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Manual exposure adjustment vs exposure compensation
Can anyone please explain to me the difference between adjusting the exposure manually (eg in M) and exposure compensation?.

And what does the camera do to adjust if one choose to use exposure compensation in M?.

Noticed on my photos that the F value, shutter speed and ISO despite having added exposure compensation in M..

Thanks for your help..

Comments (21)

You don't say what kind of camera you are using, but for the sake of my reply, I'll assume a DSRL..

Tibia wrote:.

Can anyone please explain to me the difference between adjusting theexposure manually (eg in M) and exposure compensation?.

There is none. In both cases you are taking control of the exposure..

And what does the camera do to adjust if one choose to use exposurecompensation in M?.

Nothing. You can't use EC in manual mode..

Noticed on my photos that the F value, shutter speed and ISO despitehaving added exposure compensation in M..

Thanks for your help.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #1

Manual mode means manually changing things and no automatic adjustments will be made. Hence the name "manual"..

The effect of EC is created in Manual mode by adjusting aperture or shutter to get the exposure indicator to move either above (+) or below (-) whatever the camera's meter is telling it is the correct 18% gray exposure for whatever the meter is seeing at the time it makes it's reading. You have to do the EC yourself manually..

EC in either Av or Tv mode adjusts the priority factor in exactly the same way as you would do it in M mode, so the effect is precisely the same..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #2

Aletheia wrote:.

Manual mode means manually changing things and no automaticadjustments will be made. Hence the name "manual"..

The effect of EC is created in Manual mode by adjusting aperture orshutter to get the exposure indicator to move either above (+) orbelow (-) whatever the camera's meter is telling it is the correct18% gray exposure for whatever the meter is seeing at the time itmakes it's reading. You have to do the EC yourself manually..

EC in either Av or Tv mode adjusts the priority factor in exactly thesame way as you would do it in M mode, so the effect is precisely thesame..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough..

Thanks..

So when I use M and set the values at F5.3, ISO 400 and 1/125 and then goes in and choose exposure compensation eg -1.0. Nothing happends unless I go in and change the aperature, shutterspeed or ISO manually?.

I thought that nothing would happend, but my camera does not seem to meter new values?.

Done some test shoots and nothing seems to happen although I change the exposure compensation. So it seems like that function isn't working in M despite being avaliable?.

After having a had play with the cameras, I have noticed that the metering suggestion does change with exposure compensation. So EC is just a tool to help me pick the right aperature, shutterspeed, or ISO depending on wheter I want to go +/- exposure?..

Comment #3

Let's try again..

There is no such thing as camera-managed exposure compensation in Manual..

In manual, you set the exposure by guessing and hten manually setting the shutter speed and aperture to match your guess; or by using an external meter and then manually transferring those settings to your camera; or using the built-in meter to set the shutter speed and aperture so that a moving needle or pointer or light is set against a marker point..

The "Compensate" for an exposure setting in manual that you do not like, you manually change the shutter speed or the aperture so that the pointer in the viewfinder is opposite a higher or lower exposure setting..

THE DIFFERENCE between EC and manual changing of exposure is this. If you set the camera manually, and then reframe your shot, the exposure will always remain as you set it. As you move the camera around, pointing at brioghter or darker subjects, the pointer will move, but theexposure will stay where you set it..

If you set EC, at, say, one stop overexposure, using some autoexposure mode (Tv, Av, P) and you move the camera around, pointed at lighter or darker subjects, the exposure setting of the camera will change, (it's set on Tv or Av or P) and the exposure will always be one stop over (because that is what is set on EC.).

BAK..

Comment #4

BAK wrote:.

Let's try again..

There is no such thing as camera-managed exposure compensation inManual..

That might be true for some cameras, but certainly not all. So, what camera do you have?..

Comment #5

Greg Nut wrote:.

BAK wrote:.

Let's try again..

There is no such thing as camera-managed exposure compensation inManual..

That might be true for some cameras, but certainly not all. So, whatcamera do you have?.

Nikon D40x, there is the option to choose EC in M, but the only thing that changes is the cameras metering as far as I can see. So I manually have to change my settings if I want to see some changes.Which makes sense to me. Or am I wrong?.

Thanks again for your help...

Comment #6

BAK wrote:.

Let's try again..

There is no such thing as camera-managed exposure compensation inManual..

