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bbarlow641
03-01-2005, 10:27 PM
A few months ago, I went completely digital and bought a D70. I haven't been happier with a purchase since I don't know when. But...
many of my pictures (most taken on the "auto" setting) benefit from brightening in Photoshop or whatever. Auto white balance, let the camera pick it all - almost point and shoot. But most of them seem a little on the dark side.
I've played around a little with some of the settings, reading the manual and experimenting, but I haven't figured out why I get the results I do.
May I be missing some basic feature?

TheObiJuan
03-01-2005, 10:38 PM
use aperture priority mode to get brighter pictures.
but be warry if the shutter speed drops too much to hand hold.

are you using the kit lens? bc a fast prime may get you better pictures.

ktixx
03-01-2005, 11:02 PM
A few months ago, I went completely digital and bought a D70. I haven't been happier with a purchase since I don't know when. But...
many of my pictures (most taken on the "auto" setting) benefit from brightening in Photoshop or whatever. Auto white balance, let the camera pick it all - almost point and shoot. But most of them seem a little on the dark side.
I've played around a little with some of the settings, reading the manual and experimenting, but I haven't figured out why I get the results I do.
May I be missing some basic feature?

I think something to recognize is that DSLR's (whether consumer, Pro-sumer or PRO) are not meant to be used on auto. One of the main reason to purchase a DSLR is because of all the features packed into it, and the FULL manual control. Although I do not own a D70 I do know that auto function can in no way compare to manual. First and foremost I would recommend that you read your manual and take a few pictures in manual mode just to make sure that the camera isn't broken or malfunctioning in any way. The pictures don't even have to be of anything significant, just make sure they are properly exposed. If you have properly exposed the shot then you should no longer have a problem with darkness, if you still do, then there may be something wrong with your camera. If you browse this forum a little more you will see that a lot of people have problems in Auto mode, not only with Nikon, but Cannon DSLR's also. Take a look at the Kodak Gray cards in the middle of this review http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digital/eos20d.html When set to auto, the gray card looks orange, when preset to tungsten light, it looks a little less orange, and when custom balanced the card looks gray. It goes with the saying which you will see countless times on this forum: it isn't the camera that is taking the great pics, it is the photographer. Good luck and happy shooting.
Ken

bbarlow641
03-01-2005, 11:09 PM
a 35-70AF Nikkor that I moved over from my film Nikon. Bought the D70 as body-only to use existing lenses. Wish I'd sprung for the kit. Maybe time to add the Sigma 18-125?

Samuel Lo
03-01-2005, 11:28 PM
a 35-70AF Nikkor that I moved over from my film Nikon. Bought the D70 as body-only to use existing lenses. Wish I'd sprung for the kit. Maybe time to add the Sigma 18-125?

No, the problem may not be solved even if you buy a new Lens. Did the pictures you taken look dark under all circumstances? i.e. under sun light, using flash, night shoot, have a higher ISO setting...
If you still think the Lens is bad, you can borrow a Lens from others to test whether there is a Lens problem; or you can take the D70 to a shop to try their Lens (pretended you want to buy one) and give a test.

Charles C. Weston
03-02-2005, 02:45 PM
I had the same problem having all of the exposures being underexposed when I bought my D70 last May. At that time I had not discovered this chat room, so I asked Nikon for help. After many exchanges of test shots they decided that the problem was with the lenses. I was using Sigma lenses at the time because the Nikon "kit" lens was unavailable at the time. So I changed to all Nikkor's and still had the problem. I changed bodies four times and still had poor results.
Then I discovered this chat room and George Rheim very kindly worked with me and discovered that the ISO setting was incorrect. I had thought that when in fully "Automatic Mode" everything was automatic. Not so. The ISO remains at the setting that was last used. So,when shooting pictures in poor lighting I had used a high ISO setting, it remained there when I switched to Automatic the next day. I now always check the ISO. In the P, S, A and M modes and the ISO set on auto in the menu setting the ISO is automaticly set. For some perverse reason this does not happen in the Automatic setting.
I also found that using custom curves has improved my pictures to the point where I hardly need to use PS Elements. Also, I find that Nikon Capture processes the RAW shots more accurately than either Elements or ACD See.

