Re: Nikon D90 defective Matrix metering

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Doug Jewell, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Doug Jewell

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Gemini wrote:
    >
    >
    > "Focus" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=31436871
    >>
    >> I was looking over the reactions as some folks seem to think that it's
    >> OK for Nikon to over expose in MM. But is it really?
    >>
    >> Here what they promise in their advertisement about the D90:
    >>
    >>
    >> "Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System:
    >> Nikon's renowned 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, teamed
    >> with the exclusive Scene Recognition System, evaluates images,
    >> referencing an on-board database of over 30,000 photographic scenes,
    >> for unmatched exposure accuracy."
    >>
    >> A database of 30.000 photos? None of them had a clear, sunny sky in them?
    >>
    >>
    >> That hardly sounds like a camera that would blow out skies like a P&S
    >> shooter, does it?
    >>
    >> So, Nikon: explain yourself.
    >>
    >> --
    >> ---
    >> Focus
    >>

    >
    > I don't know what you are doing wrong Focus but both my D90s are spot on
    > with exposure.

    When I was selling cameras, it was a very common scenario
    that people would bring back Nikon cameras (D40, 50, 70, 80,
    90) claiming the exposure was faulty because they were
    getting white skies.

    There were 2 ways to correct it and get exposures that one
    would consider normal - use centre-weighted average, and
    take a reading with the horizon exactly in the middle of the
    frame, or on matrix use minus 1 to minus 2 EC.

    The matrix metering put far too much emphasis on the land
    part of a landscape, and would blow the sky every time. In
    fact I would call the land part over-exposed too - medium
    greens became insipid yellow greens etc. As you say, the
    database of 30,000 images obviously didn't include a sunny
    landscape scene.

    To be fair to Nikon, my own Canon 450D & Samsung GX10 also
    overexpose landscape scenes when on their equivalents of
    matrix metering - although not as severe as the Nikon. The
    Canon & Samsung give washed out but still blue skies, and
    only need -1/3 to -2/3 EC to get acceptable results.

    --
    Have you ever noticed that all legal documents need to be
    completed in black or blue pen, but we vote in pencil?
    Doug Jewell, Mar 28, 2009
    #1
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  2. Doug Jewell

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Ockham's Razor wrote:
    > In article <49ce8cfc$>,
    > "Gemini" <> wrote:
    >
    >> "Focus" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=31436871
    >>>
    >>> I was looking over the reactions as some folks seem to think that it's OK
    >>> for Nikon to over expose in MM. But is it really?
    >>>
    >>> Here what they promise in their advertisement about the D90:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> "Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System: Nikon's
    >>> renowned 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, teamed with the
    >>> exclusive Scene Recognition System, evaluates images, referencing an
    >>> on-board database of over 30,000 photographic scenes, for unmatched
    >>> exposure accuracy."
    >>>
    >>> A database of 30.000 photos? None of them had a clear, sunny sky in them?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> That hardly sounds like a camera that would blow out skies like a P&S
    >>> shooter, does it?
    >>>
    >>> So, Nikon: explain yourself.
    >>>
    >>> --
    >>> ---
    >>> Focus
    >>>

    >> I don't know what you are doing wrong Focus but both my D90s are spot on
    >> with exposure.

    >
    > Sounds like he needs a polarizing filter. Nikon sells them also.

    Not really - polarisers are not a cure-all for skies. They
    only make a significant difference when you are shooting
    with the sun at a 3 oclock or 9 oclock position relative to
    you and the camera. With the sun directly behind you they
    make practically no difference whatsoever. In the middle of
    an Australian summer with the sun near directly overhead
    they also have minimal impact (although your best
    photography times come later or earlier in the day, when the
    polariser will work better). I have witnessed the Nikon
    overexposure issue, and I doubt a polariser would make much
    of an improvement.

    --
    Have you ever noticed that all legal documents need to be
    completed in black or blue pen, but we vote in pencil?
    Doug Jewell, Mar 28, 2009
    #2
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  3. Doug Jewell

    Mark Thomas Guest

    Doug Jewell wrote:
    > Ockham's Razor wrote:
    >> In article <49ce8cfc$>,
    >> "Gemini" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> "Focus" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=31436871
    >>>>
    >>>> I was looking over the reactions as some folks seem to think that
    >>>> it's OK for Nikon to over expose in MM. But is it really?
    >>>>
    >>>> Here what they promise in their advertisement about the D90:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> "Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System:
    >>>> Nikon's renowned 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, teamed
    >>>> with the exclusive Scene Recognition System, evaluates images,
    >>>> referencing an on-board database of over 30,000 photographic scenes,
    >>>> for unmatched exposure accuracy."
    >>>>
    >>>> A database of 30.000 photos? None of them had a clear, sunny sky in
    >>>> them?
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> That hardly sounds like a camera that would blow out skies like a
    >>>> P&S shooter, does it?
    >>>>
    >>>> So, Nikon: explain yourself.
    >>>>
    >>>> --
    >>>> ---
    >>>> Focus
    >>>>
    >>> I don't know what you are doing wrong Focus but both my D90s are spot
    >>> on with exposure.

