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EvanWasHere

Outdoor shooting is bright in viewfinder, dark in actual RAW

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Having a really weird issue with my a7RIII.  Did 2 shoots in bright sunlight.  Shot f2.8, ISO 50.  Both shoots came out reallllly dark.  But when I was shooting it, it looked bright as hell in my viewfinder (both LCDs).    I moved my shutter speed to 1/6500 as that was the perfect lighting in the viewfinder.   If I went to a faster shutter, it was too dark.  Too slow, and it showed me too bright.  So the camera was showing me that at F/2.8, ISO 50, and 1/6500th was the perfect setting for the shots.

 

But when I imported the pics, they are dark as hell.  I tried in bridge, Captureone, and lightroom.    I can recover by using shadow and brightness in Captureone, but it's not always perfect.

 

If I put the memory card back in the camera and review the same pics right now on the camera, it shows it bright as day.

 

I checked my viewfinder brightness and it is set to default middle.  And there was nothing in the hotshoe of the camera.  I don't know what setting must be off to cause this. 

 

Anyone have any suggestions?

 

8-12-18 Anna in South Beach 0001 1.jpg

Edited by EvanWasHere
Fixed pic

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20 minutes ago, LiveShots said:

Is LiveView turned on or off ?

Were you in Manual mode or A, P, S etc. ?

What metering mode ?

Live view on

Manual (always and only)

Unsure about metering.  I can check in a few hours as I dont have the camera on me.

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The top of the models chest looks almost correct for exposure, if I were to guess I’d say it was spot metering. 

Do you have the histogram on in the viewfinder? That should help to gauge the exposure, then perhaps adjust the brightness of the viewfinder to match what the histogram is showing. 

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32 minutes ago, LiveShots said:

The top of the models chest looks almost correct for exposure, if I were to guess I’d say it was spot metering. 

Do you have the histogram on in the viewfinder? That should help to gauge the exposure, then perhaps adjust the brightness of the viewfinder to match what the histogram is showing. 

Just checked.  Spot is set to multi.

And no, I don't use a histogram when shooting.  I expect the shot is supposed to match what I see in the viewfinder.

Sony Pro support is suggesting I try turning off DRO (the default is set to auto).  I will test out some shots tomorrow durng the day.

 

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1 hour ago, Paul B Felix said:

I'm confused about DRO.  Does this impact raw?

Yes it does, just try it!  The different levels of DRO can be set when shooting raw, as well as switching it off completely. Mine is always set to max, i.e level 5. And I only shoot raw. 

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If in bright sunlight, at ISO 50 at F2.8 using the sunny 16 rule would meter at 1/1600sec at F2.8 if my evaluation is correct. if so, you were underexposing by about 2 stops. 

Sunny 16 rule in bright sunlight: shutter speed at F16 should be 1/ISO 

1/50 sec at F16

1/100 sec at F11

1/200 sec at F8

1/400 sec at F5.6

1/800 sec at F4

1/1600 sec at F2.8

 

Is your exposure correction set to -2 ? (likely if my above calculation is right) and easy to change by accident without noticing on the camera.

If not, then your meter was maybe fooled by the bright sky and water on the left causing the underexposure. Meters often get fooled in such bright conditions.

 

Check your EXIF for such correction.We can not see the EXIF on the pic you posted.

 

What you see in the finder is a processed jpg so the pictures there are corrected in camera without your intervention. DRO Auto is probably what is giving you this result in the finder, correcting for the underexposure. DRO should only work on jpg but jpg is what you are seeing in the finder.

Edited by michelb

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4 hours ago, michelb said:

If in bright sunlight, at ISO 50 at F2.8 using the sunny 16 rule would meter at 1/1600sec at F2.8 if my evaluation is correct. if so, you were underexposing by about 2 stops. 

