I just got a D80 this weekend and dicovered an exposure issue in Full Auto mode. Any indoor shots I take in low light using the pop-up flash are underexposed by at least 1 stop.
In P mode, when everything is set to Auto, I can increase the Exposure Value by +.07 with good results.
I have no problem using the camera in P mode, but my wife likes to use it as a point and shoot. I can make an adjustment using NXCapture after the fact, but I really don't want to adjust every flash exposure she shoots.
I am using the 18-135 mm Nikkor kit lens and the problem occurs at all focal lengths, even when the subject is extremely close to the camera.
Did anyone else have a similar experience or know what I can do to make the Full Auto mode take better pictures?
Mine seems to do that also, however if I use manual mode and use an aperture of 3.3 or larger they come out fine. You might see what aperture your camera is using in auto mode and maybe switch to aperture priority mode and adjust from there.
A fellow in my local camera store said that if you're using a non-DX lens with pop-up flash the camera will under-expose because it doesn't take into account the 1.5X factor. Haven't tested this on my D80, but it might be food for thought.
>A fellow in my local camera store said that if you're using >a non-DX lens with pop-up flash the camera will under-expose >because it doesn't take into account the 1.5X factor.
That sounds like a misconception on the part of the guy in the store. It is true that speedlights adjust their angle of coverage for the actual lens focal length rather than the "effective" focal length, but this would apply equally to DX and non-DX lenses. Also, I'm not sure the built-in flash changes its coverage angle anyway. Bottom line, though, the i-TTL metering takes care of all that, and exposure should be correct with any type of lens.
To the original poster - what was you subject distance? It is possible that you were outside the range of the built-in flash.
He may have a point, because if you were to take a 50mm lens on a D80, you are going to have to stand further away from the subject to get the same area of coverage than if you were using a 50mm lens on a 35mm film camera. Or would the flash somehow compensate for that?
I was using an 18-200 Dx at 18mm in a reasonably well lit average size room. ie therefore I believe range was not the issue. Also if I ajusted the flash compensation in P mode by +1, exposure was spot on, so I assume that range of the flash is not the issue. I was just trying to ascertain whether the underexposure of the inbuilt flash in full auto mode was commom to all D80s (ie a feature!) or whether mine had a particular issue. Its easy to get around the issue, I was just surprised by the amount it underexposed.
I'm a little over my head here, but I'll ask my question anyway. (Actually, as I was writing this I may have answered my own question, but I'll still go ahead). If the D80 controls how much flash illumination is required, and due to the 1.5x factor 50% more illumination is actually required, wouldn't you therefore get underexposed images? If I'm using a 50mm lens, the focal length is actually 1.5x or 75mm. But the camera/flash "thinks" it's using a 50mm lens and therefore illuminates for that lens. (Where I may have answered my own question is the camera/flash does not "think" there is a 50mm lens, but rather, as you said above, the camera meters the scene, "sees" a true focal length of 75mm, and illuminates accordingly).
Does this then negate what the fellow in the camera store said?
I originally discovered the metering issue using medium to low lighting indoors with the built-in flash, amd it appears the subject distance doesn't matter. I get the same results a majority of the time -- at least 1 stop underexposed.
I have since experimented in auto mode under various lighting conditions, and I find the same result, almost always underexposed, except in the best lighting conditions.
This only occurs in the full auto mode, which doesn't really affect the operation of the camera except as a point and shoot, which my better half prefers.
Does anyone use the camera in full auto with good results in less than perfect lighting?
Getting back to Rob's original point & his follow up, as far as I can see there are 3 people on this thread who have the same problem as Rob, with under exposure in auto mode, in low light conditions. 2 out of the 3 & possible the 3rd are using DX lenses, so some of the points raised are perhaps not relevant to the original question. Whilst everyone seems to know how to get around the problem, no-one seems to have said that they don't experience the problem, which implies so far that there is actually a "fault". I have a further question. Does the metering in Nikon cameras in auto mode attempt to create well exposed images, or would the camera meter in "underexposing" a low light image merely be reflecting the fact that the subject was not well lit in the first instance.
I think that the main problem here is that the built in flash is "weak" with a GN of only 13. If you are shooting with an aperture of f/5.6 for example, then the built in flash will only have an effective range of 13/5.6 = 2.3m (not enough to light up a room.
I did a quick test: using the D80 with built in flash and aperture at f/5.6. Result dark. Reduced the aperture to f/2. Result much better. Replaced the onboard flash with SB800 (GN=56). Results great.
I think that the camera is trying to correctly expose using the built-in flash without blowing any details in foreground objects, and quite frankly cannot cope with the amount of light needed to illuminate the scene.
I agree with you about the limitations of the in-built flash, but it doesn't explain why its correctly exposed in P mode if you increase the flash exposure factor by +1. If the problem was a weak flash, surely the flash would be weak in both modes. Maybe it ups the ISO setting from 100 to 200 in P mode? And if it does why not in Full Auto mode?
