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D300 - Program Mode

Derek Boocock , Jan 02, 2008; 12:48 p.m.

While playing around with my Nikon D300 I stuck it in Program mode at the weekend to see how it performed (and also so I can throw it at my other half to use as a point and shoot occasionally) and was quite surprised by the results. No EV was used, lighting was overcast and images were taken in the open and under cover. ISO was set to 200, white balance to auto.

I took 150+ images and every single image was overexposed by 1 stop. Had I been shooting jpeg then then this would have been a problem, as it was the RAW files were easily sorted out.

Has anyone else tried Program mode? if so what were your findings?

I have to say everything else is spot on, but I'm unsure if I should contact Nikon about the above.


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Allan Chen , Jan 02, 2008; 01:09 p.m.

That's pretty weird. I would think that program mode would be the same as choosing aperture or shutter priority, except it's choosing both rather than just one in response to the other. And I shoot in aperture all the time, no compensation, and I'm not seeing any consistent overexposure issues, much less by 1 full stop. I'm quite happy with the metering on the D300, in fact. Did you drop into spot metering by accident by any chance?


Shun Cheung , Jan 02, 2008; 01:17 p.m.

I have been using mostly the program mode ever since flex program was available on the N8008 I bought back in 1989 (boy, that was almost 19 years ago). I consider program an improved version of aperture priority. Whatever exposure mode you use should not affect metering. Yes, I have used P on the D300 without any problems.

Hans Janssen , Jan 02, 2008; 01:39 p.m.

Don't you have a display with histogram on 'your' D300? I guess you have so use it and make your corrections during the photo making.

L G , Jan 02, 2008; 01:43 p.m.

Can you post a sample image so we can get a feel for the lighting? I have had no issues with exposure in P or A mode. Is it possible your lens aperture is sticking? Have you tried another lens? Also, what metering mode were you using? Did you dial in some EV with option B6?

Dave Lee , Jan 02, 2008; 02:21 p.m.

I stopped using flexible program a few years ago and switched to Aperture priority. I like to shoot at f8 if I can. I set the camera to f8 and go from there. If I need to switch apertures up or down, I do. When I used Program, the camera always wants to use f5.6, so every time I would stop shooting and then start again, I had to spin the command dial to set it back to f8, an annoyance. If you're shooting in a situation where you need utmost speed, use Program. I usually don't shoot in those circumstances.

As for your overexposure problem, is your monitor calibrated? How do you know they are overexposed by one stop? I usually leave the LCD preview on so I can glance at the photo I just took to check it quickly for general exposure. Did the photos you took all look overexposed on the camera LCD?

Hans Janssen , Jan 02, 2008; 03:17 p.m.

You don't use the display for checking the exposure, you have to use the display with histograms to check the exposure. The display only is for checking your composition.

Dave Lee , Jan 02, 2008; 03:58 p.m.

If an image is overexposed by a full stop, you can see that on the LCD display, so yes, the LCD display would have been able to confirm this for him if he'd checked it.

Elliot Bernstein , Jan 02, 2008; 04:24 p.m.

There should not be any difference in exposure from one mode to another. Set your camera's exposure compensation to -.7 or -1 Ev and the problem will be resolved.

Dave Lee , Jan 02, 2008; 04:29 p.m.

I would go further and suggest the OP send his D300 back to Nikon for a repair if it persists this activity. The camera should not overexpose by one stop no matter what mode it's in. I'm happy my D300 makes excellent exposures though I've never used it in Program mode for the reasons I wrote above.

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