the issue is to set up your custom functions so that when you press the set button in the middle of the thumb wheel on the back of the camera to change your shutter speed wheel to exposure compensation. This will allow you to dial in the exposure more precisely. This procedure is only really required when shooting near back or near white objects. Outside of changing the exposure comp you would have to shoot full manual and set the exposure yourself. If the camera is allowed to set even one parameter ie shutter or aperture priority you will continue to run into this problem. If you need help in setting up the exposure comp button as I have described let me know. Jr. has the 80D and I've done this with his.