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Thread started 19 Feb 2015 (Thursday) 12:20
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Underexposing 5D3 - Is this normal behavior?

 
Choderboy
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Feb 20, 2015 16:56 |  #16

GeoKras1989 wrote in post #17440821 (external link)
I agree with those who feel this is a problem. I don't use M much, but I always use EC. M without it is a bit restrictive. How did they overlook that? All this in regard to auto-ISO, btw.

Also agree. It does seem like it was overlooked.


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mannetti21
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Feb 20, 2015 18:10 |  #17

GeoKras1989 wrote in post #17440821 (external link)
I agree with those who feel this is a problem. I don't use M much, but I always use EC. M without it is a bit restrictive. How did they overlook that? All this in regard to auto-ISO, btw.

Choderboy wrote in post #17441359 (external link)
Also agree. It does seem like it was overlooked.

I could be mistaken, but I believe you can use EC in M mode on the 1D bodies. Reserving certain features for a more expensive model is expected and understandable, but not when the inherent underexposure makes the feature necessary on the lesser camera bodies. I would be happier if the metering varied +/- 1/2 stop around the correct exposure, rather than always being a full top underexposed. At least that would require less exposure adjustments in post.

I guess it's a moot point until Canon (or maybe Magic Lantern) releases a software update that allows us to globally adjust the metering.



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Feb 20, 2015 18:42 |  #18

GeoKras1989 wrote in post #17440821 (external link)
I agree with those who feel this is a problem. I don't use M much, but I always use EC. M without it is a bit restrictive. How did they overlook that? All this in regard to auto-ISO, btw.

Auto ISO in M is somewhat of a conundrum to a certain extent....


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Feb 20, 2015 18:59 |  #19

Frodge wrote in post #17441486 (external link)
Auto ISO in M is somewhat of a conundrum to a certain extent....

If you take the name "Manual" literally, then yes absolutely. But in reality, it is the only mode that allows the user to determine the shutter speed and aperture to achieve a desired result while still taking advantage of the automation that modern DSLR's have to offer. The only time I've felt the need to go completely manual is when using strobes.



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sandpiper
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Feb 20, 2015 19:20 |  #20

Frodge wrote in post #17441486 (external link)
Auto ISO in M is somewhat of a conundrum to a certain extent....

Not really, there is an argument that auto ISO is more useful in M mode than in Av or Tv.

I know that "auto ISO in Manual" sounds wrong, but that is only if you think of it as being manual, and call it manual, because it clearly isn't manual, it is another auto mode. However, if you think of it as simply using the "M" slot on the dial to give you an auto mode which allows you to set aperture and shutter, with ISO floating, and forget about manual then it makes more sense.

In Av, you can set Aperture and ISO and let the camera adjust shutter speed

In Tv, you can set Shutter speed and ISO and let the camera adjust aperture

In Auto ISO in M, you can set aperture and shutter speed and let the camera adjust ISO.

All three have their uses and allow you to fix two sides of the exposure triangle with the third floating according to the meter. It makes sense to allow you to choose any two of the three sides to fix in place. Auto ISO in Av and Tv is of no interest to me, I don't want the camera deciding two parameters as it may not pick them the way I would want. I prefer to pick at least two myself. Normally, I need a specific aperture for DOF or a specific shutter speed for a certain amount of motion blur (panning, aircraft props etc.) In both cases, with only one element needing to be fixed, the ISO can also be fixed so long as I have enough shutter speed (when in Av) or enough DOF (when in Tv) I am happy for the values to alter.

If I am in variable lighting and both shutter and aperture are critical, then I want to fix both of them but still need some auto adjustments to keep up with the lighting. In that case I would use "auto ISO in M". This has only been something I have found useful when shooting stage productions at points where the action speeds up. I need maximum aperture, a shutter speed to freeze the action and the lowest ISO I can get away with in the low light. Using Av or Tv with fixed ISO means I have to set an ISO high enough to allow the other parameter to alter, bringing in auto ISO in those modes means it can alter two and I want to use the slowest safe shutter speed and max aperture all the time to keep ISO down. Yes, I can set a minimum shutter speed, but it may use a higher one when the lights are brighter and so use a higher ISO than necessary.

I used to feel that auto ISO in general was pointless, but having found myself using it for stage work I now think it does have it's place in the tool box. Even if it is something I will only use once in a blue moon, when I need it it is nice to have it.

