Why do most photographers prefer Manual over Aperture/Shutter Priority?

Started Dec 2, 2013 | Questions thread
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William Warby
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Why do most photographers prefer Manual over Aperture/Shutter Priority?
Dec 2, 2013

I've been using an SLR for a good 6 or 7 years now and I think I understand the principals of exposure reasonably well, but there is something important missing in my knowledge of the subject because most photographers seem to prefer manual mode, and I hate it. Moreover I can't fathom why everyone doesn't hate it.

For almost every photo I take, I care about the aperture and beyond that I just want the shutter speed as fast as possible to make the image sharp. A lot of the time I just shoot with my aperture wide open and the lowest ISO I think I can get away with, given that my Olympus E-3 has pretty terrible high ISO performance. Often I just leave the ISO on auto (100-400), since the camera seems to do a fine job of balancing shutter speed and auto-ISO values to get a sharp exposure. Once in a while I want to do a long exposure on a landscape shot for example, in which case I care about the shutter speed and then I tend to set the ISO at 100 and use shutter priority to make the camera pick the aperture. In either case, correct exposure dictates that when I have chosen an aperture and ISO value, I have no choice about the shutter speed and vice versa, so why would I want to set all the values myself for every shot when the camera can just calculate those settings automatically in AP/SP modes?

On rare occasions when I have played with manual mode I find I'm continually changing shutter speed or aperture because as I move the light entering my camera changes, which generally means I take less photos and miss moments because I can't just raise the camera to my eye and take a photo without first checking the exposure value. I just can't see the advantage in Manual mode but since I am alone amongst my peers in feeling this way, it seems like I must have missed something. Can anybody tell me what it is?

 William Warby's gear list:William Warby's gear list
Olympus E-3 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 +13 more
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Olympus E-3
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