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Archive 2012 · 1DX Exposure Concern
  
 
Ben Amato
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p.1 #1 · 1DX Exposure Concern


My 1DX seems to underexpose much more than my Mk IV or III. It seems I need to apply +2/3 to 1 compensation for all indoor events. Then the shots are still underexposed when I edit. Never had this with either of my other cameras. I'm guessing that I have something turned on that shouldn't be. Any thoughts?

Ben



Oct 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · 1DX Exposure Concern


I haven't noticed this, and I often use the 1DX and 1DIV together. OTOH, I'm just beginning to figure out how I want to set it up - there are sooo many settings.


Oct 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Sheldon N
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p.1 #3 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Mine does seem to underexpose slightly in some situations, usually in order to protect highlights. In other scenes it seems spot on.

I haven't decided if I want to apply a global exposure compensation in the custom functions yet, but it is an option.



Oct 22, 2012 at 04:07 PM
bigrob
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p.1 #4 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Ben

Are you shooting with ISO set as Auto when this happens?



Oct 22, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Deborah Kolt
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p.1 #5 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Canon's cameras in general seem to underexpose a bit. I've noticed on my students' rebels, and XXDs and suspect it is a safety feature, so that the inexperienced photographers don't blow out the whites completely. It also used to be the case with the 1 Series cameras prior to the Mark III. My IDII and IIN were always set to +1/3 EC, otherwise it underexposed.

The III and IV exposed differently - they basically nailed it. The 1Dx has a puzzling AE system, in that it will often hit the exposure right on in difficult lighting situation, but under some conditions, it seems to have reverted to the more traditional Canon slight underexposure. One caveat: about the only time I'm using AE is when the sun is popping in and out of clouds and it is changing so rapidly I find myself paying more attention to switching settings than following the action. Mostly I use manual exposure, so my experience is somewhat limited.

Are you using Lightroom to process? Unlike earlier versions, in version 4, the Lightroom defaults upon importing no longer increase the brightness (exposure) by +25 or darken the blacks, so your files are more true to the camera's exposure.

I have a different concern about the rendition of the exposure on the 1Dx: the histogram is not WYSIWYG. I'm setting manual most often by using the histogram, and I find that it isn't as reliable as earlier versions. Since I've also noticed some issues with overexposure (such as metering for the face of players in helmets and blowing out other areas) possibly affecting the AF, I'm trying to get a handle on it. For example, with the earlier 1 series cameras, I knew exactly what level of "blinkies" the camera would tolerate to get the skin perfect. It's very different with the 1Dx. When I meter off the grass now I don't have to stop down 1/3 stop, so it's clear the meter is reading the scene differently.

Where this really is a problem is trying to use the histogram to set exposure in a backlit situation. I'm wasting time in post correcting things that would have been perfect with the Mark III and IV, so would really like to get a handle on what changes are driving the meter.



Oct 25, 2012 at 05:21 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #6 · 1DX Exposure Concern


I had +.07 (+2/3 stop) dialed in on my 1DX as the default.

I also have the same compensation dialed in on my Sony NEX 5n. I basically prefer to place the midtones more toward the right, then pull back a bit if necessary in post. Especially for fashion and portraits.

I rarely, if ever, do any real highlight recovery of any sort. I tend to shoot with a very wide, flat range (Marvel Cine, Saturation/Contrast/Sharpening all set to -3 on the Sony) and bump up contrast/saturation a bit in post, throwing away data there rather than in camera. All FWIW of course.

I have found the Canon auto exposure to be all-around excellent since my first Canon digital, the D10. I almost always trust the camera. That was not true of most cameras when shooting medium format film - I would carry a variable spot meter and do a series of readings using the"memory" function to analyze the scene (Sekonic 608 I think.)

Best,
Michael



Oct 25, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Monito
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p.1 #7 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Ben Amato wrote:
My 1DX seems to underexpose much more than my Mk IV or III. It seems I need to apply +2/3 to 1 compensation for all indoor events. Then the shots are still underexposed when I edit. Never had this with either of my other cameras. I'm guessing that I have something turned on that shouldn't be. Any thoughts?


There is no mention of metering mode in this post, so I think user operation may be an issue. Have you read the camera manual? Which metering mode was it in for the indoor events?

No mention of Raw converter either or of workflow. What is your workflow? You are shooting in Raw mode, right? What software? Have you tried using paid software (PS, LR) and compared to the free software from Canon (DPP)?

Another issue for indoor lighting is shooting at too fast a shutter speed which would be tempting with the 1D-X, shooting at higher ISO than other cameras. A lot of indoor lighting (except tungsten) pulses at 60 Hz or 120 Hz, leading to dark parts of the cycle. If the shutter speed is too fast you catch a dark part. You may also experience wonky colour balance. Does the colour balance vary from shot to shot (when not using AWB in Raw conversion)?



Oct 25, 2012 at 07:16 PM
mrfozibear
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p.1 #8 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Have you turned on the Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO) on the 1D X?



Oct 25, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Monito
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p.1 #9 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Deborah Kolt wrote:
overexposure (such as metering for the face of players in helmets and blowing out other areas)


Caucasian faces are about a stop above the meter middle gray (if those are like the faces you are metering). Normally that would depress tones everywhere. However, faces in helmets are effectively in shade, and so are darker than the light on surroundings, so that could easily cause blowouts in other areas.

How are you metering faces in helmets? Since you mention grass, would that be football? Do you get a spot meter reading from the face during the action? (Hard to do.) Or do you meter from zoom in very close to the face of a player on the sidelines?

Personally, I would tend to get a couple of overall meter readings depending on which direction I'm pointing (angle to the sun). Of course, changing clouds, field half in shade, and night lights that differ depending on field position are all complications.



Oct 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Deborah Kolt
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p.1 #10 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Football, lacrosse, baseball, etc. I meter the scene, then adjust the exposure so the faces look the way I want them to. I've done this long enough that normally I could eyeball it and adjust, checking my settings on the viewfinder and histogram. But I'm not finding the histogram particularly reliable on the 1dx, and the amount of variation differs under different lighting conditions. Since I shoot a lot of backlight and extreme lighting, it's been a challenge. A new body always means a new learning curve; in this case, what I see is not always what I get.

Someone mentioned ALO. That is an interesting factor. I've always turned it off, both on the Mark IV and on the 1Dx, precisely because when it first appeared, someone mentioned that using it means the histogram will not reflect the finished shot.



Oct 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM
 

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Monito
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p.1 #11 · 1DX Exposure Concern


You can't judge exposure by the faces looking good on the LCD, because ambient light around the LCD makes a huge difference.

The Histogram is reliable, but a face in a field makes a tiny contribution to the histogram. The histogram meters the overall scene.

Agreed that backlighting and extreme lighting are very challenging, even with a familiar camera.

If you make a setting on the camera that will affect a JPEG, like white balance (and of course the JPEG only settings like saturation and contrast), then it will affect the histogram but not the Raw. From reading the manual, ALO is one of those settings. It will affect the histogram, but not the Raw. It becomes a default that Canon DPP picks up and applies unless you turn it off, as far as I know. On the 1D-X ALO can be selected even in Manual mode, but not on some other cameras.

So turning it off makes a more "neutral" histogram.



Oct 26, 2012 at 12:34 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #12 · 1DX Exposure Concern


I'm all for a neutral histogram. OTOH, I don't feel that it's extremely important, nor do I feel that it's irrelevant. I guess I'm neutral...



Oct 26, 2012 at 12:39 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #13 · 1DX Exposure Concern


That's odd, I find my 1DX tends to overexpose my images more so than my other cameras, so I have to allow for that when I do metering. (I mostly do M exposure).


Edited on Oct 26, 2012 at 03:35 AM · View previous versions



Oct 26, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Deborah Kolt
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p.1 #14 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Peter, with a scene like that, manual is the only way to go. Lovely! I've seen both under and overexposing with the 1dx, but can't figure out the when and why of it. I keep praying for a nice overcast game where I'm not constantly fiddling with exposure.

Monito, I have no trouble judging the exposure of faces on the LCD, but I always use a Hoodman loupe, so ambient doesn't play any role. And after doing this year in and year out, until this model I could judge the overall scene from the histogram, zooming in it check faces when helmets and caps were involved.



Oct 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #15 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Hey Peter. Nice duck. Looks like he's at "hull speed".

Why is the tip of his bill OOF? Is this an as-yet undocumented fault with the lowly 1DX ?



Oct 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Monito
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p.1 #16 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Thanks for the explanations, Deborah. Makes much more sense now how you work.



Oct 26, 2012 at 01:34 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #17 · 1DX Exposure Concern


jcolwell wrote:
Hey Peter. Nice duck. Looks like he's at "hull speed".

Why is the tip of his bill OOF? Is this an as-yet undocumented fault with the lowly 1DX ?




Jim, that was shot with 1DX + 400 f/2.8 IS MkII + 2xTC MkIII wide open, i.e., 800mm f/5.6.

Very narrow DoF even at a distance, focused on the eye, not enough DoF to render the bill sharp too.



Oct 26, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Monito
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p.1 #18 · 1DX Exposure Concern


Ben Amato wrote:
Any thoughts?


It's been four (4) days since you posted-and-ghosted. Several people tried to help you and asked for more information from you to help you more. Any thoughts about that?



Oct 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Ed Peters
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p.1 #19 · 1DX Exposure Concern


My experience has been that over/under exposure concerns are almost always due to the type of exposure that is being used (not appropriate for the event) and/or what the camera is seeing as opposed to what the main subject is. Going into post processing to correct/modify exposure is one of the reasons for the post processing tools.


Oct 26, 2012 at 04:27 PM
gschlact
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p.1 #20 · 1DX Exposure Concern


I offer these ideas in the spirit of trying to help and provide you a lead for further investigation...

@Deb- under exposure Could be caused not by ALO but rather by HTP (highlight tone priority) which protects the highlights from over exposure. Please at least check that setting.

@PerKal- for you under exposure, it would be exact opposite fore you.

Realize that those two settings each respectively analyze the scene and depending on the amount of protection it deems necessary shifts the exposure. So if it deems it a non expanded dynamic range dispersion, it won't have to shift, and visa versa.

@deb and petkal
I would verify, but Assume you are using the same Exposure Mode as previous cameras. This would them leave an algorithms change in that mode from camera to camera that would force you to adjust your method of interpretation for you to the make proper adjustments, or consider an alternative AE mode. For example, I know the 1x now has the capability to spot AE on any AF point where as previous cameras only could spot AE in middle of frame despite using a different AF point. So, if you are using Evaluative metering, there might be algorithm change weighing your AF more or less than before in other cameras. Also, there might be additional settings for your AE mode to read on such as AF point weighting etc on the AE that is producing the change in behavior.

Last be not least, assuming lighting from clouds etc isn't changing, are you the able to meter off grass and properly lock exposure for consistency?

Let us know how you resolve.



Oct 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
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