Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) is a way to ensure that at least one exposure in a series of three images is acceptable. With AEB turned on, you can take three pictures at three different exposures: one picture at the standard exposure set by the camera, one picture at an increased (lighter) exposure, and another picture at a decreased (darker) exposure. The camera is initially set to 1/3 f-stop increment exposure changes. If you want a greater level of exposure difference, you can set C.Fn-1 to Option 1: 1/2-stop. With either setting, you can bracket image series up to +/- 2 stops.
While bracketing isn't necessary in all scenes, it's a good technique to use in scenes that are difficult to set up or that can't be reproduced. It is also useful in scenes with con-trasty lighting such as a landscape with a dark foreground and a much lighter sky.
Here are some things to know about AEB:
♦ You can't use AEB with the built-in or an accessory flash or when the shutter is set to Bulb. If you set AEB, and then pop up the built-in flash or pop it up while you're making one of the three bracketed images, the AEB settings are immediately cancelled.
♦ AEB is available in all Creative Zone modes except Manual.
♦ The order of bracketed exposures begins with the standard exposure followed by decreased (darker) and increased (lighter) exposures.
♦ You can use AEB in combination with Exposure Compensation. If you combine AEB with Exposure Compensation, the shots are taken based on the compensation amount.
♦ If Auto Lighting Optimizer is turned on in Creative Zone modes, the effects of AEB may not be evident in darker images because the camera automatically lightens dark images. You can turn off Auto Lighting Optimizer by setting C.Fn-6 to Option 1: Disable.
Note AEB is handy because it produces three different exposures that you can combine in an image-editing program. For example, if a scene has a wide difference between highlight and shadow areas, bracketed exposures provide exposures of both extremes as well as the standard exposure. In an image-editing program, you can then composite the bracketed exposures to get the best of the highlights, midtones, and shadows.
Here's how AEB works in the different drive modes:
♦ In Continuous and Self-timer modes, pressing the Shutter button once automatically takes three bracketed exposures. In the Self-timer drive modes, the three bracketed shots are taken in succession after the timer interval has elapsed.
♦ In Single-shot drive mode, you have to press the Shutter button three separate times to get the three bracketed exposures.
♦ If C.Fn-9 is set for Mirror Lockup, and you're using AEB and Continuous drive mode, only one of the bracketed shots is taken at a time. You press the Shutter button once to lock up the mirror and the exposure is made after the self-timer time elapses. The exposure level indicator in the viewfinder flashes after each exposure until all three bracketed images have been made. The exposure index also shows which of the exposures is currently being made, for example, the decreased exposure.
AEB settings are temporary. If you change lenses, pop up the built-in flash or mount an accessory flash, or turn off the camera, the AEB settings are cancelled.
You can set AEB by following these steps:
1. Press the Menu button, and then turn the Main dial to select the Shooting 2 (red) menu.
2. Press the up or down cross key to select AEB.
3. Press the Set button. The AEB
bracketing scale is activated.
4. Press the right cross key to select the bracketing amount.
Markers that show increased and decreased exposure settings are displayed on the bracketing scale. You can set bracketing up to +/- 2 stops. The default exposure increment is 1/3 stop.
5. Press the Set button. Lightly press the Shutter button to return to shooting.
6. If you're in One-shot drive mode, press the Shutter button to focus, and then make the shot. Continue pressing the Shutter button two more times to take all three bracketed shots. In Continuous or a Self-timer mode, the three shots are taken by pressing the Shutter button once.
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Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.