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Question re R5 Exposure (Viewfinder vs What I See Directly in Room)


Hello all. New to this forum.  I'm a beginner to intermediate photographer.  I noticed something with my new R5.  I'll try to explain this carefully.  Using the 24-70 f2.8 lens.


Everything works great, but in low light inside I noticed the following.  I'm in a gray colored office with one celing light.  Just testing the camear and learning the controls.  With indoor light at night when I look into the viewfinder with the exposure set to "0" on the sliding scale (in Auto or Manual mode), I see a much brighter room than what I see with my own eyes looking around.  It's as if the camera had a light shining on the room.  I brought down the viewfinder brightness some, but that's not the only issue.  Same issues on my digital flip screen.  When I take a photo it's very bright relative to the actual room.  If I'm setting the f stop and shutter speed such that the exposure meter shows "0", why is the photo not represent what I see in the room?  It looks great, don't get me wrong, but it's not what the room looks like.  If I'm in manual mode, I need to change the f stop or shutter speed to reduce the exposure to almost -2 on the scale to get the image I'm seeing with my own eyes.  The photo then looks almost exactly like the room.


I read there is something about the exposure meter using a part of the gray color spectrum to determine exposure and it will be bright sometimes, so maybe it's the room I'm in.  But I have this issue pretty much in all indoor, low light conditions.


I would have thought what I see through the viewfinder is the same as the room so I can make decisions on how to capture light.  As a beginner do I have to look around my environement and adjust exposure above or below "0" to capture what I see if that's what I'm looking to accomplish?


I had a similar issue with my Canon 80D.  I found myself in general shooting one stop lower than 0 in order to be closer to what I saw around me.  Sometimes outside also.


I'm sure I'm making a newbee mitake.  Would appreciate feedback here.  Thank you!



Welcome to the forum.


You might be experiencing this:


Canon Knowledge Base - Canon : Product Manual : EOS R5 : Exposure Simulation

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

Thank you for your prompt response.  I have that feature enabled.  When I turn it off, the viewfinder screen just doens't go darker or ligher as you adjust the exposure.  It just stays bright (and brighter than the room).  When I enable it, then as you adjust the exposure, the screen does darken/lighten.  The problem is still that the view finder is too bright at "0" when enabled or disabled.  


For example, I just tried again with only my computer screen on in the room (which is very bright and had an all white screen).  The room is pretty dark but the camera through the viewfinder is as if there is a bright light on in the room.  I took a picture at 400 ISO, 2 sec shutter speed and 2.8 f stop (all of which gave me "0" on the exposure meter scale).  The viewfinder shows a bright room as if there are a lot of lights on.  It doesn't even come close to the dark room I see with my own eyes. 


In other words, using automatic or manual and using the exposure scale as a guide, if I set the exposure such that the scale is at "0" it takes a photo that is much brighter than what I see.  I guess I'm wrong to assume that at "0" the exposure scale would represent what I see. 


Let's say I want a picture of my low light room they way I see it through my own eyes.  I now have to reduce the exposure to -2 or more to get it to look like the room.  This is what confuses me.  It's as if the camera knows it's going to be too dark and ups lighting to be brighter than what I see, and then I need to take the exposure down.  I'm trying to figure out how exposure works relative to what my eyes see without the camera.


On the back screen the photo I took is brighter than the room.  So the camera is doing something to make the photo brighter at "0" on the scale.


So I'm trying to figure out if this is normal and I just need to adjust the exposure myself to compensate for the relative difference between the camera and my eyes in low light.

That's normal behavior.  The metering does not know, and cannot know how the ambient light appears to your eyes.  It will always adjust exposure as if the room were normally lit.  Use exposure compensaton to correct the exposure.  Live View may help in this regard.

"The right mouse button is your friend."