View Full Version : D30 Underexposure Problem
23rd of November 2001 (Fri), 02:07
I got my D30 10/30/01 and after 2 days of test shots concluded that my flash shots were consistently underexposed and the camera did not communicate with the 550EX flash. I took it in for calibration at the Canon Service Center in Irvine, CA on 11/01/01.
I got the camera back on 11/12/01. They replaced the shutter assembly and adjusted the flash level and flash gain. They also upgraded the firmware to version 22.214.171.124.
I took over 90 pictures today and tonight at a Thanksgiving party. Most of the pictures were coming out too dark when checked on the LCD screen- flash or natural light. I had to apply a compensation of 1 -2 fstops.
Looks like I need to send it back in for more adjustments. At this point, I am thinking of asking for a new body based on some of the postings on this board.
I am so disappointed so far with my D30. I was getting more consistent shots with my old Kodak DC-265 digital P&S camera.
My question is- does this problem qualify for a replacement body and if so, who should I ask for a replacement body? Do I ask the guy at the Service Center in Irvine? How soon do they give you the replacement?
23rd of November 2001 (Fri), 06:54
although not a direct answer to your "whom should you return to" question...
it would help to know what kind of lens you are using, what iso speed, etc...i've noticed that although the metering looks right...from time to time you will not get the shot...i started out with a 550ex and 28-135 is usm...but now use the 550 ex and the 28-70L...
i'm a little confused that you were making judgements on your exposures based on the lcd screen (you know...tilt it in one direction and it looks better) did you look at the histograms when you click on the info button? it'll give you a much better idea of just how bright/dark the picture is...you really do need to see the pictures on your computer to know what you've got...remember that the canon will almost always be a bit darker (we all seem to believe that this is on purpose because it's a lot easier to recover highlights when they're too dark)
in the first few days i owned my D-30 i experienced all assortment of problems (user induced) fuzzy shots, over/underexposed, etc...it sounds silly...but after re-reading the manual and becoming a member of this forum (which i'm sure all would agree helps us newbies GREATLY) i read an excellent article about how the D-30 meters light, etc... (you can find the article in the techincal info page at don cohen's site www.dlcphotography.net) once i understood this better, i learned to make sure i wasn't watching the numbers (speed/f) based on what i was focused on (remember the area used to set the exposure in center weighted mode is just that...and if you have a dark object in the center you will most CERTAINLY have an over exposed picture, if you have a light object in the center, under exposed)
it's hard coming from consumer style point and shoot cameras (which are almost always over-sharpened right out of the camera) and realizing you have to learn a little more about shooting...after using my olympus E-10 for over a year...i thought i could make that transition without difficulty...i was WAY wrong...it took me two weeks of constant tinkering and shooting to even understand the way the D-30 works...i have to admit i was a little startled by the softness of the images at first (so i initially set the D-30 up for maximum sharpening) as time went by (and much more experimenting) i realized that you didn't really need the extra sharpening (if you were using raw mode) although i still use maximum sharpening when shooting candid jpegs (ala family parties or just casual shooting)...and that way i don't have to sort through, download and sharpening them in raw mode...
although i took a lot of time and effort learning how...some days, the d-30 is NOT a point and shoot affair...once you learn better how the exposure works you'll be able to use it as a point and shoot...but for me...the first few weeks was constant agonizing about the shots and tinkering in photoshop...
i know it's pretty hard to trust the camera now that you suspected a problem and it was confirmed...i suggest you take a little more time with it and see what results you get if you are a little more careful with your metering...i have a feeling you'll get the hang of it!
but i'd say...with some further testing...if everything you shoot still looks wrong...see if you can get another...the d-30 is not as simple as a point and shoot...but...it shouldn't be this hard, either...
23rd of November 2001 (Fri), 12:32
Hi, Bob. Thanks for the quick reply.
To answer your question, I used a 28-70mm lens at ISO 400. I confirmed that the pictures I took that looked dark on the LCD screen really were dark after uploading them to the PC. I have a 70-200mm lens but haven't used it much on the D30 yet.
I even used my Sekonic L-508 light meter to get the exposure outside the house and it came out dark. This is my 4th Canon camera starting with the A1, A2E, EOS 3 and then the D30. I do some portrait shots with studio lighting equipment at home and I pretty much trust the readings on the light meter. I also use a Mamiya RZ67 PRO II camera at home and the results from using the light meter are accurate.
Another thing I noticed is that the flash shots with the 550EX may sometimes produce good results when shooting with the 28-70 at wider angles. As soon as I zoom into the face, the shot is underexposed by as much as 2 fstops. Even a subject that wears an all-black shirt comes out underexposed instead of the being overexposed.
I will try a few more shots this morning. I do have a strong suspicion that the first calibration done at Canon was not up to specs.
So going back to my original question: how do I get the camera body replaced? Do I just go to the Service Center in Irvine and ask for a replacement body?
23rd of November 2001 (Fri), 14:39
after reading your response about your equipment, etc...it sounds like you have genuine problem...i haven't experienced those abberations at all (overexposed has been my problem when there is one...i'm actually most alarmed by the fact that you can set your exposure on a dark subject and still get it underexposed...i'm not an expert but that sounds like a problem to me) and given the fact that canon allegedly repaired the camera...and you are STILL having problems...i think that warrants a new body...
as far as HOW to get canon to go along with your wishes (their customer service isn't specatular) i'm going to join you and query anybody else out here who has had a problem with their canon equipment...you shouldn't have to pay $2000 plus for a camera and have it not work as expected...especially when they've already fixed it once!
