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EOS 500D exposure query

JN 13 7 England
25 Jun 2010 12:31PM
I finally got around to buying a DSLR. The EOS500D (with the standard 'kit' lens). Main reason for this was that my sister has a no. of good CANON lenses that I have access to. It also provided a way back in to photography without spending megabucks. Having acquired a HOYA PRO1 circular polariser I went out to take a few snaps around a local nature reserve, it was bright weather and i rather like the polarised enhancements to an image.
Disappointed or what! Images that looked O.K. to me in the viewfinder are washed out when viewed on the monitor or on the PC. So I read the manual. It doesn't seem to offer a solution other than to mention that light can get in around the eyepice and upset the exposure reading if you are not looking through the viewfinder. I'm using the standard eyecup and wonder if light is indeed getting through.
Before I go out with a tripod and start firing off shots through the viewfinder / then with the eyepiece cover in place / then with liveview (if I can get it to work) does anyone have any other suggestions.
Thinking back many years, I always thought my OM2 failed to produce as good a colour rendition as my earlier fuji ST801 and maybe that camera's smaller size contributed to a similar cause?
I want to resolve this as it was always my intention to get a better camera / lens once I'd got the hang of it, but sad to say, I'm slow in getting around all the options the camera offers and this problem isn't helping any.


Coleslaw 16 13.4k 28 Wales
25 Jun 2010 12:44PM
First of all, did you check the histogram on the camera when you took the photos?

Not sure of 550D. In my 5D2, the LCD screen is set to automatically changing the brightness by default. So, the photos might look ok on the LCD screen but in fact washed out. SO, check histogram, not just the photo on the screen. And also, you can set the LCD screen to not to automatically changing the brightness.
cambirder 17 7.2k England
25 Jun 2010 1:25PM
Sounds like over exposure, which is very easy to do an a sunny day (why where you using a tripod in bright conditions to take some snapshots?). What exposure and metering settings where you using?
Coleslaw 16 13.4k 28 Wales
25 Jun 2010 1:45PM
I thought the question is why it looks ok on the LCD screen on camera but washed out on monitor; not why it is washed out....GrinSmile
cambirder 17 7.2k England
25 Jun 2010 2:12PM

Quote:I thought the question is why it looks ok on the LCD screen on camera but washed out on monitor

Don't think so (s)he says they look OK through the viewfinder, and I assumed that monitor = the camera LCD, so some clarification required me thinks.

Quote:Images that looked O.K. to me in the viewfinder are washed out when viewed on the monitor or on the PC.
Coleslaw 16 13.4k 28 Wales
25 Jun 2010 2:24PM
hmmmm..... you could be right.
JN 13 7 England
25 Jun 2010 7:07PM
Please accept my apologies for placing my question in ambiguous English. It looked O.K. to me.
The scene I'm about to take looks O.K. through the viewfinder. Verdant greens and deep blues - everything you'd expect from a polorasied shot. The stored image, whether viewed on the LCD screen (camera) or Monitor (PC) is a pale washed out rendition of what I'd hoped to take, indeed when viewed on the camera I am getting the black flashing pixels indicating overexposure. I'm not sufficiently advanced to read the histogram properly (even at all) so it's not a lot of help to me at present.
I was not using a tripod at the time. My reference to tripod use was to take an identical picture with my eye to the eyepiece, then again with the viewfinder covered by the attachment on the strap. This I have done this afternoon, getting an identical exposure for both shots, these shots being taken when the sun was higher in the sky and light diffussed slightly due to some scudding cloud cover. Mostly I'm using the camera on auto. As for me, I'm more of a snapper than a photographer and appreciate that in my hands a 500.00 camera is likely to trump a 100.00 camera, though my PENTAX W60 which I take when I'm canoeing is currently producing much better shots in bright light.
When the CANON rep is back at John Lewis I'll have a word with her and see if I've messed something up. I hope that clarifies the issue a little and I hope someone is able to give some useful pointers. This weekend I'll mainly be coaching paddlesports but I'll take the camera anyway on the chance I'll get something.

Thanks again

JN (John)
photomole 10 9 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2010 11:02PM
Hi. I too have a 500D. If I've got it right, the only time you need to cover the eyepiece when taking a photo is if you are using Live View - then light does creep in via the viewfinder if you don't cover it up (I can never get the little cover on the strap to fit so I either don't use Live View or I cover with black electricians tape!!).

If images are not correctly exposed, could it be that the camera is unknowingly mis-set on the Av button - might be worth checking. Camera on; press the Av button; chech the black blob is under the 0. If all else fails, re-set up or down in stages until the image looks good. Have a play. I hope it works, 'cos I'm well impressed with my camera and hope that you will be soon.

strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2010 12:21AM
Sounds like you need to understand exposure compensation as it sounds like you are overexposing the image. Also it could be you are talking about low contrast situations. what about posting a few, it may well be you need t set the camera up differently. It does not sound like a camera fault.
JN 13 7 England
8 Aug 2010 7:32AM
I've been back to John Lewis with the camera and the 'expert' there played about with a few settings and the camera will now produce better images in the fully manual setting. I still need to check it throughout the other settings though - going away for a few days next week so this might be the opportunity to try them all out. Incidently, the W60 continues to perform better in terms of the finished 'snap' but is clearly not on a par in definition. I might borrow my sisters 350 and compare exposures side by side.
Also, I got a PDF of the camera manual which I've printed of in A4 size so that I can at least read it. Perhaps that will help. Never yet managed to post a photo on any PHB forum so more learnig to do.
I'm almost resigned to accepting I'm an analogue person in a digital world, the camera is not the only thing I have problems with - phones, GPS, MP3 etc.,

Thanks for correspondents help so far and maybe we will get to te bottom of this - eventually.
brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2010 7:32PM
Have you tried shooting in fully auto (green box) mode without the polariser on and not in direct bright sunlight? This will give you a clue as to the potential fo the camera at its most basic. Once you are happy that that give the results you want work your way through the different scene modes, then to Av mode when you can start playing with exposure settings and exposure compensation to control the light.

In the meantime have a look at some of the videos that are on the canon learning resources such as this

the step from a "Point & Shoot" compact to SLR can seem off-putting to start with but it is worth taking the time to learn how to get the best from your camera, it soon becomes instinctive
dEOSnnis70 11 19 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2010 12:50PM
Histograms are easy to use. Once you take any picture, call it up on the display and set it to show the histogram. Quite simply, you don't want the the graph running off the right side (indicating overexposure). If it is, then you re-take the picture after adjusting the exposure compensation and repeat until the graph is within limits.
On a different note, check if your polarizer is a circular type as the normal one's won't work well with modern meters, causing wrong exposures.

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