The Missing Program Mode

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 6,190
The more I do photography, the more I realize . . .

kelstertx wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

I think anything that adds a lot more complexity to the camera is dead in the water, most photographers want simplicity not complexity.

I think the need for this programmability will go away soon anyway. They already have cameras that change focus and tracking modes automatically based on what the camera sees (ie Firmware 5 for A9), so if it isn't already, I suspect shutter speeds will soon be chosen more intelligently based on distance, perceived movement speed, and other factors. Auto modes are going to get smarter and smarter now that Ai automation is becoming a feature that manufacturers are competing on.



Thanks for the reply.

I personally think the opposite.

I find, the more photography I do, the more I realize that sometimes taking control from the camera ends up being the easiest solution.

1) Automation is not always the easier way . . .

It's like when the Nikon EM or the Pentax ME came out.

Those SLR cameras were targeted at beginners and were designed to make taking pictures easier. They implemented an auto mode, and then got rid of the manual exposure mode.

IMHO, as you get more into taking pictures and you know what settings you want your camera at . . . every now and then it is nice to be able to turn off the automation so that you are not fighting the automation to get to the settings that you already know you want to be at.

It's like when I am shooting gymnastics or cheer. I already know pretty close at what ISO, aperture and shutter speeds I want to be shooting at.

For cheer I shoot ISO 6400, f/4, 1/500 sec in order to freeze the motion of the athletes, but also f/4 to try to bring in more of the athletes into focus so I can print groups of athletes in the yearbook.

But I can't use aperture priority because there are spot lights that light up in back of the athletes that then throw off the auto exposure.

In this case, because I already know what settings I want to be at, it is just way easier to dial in those settings manually and be done.

It things like this that made me never use the Pentax ME that some gave me. I just kept running into situations were I just know more about what I wanted than the camera did.

2) This system I describe is not just manual . . . it is meant to work in concert with the existing system.

Yeah. The system I describe is not "just" manual. It is meant to work in concert with the existing system.

Like if you want to control the shutter speed based off of focal length, you can just do that and leave the aperture and ISO in auto mode.

[Line-001][Watch][Focal Length][18-135]
[Line-002][Link to][Shutter Speed][Line-001][1/80-1/200]
[Line-003][Set to][Aperture][Auto]
[Line-004][Set to][ISO][Auto]

So it is meant to only provide as much "extra" control that you want.

3) But then you can think up other possibilities . . .

How about if when you shoot wide, you don't mind the shutter speed dropping a bit so you can let in a bit more light.

Like if shoot the pyramids in cheer. They are a little bit more still then.

Where as, when you zoom in, you might be isolating one athlete, so need a faster shutter speed because they are more likely to be doing something.

So this would be the program . . .

[Line-001][Watch][Focal Length][24-120]
[Line-002][Link to][Shutter Speed][Line-001][1/250-1/500]
[Line-003][Link to][ISO][Line-002][3200-6400]
[Line-004][Set to][Aperture][f/4]

So in this case, as I zoom out, the shutter speed drops to 1/250 sec, letting in more light. I compensate by dropping the ISO to 3200.

Since when I go wide, I am probably grabbing a group shot of cheer athletes, then it would be nice to be able to have a bit more detail on the "smaller" faces. But since there is less pixels on faces, the faces are more noisy. So . . . letting in twice as much light by dropping the shutter speed might help.

You could even set up your camera so that as you go wide, it uses a wider dept of field.

This could also work for group shots (wide) versus subject isolation (tele).

[Line-001][Watch][Focal Length][24-120]
[Line-002][Link to][Aperture][f/5.6-f/4]
[Line-003][Link to][Shutter Speed][Line-002][1/250-1/500]
[Line-004][Set to][ISO][6400]

The thing is.

If the system is generic enough. And has access to a lot of variables, such as focal length, aperture setting, ISO, focus distance, etc., then its up to the photographers what they want to use it for.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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