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Does D700 Overexpose?

SoCalMan

Bonsall, US
342 posts

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SoCalMan Registered since 27th Jun 2006
Tue 16-Jun-09 05:42 PM

First of all, I am aware of the various threads commenting on the D700’s propensity to “over-expose”. On my first exposures with my new D700, I immediately noticed that most appeared noticeably more exposed than similar scenes with my D70, D200s and D300s. Therefore, I embarked on a carefully controlled test. I made several hundred bracketed exposures with a D300 side-by-side with the D700, shooting RAW + JPG fine and Matrix metering, under various conditions. All other variables were made the same. Here are my results:

The D700 exposes consistently about 0.5EV to the right of the D300. In effect, the D700 uses much of the headroom available in typical pictures. Adobe CS3 and NX2 can usually cope with the D700 exposure, but there is little leeway left. With default settings, any overexposure, or any excessive contrast, can lead to at least one blown channel.

Please note. There are clear differences in the RAW interpretation of various converters (NX2 is generally better), but the D700 is clearly exposing more fully than the D300. The basic issue is camera, not software.

I believe Nikon chose this policy to maximize the noise figures for the camera by imposing a rather strict ETTR regimen. The D300 may have been conservatively programmed, but the D700 is definitely aggressive in Matrix mode. Thus, the D700 exposures are “correct”, but aggressive.

Also, it is hard to know exactly, but the D700 Matrix program seems to weight the focus point even more fully than on the D300. Thus, if your focus point is relatively dark, you are more likely to get blown highlights.

To cope with this, I have set the D700 to -0.5EV constant exposure compensation. The shadow noise performance of this camera is nothing short of spectacular; ISO 1600 pictures are essentially noise free. Thus, I can largely avoid blown highlights (which cannot be recovered), at the expense of slightly more shadow noise (which is low to start with, and can be ameliorated with noise processing). This gives an effective dynamic range I have not seen in other cameras.

Overall, my initial impressions of the D700 are of a remarkable camera. It is ruggedly built, extremely ergonomic, very low noise, fast, and sure in focus.

D_100

NL
308 posts

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#1. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

D_100 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Fri 02-Jan-09 07:05 AM | edited Fri 02-Jan-09 07:07 AM by D_100

Hi SoCalMan,

Congrats with the D700 and thanks for sharing your test results.
I did not do any testing but i experienced that the D700 do overexpose and in some situations i dial in -0,7 to get a good exposure.But with the D2hs i also underexpose -0.7 to get it right.

Dutch Nikonian
Music was my first love,photography my last.
Shoot everything without bullets.
www.arthurbender.nl

new2nikon54

US
64 posts

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#2. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

new2nikon54 Registered since 10th Aug 2008
Sat 03-Jan-09 09:56 PM

Is this a function of the full frame?

Coming from a DX (Canon), I have some trouble getting things to work out on the D700. But don't know if that's because I used Canon before.

Deb


twinda1

US
5 posts

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#3. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

twinda1 Registered since 04th Jan 2009
Sun 04-Jan-09 02:17 AM

Also try turning on ADR. Aside from anything it might do at the photosite level, ADR also makes matrix metering less aggressive. I've been setting ADR to auto in lieu dialing in a -0.7 exposure compensation and only occasionally get blown highlights.

rhom

Sacramento, US
136 posts

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#4. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

rhom Registered since 06th Aug 2008
Sun 04-Jan-09 07:30 PM

Hi SoCalMan,

I like -0.7 EV compensation for outdoor shots in bright sunlight. My D40x requires exactly the same, so does my Canon EOS 5D. Indoors or in low light, I like -0.33 EV or zero EV compensation on all three cameras. Same with fill-flash, depending upon the SB model, I will probably end up dialing down the SB output -1.0 to -1.7 EV for most outdoor shots with people in them at about 10-12 feet away from me.

I look at these exposure adjustments as a matter of personal taste rather than an accuracy problem. It was no different with my Nikon film SLRs. With each new camera, I have to shoot enough with it to know how the final result will look in various familiar lighting conditions. Then, I can set any required compensation to deliver what I want.

I have photographer friends that prefer zero compensation to more than I use, for the same images. Again, a lot of this may be personal taste. Nothing wrong with the D700 metering, we're just fine-tuning.

