I just received my D800E last week and, of course, I have been shooting test charts to assure myself that it is not plagued with the left focus point issue. The good news is that it does not appear to be affected. When reviewing the shots however, I found that all my live view shots were overexposed relative to the ones shot using the OVF.
I've tried aperture priority and shutter priority...matrix metering and spot metering...various lenses. In 80-90% of the shots, the live view is overexposed relative to the OVF...sometimes as much as a full stop.
I have compared this to my D700 and D5100 and find that they do not exhibit this behavior (using the identical scenes). I have tried high/low contrast and dark/bright scenes. The behavior seems to be consistently (live view vs. OVF) inconsistent (with respect to the varying metering).
I have D800 (not E). I did run some tests while discovering that my camera is affected by the focusing issue. I did not notice any exposure difference between LV and VF. However I shot in manual, so no settings were changed by the camera. Did you check your shutter speed since you shot in aperture priority? What about ISO - is it set to auto?
Thanks for your ideas. In aperture priority I was comparing the shutter speeds (e.g. LV = 1/30 and VF = 1/60). In shutter priority I was looking at the aperture (e.g. LV = 4 and VF = 5.6). These are just a few representative cases I have observed. Occasionally both methods will jive...but that is maybe 10% of the time (perhaps less).
My first inclination was that the camera was in auto ISO mode just as you suggested, but that was not the case. I also thought that perhaps the exposure compensation might be set independently for LV versus VF, but that is not correct either. I have tested this in controlled lighting conditions so variances in lighting are not a contributing factor.
I want to make sure there is not some other setting unique to the D800 that I am overlooking. I also want to make sure I do not have a faulty camera that has an issue with the metering system.
Well, I hope others will chime in and try to help you. If the issue persists maybe it's worth returning/exchanging the camera if that is an option? You don't want to have $3000 equipment that does not perform the way it is suppose to. I do and trust me, it does not make me happy one bit.
Thu 08-Nov-12 09:47 AM | edited Thu 08-Nov-12 10:13 AM by DAJolley
I have noticed this same issue with my D800E. Page 55 of the Nikon manual states the following:
"Depending on the scene, exposure may differ from that which would be obtained when live view is not used. Metering in live view is adjusted to suit the live view display, producing photographs with exposure close to what is seen in the monitor."
As a result I don't use the meter in live view, I use the analog meter on the top LCD. For those of you who may suggest that this has something to do with not closing the eyepiece shutter, it does not.
Why display a meter in LV if it may not be accurate?
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Ahhh...the manual...I would never have thought to look there!
On the one hand that makes me feel better that this may not be abnormal behavior...but on the other, I do not understand why accurate metering should be sacrificed to accommodate the monitor. It is a shame that the accurate focus attainable via live view is now susceptible to inaccurate metering.
Now I know that if I am using LV I should pay particular attention to my exposure and not make assumptions. This just goes to show that it is important to learn the shortcomings (or perhaps "quirks" is a better word) of your camera to get the best possible results.
Thanks Dave for pointing this out. It is very valuable to know this (and I would never found it in the manual).
I first noticed this last week while I was looking at the metering display in the control panel on top of the camera at the same time I was switching live view on/off. I initially set the exposure spot-on without live view, but every time I turned live view on the control panel meter consistently moved to 1/2 stop over exposure. It was quite predictable, at least with the scene I was metering at the time.
Fri 09-Nov-12 06:46 AM | edited Fri 09-Nov-12 06:46 AM by km6xz
Metering should not be consistent between mirror down and up and, in fact, it is not the same from scene to scene in mirror up/LV. This for the very logical reason of the 91,000 pixel metering sensor, that makes the D800 the best in metering is not used, and a different method is used from scanning the imaging sensor itself. The manual does not explain it well but at least it suggests the expected difference is normal. For the most accurate metering for scenes, use a mirror down reading, and locking exposure before using LV for focus or other reasons for using it LV. It is not a defect but just shows how good the 3d RGB 91k pixel metering sensor is. The suggestion of using the live Histogram is a good alternative. It is good that you sought answers before returning the camera as others have suggested. Stan St Petersburg Russia
>Stan, >Why is the Live View histogram a better alternative, does it >work in a different way? What is the purpose of the other >meter in live view if it is not accurate? >Dave Jolley
For Stills, Live View. The LCD screen doesn't preview exposure if the camera is in P, A or S modes UNTIL you activate the Metering Bar. See Exposure Preview, pg 46 of the Manual. If you have Thom Hogan's D800/E Guide, Pg 479.
Activating the metering bar with the OK button enables the LCD screen to emulate exposure in P, A or S modes. Pg 46 list several factors that may cause the preview to be different than the result, including Flash Lighting, Active-D Lighting, and others. These settings would be a place to look for differences in LCD preview to results, or eventually LV to VF. There is also the caveat that Thom mentions, the LCD is not 'finely calibrated'.
The live histogram is a fine tool also as Gary mentioned. Lots of tools available on the D800/E.
The histogram is a "good alternative", not a better alternative for those who would prefer to stay in LV mode. We do not know exactly how the raw sensor is evaluated but it is not Matrix. Does it follow the focus area simulating Spot or another biasing? I do not have the answer to that. Different scenes should meter with different degrees of variations between VF and LV, and from experience that appears to be the case. Using a different detection area and method would naturally result in different estimations in what the scene or portion of the scene illumination really is. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Thanks for this information Stan. This would explain exactly what I am experiencing. I wonder if some of the reviewers of the D800/E that claim the camera has inaccurate metering are aware of these differences.
I know many would say that a more technically advanced camera will not make you a better photographer. That may be true to an extent, but the D800/E is challenging me to look at things from new perspectives...it is making me grow as a photographer (and not just via technical acumen).
LV > Manual Exposure Mode so I can see the exposure scale change on the LCD as I adjust the main command wheel > LV Histogram displayed and changes with the exposure adjustment. . . I adjust the main command dial looking at the Histogram only and paying no attention to the Manual exposure scale . . and shoot a single shot. For Bracketing, I switch to A-mode while still in LV and shoot the exposure bracket...
Gary, Why do you switch to A mode when shooting brackets in LV? I use manual mode all the time with no problems. In M and A mode, the camera adjusts shutter speed to achieve the bracketed exposures. Dave Jolley
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I definitely think that is an option to consider to get the best of both worlds. In most of the scenarios that I would be using LV however, I would be using the camera in full manual. When I am using the viewfinder, I am typically shooting scenes that have action or dynamic composition that LV is not necessarily suited for and I'll be in aperture priority. It is good to know that the metering will be accurate in this case.