Exposure Compensation: finally a jargon free method for getting perfect exposure

Exposure Compensation: finally a jargon-free method for getting perfect exposure

How much exposure compensation should I use?

Don’t rely on your rear LCD monitor alone to gauge how much exposure compensation is required. The screen’s brightness can make an image appear brighter or darker than it actually is.

Instead, you need to call up the histogram. This enables you to instantly see if any compensation is required and accurately measure how much to dial in. Take a test shot, review the histogram and apply any compensation, then reshoot.

Alternatively, switch to Live View and use the live histogram to apply exposure adjustments on the fly. Just remember to reset any compensation when you’ve finished taking pictures.

How much exposure compensation should I use: underexposed

A white subject shot against a pale background is a recipe for an underexposed image. Here you can see the histogram trails off long before it reaches the right (bright) edge of the scale.


How much exposure compensation should I use: +2/3 stop

Exposure compensation + 2/3 stop
Dialling in 2/3 of positive compensation pushes the histogram to the right. More compensation would push it off the edge of the scale – making the brightest parts of the swan overexposed.

PAGE 1: Common questions about using exposure compensation
PAGE 2: How much exposure compensation should I use?
PAGE 3: How to control your camera’s exposure compensation
PAGE 4: What is highlight alert?
PAGE 5: 3 ways your camera’s auto exposure can get it wrong


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