Best,

Rick

Nikon user for 40 years.
F-Ftn, F3, F4S, F90, F100, D5100, D700

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

RocketTom

Whittier, US
44 posts

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#5. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

RocketTom Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2006
Sun 04-Jan-09 09:07 PM

I came over to this forum to look for this exact same advice. I've been shooting on a D200 for a couple of years and just got a D700 body. I've always had my D200 dialed in at -.3, but I've also found my D700 (to my eye) behaves better at -.7.

But I've also had problems with blown channels - recently with some sunset shots and green/red (yellow). I was able to recover a lot of the info in Lightroom, but there was *zero* room left over. The yellow was initially so strong that it looked immediately like I had blowin it right out of the picture. I shot raw+jpeg and the jpeg shot was unusable. It surprised me, as I had not encountered this extreme with my D200.

I did find that I had left auto-iso on, and I think this can lend a lot to this problem (problem for me, at least). With auto-iso and active d-lighting off, I find that I avoid some of these blown out issues. I'm sure there's more that I need to learn about this camera, but it was rather disconcerning that I was taking better out-of-the-camera shots with my D200 than my D700.

- Tom

We can't solve problems using the same thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

brad_nikon


84 posts

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#6. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

brad_nikon Registered since 18th Oct 2003
Mon 05-Jan-09 12:38 AM | edited Mon 05-Jan-09 12:42 AM by brad_nikon

Join the chorus. Your impressions of the D700 to tend to overexpose are the same as mine. I would say that when my D700 overexposes, it tends to intermittently overexpose by about 1 EV. I have my D700 to always shoot -.5 EV.

In fact, one reason why I shoot mostly RAW now is to have as much image data available to me to make adjustments. Regardless, some images cannot be saved!

I have use many other cameras over the years, and none yielded as many overexposed images as my D700.

One work-around is to always bracket your exposures. I wonder if Normal, -.5 EV, -1.5 EV are possible. (Yes, I must read the fine manual.)

I'm __hoping__ that a firmware update will resolve this quirk.

That said, it escapes me why some individuals (in other discussion threads) who are fortunate enough to _not_ be experiencing this problem get so defensive, outright condescending.

SoCalMan

Bonsall, US
342 posts

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#7. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 4

SoCalMan Registered since 27th Jun 2006
Mon 05-Jan-09 03:26 AM

This is a response to all how have read my original comment.

1) The D700 in Matrix mode does "over-expose" in virtually all environments. Note the quotes. By over-exposure I mean full exposure, with virtually no upside margin. This is a design feature, not a defect.

2) My two D40xs did the same thing, but my two D300s underexposed by by about 0.7EV. Each camera is different. My memory is fading, but I recall my D200s were similar to the D300s.

I continue to dial in -0.5EV permanent correction on my D700. For really important shots, I will bracket, but in general, this is not necessary.

The low noise characteristics of the D700 are as good as anything I have seen to date. ISO 1600 on the D700 is as good as ISO 640 on the D300s. By this I mean I can show 100% images on my 30" Apple monitor, and most people think the results are fantastic. After ISO 1600 on the D700, things go down hill quick (I am much more critical of quality than most fanboys).

Bruceap

US
38 posts

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#8. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 6

Bruceap Registered since 19th Dec 2008
Mon 05-Jan-09 03:33 AM

Hello All, I have had my D700 about three weeks now and love it. I also have Thom Hogan's guide. On page 36 - custom setting #B6, you can fine tune a exposure compensation for each metering system. It will not show up on the camera's displays. If you are not happy with how your camera sets exposure you can adjust the calibration. I hope this helps!

Bruce

nidza

CS
32 posts

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#9. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 8

nidza Registered since 06th Nov 2008
Mon 05-Jan-09 10:18 AM

It's interesting what I've read here...

I come from Canon where I used mostly center weighted average. Had no problems, sometimes needed to underexpose a little.

On Nikon I use matrix, also no problems, usually is on 0EV. Sometimes I compensate, but very rare. I shoot RAW, and in Lightroom (or ACR) is very easy to pull down that little overexposed part if it happens.

Actually I like the metering of D700 better then Canon 40D (and all my previous canons), although I was also satisfied with Canon.

hades

Porto Alegre, BR
124 posts

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#10. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 3

hades Registered since 14th Oct 2007
Mon 05-Jan-09 10:29 AM

Are you sure Active D-Lighting isn't turned on? If it's on then it might be the cause.

