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Histograms on compacts?

SosFM 8 85 1 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2010 1:04PM
Just a quick question - how many digital compact cameras come equipped with a histogram facility? Is it a common feature in compacts?

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User_Removed 10 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2010 1:20PM
I'm finding it on more and more. It's often part of a small collection of more advanced features like RAW and exposure compensation but just how extensive that set is seems to vary considerably. I was using one this morning that had a histogram feature but didn't have Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. It's worth doing some brand specific research as it seems to follow brand rather than price.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
3 Nov 2010 1:24PM
You'd be hard pressed to spend over a 100 and not get one - however, some are slightly' more accurate than others. I used one last week that no matter what I did to the camera's settings, the histogram didn't budge an inch.
User_Removed 10 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2010 2:04PM

Quote:I used one last week that no matter what I did to the camera's settings, the histogram didn't budge an inch.

Tsk, it was dirt on the sensor, silly Grin
SosFM 8 85 1 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2010 2:57PM
Thanks for that, thought it might be the case. My digi-compact is too old and does not have them. I am an DSLR user through and through so am used to them.
Just wanted to check my facts as the reason I am asking is for a micro teach for a Cert Ed course believe it or not.Wink
ray835 9 150 Wales
3 Nov 2010 6:45PM
tbh i havn't got a clue how to use the histogram just a load of squiggly bloomin lines to me?????
col.campbell 14 1.1k 4 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2010 8:17PM
Don't worry about it Ray. Just keep in the back of your mind that it's a chart showing how bright or dark your photo is. Of course you can tell that from looking at the picture! but this way's a little more scientific.

If it's all bunched up towards the left end of the scale, you're shot's dark, possibly too dark - bunched up on the right-hand side, maybe overexposed.

If the contents of the histogram appear to have run out of space at the left-hand side, known as clipping/ clipped, it's definitely underexposed and there are shadow areas which are going to simply appear pure black with no detail at all.

Likewise if the histogram is going over the right-hand side it's overexposed, also known as clipping, and there will be highlight areas which have 'blown out' and will appear as pure white, and no amount of correction on the computer is going to bring them back.

In these cases you should consider reshooting unless you did it deliberately.

I use it, instead of just looking at the shot, for two reasons:

1. The screen on the back of your camera is pretty basic; the histogram is there to provide you with information which will help if, for instance it's sunny and you're having trouble seeing the screen.

2. There's a technique called exposing to the right, which works when you shoot in RAW. You deliberately overexpose the shot when taking it, and correct it later; for mathematical reasons I won't go into (can't!) you get more out of your sensor this way. Thread about it here .

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