BUT, I don't understand why three auto modes, P, Av and Tv, have EC available but the fourth one does not, it leaves the user with no control over exposure in that mode and that seems like a bad idea. I have no problem with meters tending towards slight underexposure, that is a safety feature to reduce blown out highlights on sunny days when in auto, and you can take that into account when setting your exposure. The problem is having a meter shifted that way and not providing a way to adjust exposure in one mode.




  
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GeoKras1989
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Feb 20, 2015 19:27 |  #21
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Frodge wrote in post #17441486 (external link)
Auto ISO in M is somewhat of a conundrum to a certain extent....

Well, yes it is. But the meter has to make some decision about exposure. In Program, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority, I get to tell the meter to give me a bit brighter/darker exposure. That simple, and quite photographically relevant, feature is not available in M mode. It should be. One of the nicest cameras I've ever owned - the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 had this ability. If I wanted a bit more exposure, I could back off my ASA setting 1/2 of a stop, and so on. Notice: That constitutes an adjustable meter on a camera that no AUTO ANYTHING. That camera is 40+ years old, is not only COMPLETELY MANUAL, with the exception of the meter, IT IS COMPLETELY MECHANICAL, and it was capable of this. Why isn't my 40 year newer, superwhizbang, computerized, fancy, $1,900 6D capable of this?


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Feb 20, 2015 19:35 |  #22

I agree that it's an oversight or something that canon reserved for more high end bodies. But if you're to use auto iso, M technically becomes another semi auto mode. If your picking shutter and aperture as a necessary value in M, then you really can just go in and dial the iso in seconds. Would it be better to have compensation, yeah, but yo can work around it.


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Feb 20, 2015 19:49 |  #23

Frodge wrote in post #17441546 (external link)
I agree that it's an oversight or something that canon reserved for more high end bodies. But if you're to use auto iso, M technically becomes another semi auto mode. If your picking shutter and aperture as a necessary value in M, then you really can just go in and dial the iso in seconds. Would it be better to have compensation, yeah, but yo can work around it.

But, in variable lighting situations, manual (which is what you are saying to use) is often not fast enough and completely unsuitable, there are times when you NEED an auto mode. When I shot the stage productions where I used "auto ISO in M" the stage lighting was altering very quickly at times, as different spotlights came on and went off. It could change by three stops in the time between deciding what exposure you need and setting the ISO to get it, simply because one bank of lights was turned on or off. With a fixed aperture and shutter, but using auto ISO, I was getting results between ISO 1,600 and 12,800 and often changing every few seconds. If I were to try and keep up with this my whole attention would be on trying to keep the exposure correct (and probably failing on many shots) rather than keeping my camera and eye trained on the performers and watching for good expressions and positions. In short, no, I couldn't work around it as the results would be crap and the theatre would not be happy with the results. I didn't even have chance to edit them before handing them over as they were shot during the dress rehearsal and they wanted them hanging in the foyer the next day, so they had to be got right in camera.




  
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Feb 20, 2015 19:57 |  #24

sandpiper wrote in post #17441576 (external link)
But, in variable lighting situations, manual (which is what you are saying to use) is often not fast enough and completely unsuitable, there are times when you NEED an auto mode. When I shot the stage productions where I used "auto ISO in M" the stage lighting was altering very quickly at times, as different spotlights came on and went off. It could change by three stops in the time between deciding what exposure you need and setting the ISO to get it, simply because one bank of lights was turned on or off. With a fixed aperture and shutter, but using auto ISO, I was getting results between ISO 1,600 and 12,800 and often changing every few seconds. If I were to try and keep up with this my whole attention would be on trying to keep the exposure correct (and probably failing on many shots) rather than keeping my camera and eye trained on the performers and watching for good expressions and positions. In short, no, I couldn't work around it as the results would be crap and the theatre would not be happy with the results. I didn't even have chance to edit them before handing them over as they were shot during the dress rehearsal and they wanted them hanging in the foyer the next day, so they had to be got right in camera.

Agreed. I would have just used av or tv in a situation like this given canons oversight.


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Feb 20, 2015 20:01 as a reply to  @ Frodge's post |  #25
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One last try. In Av, Tv, and P modes, which certainly are semi-auto, I can dial in EC if I want it. If I fix ISO in Manual mode, I can set the meter (using aperture and shutter speed) to +2/3 or -4/3 or whatever. M is certainly MANUAL. Why is that ONLY with AUTO-ISO do I lose the ability use any EC at all?