Luis

Luis Balbinot
http://luisbalbinot.com/

MAK

US
373 posts

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#11. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 10

MAK Registered since 06th Sep 2006
Mon 05-Jan-09 01:34 PM

>Are you sure Active D-Lighting isn't turned on? If it's on
>then it might be the cause.
>
>Luis

for me, yes it is. i have only 600 or so frames through the camera. all with active d-lighting set to normal. most, if not all frames are overexposed. auto ISO set to 6400 also.

TomCurious

Bay Area, US
2352 posts

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#12. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Mon 05-Jan-09 05:28 PM

I found that the matrix metering of my D700 is very consistent. It is also quite aggressive. The highlights appear to be just clipped when opening the NEF, and I need to dial in almost maximum highlight recovery to bring them back. In other words, all of the available headroom is used to the maximum. But the good news is that each and every shot is like this. I haven't had one where the highlights are blown for good (still clipped after bringing them back with the available margin from a NEF). I also very rarely have one where the recovery was not needed.

I have considered dialing in some exposure compensation in the custom setting to avoid this, but it's a trade-off. Obviously the camera uses every last bit of the NEF available for the highlights to give me the maximum dynamic range that can be squeezed out of the sensor. If I dial it back a bit, it will require less work in post for the highlights, but then again I would need to boost the shadows more frequently.

But this is my decision to make. The meter is very predictable.

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

SUN RA KAT

US
5 posts

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#13. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 12

SUN RA KAT Registered since 09th Dec 2008
Mon 05-Jan-09 11:58 PM

I've been noticing overexposure and having to use exposure comensation a lot more with my D700 than my D300. It isn't constant and that's part of the problem. It seems to over expose sometimes on sunny days and cloudy days, but when I set a -2/6 on the fine tune or -1/3 on the exposure compensation sometimes the photo is underexposed by the one third. My D300 usually gets the exposure right on the first try. So does my D70. I don't mind adjusting the settings, but I do mind the lack of consistency. I've noticed on some of the Nikon users sites that other people have the same overexposure issues with their D700s.

KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
4962 posts

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#14. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 12

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Tue 06-Jan-09 12:03 AM

Tom and others, While we're on the topic of highlight recovery - is there any trade-off or down side in partaking in this PP capability? Of late in my photographic journey I have become more aware of blown or almost blown highlights and shooting conditions likely to generate them, and therefore have been partaking of the Capture NX2 Highlight Protection slider more often.

Best regards, SteveK
My Nikonians gallery
'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange

TomCurious

Bay Area, US
2352 posts

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#15. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 14

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Tue 06-Jan-09 04:08 AM

Steve,
here is my primitive understanding how the highlight recovery works:

Let's say you take a picture of a cloud which consists of varying shades of white/gray. But due to aggressive exposure / overexposure, the entire cloud is represented as purely white. So in an 8 bit JPEG, the levels are all at 255 (they go from 0 to 255). In this case, tough luck, the cloud structure is gone. You can lower the levels in post, but that will make the entire cloud darker, still no structure.

Now with a NEF, there are more bits at each pixel. A NEF is either 12 or 14 bit, depending on the camera setting. So while the 8 most significant bits may still be all "1", representing 255, the remaining 4 or 6 bits may have different values. They may also be "1" for the lighter parts of the cloud, and may partially be "0" for the darker parts. When showing the picture on the screen, say in the RAW converter, what is shown on the screen are just the values from the first 8 bits. But when you perform highlight recovery, the converter will take the extra bits into account and lower the level of the pixel by a varying degree.

What if all the extra bits are also "1" (blown out)? In a NEF, each pixel represents only one color from the Bayer pattern. So if a green pixel site is completely blown out, extra bits and all, but the adjacent red pixel site is not blown out, then the RAW converter can use some of that information from the adjacent site to lower the level of the green site somewhat. In a primitive example, let's say the green pixel is at 255, but the adjacent red one is only at 200. The RAW converter, during highlight recovery, may lower the green level to the average of these two sites (227). This is not how is actually works, just a simple illustration.

