P for PROGRAM. Am I right or wrong. Manual Mode is for dummies!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RumDaddy, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    Manual, who needs it when ya got program? LOLOLOL You just use the Program setting. The camera does its best to set everything for you but then after you take the image you can look at it and make the adjustments needed to make it better or correct errors.

    Thats right Master Photograffer! :lol:

    Or is that cheating?

    Also I read that when shooting in manual mode you should first try and set the ISO to the lowest setting possible with out causing or being in danger of camera shake and then adjust your aperture and shutter speed from there.

    Does this make sense, does anyone practice this?
     
  2. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think this has been said before, but ISO has nothing to do with "camera shake". Shutter speed is used to control this.

    Program mode is not cheating, there are no rules really. If you are looking to take a quick snapshot, it works perfectly fine. If you are looking for a certain look or feel to your photograph, manual is the way to go.



    p!nK
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting. Naive but interesting. But then you have to really take into consideration your metering mode, your scene, type of flash and flash settings you have mounted on your camera. Heck with that attitude why even buy an SLR camera, just get Canon G11 and shoot on green.
     
  4. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin TPF Noob!

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    You may get some backlash for this. Anyone who learns the innards of photography enough will eventually know that Manual is superior to all modes because it allows full control. P is fine for quick shots, but 99% of the time it's better to take a minute to get your settings how you want em if you know how they work.

    My abridged 2 cents
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    P is for snapshots.

    M is for art.
     
  6. reznap

    reznap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What makes manual mode shine is the inclusion of the human element. Sometimes you just don't want circuits and digital optics deciding what's best for you...
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The auto settings on DSLRs today are not that bad and most times the DSLR in full auto can give you at least a good exposure based on ambient light readings taken by the camera meter.
    Program mode is one step up from that in that it gives you a range of "correct" settings to choose from with the given scene - each choice is correct, but each will produce different results. Eg some will have faster shutter speeds and wider max apertures whilst others will have slower shutter speeds, but with smaller max apertures.

    However whilst each of these shots is "correct" it is not always the ideal auto/semi auto mode to choose and further more whilst you have some control over the creativity you are also losing out because you cannot directly control the camera, only secondary control is possible. Finally if you have a flash setup the camera will fail to make proper use of the flashes since the camera meter cannot balance for the flashlight, so the flashes will only give you fill light rather than allowing you to dominate the scene with them.


    The key is not to just try and limit yourself to one mode (eg only shoot manual/auto/program etc...) but to rather spend time first learning the triangle of settings (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) and how they affect your end shot; then learn how each mode gives you different controls over those settings and for different situations.
    Then finally you are in a position where you can see a scene and select the mode on the camera that will give you the best possible shot.

    It's also important to practice in the semi auto (aperture and shutter priority) and full manual modes since this will give you far more experience in selecting settings as well as getting a feel for controling the camera rather than letting it control you. Further it will help you start to develop you creative eye - read up about creative shot types like blurring waterfall water or car headlights. There are even scenes where the meter will fail over and over (like shooting the moon) and the ever present flash dominated scenes almost alway require full manual mode for reliable results.

    Get yourself a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and also read around the main subject areas that you like to shoot and see how others are controling and being creative.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Actually outside of studio and macro photography (where things are most often flash dominated) its often the case that aperture priority is the most popular setting rather than full manual. It lets the photographer control the aperture and thus the depth of field of the shot, whilst letting the camera adjust the shutter speed based on the light readings. You could do this in manual mode and change the shutter speed yourself (and get the exact same results) but the camera is far quicker and that makes all the difference (esp if you are shooting a fast moving subject as it shifts from shaded to non-shaded lighting)
     
  9. K.Li

    K.Li TPF Noob!

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    Once you understand the three main settings it becomes automatic and you know what settings to use before you even look into the viewfinder.
     
  10. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    I'm a wimp - I shoot mostly kids and animals... so P mode is my mode of choice for the most part... i don't have time to figure out settings when I'm trying to take a picture of a kid on a bike or running... or a little marmoset who won't sit still for more than a millisecond... :)
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As an example if I were shooting the latter subject - the marmoset - I would approach it like this;
    Aperture priority mode
    ISO 200 - on most cameras its a pretty clean ISO and whilst ISO 100 is preferable for a moving subject a little extra ISO is good to have so that you can keep a fast shutter speed

    Aperture - set to either wide open or a stop or two down depending on the lighting and the way I want to compose the shot

    Shutter speed - let the camera set it automatically - I then review it if its too slow first thing is to flick the aperture wide open, then if that is still not enough raise the ISO. Sometimes of course either preserving sharpness (By not shooting wide open) or creativity win over ISO and one reaches to raising the ISO first rather than adjusting the aperture.
    I have also found that sometimes one has to tell the camera to underexpose the shot (use exposure compensation) just to get a little more shutter speed. Its not ideal and should not be combined with a high ISO (since noise will the be a major problem) but it can sometimes help to give a sharp shot without blur - brightness you can adjust and fix to some extent in editing but blur is perminant.

    That might all sound complex, but give it some practice and see how you feel after a week or two of using the mode.
     
  12. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Rumdaddy may have had a little too much to drink ;), but...I think he is just pulling some legs with his original post. It certainly got a few peoples attention.
     

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