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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Jan 2012 (Wednesday) 03:32
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POLL: "What modes do you use mostly? And when?"
Manual mode
158
52.5%
Aperture mode
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40.2%
Shutter speed mode
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5.6%
Fully auto
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1.7%

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Why is using manual exposure such a big deal?

 
kjonnnn
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Jan 05, 2012 13:06 |  #46

Do what the job and the camera calls for. If you have a true understanding of light, and the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture, you can decide which mode works best in in particular situation. Some people believe shooting in manual makes them more professional. Some will laugh at you for shooting in anything other than manual. I say, there's a lot of technology in our cameras, use it. If the technology doesn't get it right, try manual.




  
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Talley
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Jan 05, 2012 13:12 as a reply to  @ kjonnnn's post |  #47

I hadn't seen this posted but is "M" mode really full auto?... don't forget you still have AUTO ISO capabilities in M. which basically means its still semi-auto right?


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kjonnnn
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Jan 05, 2012 13:17 |  #48

Talley wrote in post #13651963 (external link)
I hadn't seen this posted but is "M" mode really full auto?... don't forget you still have AUTO ISO capabilities in M. which basically means its still semi-auto right?

Nothing is AUTO in my M mode.




  
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Talley
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Jan 05, 2012 13:21 |  #49

kjonnnn wrote in post #13651997 (external link)
Nothing is AUTO in my M mode.

Ok, then do you look at the light meter in the viewfinder to help you determine exposure? I find myself watching the green line move around and that meters off of your meter setting so it has an effect on it too.


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kjonnnn
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Jan 05, 2012 13:27 |  #50

Talley wrote in post #13652024 (external link)
Ok, then do you look at the light meter in the viewfinder to help you determine exposure? I find myself watching the green line move around and that meters off of your meter setting so it has an effect on it too.

Most times when I use Manual, I'm using my external strobes and a handheld meter to determine exposure.

If by chance, I need to use the internal meter in manual, I just analyze the scene and determine if anything is there, either too white or too dark, that would fool the meter, and I set the exposure manually either to over- or -under exposure what the viewfinder meter is saying.




  
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TooManyShots
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Jan 05, 2012 13:31 |  #51
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It is certainly important to understand when to use manual exposure. If you metering off something white, your auto mode will underexpose it. If you meter off something dark with something white, your will overexpose the shot. You can always apply exposure compensation + or -. You may what to use manual exposure only when you need to suppress all ambient light but only using the flash or strobe light to light up the scene.


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nicksan
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Jan 05, 2012 13:36 |  #52

For weddings, I use Av and Manual. It depends on the lighting conditions. If I am getting consistent lighting, then I am in Manual mode. Otherwise, for anything dynamic, I'll be in Av mode riding that EC dial.

Bottom line is, if you want consistent exposures frame to frame under the same lighting condition, manual is your best bet since it won't be affected by reflected light.




  
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Wilt
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Jan 05, 2012 13:43 |  #53

TooManyShots wrote in post #13652077 (external link)
It is certainly important to understand when to use manual exposure. If you metering off something white, your auto mode will underexpose it. If you meter off something dark with something white, your will overexpose the shot. You can always apply exposure compensation + or -. You may what to use manual exposure only when you need to suppress all ambient light but only using the flash or strobe light to light up the scene.

A camera pointed at a white wall will expose that to appear to be a gray wall, whether you use Av with no EC adjustment, or whether you simply center the needle on the scale in the viewfinder while on Manual. (After all, 'exposure metering' is not related to using 'control setting automation'.)

A camera pointed at a white wall will expose that to appear to be a white wall, whether you use Av with +1.5 EC adjustment dialed in, or whether you simply put the needle on the +1.5EV indicator on the scale in the viewfinder while on Manual. (After all, 'exposure metering' is not related to using 'control setting automation'.)

If someone walks into the frame wearing all black, the camera with Av will see the black area and then falsely bias the metering of exposure and resultingly adjust the shutter speed unnecessarily, while the camera in M will use the same old exposure (since the illumination did not change!) even though the needle indicates that the shot erroneously 'needs more exposure' because of the black outfit.


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rhommel
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Jan 05, 2012 13:47 |  #54

nicksan wrote in post #13652105 (external link)
For weddings, I use Av and Manual. It depends on the lighting conditions. If I am getting consistent lighting, then I am in Manual mode. Otherwise, for anything dynamic, I'll be in Av mode riding that EC dial.

Bottom line is, if you want consistent exposures frame to frame under the same lighting condition, manual is your best bet since it won't be affected by reflected light.