So with this information, you can see that there is definitely some impact on the image quality when performing highlight recovery. What you have afterwards is not what the sensor actually would have recorded in a proper exposure, but some approximation based on extra available information (in the extra bits or adjacent sites). So everything else being equal, it is better not to need highlight recovery. Of course everything else is not equal. In a high contrast scene, it is often a good choice to expose to the right as much as possible, even to the point needing highlight recovery, instead of letting parts of the image go completely dark.

Below I have attached an illustration. I did a simple test with my D700 this afternoon, using a high contrast scene (sorry for the awful pictures, it was raining today). The first one is exposed as the D700 meter though it should be, no compensation. The highlights were blown and I recovered them. The 2nd picture was taken with -1EV compensation. No highlights blown. (I tried several compensations, at -0.3 and -0.7 there were still blown highlights). But now I needed to boost the shadows. As we can see, some parts of the image are now completely black! So in my opinion, the first image had the best exposure under the circumstances, and the D700 meter worked perfectly.

No exposure comp. Highlights recovered in post

Click on image to view larger version


-1EV compensation. Shadows boosted in post
Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

Max Power

St. Paul, US
434 posts

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#16. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 15

Max Power Registered since 13th Jan 2006
Tue 06-Jan-09 02:29 PM

I have found in some night shots that the D700 actually underexposes, sometimes by more than even one full stop. It depends a bit on the subject though.


It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.

twinda1

US
5 posts

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#17. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 10

twinda1 Registered since 04th Jan 2009
Tue 06-Jan-09 09:47 PM | edited Tue 06-Jan-09 10:15 PM by twinda1

I've read in various forums that Active D-Lighting causes over exposure. My experience has been the exact opposite -- Active D-Lighting under exposes to maintain highlights and pushes up shadows.

In normal lighting (outdoors, overcast day), D700 exposure is dead on. In high contrast situation, it's very aggressive in what it consider "specular highlights". If this bothers you dial in a compensation, or switch out of matrix metering. I think this is just a characteristic of the D700.

I can also see why this would be considered over exposure though, as the D700 does push the histogram far to the right of where most cameras would put it.

>Are you sure Active D-Lighting isn't turned on? If it's on
>then it might be the cause.
>
>Luis

Bob32

Chico, US
5936 posts

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#18. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Fri 20-Mar-09 03:17 PM

SoCalMan,

What's the latest on your D700 over-exposure situation? Are you still having to dial in a permanent -0.5V exposure correction or have you found a better work-around? I ask because I am having the same over-exposure problem with my new D700. Considering what Nikon charges for this camera this situation is a bummer!

Thanks for the extensive testing program that you conducted to document and quantify this problem with the D700.

Bob

fld

PH
181 posts

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#19. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 18

fld Registered since 05th Feb 2009
Mon 23-Mar-09 06:24 AM

I have used matrix metering for a while in my D700 and had more mishits on the exposure.
I recently tried center weighted and had much better luck.
I also use the AE lock with center weighted metering and it works great.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#20. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 18

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Mon 23-Mar-09 07:02 AM

Jim (SoCalMan) has allowed his Nikonians membership to lapse, so we are unlikely to get any follow-up from him

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

wrdpico

US
157 posts

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#21. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 15

wrdpico Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jan 2009
Mon 23-Mar-09 07:38 PM | edited Mon 23-Mar-09 08:14 PM by wrdpico

TK,

Your first photo uses more available data. I like it better.

Good shadow detail occurs at the expense of highlight recovery. I must remember. The D700 histogram is showing JPEG, not raw results. If I shoot raw, I have highlight head room that the blinking clip police overlook.

For those having previous cameras with less “push,” the D700 will expose a file slightly to the right. (My other camera is a less pushy D80. I have no useful criticism about how my two cameras handle exposure - different horses, for different courses.) Until sensors become nonlinear, ETTR is a good thing.

I use real (raw) files for jobs that warrant a lot of data. Fifty percent of the file is in the brightest 20 percent of dynamic range: so, I'm used to coaxing data downstream in post. With ACR, and Lightroom I can quickly batch the process.

It’s amusing. The D700 has so little to pick at.

(The following is a pep talk to myself.) Michael, shoot the D700, and enjoy the process. Don’t spend too much time toying with how many pins can dance on the head of a pixel. You’ll lose time needed to hone the pixels behind your finder. In photography, a big shot is a little shot that keeps on shooting.