D70FAN
03-02-2005, 04:06 PM
Thanks for filling in Charles. ;)

Believe it or not this is a fairly common problem (forgetting that you have the ISO set in manual and then switch to auto). But once you know the symptom...

Charles C. Weston
03-02-2005, 08:30 PM
George. Forgive me for spelling your name incorrectly.

D70FAN
03-02-2005, 09:14 PM
George. Forgive me for spelling your name incorrectly.

Hey, If I had a dollar for every time it's been spelled wrong (including employers) I would be able to retire early... :)

bbarlow641
03-05-2005, 12:06 AM
1) The comment about the lens was really driven by "equipment lust", not really a belief that my lens is bad. :-) However, during experimentation and manual reading, I came across this, in the discussion of Auto white balance: "For best results, use type G or D lens." I've no idea what I have type-wise, or how different "best results" might be.
2) I have done some more controlled experimentation, and starting to tap the capabilities of the camera, but don't yet have a definitive set of working answers - settings that will be optimum for my uses and style.
3) I realize that the camera is meant for "intentional photography" (a phrase I think I read here), and have used aperture priority mode for controlling depth of field and shutter mode for action shots, but I think that for many "grab type" pictures, the camera should be able to choose those settings by itself. After all, that's why it's paid the big bucks. And choosing aperture priority mode with f5.6 and getting 1/250 the shutter is (all other settings equal) the same as choosing auto and having the camera choose f5.6 @ 1/250, right?

D70FAN
03-05-2005, 08:32 AM
1) The comment about the lens was really driven by "equipment lust", not really a belief that my lens is bad. :-) However, during experimentation and manual reading, I came across this, in the discussion of Auto white balance: "For best results, use type G or D lens." I've no idea what I have type-wise, or how different "best results" might be.
2) I have done some more controlled experimentation, and starting to tap the capabilities of the camera, but don't yet have a definitive set of working answers - settings that will be optimum for my uses and style.
3) I realize that the camera is meant for "intentional photography" (a phrase I think I read here), and have used aperture priority mode for controlling depth of field and shutter mode for action shots, but I think that for many "grab type" pictures, the camera should be able to choose those settings by itself. After all, that's why it's paid the big bucks. And choosing aperture priority mode with f5.6 and getting 1/250 the shutter is (all other settings equal) the same as choosing auto and having the camera choose f5.6 @ 1/250, right?

I think that your 35-70 is the AF D f2.8 (a very nice portrait and landscape lens). You can look at the lens markings to confirm this.

All things considered from your settings above, and ISO checked to make sure that it is not set to auto and is at a reasonable setting for daylight shooting (200-400), underexposure should not be a problem.

I suppose if the lens were failing that it would affect exposure. So again try a different lens.

I shoot in AP mode most of the time, switching to SP for sports or times when shutter speed is critical.

Yes the camera should be able to choose the settings automatically.

It would really help if you could post some pictures.

gary_hendricks
03-05-2005, 09:24 AM
Try using aperture priority mode ...

bbarlow641
03-05-2005, 08:39 PM
The link below points to pictures from a test session this morning with the D70. Photography 101. All were taken with auto white balance and ISO 200. m1a, m2, m3 refer to the color space - sRGB, Adobe RGB, and sRGB respectively. These pictures are not examples of darkness; the auto and landscape program seem quite nice, at least on the screen. On paper, the aperture priority seems better, although some of the snow detail is lost.

http://www.geoprosystems.com/test%20pictures%20D70/index.html

All photos are untouched (2.5 MB or so) except the one with "enhan" in the label has been worked over a little.

So, it's good training, and I'll learn from the experimentation.

palmbook
03-05-2005, 09:34 PM
I didn't read all of your post above, just skimmed through. If there is any repeatitive texts, forgive me for that.

Most DSLR and prosumers usually give a bit darker image, in order to compensate for poor performance of CCD/CMOS to collect data in highlight. To be said, it darkens the photos a bit to preserve details in highlight zones.