24th of November 2001 (Sat), 01:36
After re-reading Bob's first email, I did a few more tests today on my D30. The conclusion is: the camera works perfectly.
I can't explain the underexposures shooting outdoors and shooting a subject with a black shirt with the 550EX as well as the internal flash. Must have used the wrong settings as the D30 was pretty new then.
Today, I metered outdoors using my Sekonic L-508 and used the camera in manual mode. The shots were exposed correctly. I verified that the camera had the same exposure settings as the light meter.
I then took some shots with the 550EX and the pictures came out very good. But this time I used FEL to get the correct exposure. Without using FEL, I got some overexposures.
After that I set up one studio flash in the living room and took some shots based on readings from the light meter. The pictures came out evenly with uniform exposure for all the shots.
Looks like Canon did a great job bringing my D30 back to factory specs. A lot of the problems I encountered after the repair were due to user error.
Thank you, Bob. It was your email that made me realize the mistakes I made. I am learning a lot about the D30 and digital photography from this forum in spite of the fact that I have been taking digital pictures and using Photoshop for over 3 years now.
24th of November 2001 (Sat), 12:29
Change the cameras metering mode to "center weighted averaging" shoot some shots this way.
This change is a requirement as far as I'm concerned.
24th of November 2001 (Sat), 17:53
Be sure that when you take pictures with your studio lights, that you are only sending a maximum of 6 volts to the flash sync. Most studio lights send more than 6 volts.
I do a lot of studio work with my camera and did not have any problems until recently. I currently have my D30 sent back for repair due to the fact I didn't know about the 6 volt situation until it was too late.
24th of November 2001 (Sat), 19:19
thanks for the compliment...glad i could help...i did mean to mention using fel to help with the problem (i forgot to add it to the original post)
i feel the same way about this forum...as a non-pro it has been an essential resource for info about equipment and techniques...i am still amazed on a daily basis of the absolute beauty, color and sharpness the D-30 is capable of...and i was so worried about giving up that 4 megapixel olympus E-10! those pictures look so poor to me now...
enjoy your D-30...
24th of November 2001 (Sat), 21:46
Thanks for the replies.
Frank, I use White Lightning studio lights. Do you know if these lights send the maximum six volts to the camera?
25th of November 2001 (Sun), 09:45
Don't use your D30 with your lights until you check with White Lightning. Also read a few threads down "Sudio Lighting Problems".
I've heard people say "well I've used my lights with no problem , but today my camera got fried" . Be careful don't let it happen to you.
25th of November 2001 (Sun), 10:26
I don't know, but it would be a good idea to check with White Lightning before you took anymore pictures.
I have probably taken 400-500 pictures using my D30 and my Novatron studio lights with no problem. This is before I heard about the voltage situation. Also if you will look in your manual there is nothing that talks about this problem.
Once I started having problems, I researched the web and found out after it was too late. Hopefully I will get my camera back soon.
25th of November 2001 (Sun), 13:46
Thanks. I will call White Lightning and find out what voltage is sent back to the camera.
25th of November 2001 (Sun), 22:36
Did you look into having your Novatron Pack set up so it won't put out more than 6 volts? How bad was your camera damaged? Is Canon taking care of it under warranty?
I just found out last Friday that you better not use a flash in the hot shoe, except Canon, without checking for 6 volt or less trigger voltage.
26th of November 2001 (Mon), 05:55
No, I never contacted Novatron. My plans are to use the surge protector or a remote slave unit. Another photographer friend of mine has been using the remote slave unit for about a year with no problems.
Yes, the camera is being covered under warranty. Hopefully I will get it back this week.
Sorry to hear that you are having troubles too.
Have a great week.
26th of November 2001 (Mon), 22:42
This is what I got from Rob at White Lightning re: voltage output to synch connection.
The old White Lightning units were 24v
The Ultra 600,,,,1200,,,,and 1800 were 9.5v
All the Ultra Zap 800,,,1600,,,2400,,,and 3200 are less than 6v.
I am in good shape as my units are the newer Ultra Zap 800 and 1600 units.
Hope this helps others who have White Lightning strobes.
27th of November 2001 (Tue), 04:52
Glad to hear about your good news.
27th of November 2001 (Tue), 21:22
You mentioned "setting up the D30 for maximum sharpness." How do you do that? I see no sharpness settings anywhere in the manual or on the camera.
Thanx in advance,
28th of November 2001 (Wed), 01:03
you'll need to read your manual to do this one if you haven't done it before...you have to connect the camera via the usb connection and set it up from the image browser application (look under the heading "canon camera and then look under "settings"...it allows you to store up to three sets where you may adjust the saturation, sharpness and contrast...
hope this helps...i'd go into detail but the description in the manual is actually very lucid...it's very useful if you're just shooting candid jpegs, etc...or if you don't want to tinker in photoshop...
28th of November 2001 (Wed), 06:39
I got my camera back yesterday and it appears that everything is working great. I had also sent in my battery grip for adjustment and it is working great too.
Now that I have learned the hard way, I will at least get a surge protector or maybe go ahead and get a remote.
Oh, by the way, they didn't explain what the problem was on the ticket. All they said was that it had been fixed and was recalibrated to factory specs.
Thanks for your help.
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