+1

I usually shoot in Manual mode, anything indoors like the preparation shots, church ceremony, reception

mostly aperture priority for outdoor shoots like garden wedding, bridal shots, etc


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nathancarter
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Jan 05, 2012 13:47 as a reply to  @ nicksan's post |  #55

Wilt wrote in post #13645320 (external link)
The point is that in unchanging light, when your framing changes or someone walks into or out of the frame, the exposure for the lighting theoretically is identical. Yet the change of brightness caused by someone walking in or out of the frame will cause automated modes like Av to set a different exposure--when any exposure change is totally unnecessary...you have unchanging illumination, right?!

Once again, Wilt nailed it here - especially in the context of a wedding.

Let's say you're using any of the automatic modes, and set up your EC so that it's metered perfectly for an empty scene. As soon as the bride walks into the frame in her big poofy white dress, the camera will think "WOW, look at all that white, I better dial it down a stop," and everything is underexposed compared to your original setup. Then, when the bride walks away and the groomsmen come in, the camera sees a row of black tuxedos and says "OH GEEZ, look at all that black, I better bump up the exposure by a couple stops," and it comes out overexposed. The camera doesn't know that tuxedos should be black and wedding dresses should be white. It just wants to make everything gray.

"M" mode isn't about chasing the needle; it's about getting a consistent exposure from one shot to the next, in situations where the lighting isn't changing.

In situations where the lighting is changing but the subject is not, the automatic modes are appropriate. In situations where the lighting is changing and the subject is changing - well, you've got your work cut out for you, I guess :)


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TooManyShots
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Jan 05, 2012 14:07 |  #56
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Wilt wrote in post #13652138 (external link)
A camera pointed at a white wall will expose that to appear to be a gray wall, whether you use Av with no EC adjustment, or whether you simply center the needle on the scale in the viewfinder while on Manual. (After all, 'exposure metering' is not related to using 'control setting automation'.)

A camera pointed at a white wall will expose that to appear to be a white wall, whether you use Av with +1.5 EC adjustment dialed in, or whether you simply put the needle on the +1.5EV indicator on the scale in the viewfinder while on Manual. (After all, 'exposure metering' is not related to using 'control setting automation'.)

If someone walks into the frame wearing all black, the camera with Av will see the black area and then falsely bias the metering of exposure and resultingly adjust the shutter speed unnecessarily, while the camera in M will use the same old exposure (since the illumination did not change!) even though the needle indicates that the shot erroneously 'needs more exposure' because of the black outfit.


The point is that you can adjust the exposure (shutter speed wheel) on the fly. When you are in any of the Auto modes, you have to apply exposure compensation via the wheel at the back. In some body, you have to turn on the exposure compensation via the top button and then change the exposure with the wheel. Worst, you assume you change nothing because it is in Auto mode.


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nicksan
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Jan 05, 2012 14:14 |  #57

TooManyShots wrote in post #13652276 (external link)
The point is that you can adjust the exposure (shutter speed wheel) on the fly. When you are in any of the Auto modes, you have to apply exposure compensation via the wheel at the back. In some body, you have to turn on the exposure compensation via the top button and then change the exposure with the wheel. Worst, you assume you change nothing because it is in Auto mode.

Not sure if you are both in agreement or not. What Wilt was saying is under UNCHANGING light, shooting in Manual will yield consistent exposures because it is unaffected by reflective light. In Av mode, you'll see the shutter speed change based on variables such as white dress, black Tux, etc, things that you kind of touched on, and it'll try to keep that meter in the middle. Yes, you can use the EC dial to compensate, but it's much easier to get consistent exposure in M mode under unchanging lighting conditions.

Then again, you can shoot Manual mode, and try to get the meter in the middle which is like shooting in auto mode.

I use Av mode and ride the EC dial all the time when appropriate.




  
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mplezia
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Jan 05, 2012 14:17 |  #58

AV mode mostly these days. It automates one piece of the exposure puzzle (shutter) for me while I worry about the aperture and composition. So long as I keep an eye of the shutter speeds being used and ensure that they don't dip too low for what I'm shooting, I don't need to worry about it. 1/500 isn't much different from 1/4000 for most things I shoot, so i don't care what the camera picks so long as it's sufficiently fast for the picture I'm taking.


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Jan 05, 2012 14:39 |  #59

Manual is no big deal once you understand it. AV is great when your light is changing while your on the way out of the dark church or the clouds are rolling through.


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Snydremark
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Jan 05, 2012 15:36 |  #60

To be perfectly frank and honest...I use Manual so that whenever the shot is off I know it was my own failing and not the camera. :p


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Why is using manual exposure such a big deal?
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