Sony DCR-TRV33E Digicam - Over exposing on auto

  machins 08:09 16 Jul 04
Locked

I recently purchased a Sony DCR-TRV33E Digicam as it was a top buy in PC Advisor.
The performance of the camera is excellent, colour, definition etc. except for one thing. On most scenes the 'highlights' are overexposed and therefore 'burnt out' on playback. This is mostly seen on outdoor clips where the detail in the sky or in the brighter areas of the image are totally lost.
OK, I can overcome this using the manual settings, but what's the point of an autoexposure setting?
Has anyone else had this problem?

  stlucia 08:48 16 Jul 04

Not specifically. But are there any settings adjustments you can make to the way the auto system works? I'm aware that some cameras allow you to change from average to spot metering, and probably some steps inbetween.

But, fully automatic metering does have its setbacks which can't be overcome other than by switching to manual: For instance, when you're taking a shot which includes landscape and a bright sky it can't get the exposure right for both of them, so you have to choose which is more important to you. This is not just a fault of amateur cameras -- professionals use lighting, reflectors, etc. to minimise the difference between foreground and background when they want them to be equally prominent in the finished film.

If you still think the camera is not performing as it should, now is the time to take it back to where you bought it.

  machins 09:06 16 Jul 04

I think you are right - it is more a question of technique probably.
Thanks for the advice

  stlucia 10:19 16 Jul 04

Yes, it's probably down to technique. If the shots where you notice the problem are ones of people or things in the shade, and the sky is 'washed out', then that is normal (often it's the other way round, the sky is okay but the subjects are too dark): If your subjects were in good sunlight, the sky won't be completely 'washed out', but won't have as much detail as you perhaps want. The only way to get the sky part of the picture exposed properly on auto is to aim the camera at the sky!

But, keep an open mind as you gain experience. If you still think the contrast between the exposure of the sky and landscape is too great, get the camera back to the shop before too long -- it could be a fault with the sensor or electronics.

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