View Full Version : Overexposed and out of focus, help - IXUS100

12-05-2010, 10:35am
Hi all,

I normally use a Canon 450D but when I go out fishing, I usually use my compact Canon IXUS100.

Ironically, I am finding it difficult to take good photos with the IXUS ! I am basically after clear shots of the fish which I am almost certain that using the AV feature on the 450D will allow me to do.

I am going to include two photos below - first one I believe is a bit overexposed and the second one is simply out of focus. I usually stick to the "centre focus", "auto servo off" and occasionally use the macro function. I usually focus on the eyes of the fish and then re-centre the camera to a more suitable position. Come to think of it, it looks as though I shook the camera on the second photo !!

As I am fishing, and I do release these fish, I want to be able to catch, take a quick snap and release these guys with as little time out of the water as possible. Having said that, I want to have the correct settings pre-selected on the compact.

Can someone suggest some settings/functions that I should be looking into/reading up on ? I have the user manual handy and would love to be pointed into the right direction.

Thanks !

By null (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/null) at 2010-05-11

By null (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/null) at 2010-05-11

15-05-2010, 12:19am
I think even on the P&S you should be able to do exposure compensation. Look for it in the menu.
I'm not sure why it overexposed but if it looks too bright on the review, dial down the compensation say 2/3 stops or 1 stops and retake it.
As for the bluriness, since there was no flash and the photo was overexposing, the shutter speed may have been too slow to hand hold. If that's the case, try increasing ISO by 1/2 or 1 stop but beware the the ISO performance deteriorates quickly on P&S cameras.

17-05-2010, 10:38am
Thanks swifty, I will try out the exposure composition settings and one thing I did not consider was the positioning of the subject and where the sun was shining when I took those photos ! That may have had an adverse effect on the pics...

Will try a few different settings and see how I go next time I am out. Thanks.

24-05-2010, 11:56pm
not sure if you can change many settings on that model ixus but if you can change from matrix metering to spot metering that might help

25-05-2010, 12:06am
Yep there is spot metering. Should I focus on the eyes still? I have a feeling that may be what's causing the overexposure ? Or is the the placement of the subject? Ie sun not in the right position in relation to the subject?

25-05-2010, 8:38am
Yep there is spot metering. Should I focus on the eyes still? I have a feeling that may be what's causing the overexposure ? Or is the the placement of the subject? Ie sun not in the right position in relation to the subject?

If you are going to spot meter and don't want over-exposed areas, you need to meter off the brightest part of the scene (fish), which in these examples is the belly.

26-05-2010, 9:11pm
Oops sorry. No spot metering on the ixus only spot FOCUS. Sorry for the confusion

26-05-2010, 9:20pm
Hi Stylo. I thought just what "beaco" said, and I was sure that your camera should have some spot metering. I got this from the DP Review site. It does have it, assuming that is your camera. Am.
This is the line...
"Metering Evaluative, Center Weighted, Spot"

27-05-2010, 10:12am
You guys are spot on! :Doh:

It has the metering features listed above - for some reason I thought these represented where the camera was actually focusing ?

You learn something new everyday ! I always thought that when using spot metering, that the spot was the focus point.

I also just realised that on my DSLR, there is the same metering function AND also the manual focus points that you can choose using the "diamond like" grid ... so they are two absolutely different functions that I got confused with there .. metering and focusing. I think this should clear things up with the pics.

Fully understand now. Will take a few more pics when I am out next and experiment with the metering.

Thanks so much for the suggestions !

28-05-2010, 10:23am
A question ....

When I use spot meter on the fishes belly, it will FOCUS also on the belly ... not the eyes/mouth/lure where I want it ..

Is this a limitation of using a compact as it only has the centre focus (and face evaluative) focusing function


is the 'spot metering' spot and the 'focus' spot the same dot i.e. on a DSLR you can get away with this as you can spot meter on the belly and then manually use the focus ring to focus on the eyes ?

28-05-2010, 12:44pm
Use your exposure compensation. With P&S cameras I tend to set it to -1/3 during the day as a starting point. For any shiny or object that has a lot of white where I need to focus on the white I drop it further ie -1. I also set my ISO to 80.

Macro mode has produced some awesome shots of lizards for me with the eyes and scales in very sharp focus. Once you set your focus you may not be able to change the camera angle or distance to subject much. So don't get close, focus on the belly, then pull back or else it will come out blurry. Rather than the belly you could focus on the bright scales near the edge of the belly. Macro is also very particular about how close you can get to the subject and have it focus properly so you may need to play around with distance.

Experiment with some of the auto modes, Beach mode for instance is designed to compensate for bright areas.

Try some ridiculous ideas as well. Setting exposure comp to -2 then using the flash while slightly covering the part of the flash - part of a finger will do - that will highlight the fish. I've done that before with macro shots with great success.

You can also try to take the photo in a more shaded area, though the camera can still pick up bright sunlight your eyes don't see in the shade since your eyes have auto-adjusted.

I'd start off with my camera set to Macro, exposure compensation at -1 and focus on the eyes. Then adjust from there.

28-05-2010, 2:21pm
The second shot above is probably "out of focus" due to the shallow depth of field from the wide aperture setting of f/3.2. Note that the eye (and other objects at similar distance such as the lure) are reasonably sharp, but the focus drops off as you move further away from the focus point (e.g. the tail). Ideally you want to get the aperture down to say f/5.6 or even better f/8, however the shutter speed is already down to 1/60 and you probably don't want to go too much lower than this. You can increase the ISO although this may add noise to the image (I don't know how well your camera handles higher ISO settings.) In the same light at ISO 400 you should get something like 1/50sec at f/5.6 which might be enough.

Of course the other thing you can do is minimise the depth of field needed by shooting the fish straight on from the side, so that the fish is parallel to the camera (if that makes sense?).

Generally speaking you probably want the fish to be in good light but out of direct sunlight. If you need to shoot in sunlight try to find an angle where the sun is not reflecting directly onto the fish and straight into your lens.

You might also want to check if your camera has an auto-bracket feature. This allows you to quickly take say 3 consecutive shots at 3 different exposure settings (for example normal exposure, then -1 stop, then -2 stops etc). The camera makes the adjustments for each shot so it can be a pretty quick way to get a good exposure in tough conditions.

Not sure how well I've explained some of this - let me know if it doesn't make sense...


28-05-2010, 2:30pm

Re. overexposure ... I found the function! "AEL" Auto Exposure Lock. Basically allows me to lock the exposure (say on the belly of the fish) and then re focus on another part of the photo. However, it reads as though the key is to place the subject in the 'correct light' as all of you have mentioned so that there is no exposure issues in the first place.

Regarding the angles the the photos are taken at, I find that a lot of fishing magazines take it from that angle as it does focus on the gob/eyes/lure (marketing purposes no doubt) whilst the focus on the length of the fish is secondary.

You guys are great and I have taken all your tips on board. Will be experimenting with more photos soon ! Maybe even use the DSLR next time .. ahha