You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well do ya, Tharp? Go ahead, wear the shutter out. A better Nikon will be here any minute, at a better price. Meanwhile, how much can you learn with this camera - now?

Mike, you have seen good work practiced on a host of humdrum cameras. The D700 is not a humdrum camera. What’s your excuse? It’s Spring - outward bound! (Thanks wrdpico, I needed that.)

I’ve included a recent shot. It does not take advantage of the D700's high ISO ability. The ISO was Lo 1. I collected this shot to practice posting images to the forum, and my Gallery. It's among my first tripod shots with the D700. Be gentle. I’m still learning which end to point!

The D700 is a very pleasant tripod shooter, plus a great “no-light” camera. It’s the most comprehensive package I’ve used. Oh, I’m sure: “Hasseleicaphase” has a more elegant $40,000 camera. Still, for the money - this Nikon is solid.


Click on image to view larger version


Click photo for larger Gallery image.

wrdpico

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

D_100

NL
308 posts

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#22. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 8

D_100 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Tue 24-Mar-09 03:44 PM

>Hello All, I have had my D700 about three weeks now and love
>it. I also have Thom Hogan's guide. On page 36 - custom
>setting #B6, you can fine tune a exposure compensation for
>each metering system. It will not show up on the camera's
>displays. If you are not happy with how your camera sets
>exposure you can adjust the calibration. I hope this helps!
>
>Bruce

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the tip i give it a try.

Dutch Nikonian
Shoot everything without bullets.

Music was my first love,photography my last.

www.arthurbender.nl

Andy_F

US
19 posts

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#23. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 22

Andy_F Registered since 17th Feb 2009
Fri 10-Apr-09 08:47 PM

If you'd like to get bang-on correct exposure from the D700, try the following with Matrix Metering. Works 90+ percent of time.

1) Turn-on ADL and set it to AUTO (factory default is OFF).

2) Go to the AF switch in the front and set it to AF-C.

3) Go to the AF switch in the back and set it to "cross-hair"; the middle setting -- not the Solid one and not the single AF point.

4) Make your central focus point always be your default.

5) In custom controls set fire shutter ONLY when subject is in focus.

6) In custom controls set use all 51-points along with 3D Color Matrix Mettering.

Initially compose with central focus point on your main subject and half-press the shutter. Recompose and the focus point(s)used will stay on your subject; your subject will also be "focus followed" if it moves.

What's going on here is that using the 3D Color Matrix Meter, your subject got identified by it's color and tone range and memorized. The D700's meter is very much influenced by the lighting under the focal point(s) in use. ADL Auto dynamically keeps highlights from being blown and brings up shadow aras only a smidge (hence it decreases the exposure set more often than not). The AF stunt does the rest. Perfectly exposed shots nearly all of the time. No need to use Exposure Fine tune ever.

Not saying you won't ever have to use Exposure Compensation; a large bright or dark area in scene will still require it. But this cures most of the seeming "problem" for the D700.

Try it.

Andy
D700, D40X, and more Nikkor lenses than one should be allowed

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#24. "RE: Apples and oranges" | In response to Reply # 0

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Sat 11-Apr-09 06:38 AM | edited Sat 11-Apr-09 06:40 AM by Len Shepherd

>The D700 exposes consistently about 0.5EV to the right of the D300.
The two cameras have different dynamic range!!!!!
This means the D700 can over expose slightly relative to the D300 to obtain more shadow detail, without burning out highlight detail that might occur with deliberate over exposure on the D300
***
A minor exposure differences is spot in the D300 reads 50% more of the screen area than the D700 so with small subjects spot readings may vary between formats.
Many lenses change effective focal length and effective aperture as you focus closer - with Nikon macros changing by about 1 stop between infinity and 1:1 focus.
If you are maintaining a constant viewfinder crop from the same focus distance this can result in differences of EXIF aperture or shutter speed detail when switching formats.
***
Providing a D700 (or D300) is not unreasonably burning out highlights or showing whites too far to the right on the histogram there is little to worry about.
Some exposure differences between the two formats should happen for the reasons mentioned above.
One advantage of these new cameras is the ability to independently fine tune exposure sensitivity between matrix, center weighted and spot.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