DSLR also suffers from inaccurate exposure metering. While you can trust those Matrix metering in novel Coolpix cameras, Matrix metering in D70 is no better than what I've seen in old film cameras (Well, it's better, but not as good as compact cameras). When the picture includes large portion of bright zone, the photo is darkened :( You will need to compensate for +1.0 to +2.0EV to get real bright in some circumstances.

However, I think you got dark photos because of number 1 - keep the hi-light thing. Many photographers - included me - always compensate for +0.3 to +0.7 EV to get proper exposure in most scenes. Also somebody loads a curve to compensate this and boost up somewhat dimming colors too. :)

If you try everything I said above and nothing is better or your image is darkened terribly, contact Nikon. There are a lot of people who get defective D70. It is about a circuit board inside. Send it to Nikon, Nikon swaps the board and every is absolutely fine. :)

D70FAN
03-06-2005, 09:48 AM
I didn't read all of your post above, just skimmed through. If there is any repeatitive texts, forgive me for that.

Most DSLR and prosumers usually give a bit darker image, in order to compensate for poor performance of CCD/CMOS to collect data in highlight. To be said, it darkens the photos a bit to preserve details in highlight zones.

DSLR also suffers from inaccurate exposure metering. While you can trust those Matrix metering in novel Coolpix cameras, Matrix metering in D70 is no better than what I've seen in old film cameras (Well, it's better, but not as good as compact cameras). When the picture includes large portion of bright zone, the photo is darkened :( You will need to compensate for +1.0 to +2.0EV to get real bright in some circumstances.

However, I think you got dark photos because of number 1 - keep the hi-light thing. Many photographers - included me - always compensate for +0.3 to +0.7 EV to get proper exposure in most scenes. Also somebody loads a curve to compensate this and boost up somewhat dimming colors too. :)

If you try everything I said above and nothing is better or your image is darkened terribly, contact Nikon. There are a lot of people who get defective D70. It is about a circuit board inside. Send it to Nikon, Nikon swaps the board and every is absolutely fine. :)

Maybe I missed it in earlier posts, but it what is your background in digital cameras? Please don't take that opening statement to be confrontational. It's just that you seem to have some expertise in this area.

It would be very helpful to readers here to have some additional insight and perspective on digital equipment. In this case which cameras don't display the underexposure characteristics referenced and specific references to the D70 3D matrix metering weakness vs. other dSLR's.

I am certainly no expert, and definately don't claim to be, but after, using and owning digital cameras since the Kodak D50 (1996) and now the D70 for almost a year, I have pretty much figured it out, and have used many of the newer consumer dSLR's for days and weeks, at a time, just to evaluate wheather or not I wanted to buy them.

I haven't run into the underexposure problem, on my D70, except when I accidentely leave the ISO set at 1600 and then go back to Auto so maybe I need to re-evaluate my pictures as they may all be underexposed and I don't even realize it.

As an update: The Nikon defect referenced was discovered on early D70's and Nikon has replaced that circuit. I had the opposite problem with, the same circuit, on my D70 in that after 11 months the camera started over-exposing (intermittantly) and then finally failed. Nikon did turn the repair quickly and almost painlessly. ;)

Anyway, it is nice to have an additional person on these boards with technical expertise (I know it helps me), and I look forward to your insight in the future. Thanks.

palmbook
03-06-2005, 04:27 PM
For the defect problems - as far as I know the cameras that have SN begin with 700xxxx to 705xxxx are likely to be defective.

for underexposure issue - it's normal of all DSLRs and prosumers (I'm talking in the case that everything in the image balances into 18% gray). It's just that you notice it all not. 0.3 - 0.7EV underexposed images seem normal for some people, whereas the rest figure out that it's underexposed.

And for inaccurate metering system for DSLRs - It's not 3D Matrix Metering weaknesses, but it's all DSLRs' weaknesses. When they (DSLRs) encounter the bright-dominated or dark-dominated scenes, they are likely to under/overexposed a lot. This problem rarely happens with Prosumers.

In fact, there is no surprise here. DSLRs use proprietary exposure sensors. The one in D70 is just 1005 pixels sensor. There is nowhere matched 8Megapixels CCD used to calculate exposure and white-balance at all.