    >>
    >> Sounds like he needs a polarizing filter. Nikon sells them also.

    > Not really - polarisers are not a cure-all for skies. They only make a
    > significant difference when you are shooting with the sun at a 3 oclock
    > or 9 oclock position relative to you and the camera. With the sun
    > directly behind you they make practically no difference whatsoever. In
    > the middle of an Australian summer with the sun near directly overhead
    > they also have minimal impact (although your best photography times come
    > later or earlier in the day, when the polariser will work better). I
    > have witnessed the Nikon overexposure issue, and I doubt a polariser
    > would make much of an improvement.
    >


    While your overall point is correct, I would argue the details there..

    Yes, polarisers work best at 3:00 and 9:00, ie when the sun is at 90
    degrees to the direction you are pointing the camera. *But* that means
    when the sun is directly overhead, the polariser will work best on the
    sky near the horizon. Ie, where you are normally pointing the camera..
    Yes, the effect gradually fades as you go upwards..

    But to say that a polariser has 'minimal' impact at midday, is to miss
    the time when it is actually *very* useful.
    Mark Thomas, Mar 29, 2009
    #3
  4. Doug Jewell

    Gemini Guest

    "Focus" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=31436871
    >
    > I was looking over the reactions as some folks seem to think that it's OK
    > for Nikon to over expose in MM. But is it really?
    >
    > Here what they promise in their advertisement about the D90:
    >
    >
    > "Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System: Nikon's
    > renowned 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, teamed with the
    > exclusive Scene Recognition System, evaluates images, referencing an
    > on-board database of over 30,000 photographic scenes, for unmatched
    > exposure accuracy."
    >
    > A database of 30.000 photos? None of them had a clear, sunny sky in them?
    >
    >
    > That hardly sounds like a camera that would blow out skies like a P&S
    > shooter, does it?
    >
    > So, Nikon: explain yourself.
    >
    > --
    > ---
    > Focus
    >


    I don't know what you are doing wrong Focus but both my D90s are spot on
    with exposure.
    Gemini, Mar 29, 2009
    #4
  5. Doug Jewell

    Paul Furman Guest

    Focus wrote:
    > "Doug Jewell" <> wrote in message
    > news:49ceb01b$0$29863$...
    >> Gemini wrote:
    >>>
    >>> "Focus" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=31436871
    >>>>
    >>>> I was looking over the reactions as some folks seem to think that it's
    >>>> OK for Nikon to over expose in MM. But is it really?
    >>>>
    >>>> Here what they promise in their advertisement about the D90:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> "Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System:
    >>>> Nikon's renowned 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, teamed with
    >>>> the exclusive Scene Recognition System, evaluates images, referencing an
    >>>> on-board database of over 30,000 photographic scenes, for unmatched
    >>>> exposure accuracy."
    >>>>
    >>>> A database of 30.000 photos? None of them had a clear, sunny sky in
    >>>> them?
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> That hardly sounds like a camera that would blow out skies like a P&S
    >>>> shooter, does it?
    >>>>
    >>>> So, Nikon: explain yourself.
    >>>>
    >>>> --
    >>>> ---
    >>>> Focus
    >>>>
    >>> I don't know what you are doing wrong Focus but both my D90s are spot on
    >>> with exposure.

    >> When I was selling cameras, it was a very common scenario that people
    >> would bring back Nikon cameras (D40, 50, 70, 80, 90) claiming the exposure
    >> was faulty because they were getting white skies.
    >>
    >> There were 2 ways to correct it and get exposures that one would consider
    >> normal - use centre-weighted average, and take a reading with the horizon
    >> exactly in the middle of the frame, or on matrix use minus 1 to minus 2
    >> EC.
    >>
    >> The matrix metering put far too much emphasis on the land part of a
    >> landscape, and would blow the sky every time. In fact I would call the
    >> land part over-exposed too - medium greens became insipid yellow greens
    >> etc. As you say, the database of 30,000 images obviously didn't include a
    >> sunny landscape scene.
    >>
    >> To be fair to Nikon, my own Canon 450D & Samsung GX10 also overexpose
    >> landscape scenes when on their equivalents of matrix metering - although
    >> not as severe as the Nikon. The Canon & Samsung give washed out but still
    >> blue skies, and only need -1/3 to -2/3 EC to get acceptable results.
    >>

    >
    > Thanks for sharing that.
    > Nobody can make a point better than someone who sells or sold camera's,
    > because you're at the receiving end of the problem car.
    > I had other camera's as well, like the D300 (much better with MM)


    Perhaps the D90 is tuned for snapshooters who want to expose for the
    people in the center of the frame rather than the sky?


