DSLR Image Preview display questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wheelhot, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well I recently had a shoot and it was during bright daylight, I took the shot, and the model was pitch black in the camera, surprisingly, when I upload, the model picture is not as dark as when I first saw it.

    There are sometimes also, that I shoot the model in the dark, the model looks perfect in the DSLR display, but when upload, turns out the model is a tad underexpose, I'm guessing she looks ok in the DSLR display is due to dark area which manage to show extra details?

    Another event I remember was, the building was orange in color, it was noon and the sun cause the orange colored wall to brighten up so bad and the people in the wedding event have orange colored skin, I adjusted my WB, but when I uploaded the pic, it was still too much orange.

    So with this varying conditions which effects our opinion when we see the DSLR Image preview, how do we shoot and ensure that we get the "correct" image when we upload to the computer?

  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Do as much as you can exposure wise to get it right in camera - shoot in RAW so you can fix it later.

    It might be worth investing in a grey card to get the exposure right. Though to be honest experience can help a lot.

    Preview displays are getting better, you could try a popup screen hood to shade it a bit, however I think they look quite naff.
  3. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    1. Shoot RAW as other poster said.
    2. Use exposure bracketing for even safer shooting.
    3. Slight underexposure is better than overexposure- you can usually recover shadow details, but if you blow out parts of an image detail is unrecoverable.

    Keep in mind that more experienced photographers do these things MORE than inexperienced photographers, that certainly says something. Usually its the amateur that needs safer practices, but it's always better to be safe than sorry with important photos.

    In terms of judging by image preview, you may be able to with experience and experimentation guesstimate the real image based on the tendencies of your DSLR LCD. Maybe it always is darker or lighter than actual image, or maybe its always a bit too saturated, etc. Of course every camera will be different in this regard.

    Shoot some test images of different subjects and exposure levels, copy them to computer and leave them on card so you can compare them side by side on your camera and computer.
  4. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Would the histogram not be a good tool? Not an entirely rhetorical question, I'd genuinely appreciate some insight.
  5. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Don't use the LCD screen to evaluate the actual image. It's going to look different from your computer screen. Just use the histogram on the back to evaluate your exposure (expose as far to the right as you can without hitting the ride side wall), and know that whatever color or white balance your camera shows is not important if you're shooting RAW, because these variables can be adjusted to whatever you need without losing quality in the conversion.
  6. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    The histogram is very useful, but the information it displays is based on the jpg preview image (the same one that is shown on the back of the camera), rather than the RAW data. So, areas that appear blown out on the histogram (i.e., when the camera interprets the RAW data) aren't necessarily blown out when you get to your computer and get access to the RAW files.

    Of course, there really isn't a better indicator, but sometimes it's useful to keep this in mind if just a bit of the image appears blown out on this histogram.
  7. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I use a gray card to take a reference shot as required (start of shoot and whenever the light has changed substantially), and I normally use a uniWB white balance setting. My image preview usually looks like a scene out of the Matrix but I only use it for histogram review.
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    use a gray card for a baseline and then use the histogram to tweak exposure.
  9. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Thanks for the replies.

    Regarding the histogram thing, so to ensure a good historgram, I must get it to the right (brighter) without blowing it out right? because usually I see my histogram as biased towards the left side (darker?).

    Its kinda funny when I think bout it though, some shots look soo good in camera but when it is placed in the computer, it doesn't look that good anymore.

    So if I want to get most things right in camera, I should rely on the histogram?
  10. jabbott macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2009
    Yep, the histogram is your friend. You want the histogram to not be "spiked" at either edge (left edge represents 100% dark and right edge represents 100% light), because that means there are either shadows or highlights that cannot be recovered from the image. You can also have spiking in the middle but that is much less common... it can happen if you are shooting an intensely colored flower for instance.
  11. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    You should use the histogram, but if you want it to be reliable (that is, to be accurate enough to expose further to the right) then you need to combine it with UniWB or NearUniWB.

  12. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Great info guys, now the tip that I once read about don't delete the photo in your camera without viewing it on the monitor finally makes sense :rolleyes:

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