I've been a an amateur photographer for several years. I understand the technical side and enjoy explaining it to others. But...with my 70d, which I've owned for over a year, when I take an indoor shot in Auto mode, I cannot duplicate the results in the other modes, even though I set every parameter exactly as it is in Auto. For instance, the Auto mode shows Aperture at 3.5, shutter at 1/60 and ISO at 1600. I put those settings in for Av and get a dark photo. And it's the same for M and Tv mode. Could it be Auto Lighting Optimizer? I'm stuck! Thanks!

  • When you set the camera in Av mode and set the aperture at f/3.5, what ISO and shutter speed are actually used in the resulting dark photo? Does the EXIF in the original photo taken in Auto mode match the f/3.5, 1/60 sec, and ISO 1600 displayed in the viewfinder? What, if any exposure compensation is selected in Auto mode? In Av or Tv mode? What is the selected setting for "safety shift" in Tv and Av mode? What is the maximum ISO allowed in those modes if safety shift is enabled and ISO is allowed to shift?
    – Michael C
    Feb 1, 2016 at 5:56
  • 1
    Sample photos? It would be good to see how dark, and the EXIF info.
    – Neil P
    Feb 1, 2016 at 7:55
  • I just took a few more with good light coming through the window. All settings matched the Auto setting. I took one with spot and another with evaluative metering but they were very similar. @dpollitt I'm new here so I'm not sure how to upload the pics. I'll keep searching... Feb 1, 2016 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Auto Lighting Optimizer is one potential culprit, but it is pretty easy to rule that out. The Auto(Basic Zone) mode will default ALO to Standard, so just change your ALO setting to standard in Av and run a test.

My guess is that your issue is actually the metering mode though. The Auto(Basic Zone) mode will use Evaluative Metering. Check to make sure your also in that mode when in Av or other Creative Zone modes. See this for more info on this subject: When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight?

The other obvious difference can be the use of flash or not, but I'd imagine you already have considered that.

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