What camera settings do you set?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
dc_tonk Regular Member • Posts: 254
Re: What camera settings do you set?

GivenToFly wrote:

Hey, all!! I would be interested in knowing what camera settings do you set manually. I'm thinking of this question in terms of two categories. First, which settings do you manually set, while shooting, periodically? I'm randomly defining "periodically" as at least 10% of the time. Obviously, that 10% threshold is meant just as a rough guide; I don't expect anyone to know exactly what percentage of the time do they set shutter speed. So examples of settings that you might set periodically would be aperture, ISO, or shutter speed. Anything else? (If you set picture settings, just saying picture settings in general without naming the specific ones would be very helpful to know.)

I tend to shoot manual + AF or full manual. My first pass approach is roughly as follows

  1. Set ISO dependent on available light
  2. Set aperture for DoF and available light
  3. Set shutter speed motion for concerns

From there I make adjustments as necessary for exposure keeping in mind the boundaries I don’t want to go beyond (ISO noise, motion / subject blur, DoF / focus).

If using AF I’ll adjust between C and S modes and single point or zone focus area depending on target motion.

When shooting manual, I use strong focus peaking primarily and switch between the other assist modes depending on light and whether or not peaking is useful (needs edges / texture to work well). Split screen view with focus area in the large window.

The second category of settings would be something you set once and never go to again, or almost never go to again, and typically wouldn't change during actual shooting. So even if you select a setting to auto when you first took the camera out of the box, that would fall into this category. Examples here could be slowest shutter speed or highest ISO.

I shoot RAW+JPEG but rarely use the JPEGs, so EC, NR, and those settings rarely get touched. Same with WB - if I need to fix it, I do it in post. This also means that the Q menu rarely gets used as well.

Drive mode is usually on single, and I use spot metering and pretty much never change it.

I'm asking to think through what I need to think about when taking photos (both, settings I might select while shooting, and settings that I might select once and then be done with), so any info you offer would be greatly appreciated. I'm interested only in stills and not video. It also would be useful to know if you typically shoot in RAW or JPEG. If you only answer to one or the other category, and even if you only answer briefly and not completely (i.e., if you don't reference RAW vs JPEG), that would still be very, very helpful.

Composition, composition, composition.

A wonderfully composed, technically iffy photograph will almost without fail be preferable to technically proficient, poorly composed photo.

Everything else is just a footnote to the final product. Solve for composition and that will tell you everything else you need to set.

I cross-posted this in other forums. I hope that's ok!!

Thank you very much!!!

Good luck!

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