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Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash

Danielrd

greenbelt, US
8 posts

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Danielrd Registered since 29th Jun 2012
Fri 31-Aug-12 01:58 AM

I continuously receive this error(subject is too dark; cannot adjust exposure. use the flash) and (lighting is poor; flash recommended) throughout the day an every single time at night. I even bring the issue forward to my professor and he don't understand why this error comes up. Do you think my D5100 is malfunction? Is there a way I can stop this from happening? I called Nikon directly an there feed back make no sense at all.
It seems like this camera can't be used at night without the error popping up recommending the use of flash. Appreciate the feedback sincerely.

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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
6163 posts

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#1. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Fri 31-Aug-12 02:47 AM

Human eyes often think there is more light than there really is.

What we need is a accurate description of the lighting conditions and the settings of the camera. Can you upload an example with the full EXIF data included?

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

aolander

Nevis, US
3635 posts

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#2. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 0

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006
Fri 31-Aug-12 02:51 AM

It's not an error. The camera is trying to be "helpful" in cases where lighting is poor, backlit, etc. What exposure modes are you using and which lens?

Alan

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dlhotka

Vancouver, CA
12 posts

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#3. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 0

dlhotka Registered since 23rd Jul 2012
Fri 31-Aug-12 03:36 AM

As Alan said, it's not an error message, but a warning. Your camera will still take the photos.

Just as a test I actually managed to even overexpose a shot while the message was showing (yeah I exaggerated every setting possible).

I think what it also might mean is that the subject has no lighter tones (don't cameras try to expose at 18% grey?) and so the camera literally can't see enough to decide how to expose the image.

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Critique welcome!

Danielrd

greenbelt, US
8 posts

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#4. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 1

Danielrd Registered since 29th Jun 2012
Sat 01-Sep-12 01:40 AM

sorry for the late response. this is the EXIF data from a picture i have on ViewNX 2. its a picture of a flower.
File Info 1
File: _DSC0138.NEF
Date Created: 8/29/2012 2:55:41 PM
Date Modified: 8/30/2012 5:21:24 PM
File Size: 14.2 MB
Image Size: L (4928 x 3264)

File Info 2
Date Shot: 8/29/2012 14:55:41.40
Time Zone and Date: UTC-5, DST:ON
Image Quality: Compressed RAW (14-bit)
Artist:
Copyright:
Image Comment:

Camera Info
Device: Nikon D5100
Lens: VR 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G
Focal Length: 46mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
AF-Area Mode: Auto
VR: OFF
AF Fine Tune:

Exposure
Aperture: F/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/160s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Center-Weighted
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100

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Danielrd

greenbelt, US
8 posts

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#5. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 2

Danielrd Registered since 29th Jun 2012
Sat 01-Sep-12 01:44 AM

the exposure currently used is the A(aperture). and sometimes P. I pretty new to dslr. P,S,A select automatically. I prefer manual mode but I was told its best to learn those P,S,A first and foremost. Then gradually move into manual mode. Did you guys start of dslr that same way? appreciate the response.

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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
6163 posts

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#6. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 4

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sat 01-Sep-12 03:42 AM

That is a good half. Can you save the pic as a jpg and upload it to your gallery so we can see what you are seeing?

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
6163 posts

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#7. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 5

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sat 01-Sep-12 03:50 AM

My first film SLR had only P, A, and M modes. Started in A, pretty much stayed there. I run my DSLRs in A mode 95% of the time, Manual mode for special needs. If I don't like what the camera is picking for a shutter speed, I usually set the EV compensation or use the AE-Lock, rarely going to manual mode. I don't recall ever using shutter-speed priority; have only "played" with Program mode.

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

Danielrd

greenbelt, US
8 posts

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#8. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 7

Danielrd Registered since 29th Jun 2012
Sat 01-Sep-12 05:26 AM

ok, i see... i don't quite understand the EV compensation and AE-Lock at the moment. reference manual it is. I see the AE-Lock it all the time on the camera but never understand its function. So the A mode is pretty much preferred more than others. I actually got a few pictures I can post so you guys can see of the A mode. I can't remember the link where the pictures need posting.

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Danielrd

greenbelt, US
8 posts

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#9. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 6

Danielrd Registered since 29th Jun 2012
Sat 01-Sep-12 07:27 AM

finally uploaded some pictures. some of the good ones. I'll post the bad ones in a few. Its in my gallery as requested.

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Danielrd

greenbelt, US
8 posts

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#10. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 3

Danielrd Registered since 29th Jun 2012
Sun 02-Sep-12 07:01 AM

i try taking pictures in the night time with A,P,S,M an its slow or sometimes don't snap at all. it always ask for the flash. i try adding more ISO but the same issue occurs.

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dlhotka

Vancouver, CA
12 posts

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#11. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 10

dlhotka Registered since 23rd Jul 2012
Sun 02-Sep-12 12:31 PM

The camera no letting you snap at all occurs by default when it can't get a focus lock. There is an option to turn that off in the custom settings menu, option a1.

Does the autofocus assist light turn on? It should come on by default to help the camera focus in low light conditions, you can check that it's custom setting a2.

I don't know what you are shooting but areas with contrast help the camera to focus better, so basically not a solid color wall.

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Critique welcome!

Canon_kev

UK
1 posts

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#12. "RE: Nikon D5100-Subject is to dark; cannot adjust exposure;Use the flash" | In response to Reply # 11

Canon_kev Registered since 29th Sep 2012
Sat 29-Sep-12 02:42 PM

Part of the problem maybe because you are using centre weighted average metering rather than matrix metering. Adjust your metering to matrix and that will help.

G