Nielsen

NO
750 posts

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#25. "RE: Apples and oranges" | In response to Reply # 24

Nielsen Registered since 11th Jun 2007
Sat 11-Apr-09 10:35 AM

Yes, I read in a review that if you only shoot jpg a little minus compensation on the exposure is recommended.
Kind regards
Nielsen

Ball4

US
21 posts

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#26. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

Ball4 Registered since 04th Apr 2009
Thu 23-Apr-09 02:21 PM

I must say that I'm somewhat disappointed with the D700 over exposing. You're spending a good chunk of change for a top notch camera that consistently overexposes by .7 in my case isn't very comforting. Yes, you can make in-body adjustments but that should not be the norm. Isn't Canon the one with quality issues? Guess Nikon is no different. Not bashing Nikon here. I don't give a hoot whether my gear is Nikon or Canon.

According to Nikon's tech support in El Segundo, Nikon does not intentionally design their cameras to over expose. I also tried speaking to their other tech support in the Dominic Republic, who appeared to be clueless.

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16969 posts

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#27. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 26

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Thu 23-Apr-09 03:01 PM

How are you recording and post-processing your images?

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

nathantw1

US
22 posts

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#28. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 26

nathantw1 Registered since 18th May 2009
Tue 26-May-09 03:31 PM

>I must say that I'm somewhat disappointed with the D700 over
>exposing. You're spending a good chunk of change for a top
>notch camera that consistently overexposes by .7 in my case
>isn't very comforting. Yes, you can make in-body adjustments
>but that should not be the norm. Isn't Canon the one with
>quality issues? Guess Nikon is no different. Not bashing
>Nikon here. I don't give a hoot whether my gear is Nikon or
>Canon.

I agree with you 100%! I just received my D700 last week and I went against the cardinal rule of never take a new camera on a trip if you don't know anything about it. Well, I took it to Yosemite thinking I was going to get a ton a great pictures and instead I was getting overexposed pictures. Thank goodness for the LCD on the back or I wouldn't have known. I ended up using my years of experience and switching to either spot metering, center weighted or manual exposures. It's ridiculous that I'd pay this much money and not be able to use the features that is supposed to make this camera special.

When in Yosemite I took a photo with the D700 and a Canon SD950 p/s camera. The D700 overexposed the picture (as expected). The exposure for the SD950 was saturated and spot on. What's wrong with this picture other than the Canon was over $2000 cheaper than the Nikon? Very disappointing considering I came from a Nikon N8008 and Nikon FE (I must have been the last film hold out) and they rarely overexposed any pictures. In fact they normally underexposed a little to give really nice saturated pictures.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#29. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 28

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 26-May-09 04:39 PM

Welcome to Nikonians; I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

If you were to post an example or two, with more details of the camera settings you used, we may be able to make some suggestions for improving things.

To my eyes, the meter in the D700 is at least as reliable as any previous Nikon (film or digital), which is to say it's pretty darn good, but no metering system yet designed can handle all possible situations without input from the photographer.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

dieseldavey

Cheshire, UK
14 posts

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#30. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 29

dieseldavey Registered since 06th Aug 2006
Fri 29-May-09 04:37 AM

I too am not impressed with the results of the D700 after coming from the D300 (over exposure) I constantly need to dial in -1/3 to -2/3 exposure.
Regards calling Nikon forget it i find there after sales awful with no enthusiasm at all

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Bob32

Chico, US
5936 posts

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#31. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 30

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Fri 29-May-09 12:57 PM

I'll join the chorus by stating that I am also disappointed in the D700 which requires me to consistently dial in -1/3 to -2/3 EV exposure compensation to prevent over-exposure with Matrix metering. This is with ADR set to Auto. With my D200 I didn't have this problem of having to constantly fiddle with my exposure compensation setting.

Per an earlier suggestion I am seriously considering fine-tuning the exposure by dialing in -3/6 EV via Custom Setting b6. Has anybody tried this approach and had a successful outcome?

Bob

nathantw1

US
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#32. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 31

nathantw1 Registered since 18th May 2009
Fri 29-May-09 03:55 PM


>Per an earlier suggestion I am seriously considering
>fine-tuning the exposure by dialing in -3/6 EV via Custom
>Setting b6. Has anybody tried this approach and had a
>successful outcome?