The fact that a flash may emit light that illuminates a wider area than the scene being recorded is not relevant. The camera's meter measures only the illumination level of the area that will be within the image, and adjusts the flash duration accordingly. It's actually a bit more compliacted than that, so if we need to go into more detail I'll probably have to call on one of our experts...
Same here - in Auto mode about 1 stop underexposed using pop-up flash indoors (normal indoor ambient lighting). Distance was 1.5 to 3m. Setting flash comp of +.07 seemed to correct it.
That was day 1, and at that stage I thought it might be because of the predominantly white / cream walls (like the way snow affects AE) - but I use mainly P or A mode and an SB800, so I haven't had revisited it.
Dv "Live like you're going to die tomorrow, learn like you're going to live forever." - Gandhi
I have to draw the conclusion that there is an inherent problem with D80 metering in full-auto mode when using the built-in flash based on the number of replies to the affirmative.
I too have resorted to using the camera in P mode for indoor point and shoot with the exposure value increased by +.07. Although this workaround enables indoor use of the built-in flash it doesn't really eliminate the underlying full-auto metering problem with the camera. I'm sure the SB600 or SB800 would eliminate the issue, but the point and shoot capability is the way I sold my wife on the idea of a $1300 camera.
If you are experiencing this issue and have not yet replied on this thread, please post your comments, even if you feel it is redundant. I am contemplating forwarding this thread to Nikon engineering and I assume the more universal the issue, the faster it will be resolved.
>If you are experiencing this issue and have not yet replied >on this thread, please post your comments, even if you feel >it is redundant. I am contemplating forwarding this thread >to Nikon engineering and I assume the more universal the >issue, the faster it will be resolved. > >Rob
>>I have to draw the conclusion that there is an inherent problem >>with D80 metering in full-auto mode when using the built-in flash >>based on the number of replies to the affirmative. > >By my count, we have four members who have seen the problem. > That's a pretty small sample. >
Hey the bagpiper here. I am a new user and thought I would reply to this message. I have had my D-80 for 6 days and I love the camera. Having been a photographer for about 40 years I have just recently switched to digital. Something I said I would never do!I have found the under exposure in the full auto with the D-80 also. Since I rarely ever use the mode it is not a real problem for me, but it is a problem that a camera that expensive does not preform up to standard. I do need to ask a question about a flash compatability issue but I will leave that to another thread.
>P mode, with 0.0 flash comp - underexposed by about 0.7 >stop. >P mode, with +0.7 flash comp - reasonably well exposed.
I've had my D80 for about a month. I shot a bunch of photos at a Halloween party indoors using a SB600 with a Sto-fen difuser bounced off an 8 foot white ceiling using P mode, spot metering, and 0.0 flash comp. All of my photos seemed to be 0.3 to 0.7 underexposed.
I have the SB600 and with the stofen difuser and the bouncing off the cieling you may have not had enough power. I really like my SB600 but it is not powerful enough for dark rooms bounced off the ceiling using a difuser.
Next using spot metering what part of your picture was underexposed? If the main subject is well exposed but the surroundings are dark this may be a product of metering only 1 to 2% of the picture. Kind Regards Jim
I have had my new D80 for several weeks and am also experiencing problems with under exposure indoors with built-in flash while shooting in Auto mode. I have to enhance most pictures brightness after shooting with the software. I also have the 18-135mm lens.
I do not think the problem is related to flash or lens, but rather the Matrix metering. The problem can be resolved by shooting in other modes, but my spouse also would prefer the P&S technique in Auto mode.
Maybe if enough people complain Nikon will make a firmware change.
I realize the D80 was not designed to be used primarily in full-auto mode, however, it was designed TO be used in full-auto mode; probably for the same reason I purchased the camera, to allow a novice to shoot excellent photos or an amateur to fire up and shoot some quick, well exposed snapshots.
I have no problem using the custom settings, but my wife is a "point and shoot" photographer and she has no desire to learn to use the D80 in anything but full-auto mode.
Other posters have tested my hypothesis that there is an inherent metering issue in full-auto mode and concluded the same as I; the metering is off by a full stop in indoor, low light situations using the built-in flash.
1] It is not a flash power problem. The fact that the flash exposure factor can be increased in P mode with good results indicates that it is not a flash power issue.
2] It is not a lighting conditions problem. The fact that the ISO, the shutter speed and the aperture can be adjusted in P mode with good results indicates that lighting conditions can be overcome with the hardware.
3] Is it a metering problem? Since the photographer has no control of the camera settings in full-auto mode, the number of respondents testing this hypothesis with positive results, and the lack of anyone posting negative results, leads me to believe this is a metering issue in the firmware.