In manual, you set the exposure by guessing and hten manually settingthe shutter speed and aperture to match your guess; or by using anexternal meter and then manually transferring those settings to yourcamera; or using the built-in meter to set the shutter speed andaperture so that a moving needle or pointer or light is set against amarker point..

The "Compensate" for an exposure setting in manual that you do notlike, you manually change the shutter speed or the aperture so thatthe pointer in the viewfinder is opposite a higher or lower exposuresetting..

THE DIFFERENCE between EC and manual changing of exposure is this. Ifyou set the camera manually, and then reframe your shot, the exposurewill always remain as you set it. As you move the camera around,pointing at brioghter or darker subjects, the pointer will move, buttheexposure will stay where you set it..

If you set EC, at, say, one stop overexposure, using someautoexposure mode (Tv, Av, P) and you move the camera around, pointedat lighter or darker subjects, the exposure setting of the camerawill change, (it's set on Tv or Av or P) and the exposure will alwaysbe one stop over (because that is what is set on EC.).

BAK.

Thanks. This is what I thought, and the reason why I got confused because of the EC option in M..

But it seems to me that using the EC in M on my camera just makes it alter the suggested exposure on metering..

Eg if I use F5.6, shutterspeed 1/60, ISO 400 which the meter suggests is ok, then I change the EC (eg) -1.0, the metering will suggest that above values will overexpose for the EC I wanted. So on the +/- line it will show me to make changes moving towrads the 0 from + side..

But if I just alter the EC in M, nothing happends to the exposure..

Summary, EC in M is just a tool for helping me finding the right values manually for the EC +/- I wanted?..

Comment #7

Tibia wrote:.

Summary, EC in M is just a tool for helping me finding the rightvalues manually for the EC +/- I wanted?.

More importantly, all metering in M is just a tool to help you set the aperture and shutter you choose. EC just alters what it tells you...

Comment #8

Tibia wrote:.

So when I use M and set the values at F5.3, ISO 400 and 1/125 andthen goes in and choose exposure compensation eg -1.0. Nothinghappends unless I go in and change the aperature, shutterspeed or ISOmanually?.

The camera tells you that it thinks you got your values 1 stop below what it measured. It's not an exposure compensation but an indicator of how far away are you from what the camera measured.The Manual mode is used only in two cases:- if you have constant lighting like in a studio.

- if you and the camera are in total disagreement about the exposure and the disagreement is more than the EC can handle (usually 2 stops above or below).

VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #9

The only difference may be that the tick marks on the exposure meter can mean either 0.5 EV or 0.33 EV, and you get to choose which, but the steps on the EV compensation are always 0.33. Otherwise when you dial in 0.33 EV in manual and the meter needle is in the centre that is identical to the meter needle being one tick mark off centre...

Comment #10

Exposure compensation is for use with A or S. I do not know myself if it works on M in my camera and can't imagine why anyone would use if it would work when they are purposely setting both aperture and shutter speed and ISO manually...

Comment #11

IMac, therefore iAm wrote:.

You don't say what kind of camera you are using, but for the sake ofmy reply, I'll assume a DSRL..

Tibia wrote:.

Can anyone please explain to me the difference between adjusting theexposure manually (eg in M) and exposure compensation?.

There is none. In both cases you are taking control of the exposure..

Not quite true. You are adjusting the exposure in different ways and, depending on what you choose for M settings, the results can be way different. If you use the camera's metering to tell you how the exposure compares to what the camera would have chosen, of course you can adjust by the same amount as you would use with exposure compensation, whcih I assume is what you meant..

Manual settings set an exact exposure. Exposure compensation uses the camera's metering and then adjusts the resulting exposure by the EC amount. Depending on how you use manual, they may not be the same thing, as I expect you would know..

And what does the camera do to adjust if one choose to use exposurecompensation in M?.

Nothing. You can't use EC in manual mode..

Noticed on my photos that the F value, shutter speed and ISO despitehaving added exposure compensation in M..

Thanks for your help.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #12

Aletheia wrote:.

Manual mode means manually changing things and no automaticadjustments will be made. Hence the name "manual"..

The effect of EC is created in Manual mode by adjusting aperture orshutter to get the exposure indicator to move either above (+) orbelow (-) whatever the camera's meter is telling it is the correct18% gray exposure for whatever the meter is seeing at the time itmakes it's reading. You have to do the EC yourself manually..

