How do you properly review 6MP shots on a 0.18MP LCD display?

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by Rowan Crowe, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Rowan Crowe

    Rowan Crowe Guest

    I took about 70 shots with my 300D at a waterfall just after sunset
    and was disappointed to later discover that most of them are lacking
    in contrast. The problem is that they looked a lot brighter and
    vibrant on the LCD, although it was a little difficult to tell because
    the brightness of the image varies with the angle I view the LCD at.

    One solution I can think of is to take along a laptop and use Canon's
    RemoteCapture program, to allow me to review each shot on a larger
    screen... but there is still the issue with viewing angles of an LCD
    monitor, and it takes a fair amount of time to transfer from the
    camera to the PC. Carrying along an extra couple of kilograms worth of
    laptop probably isn't too practical either. :)

    How do others cope with this?

    (In hindsight checking the histogram may have helped hint that the
    shots were underexposed - I've since discovered that there's an option
    to display this in the after-shot preview)

    I had a couple of other issues which I'll raise in a separate thread.
     
    Rowan Crowe, Apr 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Oh my, not knowing what you've taken until you get home! How could we
    ever survive that?

    As a (mostly) film photographer, I have to wait even longer for the
    developing.. and as there's no E6 processing in Wagga, the wait is
    painful!

    Funnily enough when I shoot digital, I rarely look at the lcd.
    Digital film is cheap, processing cheaper, what the heck. I still use
    the same techniques as I do for film, but tend to take more shots.

    I'm still getting the same ratio of awesome/great/ok/poor shots per
    36.

    So how do I cope? same as I used to when a roll of velvia came back
    with dissapointing results. I check my notebook (paper!) and see what
    settings I was using, think back to the gig and consider different
    ways of approaching it. [shrug]
     
    Andrew Hennell, Apr 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Rowan Crowe

    Miro Guest

    Its called chimping for a reason. You sit there like a chimphunched over a
    small screen flicking backwards and forwards and then scratch your forehead
    and make some innane sounds.

    AFIAC it comes down to having the odd look at your histogram but seeing as
    the vast majority of people now feel that Photoshop and RAW conversion
    handles all the problems then there is no point in rattling on about filters
    on lenses, which is the only significant way to alter a histogram, apart
    from exposure compensation.
     
    Miro, Apr 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Rowan Crowe

    Trevor S Guest

    (Rowan Crowe) wrote in

    I was going to say use the histogram but you pointed that out yourself :)

    This might be of interest:

    http://luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml


    --
    Trevor S


    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
    -Albert Einstein
     
    Trevor S, Apr 5, 2004
    #4
  5. Rowan Crowe

    Rowan Crowe Guest

    :) The issue is more that what appeared on the LCD was throwing my
    judgement off. I was already pushing the camera's 30 second maximum
    [automatic] exposure limit at ISO 200 and looking at the LCD I thought
    I had a good image without having to wander up to ISO 400... the
    camera thought so too, the best of the low contrast images was
    actually overexposed by +2.

    I got there about 10 minutes too late to properly catch the sunset, so
    I'll probably be going back again whilst the moon is bright. Perhaps I
    can drag along my wife for company this time, sitting at the bottom of
    a waterfool pool in semi-darkness dark for a couple of hours was quite
    peaceful, but a little eerie.
    I'll be doing similar, except I'll be reviewing the EXIF data on each
    shot and making notes on how best to approach it when I return. This
    time around I will experiment with higher ISO settings as well as
    overexposing. I've only had the 300D for a few weeks and it's my first
    DSLR, so I am still learning...

    Here's a sample image, this was the brightest best out of 4 of the
    same shot:

    http://media.sensationcontent.com/rowan/IMG_1922-dark.jpg

    Levels adjusted in PS:

    http://media.sensationcontent.com/rowan/IMG_1922-corr.jpg

    It's very strange taking night shots - I couldn't even see the
    opposite wall at that stage, just the silhouette of the trees...
     
    Rowan Crowe, Apr 5, 2004
    #5
  6. Rowan Crowe

    Oracle Guest

    although I only have an el' cheapo kodak, I usually find a simple
    contrast & brightness adjustment using Adobe Photoshop can work wonders
    for a digital image!
     
    Oracle, Apr 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Rowan Crowe

    Patrick Guest

    I have never used a digital SLR and the more I read about it the more I
    think I will wait. You seem to have to be a complete nurd to be able to use
    one of those things. I have used a Canon AE1 Program for many years (as a
    complete amateur) and never got a photo that out of wak.

    So questions for the experts: Why would a camera worth that much money tell
    you that this setting will result in a +2 exposed shot and then it looks so
    dark?

    Patrick.
     
    Patrick, Apr 5, 2004
    #7
  8. Rowan Crowe

    Ken Chandler Guest

    Is it possible that the friendly mini-lab operator has been correcting the
    exposure on your prints without you knowing that you long exposures were
    underexposed? After all, when doing longer exposures on film one needs to
    account for the reciprocity failure of the film which might occur after only
    1-4 seconds. Your Canon AE-1's meter will not account for this.
    One /guess/ is that there was light entering the viewfinder which affected
    the exposure readings.

    from the EXIF:
    ------------------------
    Make - Canon
    Model - Canon EOS 300D DIGITAL
    ExposureTime - 30/1 seconds
    FNumber - 3.50
    ISOSpeedRatings - 200
    FocalLength - 18 mm
    ColorSpace - sRGB
    Quality - Normal
    Flash mode - Not fired
    Focus mode - One-Shot
    Image size - Large
    Easy shooting mode - Full Auto
    Metering mode - Center weighted averaging

    ------------------------

    Why wouldn't the flash have tried to fire if the camera was in full auto ??
    I assume full-auto = the green rectangle and not the "landscape" setting??