Try shooting ice hockey in manual mode with auto-iso. Or snow-skiing. Or a white wedding on a sunny day. IM-FIN-POSSIBLE! Why? Because auto-ISO always centers the meter, IF YOU ARE IN MANUAL MODE. It doesn't behave that way in any other mode. I am no pro sports shooter, but I know that a centered meter at an ice-hockey game is a recipe for disaster. You are correct, there are ways around this limitation. But if a 40 year old camera I can buy on e-bay for $15 can do it, why can't my $1900 6D?


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Feb 20, 2015 20:03 |  #26

As it is now, they should have simply removed the "Auto ISO" option while in Manual mode. This would have avoided the desire for automation and made the mode TRULY manual.

Does anybody have an idea if this is something that could be corrected on a software level? I have little hope of Canon including it in a new firmware, but again, the people at Magic Lantern have been able to do some amazing things.



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Feb 20, 2015 20:25 |  #27
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They do it right on the 1Dx. Exposure computation is ALL software. There is no other way to do it. Seems a firmware fix would be easy enough. Or just buy a 1Dx.


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Feb 20, 2015 20:27 |  #28

Frodge wrote in post #17441582 (external link)
Agreed. I would have just used av or tv in a situation like this given canons oversight.

But that would have meant potentially allowing shutter speed or aperture to adjust, outside of my control, and I didn't want that, Auto ISO in M was the best mode to use.

Fortunately, as stage work is shooting relatively well lit, bright, subjects against a darker overall background the camera will attempt to set an exposure to bring up the background and overexpose the actors. So the lack of EC wasn't an issue in those instances as I wanted about -2/3 exposure and my camera meter typically needs +2/3 EC, so they cancelled out and the meters natural -2/3 gave me pretty much spot on exposure, in fact very slightly bright on faces but not enough that it was an issue.

So far, stage work is the only use I have found for auto ISO in M, and because of the typical lighting conditions the camera exposes very well without EC. However, I see the issue that others may have, using it in more normal lighting.




  
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Feb 20, 2015 20:37 |  #29

GeoKras1989 wrote in post #17441605 (external link)
Exposure computation is ALL software.....Or just buy a 1Dx.

Stop it, I don't need any encouragement :-D

I just made a post on the Magic Lantern forum to raise this issue and ask for a fix. I used Sandpiper's stage work as an example scenario as that seems to perfect illustrate the shortcoming.



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Feb 21, 2015 09:18 |  #30

The reason it's not there in most of Canon's cameras is that they've never had any EC in manual mode before. Some manufacturers allow you to introduce EC in a truly manual mode too. In that case it works as a metering offset, so if you still aim to center the needle in manual mode, you'll get something else than standard exposure anyway.

But Canon cameras have for a long time used the rear dial for EC and the main dial for exposure, aperture etc. In manual mode the rear dial is reassigned to adjust the "other" thing, i.e. the aperture if you have exposure time on the main dial.
Now in M mode with Auto ISO, you suddenly need EC in manual mode too, but there's no dial available. The rear one is already occupied by the aperture, the main with the time setting. Thus it took Canon a long time to make up their mind about how they should deviate from the configuration they've had for years, in order to make EC possible in M mode.

They are very conservative at Canon. Sometimes to such an extent that they become stupid. The 1DX has a button labelled +/-, and it's used to invoke EC. But normally that implies that the function at the rear dial is moved to the main dial, since the rear dial already does EC. This behavior even stays in M mode, so that if you have time on the main dial and aperture on the rear dial, pressing +/- moves aperture to the main dial. Now one could think that once they finally did implement EC in M mode with Auto ISO on the 1DX, they would use the most logical button for this, i.e. the one marked +/- for exposure compensation. But no. Instead you have to give up whatever you have already assigned the SET button to do and put EC there. The +/- button still moves the rear dial setting up to the main dial, nothing else.
Or you have to go through the Q button. This is so utterly stupid that it by far beats not having any EC in M mode on most other cameras. It's a different thing on cameras like the 7D Mark II, where there is no +/- button. But the 1DX has it, so whyyyy not use it?


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Underexposing 5D3 - Is this normal behavior?
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