EC in either Av or Tv mode adjusts the priority factor in exactly thesame way as you would do it in M mode, so the effect is precisely thesame..

EC keeps the priority factor constant and changes the other factor by the EC amount. Eg, for Av mode, the f-stop value stays constant and the shutter speed is changed from the non-EC metering value by the amount of the EC chosen..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #13

Greg Nut wrote:.

BAK wrote:.

Let's try again..

There is no such thing as camera-managed exposure compensation inManual..

That might be true for some cameras, but certainly not all. So, whatcamera do you have?.

Not true. Manual means that the settings are locked in and can't be changed by the camera, regardless of any change you make to EC. If the camera can change f-stop, shutter speed or ISO, then it's not manual (with the possible excepton of whether auto ISO is implemented). Certainly cameras can't change f-stop or shutter speed values when in M mode, by definition. If you think they can, do you have an exmple or can you explain how that could happen?.

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #14

Greg Nut wrote:.

Tibia wrote:.

Summary, EC in M is just a tool for helping me finding the rightvalues manually for the EC +/- I wanted?.

More importantly, all metering in M is just a tool to help you setthe aperture and shutter.

And ISO.

You choose. EC just alters what it tellsyou..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #15

Baloo_buc wrote:.

Tibia wrote:.

So when I use M and set the values at F5.3, ISO 400 and 1/125 andthen goes in and choose exposure compensation eg -1.0. Nothinghappends unless I go in and change the aperature, shutterspeed or ISOmanually?.

The camera tells you that it thinks you got your values 1 stop belowwhat it measured. It's not an exposure compensation but an indicatorof how far away are you from what the camera measured.The Manual mode is used only in two cases:- if you have constant lighting like in a studio- if you and the camera are in total disagreement about the exposureand the disagreement is more than the EC can handle (usually 2 stopsabove or below)Victor.

Manual is for when you think it will be more convenient than using something else, but isn't limited to the two conditions Victor has suggested. For example, I routinely use manual to keep the exposure the same when shooting in constant lighting for my subject conditions, even though the background may change and change auto metering. I also often use manual settings when shooting with flash, although to be fair, I'm usually letting flash metering determine the flash exposure to use, so it's not entirely manual..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #16

Wmsson wrote:.

Exposure compensation is for use with A or S. I do not know myself ifit works on M in my camera and can't imagine why anyone would use ifit would work when they are purposely setting both aperture andshutter speed and ISO manually..

The camera is still metering even in M mode. It's just that in M mode, the camera doesn't use the metering information to set exposure as it can't change exposure. It can be handy to compare the camera's metering with the exposure that would result from the manual settings you've chosen, as discussed elsewhere in this thread..

If you set EC to say -1 in M mode, the camera knows you want to meter for a lesser exposure than a non-compensated exposure. If your manual settings would result in an exposure that's higher than the metered value as adjusted by the EC value being used, then the camera will indicate that you are overexposing..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #17

John down under wrote:.

Greg Nut wrote:.

BAK wrote:.

Let's try again..

There is no such thing as camera-managed exposure compensation inManual..

That might be true for some cameras, but certainly not all. So, whatcamera do you have?.

Not true. Manual means that the settings are locked in and can't bechanged by the camera, regardless of any change you make to EC. Ifthe camera can change f-stop, shutter speed or ISO, then it's notmanual (with the possible excepton of whether auto ISO isimplemented). Certainly cameras can't change f-stop or shutter speedvalues when in M mode, by definition. If you think they can, do youhave an exmple or can you explain how that could happen?.

In manual, EC changes what the camera tells you. No, it doesn't change the aperture or shutter you set, but it changes the cameras metering. Most cameras do meter in manual..

Here's exactly where you might use EC in manual. You're shooting a stitched-together panorama, so you don't want the exposure to vary between frames. You don't like the camera's idea of correct exposure (pretty common with Nikons), so you use EC. You use the camera's meter, with EC, to set the aperture and shutter based on the central frame, or whichever you think the metering should be based on. Then, you shoot all the frames without changing aperture or shutter..

Not a real common scenario, but not unheard-of either...

Comment #18

I think that with some cameras, changing the EC while in Manual Mode, changes the zero point for the meter..

Here's a post I wrote from an earlier thread where this same issue came up - contains link to info source..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26186734.

And where I re-worded part of what I saidhttp://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26187193.

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #19

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #20

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