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Your camera stores a lot of data about every image that you take. In addition to the date and time, it stores all of the exposure settings that you used which makes it possible to later analyze exactly what happened during a shot exposure wise. This is often a great way to figure out what went wrong if you get a picture that's got a bad exposure or is maybe out of focus. You can view most of this metadata on the camera itself. What's more, by using some of the analysis features that are built into the camera, you can identify problems and possibly correct them while you're still in the field.
I'm going to go into Playback mode just like I normally would by hitting the Play button. Here is the first image on my card. If I hit the Info button, I can bring up a metadata display. I can see that this is image number 1 out of 14 images on the card. It was shotted at 60th of a second at f/5.6. Here is the folder number and file name. If I press the Info button again, I get even more metadata. I can see that I was in Program mode. I can see my Metering mode, White Balance, Image Format, how much space the image takes up on the card, what color space it was in, when it was shot, the picture style that I was using, the ISO I was at, and I get a Histogram here.
If I press it again, my Histogram changes to show me both a Luminance Histogram and a Three-Channel Color RGB Histogram. If you're not clear on what these are for, check out my Foundations of Photography: Exposure course. These are great image analysis tools that allow you to figure out if your image is over or underexposed. One thing to bear in mind, and notice that I just press the Info button again, I'm back to just my image with no metadata, one thing to bear in mind is that trying to judge exposure on this screen is not a very good idea.
The image on the screen is intentionally brightened and possibly saturated a little bit to make the screen more visible in bright light. So it's very difficult to accurately judge exposure. That's why the Histogram is so useful. I want to show you another feature that can show up in the metadata. I am going to dial in a bunch of overexposure here. I'm going to go up to two stops of overexposure and I'm going to take a shot. And here's my image. I'm going to right into my metadata display. Notice that I can get the same metadata displays during image review simply by pressing the Info button.
Now see this flashing black thing right here. That's the camera telling me that that area is overexposed. Let me get you a more dramatic example there. I am going to go all the way up to three stops of overexposure, take another shot, and now let's go into Playback mode. Now this whole big area is flashing black. That's indicating lots of overexposure. I can also see that in my Histogram. So this is a very handy metadata display that actually gives me some critical exposure information.
So with these tools, I can use my image playback not just for judging composition of an image, but getting some accurate exposure information that can let me know if I've got the shot the way that I needed, or if need to make some exposure adjustments and shoot again.
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