Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

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Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby LeonieL » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:29 am

Hey guys!

I got a friend who keep on showing of using manual mode. So he changes the aperture and shutter speed manually for all photos he takes. That is ok but the annoying point is that he keeps saying that we should not use semi automatic functions because it means you are a newbie. I thinks that is not the case. and it depends how fast you need to take your photos, but he tells me you have to learn to be fast in using it!

So how about you guys? Do you better like to use manual?

I am kind of a newbie so I am still doubting about my abilities so I still wondering about that and wanted to know about how you guys use it.

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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby oldCarlos » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:44 pm

I use manual nearly all the time because that's how I started, but it is not as easy, or fast, without having the direct controls (scroll wheels) at your finger tips.
It depends what you are shooting & to a degree which camera body, but use what works for you. If that's full auto or P programme, fine.

If you want to learn more about speed/aperture/exposure/ISO, just experiment. Try the different focus points & metering too.
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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby MTK » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:29 pm

Well to be honest I used to be like your friend; thinking that M was the way to go and the rest was for newbies. But to be honest I found I could not have been more wrong. Yes, M gives you more control in situations where your camera's metering system fails, or if you want to do something very creative. But for loads and loads of things M is just not useful. It is a mode that is not very useful under fast changing circumstances and if you need to act fast you will just be too slow if you are shooting in M.

Av and Tv (or A and S) are a lot better 99% percent of the time because of their versatility as long as you keep in mind how the metering system of your camera works. You can play with the exposure compensation up to three stops up or down which is more than enough in most circumstances.

So in short: no, M is not the way to go for pro and more advanced photographers. That's just plain silly. M does give you more control, but in most cases you don't need M, as long as you understand the metering system and compensate exposure accordingly.
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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby Bjorn van Sinttruije » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:32 pm

The only times I meter manually is when there isn't a lot of light (i.e. late at night, indoors, those kinds of situations). I find my camera messes up exposures too quickly in those kinds of situations, so I choose Manual instead. Indoors, the light is often pretty constant, so I don't have to change shutter speed too often.
In all other lighting conditions, I set my ISO and aperture myself and let my camera determine the appropriate shutter speed. As a street photographer, I can't afford (or at least I lack the training and experience) to be changing exposure manually from shot to shot, there's just no time to do it. Besides, I would rather think about composition or even geometry than what shutter speed I need to use.

In the end, it all comes down to what you like using most and what suits the situation. I like aperture priority because I have control over depth of field (plus, my Leica requires you to set aperture manually, always, so I wouldn't have an other option anyway). I'm sure if you're into sports photography, shutter speed priority might be an interesting option. If you just want to take pictures, feel free to use the P-mode. Avoid Auto, as that's a bit too automatic and might change settings you wouldn't want to be changed (unexpectedly high ISOs for example). P will do just fine though for any snapshot. If you want to get creative, always consider aperture priority as you'll have more control over DoF.

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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby maxjj » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:42 pm

Makes me laugh when people try and tell you that do be a real photographer or to be seen to be a real photographer that you need to shoot manual. Its rubbish. You need to do what gives you the results you want. Any time I take a photo I always watch my shutter speed, iso and aperture anyway, I could just about guess what the camera meters before I take the photo.
There is benefit when starting out to shoot manual and av and tv to understand the relationship between aperture, iso and shutter speed.
The main thing is, that you need to be ready, or you can miss the moment. Shooting in P or full auto is better than shooting in manual and under or over exposing the shot.

When I am trying to capture a fast moving bird in the last thing I want to do is fiddle around because the bird has suddenly moved into shadows from a highly lit area, so it satys in av mode mostly.
When I do use manual which is mainly indoors to keep shutter speed up whilst trying to get as big a dof as possible, but still trying and prevent motion blur, I generally put the camera to auto iso.

Funnily enough the 7D usually has the 70-300 on it ( use it outdoor for wildlife ) is mostly in AV, f 7.1 with iso at 800 and the 6D with the 24-70 ( indoor or portrait ) mostly in manual with aperture at f4 and shutter speed at 300 and auto iso. I can then easily adjust shutter speed or aperture as required, by just moving one dial.
Last edited by maxjj on Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby 4xxxx » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:25 am

There are purist in all parts of life, although useful on occasions M mode may be the only way to go. The days of the light meters are gone as cameras now days are pretty good when using App or shutter modes and almost never get it wrong. Like Max I look at app and shutter to ensure especially shooting sport it will capture my intention and if necessary adjust ISO.

I agree with Carlos, if auto or P mode give you what you want why not use it, for newbies I think its the only way to go to get an idea of what setting to use. Why mess up a shoot just to be like a purist. The above does not apply to professionals.

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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby Maestro » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:22 am

he keeps saying that we should not use semi automatic functions because it means you are a newbie.

That's just silly. By that logic, Formula 1 and/or NASCAR pit crews are newbies because they use air wrenches and ratchets. Instead, they should learn to be faster with manual wrenches.

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P.S. Having said that, to answer your question directly: yes, I use M mode predominately, but that's because concert photography has a relatively unique set of circumstances that most (semi-)auto metering modes aren't designed for.
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Re: Do you guys keep on using manual mode?

Postby pierovera » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:15 pm

Sorry for the late response, but here's my view on this:

As well as MTK, when I started with shooting with a camera that had a manual mode, I just took for granted that that was the one and only mode that you should use to shoot. I'll have to say I did learn a lot, especially when I tried shooting with flash because it was quite hard to guess the correct exposure. I did have a live exposure thing where as you changed your exposure, the camera guessed how the image would look and displayed it in the EVF. While it did allow me to set my shutter, aperture and ISO combination as I liked, I did constantly end up missing shots due to the slowness of me fiddling with the settings to get a good exposure.

When I upgraded to a DSLR without the EVF, I found manual mode to be even slower, so I gave Av (aperture priority) a try and I've stayed there since. It's very quick, allows me to control my DOF as I like and I can just adjust the exposure if I need to. Manual is still useful though, especially with flash where I've found my camera doing strange exposures sometimes, or for long exposures as well.

In conclusion, no, you don't have to use manual to get good shots, and it doesn't make you a pro to use it. I think Maestro already explained this pretty well. I would recommend to stay in the PASM modes at all times (program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual). As Bjorn said, full auto isn't really good as it lets the camera do everything and well, it often makes mistakes. All other auto modes (portrait, landscape, night, indoor, etc.) should be avoided as well in my opinion, they just restrict you too much and they often don't deliver great results.
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