exposure settting on camera?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shingfan, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i have a nikon D80....when i use the "S" or "A" mode.....how much can i trust the exposure setting on the camera?.....what i mean is that in "S" mode....how much i can trust the camera selected aperature?.....if my aim is just to get a good exposure.....is it a good idea to just use the "S" or "A" mode....or i can obtain better exposure in "M"....not doing anything creative with exposure...just an indoor shoot and like to get opinion on getting proper exposure......i'm new
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    They all lead to middle gray. Just use P.
     
  3. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    how are they different in terms of exposure quality? "P", "A", "S"?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    As Matt said...all shooting modes will lead you to the same exposure...middle grey. The shooting mode has no affect on the camera's light meter...and therefore no effect on exposure. Manual mode won't adjust the camera for you...but the meter will still give you a reading to get middle grey. All in-camera 'reflected' light meters work this way.

    To get optimum exposure...you need to realize what your meter is seeing and what it's trying to tell you. Then you 'compensate' for that to get your exposure value. To compensate from the camera's reading...you can either use EC (exposure compensation) or use manual mode and adjust the settings to get more or less exposure than the meter reading.

    Knowing when & how much to adjust the exposure, based on the scene, takes some knowledge and experience. Look for a book or some web sites about metering. I took a course at a local college called 'Metering Magic' that was fairly helpful.
     
  5. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i see Mike.....so i can compensate the gray affect by a little bit of exposure compensation...either up or down.....that would cure the under/overexposure?....can you give me a few quick tips on metering and when to use under/over exposure compensation?
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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  7. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    you guys are the best....i love the quick response
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Always keep in mind that the camera wants to turn what it sees into middle tone. So if it's all white snow...the camera will think it's too bright and give you less exposure (so you must add exposure). If it's very dark, the camera will think it's too dark and give you more exposure (so you must subtract exposure). That's the important part to remember...dark (non reflective) scene means you need to subtract exposure. A bright (reflective) scene means you need to add exposure.

    Or you could use somthing like a grey card to set your exposure. Or even something a simple as green grass...which is about the same 'tone' as middle grey.

    Or you could get a hand held light meter.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    By the way, pay attention to Matt's suggestion about using the P mode. It is like having S and A running at the same time. You can sort through the various shutter speed and aperture combinations that match the meter recommendation with the thumb wheel. Any of them will provide different images but all at the same exposure. I have never used A or S on a digital SLR. They might as well have left them off my cameras.
     
  10. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    what is the major difference between P, S, A in terms of quality?.....why choose one over the other?....if someone can provide a bit of technical and practical reasons...that would be lovely
     
  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need to go back and reread the responses. Again, no difference in quality. Aperture priority has the camera choose a shutter speed to correspond to your selected aperture based on the meter recommendation. Shutter priority chooses an aperture to correspond to your selected shutter speed and Program selects both based on a program in the camera. However, the Program mode allows you to cycle through all the possible combinations using the thumb wheel, so it will do everything the other two modes will do and do it faster and with more flexibility. Ignore A and S. They are throwbacks to older camera designs and metering systems. The P mode does everything they can do and does it better.

    What is confusing you is the meter recommendation. In any mode, the camera will produce the same exposure based on the meter recommendation. If you use manual mode and follow the meter recommendation, you will get the same exposure again. If want an exposure other than what the meter recommends, then you need to tell that to the camera - in any mode. The mode doesn't matter. They all end up at the same place.
     
  12. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i see.....so "P" would be the "P"referrable mode in this sense....and then depending on the composition (bright white or dark objects)....i might need to add/subtract exposure compensation to get the desired exposure result......is this correct?
     

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