I use both Nikon 8800 and Nikon D70. That's why I can compare and contrast both of them. Also I play around with other cameras sometimes - Canon 300D, Canon 1D Mark II, Minolta Maxxum 7D, .... All exhibit underexposure issue and also inaccurate metering.

The good thing to compensate these two issues is DSLRs can capture RAWs quickly. So you can adjust wrong exposure and whitebalance later easily.

palmbook
03-06-2005, 05:18 PM
Well, for the serial number stuff, I have found a thread concerning about it. However, it's on other website - famous digital camera website (you know whom lol). Is it okay to post its link here?

D70FAN
03-06-2005, 05:21 PM
Well, for the serial number stuff, I have found a thread concerning about it. However, it's on other website - famous digital camera website (you know whom lol). Is it okay to post its link here?

If it would help out the readers here I don't see why not. I post lnks when they will help people out, and Jeff has never objected...

palmbook
03-06-2005, 05:37 PM
If it would help out the readers here I don't see why not. I post lnks when they will help people out, and Jeff has never objected...
Thank you for your reply :)

D70 serial numbers and problems (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=12139151)

MrForgetable
03-27-2005, 11:39 PM
Hey, If I had a dollar for every time it's been spelled wrong (including employers) I would be able to retire early... :)

at swimming invitationals, my name is usually spelled "geroge" on the swim lineups.

ha ha!

giantcycle
05-04-2005, 08:02 AM
Just happened on this after experiencing the same problem as the original poster. As I gather it, the main two suggestions were to set ISO to auto and try aperture priority.

Most of my photo work is quick -- grab and go -- and I waited a long time before trying a D70 because I was having such good results with my ole N8008. With all the default settings, exposure would be fine on the 8008. (Then, if I wanted to concentrate and really work on a shot, I could do that too.) I'm a little disappointed that the D70 has made me work harder on this front.

But I do thank this group for the suggestions.

Doug

D70FAN
05-04-2005, 09:50 AM
Just happened on this after experiencing the same problem as the original poster. As I gather it, the main two suggestions were to set ISO to auto and try aperture priority.

Most of my photo work is quick -- grab and go -- and I waited a long time before trying a D70 because I was having such good results with my ole N8008. With all the default settings, exposure would be fine on the 8008. (Then, if I wanted to concentrate and really work on a shot, I could do that too.) I'm a little disappointed that the D70 has made me work harder on this front.

But I do thank this group for the suggestions.

Doug

First of all, I think you want to set ISO manually. I keep mine at 200 or 400 90% of the time with auto ISO OFF. Even when shooting in Auto (which I rarely do anymore).

I have found the "scene" settings as a handy reference for learning how the camera reacts and then using that information for other situations. It's like having a built in situation tutorial.

You may have noticed that dSLR's have a few more options than film SLR's, so there is a small learning curve. Once you learn the settings proceedures, using the front and rear thumbwheels, and reading/using the histograms, the camera should become pretty transparent.

As a standard starting point try ISO Auto OFF, ISO set to 200, aperture priority mode set to f8 in normal daylight. This is pretty much a point-n-shoot mode. If you need higher shutter speeds, shift to shutter priority.

This learning process is true for all dSLR's.

MrToes
05-10-2005, 01:32 AM
Download the custom "Point and shoot" curve from http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/downloads.html. With the standard tone curve I found I had either extreme highlights or extreme shadows... Otherwise play with the tonal curves in Photoshop!

Matthew.
www.mrtoes.net

MrForgetable
05-27-2005, 08:11 PM
i played with a D70 and some pictures were so dark you could not even see what was in the picture on the LCD.. you could see faint people in the background, but the rest was pretty much black. i was using the kit lens 18-70mm.

i put it to Aperture priority and put it as F3.5 and it still came out like so. then i went to shutter priority and put lens at 18mm, and tried the shutter speed at 1/125, which was even worse then when i was in aperture priority.

