jessiekins wrote in post #17489252
I do find that learning in Manual mode is frustrating without guidance at the moment. I do like that EverydayGetaway suggested I learn in Av or Tv. But I do understand the importance of learning in manual mode.
Well I don't and I did learn that way, because back in the 1980s I didn't have a camera with anything other than M mode. This M/Av thing is a red herring - understand how it works and it just doesn't matter for the typical shot.
- I think I get confused with shutter speed, so it's nice to kind of regroup when I go to an Av or Tv setting.
I'm not quite sure what you mean here, but Canon's display of shutter speed is highly confusing once it gets to very slow speeds. They don't use any normal notation for seconds. Just remember, if you see a plain "250" with no punctuation it's 1/250 s. If you see punctuation, you've strayed into very slow speeds like 1/4 s, which as a beginner you won't have much use for.
- I always start in manual, but I do think it's a good idea to kind of check in with the other modes and see what other results I can get.
Canon cameras on the other hand are good in that, whichever of the M/Av/Tv modes you're in, they always show you the aperture and shutter speed. It wasn't the case with the cameras I learned on!
I'm going to suggest that you take the camera out of Auto-ISO if it's in it, and set it to something that will work most of the time in good light like ISO 200. That way, what's happening with shutter speed and aperture will be more obvious because the ISO is fixed. And I don't care whether you're in M, Av or Tv.
The actual concept is really easy. You have a hole (aperture) in your lens which you can make bigger or smaller to let in more or less light, and blinds in front of the sensor which you can open for a longer or shorter time to let in more or less light. Some amount of light is appropriate for any given scene, and the meter in the camera measures what that should be. If you make the hole in the lens bigger then the shutter has to open for a shorter time, and vice versa. You can either set them both with dials (M) or set one and let the camera set the other to get the right amount of light (Av or Tv).
What may make it seem hard is the notation used to describe the size of the hole and the time the blinds are open.
First the size of the hole or aperture. The values 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8 are none other than powers of √2, which is about 1.414. When we say we shot with the aperture at f/2, that means the hole is (notionally) 25mm across if the lens is a 50mm lens - the f is the focal length. Because the amount of light is proportional to the area of the hole, we have to square the diameter, which is why doubling the light only increases the aperture by √2. Note that the larger hole has a smaller f-number, because of that division sign. f/2 is a larger aperture than f/2.8.
Now the time the blind is open is just the time in seconds, but a stupid way of writing it has evolved. Instead of writing 1/128s, we just take the denominator of that fraction and round to 5 - so 1/128s shows on the camera as "125". So you see now those also are powers of two: 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256 etc. are shown as 8, 15, 25, 50, 125, 250 in the viewfinder (and we also say 1/125). And we say a shorter time is "faster".
So you can count stops. If I shoot at f/8 and 1/125, I could shoot at f/5.6 and 1/250 and get the same exposure.
All this presupposes your scene is "average". If it's really mostly white or black you have to adjust for that when you use a reflective meter like the one in your camera. But that's probably a meal for another day.