    > and even
    > the cheaper Sony 350 was much better at their version of MM. I would still
    > have that camera if:
    > 1. the noise wasn't so terrible and
    > 2. if the flash wouldn't close peoples eyes
    >
    > The tilting screen for liveview is a blessing in a lot of situations and
    > much under estimated by pro's. It also sports a liveview histogram that's
    > very accurate and helpfull in decision making.
    >



    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Apr 5, 2009
    #5
  6. Doug Jewell

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sun, 5 Apr 2009 20:38:28 +0100, Focus wrote:

    >> Perhaps the D90 is tuned for snapshooters who want to expose for the
    >> people in the center of the frame rather than the sky?

    >
    >
    > I would assume that's what center weight is for.
    > Otherwise Nikon should call it "center people happy faces with blown sky
    > mode" and not "3D color matrix II with database of over 30.000 pictures
    > mode"
    > Anyway it's stupid of them not to have matched the D300's MM, because a lot
    > of pro's might concider taking a D90 as a backup, due to the fact that it's
    > also 12 MP and has a lot in common.


    It's not wise for those that lack a good understanding of the many
    things Nikon to make accusations of stupidity. There are too many
    differences between the D300 and D90 (other than exposure modes) to
    qualify the D90 as an acceptable backup camera, unless money (or the
    photographer) is really tight.
    ASAAR, Apr 5, 2009
    #6
  7. Doug Jewell

    ASAAR Guest

    On Mon, 6 Apr 2009 14:30:43 +0100, Focus wrote:

    >> It's not wise for those that lack a good understanding of the many
    >> things Nikon to make accusations of stupidity. There are too many
    >> differences between the D300 and D90 (other than exposure modes) to
    >> qualify the D90 as an acceptable backup camera, unless money (or the
    >> photographer) is really tight.

    >
    >
    > So you think making a MM worse than a cheaper D40, D40x or D60
    > is a wise decision?


    Prejudging a bit here, aren't you? Many D300 users don't share
    your opinion. Users of all cameras have to deal with learning
    curves, and it should be assumed that the D300's will be steeper
    than that of the D40/D60. Those that master the D300's toolset will
    be able to get better results than if they chose to use an entry
    level DSLR instead. Different doesn't mean worse, except for those
    that don't want to, or can't take the time to learn to use their
    cameras well. If you're less pleased with the D300, by all means
    sell it and switch to a D40 or D60, or maybe to another Sony.

    Or you could try to see what others have to say about the D300's
    Matrix Metering. Here's one example :

    > Metering has changed on the D300, as has autofocus, and the two
    > are now having relations together. Yes, we still have the same
    > 1005-pixel CCD in the viewfinder doing the metering, though its
    > position has changed (still vulnerable to light coming through the
    > viewfinder, by the way) and it's now linked in real time to the AF
    > system. The critical change comes for matrix meter users: the D300
    > pays more attention to what's under the autofocus sensor being used
    > than the D200 did. Enough so that you need to pay closer attention
    > to your histograms. Some have said that the D300 exposes "hotter"
    > than the D200, but that's not actually true in my experience. Nikon
    > has changed the mid-tone gamma at the default settings, which gives
    > the appearance of brighter images, but in a stable, moderate contrast
    > scene with something neutral under the AF sensor, both my D200
    > and D300 give the same exposure. But be careful if you've got bright
    > or dark objects under the focus point--you'll get more variation of
    > the metering in such cases than the D200 gave.
    > . . .
    >
    > Not only does the D300's focus system track as well as any previous
    > Nikon system, it also has tricks up its sleeve that make it better--far
    > better--than the D200's. First is the size of the area covered by the
    > focus system: it's enormous compared to the D200. You have to be
    > framing very off center to not have a sensor on your subject. Second,
    > in the Auto Area AF mode (and 3D tracking mode) the AF sensor
    > and matrix meter get together in interesting and useful ways. The
    > system works unusually well on anything that has a flesh tone in it,
    > even if the subject moves off the autofocus sensors. There's some
    > serious computational stuff going on in the focus system now, and it
    > has more "magic" than before. On the other hand, magic isn't
    > foolproof, so when the system flops, it flops. I'll repeat what I said
    > before: spend time studying your options. With practice you'll start
    > to understand the situations where the magic won't happen and
    > where you need to step in with a different AF choice. Once you get
    > to that level of understanding, you'll have no problems at all with
    > the system. But it is enough different than anything that came before
    > it that you must spend time learning it.


    And similarly, learn to recognize situations where you might not
    want to use the D300's matrix metering. You don't think the
    D40/D60's M-M is foolproof, do you?

    I do get the strong feeling that what would suit you best is a
    camera that could be described as a P&S DSLR. Maybe you should
    consider using Fuji's S100fs. But if you do, it's almost certain
    that you'll be complaining about *many* stupid Fuji decisions. :)
    ASAAR, Apr 6, 2009
    #7
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