Program mode , when and why using it ? Locked

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
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Ysarex
Ysarex Veteran Member • Posts: 3,033
Re: Program mode , when and why using it ?

Autonerd wrote:

Ysarex wrote:

The point is I can set any reasonable exposure that meets the requirement to optimize the exposure just as quickly and easily as you can in manual, but with my camera the way it's designed manual would be slower to use.

This is one of the rare times that Q-Ball/Kaspah/David1961 does have a valid point, but for some reason he never really delves into the "why".

First, I agree that program shift is often way quicker than manual. When I have P selected I sometimes use it as a surrogate Av or Tv mode (twiddle the dial to get the Av or Tv you want with a single twiddle of a single dial -- very quick).

However, the point I believe David/Q-Ball is making is that using the program shift for one value picks a corresponding value based on the light meter reading. Let's say P mode picks 1/60 @ f/16 @ ISO 100, but you want shallower DOF. You can twiddle the dial to f/5.6 and you'll get a shutter speed of 1/500 (if my math is correct).

There is a school of thought that involves ignoring the meter and setting the aperture and shutter speed as you want them, regardless of meter reading, and either raising ISO (low light) or checking the histogram to ensure highlights aren't blown (lots of light). So you might shoot that same photo as above at 1/125 @ f/5.6. The .JPGs for this shot will look under/over exposed, but the data is there and .RAW processing can produce a good-looking photo with less noise.

Add in EC to the Program shift function and you can set the same exposure -- exact same parameters -- shutter speed, f/stop and ISO.

I don't set my exposures relying on the meter but rather I rely on the highlight clipping warning. In Program mode using both the shift function and EC I can set the specific exposure parameters I want.

When David talks about an optimized exposure, he's (usually) talking about getting as much light on the sensor as possible without blowing out the bright bits.

P mode will produce a perfectly usable exposure, and I find that, with my camera at least, I can get close to maximizing light on the sensor in the automatic modes, and furthermore I can get perfectly good photos even if I don't. But, to each their own.

Bottom line is that with digital you don't really need to be able to "nail" the exposure the way you did with slide film.

Aaron

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