i am having trouble with my D40x. i have been reading a number of photo books that talk about getting a reading for the proposed shot and then adjusting either the fstop or shutter speed until the 'camera indicates the correct exposure'. how do you do that? how do i know what the D40x thinks is the best exposure? thanks.
#1. "RE: "camera indicates the correct exposure"" In response to Reply # 0
I think the books may be suggesting you use the exposure meter to attain the "correct" exposure. I'm not sure about he D40x but in the D50 there is a little green exposure meter reading viewable in the view finder that shows +/- 2 stops exposure. In manual mode when there are no little green lines illuminated either side of the centre position of this meter this is what the camera thinks is the "correct" exposure. However, if you then move your camera slightly in the scene (and depending on the metering mode you are using) this read out might indicate an over/under exposure. If you're using any other mode (P,S,A) then the camera will alter the aperture (in S mode), shutter speed (in A mode) or both (P mode) for you to attain the "correct" exposure. What the camera thinks is the correct exposure is basically what it thinks will allow the correct amount of light onto the sensor for the given scene. It may be mathematically correct but not neessarily the image you are after.
A note: in M mode be aware that there are many combinations of aperture and shutter speed that will give the "correct" exposure. From the quote you give I'm going to assume you're reading Bryan Patterson's "Understanding Exposure". He goes into a bit more detail on this. I thoroughly recommend re-reading the sections of this book that may not make sense first time round. It took me a few goes and now I'm (a bit more) comfortable shooting in M mode using the meter and choosing the "creatively correct exposure". Although I have to admit I still shoot in A or S mode (or P for general photos) and use exposure compensation when I'm too lazy to shoot in M mode
I hope this helps. I'm sure you'll get plenty more responses to help you that offer better explanations than this one!
#2. "RE: "camera indicates the correct exposure"" In response to Reply # 0
Hi Jordan, The books that you are refering to are assuming that you have your camera set to Manual mode. When in manual mode you can use the cameras light meter to indicate when you have the propper combination of: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed to capture an image. The combination of ISO, Aperture, & Shutter Speed should also be determined by the subject of the image. If you are shooting action you will want to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. If you are shooting a landscape you will want to use a small aperture (high f number eg. f/16 or f/22) to provide more DOF (Depth Of Field how much of the image will be in focus). If you are shooting in low light you will want to use high ISO (1600), if in bright light use low ISO (100 or 200). You can also set the D40X in one of the auto modes P (Program; camera sets aperture and shutter speed), S (Shutter priority; you pick shutter speed camera adjusts Aperture), A (Aperture priority; You pick Aperture (f-stop), the camera adjusts the shutter speed) or one of the Flexible Program modes (Icons; Set the dial to the icon that best suits your subject and the camera will set the shutter speed and apeture based on the best combination of aperture and shutter speed for that specific activity. eg. sports mode: fastest shutter speed possible for lighting conditions, ect.) Fill in your user profile and it will help us to help you. I hope this helps. Best Regards, Marty
#3. "RE: "camera indicates the correct exposure"" In response to Reply # 0
Ely, Cambridgeshire, GB
The camera doesn't actually pick the "correct" exposure it picks what the meter works out to be the optimum exposure for the scene. Only you know what is the "correct" exposure - it could be darker or lighter than the camera recommends; that is why we have manual over-ride.