Article ID : 00006858 / Last Modified : 11/25/2015

The pictures appear too dark or underexposed.

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IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check the Applicable Products and Categories section of this article before starting these steps.

Dark or underexposed pictures can be due to a number of different reasons. Depending on what mode you are shooting with, the issue can normally be corrected by simply adjusting a few settings.

Follow the steps below to troubleshoot this issue.

  1. If you have not already done so, try using the flash.

    IMPORTANT:

    • Be aware that if your subject is beyond the flash range - too far away for the flash to reach - this will cause the picture to appear dark. A built-in flash generally provides a range of 32 to 39 feet. Depending on the flash model, a Sony external flash can usually cover distances ranging from 45 to 190 feet.
    • If you are only using a built-in flash, make sure the flash mode is not accidentally set to Wireless (WL). This flash mode is intended to be used with a wireless flash and will fire the built-in flash at reduced power. In this case the built-in flash is simply used as a trigger for the wireless flash. Make sure the Flash mode is set to AUTO or Fill-Flash.
  2. Move closer to your subject if possible.
  3. If the mode dial is set to AUTO, Shutter Priority (S), Aperture Priority (A), or Program (P), increase the exposure compensation.

    NOTE: Although the camera automatically chooses the exposure when shooting with these modes, sometimes certain lighting can cause the camera to select insufficient settings. In these situations, you can use exposure compensation if necessary.

  4. If the mode dial is set to the Manual (M) mode, try adjusting the following settings one at a time until the brightness is improved:
    1. Increase the ISO setting.
    2. Slow down the shutter speed.
    3. Open the lens aperture.
  5. If the issue is still unresolved, change the Flash control setting in the menu.
    • Another factor that can contribute to underexposed pictures is shooting a subject that is white in color while using the Pre-flash TTL flash control setting. When using this flash control setting, a pre-flash is fired right before shooting. The camera sets the flash intensity by measuring the amount of reflected light from the pre-flash. Since white subjects reflect light more easily, the camera may judge that there is too much light and reduce the intensity of the flash to create an underexposure. In situations like this, using the ADI flash setting is recommended.
    • Underexposed pictures can also be caused when a lens from another company is attached to the camera while using the ADI flash control setting. This flash control setting also emits a pre-flash before shooting. The camera sets the flash intensity by measuring the amount of reflected light from the pre-flash, but also the associated distance information from the lens being used. Correct distance information cannot be obtained from some lenses made by other companies. Therefore, the camera may judge the distance to be extremely close and reduce the flash intensity to create an underexposure. In this situation, use the Pre-flash TTL setting instead.

      IMPORTANT: The Flash control setting defaults to ADI flash if the camera is changed to the AUTO mode. You can manually change the Flash control setting if needed.

NOTE: If model-specific information is required to complete any of the recommendations in this solution, refer to the operating instructions supplied with the camera. Manuals are posted on your model support page.