I ended up setting my custom settings to 5/6 on all the metering types. They gave consistent results I was looking for. I need to compare the exposures with my handheld meter to make sure they're correct.

Bob32

Chico, US
5936 posts

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#33. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 32

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Fri 29-May-09 04:19 PM

Nathan,

For clarification did you make your b6 Custom Setting + 5/6 or -5/6? I presume -5/6 but would like to know for sure.

Bob

nathantw1

US
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#34. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 33

nathantw1 Registered since 18th May 2009
Fri 29-May-09 04:24 PM

Hi Bob,
Sorry for not being clearer. It was -5/6.

Bob32

Chico, US
5936 posts

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#35. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 34

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Fri 29-May-09 04:51 PM

Nathan,

Thanks for the clarification. Based on my experience -5/6 seems a little high. I think that I will try -3/6 to start with. That's midway between the -1/3 and -2/3 exposure compensation I have been dialing in most of the time.

Bob

shep64

Martinsville, US
48 posts

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#36. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

shep64 Registered since 02nd Sep 2002
Fri 29-May-09 05:51 PM

If I am shooting with the D700 in daylight and not shooting manual, I always just dial in -2/3 stop. I guess it's just part of getting to know a camera. Once you learn the quirks you can get consistent results.
Shep

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jgould2

Fort Pierce, US
4628 posts

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#37. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 31

jgould2 Gold 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 13th Oct 2007
Fri 29-May-09 11:07 PM

Hi Bob.

For most of my shooting, I found I was dialing in -1/3 to -2/3 exposure compensation most of the time so I just went ahead and set b6 to -3/6. Been delighted ever since.

JIM

Bob32

Chico, US
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#38. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 37

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Fri 29-May-09 11:27 PM

Jim,

Thanks for your feedback. I have already programmed my b6 Custom Setting to -3/6. Tomorrow I’ll try it out to see if I get the same good results that you got.

Bob

samrat54

Calhoun, US
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#39. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 36

samrat54 Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Mar 2003
Sat 30-May-09 06:50 PM

Thanks to all of you guys for this thread. I just received a D700 and took it for its first shoot yesterday. I was doing a senior shoot with a friend who was using my D200. I immediately noticed that I was blowing out highlights--only CLOUDY day! The D200 was not. In fact, his first couple of shots were a little underexposed. After reading this thread, I now know that I'm not totally crazy. Thanks for the EV corrections. It really is a shame that it requires compensation for "normal" shots. I've been shooting Nikons since my first new Nikkormat FTn. I've never run into this before.


Sam

Sam

A Georgia Nikonian

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#40. "RE: What about the "obvious" reason?" | In response to Reply # 0

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Sun 31-May-09 01:33 PM

>On my first exposures with my new D700, I immediately noticed that most appeared
>noticeably more exposed than similar scenes with my D70, D200s and D300s.
Forget internet "chatter", the "therefore" etc - the D700 matrix (because it is FX with greater dynamic range) SHOULD give more exposure than DX sensors with lower dynamic range.
The D700 by giving more exposure records more shadow detail yet does not burn out highlight detail (because of the higher DR) than DX.
If matrix (or spot or center weighted) gives more exposure than you would like for most shots there is a custom function to apply permanent and separate compensation to matrix, center weighted and spot.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

Kodakgirl

US
1 posts

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#41. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 39

Kodakgirl Registered since 15th Jun 2009
Tue 16-Jun-09 12:40 AM

I joined Nikonians to be able to read this thread because I've been having an overexposure problem. I've used exclusively Nikons over 45!! years including quite a few different digital models since 2001. This is the first time I've had one consistently overexpose. At least I now know I'm not alone.

Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
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#42. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 0

Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006
Tue 16-Jun-09 10:20 AM

>I believe Nikon chose this policy to maximize the noise
>figures for the camera by imposing a rather strict ETTR
>regimen. The D300 may have been conservatively programmed,
>but the D700 is definitely aggressive in Matrix mode. Thus,
>the D700 exposures are “correct”, but aggressive.


