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Photography Question 
Gayle N. Torres

Purpose of Exposure Compensation on Digital Cams?

What is the use of exposure compensation in my digital camera? How do I use it?

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8/9/2003 3:43:45 AM

Michael Kaplan   Exposure compensation would be used when your cameras auto exposure system could be fooled which would cause the photo to come out too light or too dark. A good example of this is when you have a backlit subject like the sun behind a person, the person would come out too dark because the average exposure that your camera is seeing it too bright. you could then use exposure compensation to add 1.5-2 stops and your cameras exposures would be correct.

Same thing (but the opposite) if shooting a stage show where bright spots are on the performer but the background is black. You can force the camera to close down more to allow for this and not over expose the performer.

To understand a bit on how the camera exposure system works in really simplistic terms, the camera tries to adjust what it sees as if it was an 18% grey shade which is good exposure for skin and grass which are usual elements of a photograph. That is why if you try to shoot snow, it comes out grey instead of white. You need to change the exposure to compensate for this when you are not shooting an average scene.

If your camera has different metering types, you can use spot metering or center and try to meter off something that might be 'normal' like skin or grass and not off the brightest object in the picture. This is not something you would just adjust and leave for all pictures unless they were all shot under the exact same circumstances. This was designed to be used on a shot by shot basis. Also some cameras have exposure bracketing which will allow a 'normal' shot (or what the camera thinks is normal) and then 1 picture each a preset bracket like 1 stop. You would then have 3 pictures; 1 under exposed, 1 over exposed and one with normal exposure.

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8/9/2003 1:28:52 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2006

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12/19/2006 1:27:19 AM

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