Sunny 16 rule in bright sunlight: shutter speed at F16 should be 1/ISO 

1/50 sec at F16

1/100 sec at F11

1/200 sec at F8

1/400 sec at F5.6

1/800 sec at F4

1/1600 sec at F2.8

 

Is your exposure correction set to -2 ? (likely if my above calculation is right) and easy to change by accident without noticing on the camera.

If not, then your meter was maybe fooled by the bright sky and water on the left causing the underexposure. Meters often get fooled in such bright conditions.

 

Check your EXIF for such correction.We can not see the EXIF on the pic you posted.

 

What you see in the finder is a processed jpg so the pictures there are corrected in camera without your intervention. DRO Auto is probably what is giving you this result in the finder, correcting for the underexposure. DRO should only work on jpg but jpg is what you are seeing in the finder.

 

 

I just went up on my roof and tested.

When I turned DRO when on a fast shutterspeed, the LCD went darker, showing me the true result of that speed.

It's def noticable in extremely well lit areas with light reflecting back at you.  

So I am going to keep DRO off as I never use JPG from the camera anyways.

But I don't think that is my only issue.

I've uploaded two RAW files here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bMB8xTaHiiPibWZQMWDpOY25qgO5iVrD

Body Suit on Roof 400th_f5_ISO100.ARW was taken on my roof @ 1/400th, f/5, ISO 100.  It was on a VERY VERY bright day.  But look how dark she looks.

Bikini at Beach 2500th_f2_8_ISO64.ARW was taken at the beach @ 1/2500th, f2.8, ISO 64.  Again, on a VERY VERY bright day.  But her face and the backdrop is full of shadow.

Those settings are pretty close to the rules you post above.

And no, exposure settings are at 0.  I check everytime I start a shoot as I am always worried that the ring got turned while traveling.

Thanks again for any help you can offer.

 

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It looks fine on my computer, using ON1 Raw. Its possible that your software is not processing the DRO exposure information correctly, and rendering the image too dark.

Can also try using center metering (not spot) and Exposure Lock ... or ... Multi metering and a little bit of +ve exposure comp to get more shadow details.

 

 

Untitled.jpeg

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In Adobe Bridge and Capture One, it is much darker.  What you see on your screen is still a bit darker then what I saw on my camera LCD, but that could be from the DRO setting.

What about the body suit shot?

test-min.png

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not as dark as what you have shown, but still about 1 stop underexposed. Its possible that there is a setting in C1 ... I recall this being a problem a few years back ... but I have DRO set to OFF (probably because it did not work!?!). No idea, sorry, C1 user forums might have some hints.

 

IMHO either meter of the subject or use multi metering and apply a little exposure comp (the latter is probably easier).

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This is how the darker picture shows up when imported in lightroom cc classic (latest version) I don't see much wrong with it. No pp done by me at all.  The histogram is just fine.  The beach picture was fine after lifting the shadows slightly, to bring out the details in het hair.  It just shows you how different programmes give different results. 

body suit on roof.jpg

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18 hours ago, Paul B Felix said:

@Lescatalpas I'll do some experimenting.  Thanks for the info.  I was incorrectly assuming DRO would only impact jpg.

I think what happens is that the camera applies a different conversion from raw to jpeg by switching  DRO on or off.  In fact, all we see is jpeg, as far as I know raw cannot be viewed. Attached you see a screenprint from the Sony viewer, looking at 2 shots on the card in the camera. The left shot is with DRO off, the right DRO lv5.  All other settings are the same. You see this same effect through the view finder and the screen. However, as soon as I import both raw files into lightroom (and lightroom converts them to a viewable format, not the camera) the difference in dynamic range is hardly noticeable. However, the DRO lv5 file has more LR possibilities to recover the shadows. So, is the camera doing something to the raw files when altering DRO settings, or is the camera doing something in the conversion process depending on the DRO setting?  I guess I should have said that DRO settings are available when shooting RAW, not that it effects the RAW file, because that I am not sure of. 

DROtest.jpg

Edited by Lescatalpas

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Very interesting. I’ll do a similar test using C1 this weekend.  Can’t say I understand how setting dro to 5 increases a raw file’s ability to be manipulated in LR. If this is the case then I assume the raw file is impacted when dro is enabled. 