I believe this to be true. My D3 is the same way. Having owned the D1, D1H, D2Hs, D2X, and D200 I can say that the D3/D700 have the hottest (ETTR) metering I have seen. However, after almost 7000 RAW images taken without exposure compensation, I have yet to have one that is overexposed. I get many that have flashing blinkies on the LCD, but none that have blown channels. This characteristic seems to maximize dynamic range and high ISO performance. In limited testing my new D700 apears to be the same.

One of the nice features of Nikon's upper tier bodies is the ability to configure them for your usage. If you want to make it into a JPEG P&S camera there are menu settings that will allow you do do so. If you intend to extract all that it is capable of then there are other settings you will use.

Bob32

Chico, US
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#44. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 42

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Tue 16-Jun-09 01:16 PM

I hope that Mr. Miller's comments are not meant to imply that those of us who opt to crank in permanent exposure compensation to prevent production of what we honestly deem to be over-exposed photos are unsophisticated P & S boobs who don't know what we are doing. If I were to review his 7000 "correctly exposed" images one by one I suspect that I would find myself wincing on many occasions.

Bob

Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
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#45. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 44

Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006
Tue 16-Jun-09 02:01 PM | edited Tue 16-Jun-09 04:04 PM by Luke_Miller

>I hope that Mr. Miller's comments are not meant to imply that
>those of us who opt to crank in permanent exposure
>compensation to prevent production of what we honestly deem to
>be over-exposed photos are unsophisticated P & S boobs who
>don't know what we are doing. If I were to review his 7000
>"correctly exposed" images one by one I suspect that
>I would find myself wincing on many occasions.
>
>Bob

Not at all, Bob. I was just observing that the D3 and D700 do expose "hotter" than the previous models I am familiar with, and that from my experience it was not a problem and probably maximized the performance of the body. I would rather have the body default to maximum performance rather than minimum post processing.

My P&S comment was a reaction to the post where the writer was critical of the D700 because his $2000 cheaper P&S gave accurate exposures while the D700 required exposure compensation. I was merely observing that Nikon provided the options of duplicating the P&S performance should one choose to do so.

You might very well wince while looking at my images, but not because they are overexposed. I shoot RAW exclusively and while the merit of an image is a subjective interpretation, the existance of a blown channel is not.

Bob, I notice from your profile that you came to the D700 from the D200. I have and still use the D200 and it exposes much more conservatively than the D700. So much so that in low light I have to dial in positive exposure compensation to avoid having to pull up the exposure during post processing and exacerbate its tendency to produce noise in the shadows.

If I shot my D3 or D700 primarily in good light I might well dial in some negative exposure compensation to save time in post processing, but that is not how I use them. Horses for Courses.

lofling

SE
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#46. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 45

lofling Registered since 18th Jun 2008
Tue 16-Jun-09 06:41 PM

As Luke says, there is a difference from shooting jpg and RAW. I am exclusively shooting RAW to be able to control the process more and also to be able to recover highlights.

I just got the D700 and I have to adjust almost every photo (negative exposure) in LR compared to the D300, by looking at the histogram and pic. But I agree, there isn't blown channels so far.

If you want to shoot jpg, you should probably fine tune the camera first.

___________________________________

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Or have a look at fling.zenfolio.com

Bob32

Chico, US
5936 posts

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#47. "RE: Does D700 Overexpose?" | In response to Reply # 45

Bob32 Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007
Tue 16-Jun-09 07:42 PM

Luke,

Thanks for your response and clarifying remarks. You are correct that I moved from the D200 to the D700. I was initially quite astounded at how over-exposed the D700 images were compared with those produced by the D200. Contrary to your experience I considered this to be a problem that had to be dealt with. As a result I have adjusted the D700 b6 Custom Setting to -3/6 and am getting much more satisfactory results then I did with no exposure compensation. I also shoot with Active D-lighting set to Auto to help inhibit any tendency toward over-exposure.

I shoot jpegs exclusively and wish to have the images look as good as possible when emerging from the camera and to minimize the amount of time spent in any subsequent editing.

I still have my D200 and use it in situations where the crop factor is helpful such as in shooting football or rugby games in the daytime, but for everything else the D700 is my go-to camera. For shooting basketball or volleyball games in dimly-lit school gyms the D700 really shines. It's crank up the ISO to 3200 or 6400 and let 'er rip! I can now shoot games at gyms that I used to avoid like the plague when I had only my D200.

Love my D700!

Onward and upward in 2009!

Best regards,

Bob




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