Beginner's question on A vs. M :)

Started Feb 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP wireless Contributing Member • Posts: 503
Re: M is not the holy grail.. :)

Alan Brown wrote:

I do use M is certain situations but mostly A with the rear wheel set as easy EC. I look at a scene and will judge from experience whether to set EC in advance.; Snow or coal cellar for instance

Most newcomers I speak to see M as being in full control yet when I ask them how they determine exposure I get a blank look and find they just 'match needle' the meter! So they are not in control at all.. just making things more difficult for themselves.

If I'm in full manual I needle match as a baseline but make adjustments based on the scene.  Of course you have to know what you're exposing for.   If people are in the picture, they'll often be underexposed if outside and there's any bright background so I'll automatically adjust SS so that the meter is up half or a whole stop.  And check the for blinkies and histogram if necessary.  Vice versa if the bright part of the photo is the subject.  One can go to spot metering but I've found it's best overall to avoid and prevent anything overly blown out or unrecoverable shadows by sticking with matrix.

There is some elitism among some M users (I don't mean those who understand it and use it properly and intelligently) Yet you can mostly get the same exposure combinations with P mode, using P shift and A or S modes of course but with the speed of the cameras electronics helping you. Most of my shooting does not require any EC outside of the two stops of - or + of the EC control. If it does then M is the way to go; but it is very rare for me.

I agree there's some elitism.  I think it indicates a deeper understanding of all the mechanics.  The photographer makes every decision except relying on the meter.  But that's not saying AP or other modes don't mean the photographer doesn't know M in depth.  You for example.  I think it's good though to learn the most basic way first and then work backward to fit the situation.


I have come from the Dim lighting of the ceremony in A mode and flicked the dial to P more than a few times when necessary.

I never use P mode unless I hand it to somebody to take a photo.  I switch to scene mode in Sports for example if I don't have time to set every thing up, like being late to the game.  

Nothing wrong with any mode used intelligently.

I agree but I think many many people with cameras use Auto or P modes and will tell you themselves their pictures aren't good.  It's like driving a new cars these days, the driver is often so removed from the driving experience by electronics and so many safety features that they don't know how to drive.

regards, David

 wireless's gear list:wireless's gear list
Fujifilm X100T Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +6 more
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