If anyone has good results using the built-in flash in low light, in FULL-AUTO mode, please post your comments. Likewise, if you are also experiencing underexposures under these conditions, please post your comments. I would like to gather some additional input before I follow up on this issue with Nikon.
I have the same problem with external sb-600 flash.
I also noticed that if I set sb-600 foom to 14mm picture is now overexposed. (To set flash zoom to 14mm I just pull build-in diffusor just a little. If diffusor is fitted correctly then the picture is underexposed again.)
I am also experiencing the same problem, & like many others I also sold my partner on the fact that she would be able to take great point and shoot photos with this camera. I'm using the 18-135 kit lens.
It's easy enought to correct in photoshop but I don't want to have to do that with every photo I take, especially as we seem to fill up our 2 GB card every few days!
My D80 underexposes also in P,A,S or auto mode. However, what I have done to adjust for that is set fv lock to the function button. The first time I enter a room, I pop up the flash and hit the function button to lock the flash and every picture after that comes out nicely exposed.
I have the problem also with an 18-200 VR DX lens (the only lens I use till Xmas). One thing I haven't seen mentioned in the posts is that it's a good idea to check the flash icon in the viewfinder after taking a shot. If it blinks, the flash was fired using maximum power and the shot could be underexposed. Having said that, my icon is not blinking and, if there's no compensation, almost all indoor flash pictures are under-exposed.
Hi all, just got my new D80 for 5 days today and found the same problem with underexposure in full auto mode when using the built-in flash. It turns out great when the flash is disabled/turned off. Am using lens kit 18-135mm/3.5-5.6G.
Same problem in PSAM mode without adjustment but great with adjustment to the shutter/aperture/compensation/whitebalance.
For what it's worth, I looked at a stack of printed D80 photos today---I was really impressed with the quality of the lighting, color, etc. When I asked the person showing the photos if he had experienced any exposure problems, he shrugged and said "I dunno--I just leave it on Auto and shoot away."
They were vacation shots so there was a variety of lighting and situations.
I was pretty impressed that he was using his camera as a "point and shoot" and the photos came out so well.
Two hour lunch Lead me not into temptation; I can find it myself. Rita Mae Brown
Here is my 5 minute analysis...Having only shot a dozen or so pictures with flash on the D80 I reserve the right to change my mind
What I seem to notice is that the metering is very conservative and tends to presetve highlights when flash is used (not to be confused with the non-flash overexposure tendency, so let's look at flash exposure only).
I shot a bunch of things in the office and many turned out fine. Some appear underexposed, but within the usable margins with post processing.
However when looking at a supposedly underexposed image of my wanderul carpet more carefully, I observed this. If I just open the image and look at it at say 25% magnification (the entire image fits the screen on my PC) the histogram indeed shows underexposure by neary the entire right 1/4 on the histogram is empty with not even a blimp. Not much changes if I select a small area (100x100 pixels would do) where there are highlights. The only thing that changes is that the histogram is now more like a bunch of vertical lines rather than a smooth cone. However, if I begin to zoom-in on screen things begin to change. At 100% not much of a change. However, keep zooming till you begin to see the pixels as little squares. At least magnify to 600% or 800%. Move your cursor around and observe how the point on the histogram moves with the cursor - select a dark pixel the point is on the left, select a bright pixel - the point moves right. Now, try and select one of the brightest pixels you can find and watch the histogram point - in my test I can pick pixels or clisters of pixels that show as very close to the right on the histogram, but there is still no blimp on the histogram to show that there is anything there.
What I mean in simple words is that the metering seems to be trying to preserve "micro highlights" at the expense of the overall underexposure. So in conclusion, the D80 is not underexposing with Flash but is preserving the highlights too diligently. Does this remind you of the D70/D70s "underexposure" vs. "preserve the highlights" argument? It does to me...
Now, this does not change the fact that the camera produces some darker than desired pictures and whether you like it or not is a personal matter. From what I read here, dialing-in EV compensation produces good results, so that is a solution I suppose, until Nikon comes-up with a fix, which would hopefully inclide a more conservative approach to outdoor no/flash highlights (which seem to be handled just the opposite to the flash highlights)...
Oily faces are perfect for creating micro highlights as I was able to determine by shooting myself in the face a couple of times So my "people" shots were dark (not underexposed, mind you), where my inanimate objects tests were more forgiving when there were no significant reflective areas.
I've lost count on how many experience this "feature" but add another one to the list. I just thought the built in flash was poor - thnaks for pointing me in the right direction. BTW:- I'm using a 18-200 VR lens
I'll just chime in here and add my D80 to the list. I've has mine 6 weeks and noticed the underexposed indoor flash shots from day one. The exposure is spot on, however, in extreme close-ups using my 18-55 lens at any focal length. I have also just purchased the D40 and can report that indoor flash exposure of identical subject and conditions is perfect exposure. I did a side by side test with my D80. I guess they fixed the issue for the D40.