    Not that the flash would have helped matters, just curious.
     
    Ken Chandler, Apr 5, 2004
    #8
  9. (Rowan Crowe), far, far away from here,
    appears to have written:

    [snips]
    Yep, that's the best answer, and it's your own.
    --

    cheers, Mic (Reply address works...)

    "Success covers many blunders."
    --- George Bernard Shaw
     
    M i c C u l l e n, Apr 5, 2004
    #9
  10. (Rowan Crowe), far, far away from here,
    appears to have written:

    [snips]
    I should also have suggested that you shoot RAW and look at C1 software
    for conversion.

    http://www.c1dslr.com/products.aspx
    --

    cheers, Mic (Reply address works...)

    "The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything."
    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
     
    M i c C u l l e n, Apr 5, 2004
    #10
  11. Prey tell... How do you shoot in full auto mode and suppress the flash?
    In any case...

    3 step Photoshop procedure.
    1 Open image
    2. From the image menu choose adjustments, highlight/shadow and press OK.
    3. See the images as it was taken.

    Now to my question: How do you use full auto mode and not fire the flash on
    a Canon DSLR? Tape down the flash head perhaps?

    Douglas
    -----------------
     
    Douglas MacDonald, Apr 5, 2004
    #11
  12. Rowan Crowe

    Rudi Guest


    Ummmm.... shoot in "P" mode, instead of green "idiot" mode??? They're
    both "full auto", but in "P" mode the flash won't pop up
    automatically...


    Regards,

    Rudi
    http://www.rudiphoto.net/
     
    Rudi, Apr 6, 2004
    #12
  13. Rowan Crowe

    Rowan Crowe Guest

    This could be possible - I covered the viewfinder the low tech way for
    most shots, I hung the lens cap on the back.

    Is it also possible that the light levels were so low that it's
    difficult for the camera to properly sense, let alone calculate?

    I'm surprised that there is no function to automatically take a series
    of test shots and figure out the correct exposure for the money shot
    from the histogram of the previous test shot(s)... this would surely
    solve the issue, although it would be less practical with 30 second
    exposures.
    Which program generated this output? According to Zoombrowser EX, the
    shooting mode was "Program AE" (which is correct - I hate the flash
    having a mind of its own in full auto :) )

    Looks like that shot was actually only +1 1/3, and not +2 as I
    remembered. I probably stopped there because it looked good on the
    viewfinder.
     
    Rowan Crowe, Apr 6, 2004
    #13
  14. Rowan Crowe

    Rowan Crowe Guest

    Try it - clickclickclick ERR 05 :)

    (The EXIF output posted was not accurate, it was shot in Program AE
    mode with no flash)
     
    Rowan Crowe, Apr 6, 2004
    #14
  15. Rowan Crowe

    Josef Guest

    a couple of comments/questions -

    The EXIF data shows that Rowan took the picture with "Metering mode -
    Center weighted averaging".
    For difficult shots I would use "partial" (Canons don't have spot metering)
    and AE lock. Several shots perhaps.

    If histograms are bullet-proof - I don't fully understand them as yet - why
    the digital SLR's don't have exposure mode based on the histogram. Surely
    somebody could work-out an algorithm for the processor to do it.

    Josef
     
    Josef, Apr 6, 2004
    #15
  16. Rowan Crowe

    John J Guest

    The camera strap has a viewfinder "blind" built in, it slips into the
    viewfinder to cover it up. Cheap and tacky but it works.
    JJ
     
    John J, Apr 6, 2004
    #16
  17. Rowan Crowe

    Rowan Crowe Guest

    I'm aware of that, but I find it really fiddly to put on in a fully
    lit room, let alone a moonlit night in the country! With the 300D you
    need to remove the rubber eyecup and then match up the rubbery sides
    of the blind to slide it down somehow - and to do this the strap needs
    to be twisted so it's upside down (I guess the strap is on the wrong
    way, although it matches the image in the manual)

    On my wife's Minolta 404si it was very simple - a hard piece of
    plastic which clipped straight into the inside edge of the rubber
    viewfinder frame.

    I wonder if I could get a simple rubber plug made up that just pushes
    straight in...
     
    Rowan Crowe, Apr 7, 2004
    #17
  18. Yes, the rubber 'blind' thing on the 300D is fiddly.

    What's the real problem? If stray light through the viewfinder is
    throwing off the automatic metering so your shots come out underexposed,
    use manual exposure. As long as the light isn't changing quickly,
    reading the meter then changing to manual with the same settings stops
    stray light changing the exposure settings.

    If your problem is stray light getting on to the sensor, you need to
    cover the viewfinder with anything handy. On a long exposure you won't
    be looking through it. You can probably get away with something simpler
    than the rubber gizmo, unless there is a lot of ambient light.

    HTH
    Michael
     
    Michael Strasser, Apr 7, 2004
    #18
  19. Rowan Crowe

    me Guest

    Why would stray light enter through the viewfinder and throw the meter
    setting off?

    The exposure should not change after you start the exposure as the
    mirror blocks off that stray light which enters through the eye piece.

    Its stopping the stray light which enters through the eye piece that
    will give a false reading - before the mirror is up - the meter is
    usually in the prism so light enters both directions.

    Stick you eye or hand over the hole to take a measurement.
     
    me, Apr 7, 2004
    #19
  20. Yes, of course.
    In other words:

    1. measure while looking through the eyepiece and remember the
    settings
    2. set manual exposure to the same ISO/aperture/shutter speed
    (+/- any compensation you want to use)
    3. take the long exposure

    and it should be OK.
     
    Michael Strasser, Apr 7, 2004
    #20
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