Bad Blinkies, Bad! by Joe Fitzpatrick

Peggy Farren 2013-01-08

The ability to instantly see your image after capture is one of the great features of digital cameras. Many digital cameras and all DSLRs can also indicate areas of the image that are blown out, overexposed to the point that all detail is lost. These parts of the image will blink when the image is reviewed. They are commonly referred to as the blinkies. Warned, you can retake the shot, correcting for overexposure by dialing in a bit of negative exposure compensation.


Parts of your photo will blink when overexposed.

For some reason, the overexposure warning is not on by default on some cameras. Canon DSLRs call this feature HIGHLIGHT ALERT. It is found in the PLAYBACK MENU on models where it can be turned on and off. When playing back your image press the DISP button to cycle through the viewing options.

Nikon shooters should look in the PLAYBACK MENU for DISPLAY MODE. Select it and then select HIGHLIGHTS then DONE. When playing back your image use the arrow keys to cycle through the display modes. Sony DSLRs' blinkies show both over and under exposed parts of the image. Use the DISP (up) arrow to cycle through the viewing options.

NOTE: The image shown on the DSLRs LCD is a jpeg, even if you are shooting RAW only. RAW captures have greater headroom before blowing out, so the RAW image may still have some detail in the areas shown as blown out by the blinkies.

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