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5 minutes ago, Paul B Felix said:

Very interesting. I’ll do a similar test using C1 this weekend.  Can’t say I understand how setting dro to 5 increases a raw file’s ability to be manipulated in LR. If this is the case then I assume the raw file is impacted when dro is enabled. 

I agree, and the differences in the dro lv5 file are minimal. So it is perhaps a slight change in light between the 2 pictures.  I can't see the raw file being manipulated by the dro either.  What I have learned from this conversation and the tests I did, is that the DRO setting definitely effects what you are seeing on the camera (and perhaps being misled by it!) but not much difference on importing into LR, if any. 

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I don't know the specifics about how DRO works so this may be completely wrong, but is it possible that the sensor's sensitivity is being changed on a photosensor by photosensor basis by the DRO setting.  For example, if the camera evaluates the overall image and finds that the range is beyond what the camera can handle, would the camera increase/decrease the effective iso on particular photosensor?  If that is what is going on, then I'd expect the raw file to look very different when capturing a high dynamic range image such as your example assuming the window is very bright.

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3 minutes ago, Paul B Felix said:

I don't know the specifics about how DRO works so this may be completely wrong, but is it possible that the sensor's sensitivity is being changed on a photosensor by photosensor basis by the DRO setting.  For example, if the camera evaluates the overall image and finds that the range is beyond what the camera can handle, would the camera increase/decrease the effective iso on particular photosensor?  If that is what is going on, then I'd expect the raw file to look very different when capturing a high dynamic range image such as your example assuming the window is very bright.

Maybe so. But we don't see the raw file, we see a conversion, a conversion done by the camera is shown on the screen and viewfinder, and apparently we see a different conversion by LR, C1 or any other program. It's confusing.

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35 minutes ago, Paul B Felix said:

 

More or less correct: http://docs.esupport.sony.com/dvimag/ILCE6000_guide/en/contents/TP0000314498.html

Quote

By dividing the image into small areas, the product analyzes the contrast of light and shadow between the subject and the background, and creates an image with the optimal brightness and gradation.

So each part of the image has its own exposure, which the RAW converter would need to understand if it would want to be successful. Apparently C1 (still) does not support that.

It seems like a useful setting.

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https://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA100/AA100DRO.HTM

This article talks about DRO for an A100.  

Quote

...evaluates the contrast and brightness of each image, and adjusts the tone curve used to map the raw sensor data to the final brightness values in the JPEG images

So, I guess the raw sensor data is not impacted, but the tone curve is used to convert the image.  If this is the case, then we should be able to do the same thing by using adjusting the highlights and shadows in C1.  But, I'll test this.

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https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/80115/what-exactly-does-dro-do-and-how-does-it-work

Another good bit of info..

Quote

DRO is one of the few settings which indirectly impacts RAW files. While its designed as processing, which normally effects JPEG and TIFF files only, the camera adjusts exposure to have more dynamic range available for the mapping, often reducing exposure to get more details in highlights. If you shoot RAW and Manual mode though, DRO will have no effect.

This could very well explain why the images in this thread seem underexposed.  However, the above pics were taken in Manual mode.  It might be possible that the evf is adjusting for DRO while the raw file was not being adjusted.  Just a guess.

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5 hours ago, Lescatalpas said:

This is how the darker picture shows up when imported in lightroom cc classic (latest version) I don't see much wrong with it. No pp done by me at all.  The histogram is just fine.  The beach picture was fine after lifting the shadows slightly, to bring out the details in het hair.  It just shows you how different programmes give different results. 

body suit on roof.jpg

3

I'm a bit confused.  I checked and have the newest versions of Lightroom, Bridge, and Capture One.  

When I import the photo into Lightroom like you did, I do not see the above result.  I see the dark shot.  I have attached the view I see in all the programs along with a quick edit I did to show what I saw in camera.

Test-min.jpg

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