so i chose 1/40th of a second, there was movement blur but now i could see the subjects although the histogram was still way too dark. so then i lowered it to 1/10 and got even more blur, but now the histogram showed that the picture was fairly well lit. i was in a fairly well lit room (still bad i know, but it shouldn't be so bad that i can't see anything i shot? or am i too used to P+S where that is not the case anymore)...

i'm kind of sad because the D70 feels so much better in my hands than the Digital Rebel XT, but this problem and moire are bugging me. so instead of going canon, i might just go olympus :p

bbarlow641
05-28-2005, 09:00 PM
Given that the other, unmentioned, settings (e.g. ISO) are reasonable, it sounds like something's "broke". If you got the camera from a nearby store, I'd take it back and go thru a demo with them.
Of course, I can't see the room or the lighting or the distance from the subjects, so there's not really much to be said authoritatively.

MrForgetable
05-29-2005, 01:27 AM
Given that the other, unmentioned, settings (e.g. ISO) are reasonable, it sounds like something's "broke". If you got the camera from a nearby store, I'd take it back and go thru a demo with them.
Of course, I can't see the room or the lighting or the distance from the subjects, so there's not really much to be said authoritatively.

it was the school newspaper's camera. it worked fine most of the time but there was this time where it was just bleh.. all black photos for about 10 frames. it was right after we put down the flash? maybe that's why. camera thought there would be flash but there wasn't.

jsierra21
08-01-2005, 08:08 AM
hi palmbook,

about the SN, is this the bglod or is it another defect? i'm kinda worried because my sn falls under the 705xxxx. i bought my D70 three weeks ago and i specifically told the seller not to give me the bglod d70's. He told me not to worry as those with defects were of the 700xxxx series. :confused:

jsierra21


For the defect problems - as far as I know the cameras that have SN begin with 700xxxx to 705xxxx are likely to be defective.

for underexposure issue - it's normal of all DSLRs and prosumers (I'm talking in the case that everything in the image balances into 18% gray). It's just that you notice it all not. 0.3 - 0.7EV underexposed images seem normal for some people, whereas the rest figure out that it's underexposed.

And for inaccurate metering system for DSLRs - It's not 3D Matrix Metering weaknesses, but it's all DSLRs' weaknesses. When they (DSLRs) encounter the bright-dominated or dark-dominated scenes, they are likely to under/overexposed a lot. This problem rarely happens with Prosumers.

In fact, there is no surprise here. DSLRs use proprietary exposure sensors. The one in D70 is just 1005 pixels sensor. There is nowhere matched 8Megapixels CCD used to calculate exposure and white-balance at all.

I use both Nikon 8800 and Nikon D70. That's why I can compare and contrast both of them. Also I play around with other cameras sometimes - Canon 300D, Canon 1D Mark II, Minolta Maxxum 7D, .... All exhibit underexposure issue and also inaccurate metering.

The good thing to compensate these two issues is DSLRs can capture RAWs quickly. So you can adjust wrong exposure and whitebalance later easily.

D70FAN
08-01-2005, 09:41 AM
hi palmbook,

about the SN, is this the bglod or is it another defect? i'm kinda worried because my sn falls under the 705xxxx. i bought my D70 three weeks ago and i specifically told the seller not to give me the bglod d70's. He told me not to worry as those with defects were of the 700xxxx series. :confused:

jsierra21

Palmbook has been MIA since the beginning of June. Hopefully nothing nothing more serious than living. ;)

At this point in time I think the backfocus issue has been taken care of, but check your new camera anyway. This issue is not unique to Nikon and rest assured that it is not a general problem. I bought my D70 in March of 2004, and backfocus was not an issue.

Again testing this is relatively easy, and if there is a problem Nikon will turn it in 7 working days (2 weeks in realtime with transit) under warranty.

Glenn Kennedy
08-28-2005, 05:24 AM
I stumbled onto this site sort-of by accident this morning - I own an early D70 and was reading about the BGLoD (No problems yet!!) and came on this thread. I have experienced similar problems - but rarely use automatic or auto ISO. Charles Weston (Post 6) made a comment about "custom curves" helping.

Dopey question from a forum newbie - but are these an adjustable feature of the camera or of photoshop?

Thanks - if anyone can offer a few words of explanation they'd be appreciated.