Starting out in Manual modes

Started Feb 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
joejack951
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Re: Manual mode isn't manual
In reply to SohoAperture, Feb 28, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

With regards to Av mode I know the best way to do things is a personal preference rather than a specific method but which way do you guys do things?

A. Set your ISO, set your Aperture and let the camera choose Shutter speed

I'll do this on bright sunny days where I know I can get away with base ISO and still have sufficient shutter speed for what I'm photographing. That's about the only conditions (aside from shooting with flash) where I stray from manual mode with auto-ISO.

If I'm not shooting intense actions, I'll sometimes use auto-ISO in aperture mode with a "safe" minimum shutter speed setting of something like 1/250". This is a safety net for the off-chance that cloud cover or deep shade forces an unacceptable slow shutter speed at base ISO.

B. Set your Aperture and adjust ISO until the desired shutter speed is achieved

Again, this is how I used to work and it's needlessly complicated. Any time the light changes, your shutter speed will change as well. you have to constantly monitor the shutter speed to avoid more noise than necessary (noise reduction can help but it's still annoying) or too slow of a shutter speed (motion or hand shake-blurred, ruined photos).

C. Switch on auto-ISO and just set Aperture each time

Under the auto-ISO settings menu, you'll have the option to set a minimum shutter speed. If you can live with that preset minimum speed (always shooting motion or always shooting static subjects with a prime lens) then great. However, I've found that attempting to shoot that way is frustrating. Any time you want to change shutter speeds (and maybe I like to do this more than most), you're forced to dive into the menus as there's no way to get immediate access to the minimum shutter speed setting (perhaps Canon is better than Nikon for this though). The alternative is switching out of auto-ISO then setting the ISO manually to get the the shutter speed you want. But who wants to go through all that hassle when there is an easier way?

Manual mode with auto-ISO eliminates all the headaches of options 2 and 3. As explained, with some refined metering technique and/or post processing, the lack of functional exposure compensation with your Canon shouldn't hinder you at all.

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