General technique questions from a beginner standpoint

Started Sep 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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autre_pensee Regular Member • Posts: 212
General technique questions from a beginner standpoint

Hello all,

I currently have a SONY bridge HX100V superzoom ( 28-800 I believe).

I like the camera very well, except for the sluggishness, viewfinder, and lack of ability to restrict some settings like iso or shutter speed in auto mode.

In general (understand plenty of light and contrast) situation, I usually use auto mode. But that last draw back I mentioned leads me to use A, S, and M mode in more and more situations.

It usually takes me quite a bit of time to find the right settings and there lies my questions. In the methodology of using manual type modes.

Here is my strategy so far:

1) set framing. Note: I dont have a focal length reading on my camera (that I know of) so I cant use the rule of thumb for shutter speed
2) Set ISO to a minimum

3) Set aperture. For this, I still have a very weak understanding. If its portrait, I will set it to the widest aperture I can (F/2.8 for wide angle, not sure how much my minimum aperture changes wrt FL). For landscape, I will do the opposite (F/8 or whatever my max is). For groups of people, not necessarily posing, then I am usually a bit lost.

4) set shutter speed based on subject and to get enough lighting. I usually try to stay above 1/100 for people. I will venture down to 1/60 for sitting or posing people. I will risk 1/30 for stills.
Note: All of this is handheld.

5) Go back to ISO and get it as low as acceptable to get a satisfyingly bright picture. My camera gets unacceptable results for anything above ISO 800 so I am very limited in that regard.

My understanding though is that assuming constant sensor perceived light (aka compensating for ISO with SS and Aperture), there is no situation where IQ benefits from higher ISO. In other words, unless I am at my shutter speed limit, I will always use ISO100. Is this a correct statement?

Anyway, this takes me a lot of time and I miss quite a few shots, especially when photographing kids moving around where I have to shoot with different lighting and background every time.

Is my process correct? What could be improved?

Also, it is my understanding from what I have read on this forum that DSLR such as the D7000 are not very good for auto mode. Is that true? Can somebody explain why does the sensor being exposed all the time make a difference in auto shot?

Is this true of the scene modes? My HX100 has excellent (IMO) scene modes. Would a DSLR be lacking performance in these as well?

If the above is true, does that mean that a mirror-less interchangeable lens camera such as the sonys perform better in Auto and Scene modes than the corresponding range Nikon and Canon?

Thanks all

 autre_pensee's gear list:autre_pensee's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
Nikon D7000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V
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