D500 Overexposure

Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
135
Location
Israel
Hi there,

I just bought a new D500, coming from D300 I must say that overall it is a tremendous improvement in both image quality and AF performance.
I did notice though that in some scenes where there is both shadowed and direct sunlight the camera using matrix metering often chooses to overexpose a bit (1/3-2/3 stop)

I will say that I do realize that this scenario is challenging for the camera but I didn't see such behavior from the D300 and I'm wondering whether I'm missing something or is it something that other people have encountered using the D500.

For example:
1/13, f5.6, ISO 200 @ 11mm, on Aperture mode
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

1/20, f5.6, ISO 500 @ 11mm, on Aperture mode
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
1,525
Location
Winter Haven, florida
The metering system in the d500 meters "differently" than the d300. It is more dependent on focus, autofocus sensor, color, etc.
It is a different beast. Not wrong, just different.
Thom Hogan's book explains this well.
Just shoot a lot- pay attention- and we can quickly learn what it is going to do.
gary
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
135
Location
Israel
@gchappel would you recommend his book to someone who pretty much got the hang of the menus and don't see himself actually reading 900+ pages (maybe a quick flip through)?
Also, most of the time it got the exposure right, in this case I think the picture would be better off with 1/3-2/3 of a stop less light.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
135
Location
Israel
Why would they do that? it makes no sense to overexpose intentionally...
Also I know a lot has changed!
it's really mind blowing to see how far along cameras got in the last 8 years, I was blown away by how good the ISO 12800 images are!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,819
Location
Rural Virginia
One of the ways to minimize noise in high ISO images is to expose to the right, which typically results in images that need to have exposure pulled back a bit. With the current emphasis on high ISO performance I would not be surprised if Nikon were biasing the metering to do this automatically.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
4,556
Location
Redwood City, CA
Every recent decent body overexposes by about 1/3
Adjust and move on. A lot has changed in 8 yrs :eek:
I agree, but am not sure whether it's overexposure or my preference for greater color saturation and more highlight rather than shadow detail. I also shoot only RAW and often use the great DR of modern cameras to bring up the shadows in PP. I can do more with an under exposed shot, than an overexposed shot.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
1,525
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I like to read, so I enjoyed pouring through hogans book.
On call, so I can't go out and shoot anyway.
I found it well written. It did borrow a lot of stuff from his prior books.
Did I learn anything. Sure, a couple of little things here and there. But I have shot a lot with a d800 and d4 over the last several years and I understand how they work. I have shot with the d500 for about a month before hogans book came out and had already learned many of its quirks.
Coming from a d300, which is eons ago in camera talk, you will have more to learn.
If you like to read, I found this well done. If you don't like to read just go shoot. You can learn as you go, nothing magical here.
Gary
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
135
Location
Israel
@Luke_Miller that sounds reasonable, thank you for the explanation!
@gchappel you really find that a lot have change in terms of how to utilize the camera? (buttons rearrangement and a few more helpful but minor features aside)
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
1,525
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I think you will find the body handles differently than the d300- I sure did.
Most of the differences you need to learn in the field. Go shoot with the d500 for a month. If you are still having issues, read the book. Even moving from the d4 to the d500 I found I had to practice with the new metering and focusing systems for a while before I knew their strengths.
Gary
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
Real Name
Tim
After shooting a show last night (really just practicing) I discovered that I actually like the fact that it over exposes a tad. I was mainly playing around with trying different settings for shooting live shows but as I went through the 250 or so shots from last night I was pretty impressed during post that when I pulled shots that seemed overexposed back they were pretty fantastic. As I learn this body more (and I've had it since a couple days after release) I'm more and more impressed...when they put this AF system, etc, into a new full frame body (read more affordable then a D5) I'm in serious trouble...
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
4,375
Location
CT USA
I've actually found the D500 to over-expose less than my D300. I pretty much shot the D300 at -1/3 and the D500 seems to stay at 0 more often than not, though -1/3 doesn't seem to do bad things. My D5 really tends under, that I find dialing in +1/3 often. Somewhere around the D4 they changed the metering from what it had been in the F5 matrix meter days. Seems less predictable than it used to be.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,889
Location
UK
Interesting thread as the subject of exposure often crops up with more often than not people mentioning that their camera seems to overexpose from anything between 1/3rd and 2/3rd of a stop.

While you can adjust exposure by dialing in a plus or minus in camera it is in my opinion worth taking a look at why this appears to be happening. Why it is worth looking at is due to the fact that if you start to adjust camera compensation to minus values you may actually be increasing the amount of underexposure by more than you realise, possibly anywhere up to -2 stops! The effect of which may lead to loss of shadow detail and an increase in noise.

Question is does this matter (or is it really important - to you!) is a question only you can answer but from my POV it does matter.

How we decide what is overexposure is key here.

If it is the fact that in your raw converter images are presented on screen as far too light with the histogram showing a piling up on the right hand wall, it may be overexposure. On the other hand if your raw converter is any one of several popular in today's market it may well be the result of the provider brightening an image and applying baseline exposure compensation to the raw data prior to the screen rendering.

For Nikon DSLR the amount of compensation applied in the background may be the equivalent of +1.5 EV i.e. 0.3-0.5 baseline plus 1.00 EV due to Process Version in LR or ACR, the same in DxO and others.

I would add that if you can recover the image in your raw converter from what appears at first sight to be overexposed/blown highlights then that image is not truly overexposed and in fact may have less than optimum exposure in the first instance due to your raw converters default working parameters for your particular camera.

The first two images in this thread do not appear to be overexposed but rather the matrix metering has applied an exposure to give an average image value falling around middle grey, with the exception of the top right third of the first image appearing perhaps lighter than desired. If this portion can be pulled back in post then the overall exposure will be either correct or even still a little under.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,889
Location
UK
Thought we would hear from you, Tony. You see I referenced our previous discussion concerning the D7200.
Hi Jim, I did notice and thought a little additional info may be helpful based of course on my findings.

It's also worth saying that most manufacturers follow ANSI/ISO standards for exposure metering in camera which ranges from about 12 -14% calibration. AFAIK Nikon use a K value of 12.5% which would place a plain metered area as a mid grey tone with a histogram spike left of centre depending on the raw converter defaults.

I would expect in this case that metering an important highlight area and then opening up by +3 EV (maybe even a touch more?) should still retain full texture detail - but of course would require thorough testing
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
328
humm at d7200 i recently tried seemed to overexpose by at least 2/3 of a stop on a recent trip. it had the latest firmware version whereas another with the prior firmware version did not.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,889
Location
UK
humm at d7200 i recently tried seemed to overexpose by at least 2/3 of a stop on a recent trip. it had the latest firmware version whereas another with the prior firmware version did not.
If shot at the same time side by side of the same subject then I would be checking exactly what the firmware changed. If not I would be thinking possible red herring?

Question: Were your overexposed areas truly overexposed i.e. you could not bring detail back by reducing exposure or adjusting highlights?
If using ACR or LR what happens if you just reduce the exposure by -1.3 stops?
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
135
Location
Israel
First of all thank you for the information, it is really interesting.
That being said, I'm not sure I agree with you on the definition of overexposed in this case... As 1/3-2/3 stops difference is pretty small error most of the time it could be saved in post but what I meant is that the picture's could benefit color/contrast wise from little less light and fixing in post wouldn't necessarily give the same results.
I would agree though that some of the pictures which seemed to be overexposed in the field turned out to be ok, so it might just be that I yet to get use to D500's superior dynamic range, I don't know.. Most pictures - even the correctly exposed ones seemed a whole lot brighter than Im used to somehow.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom