Why use M when you have A?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by florenceinitaly, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    Sorry if this is a dumb question but I have a question about using aperture priority mode vs. manual mode - Currently, I shoot most of my photos in aperture priority, and wondered why ppl suggest using manual mode when ap.priority seems to much easier?

    For example, say I set f/4.5 for a shallow DOF at my subject, the camera automatically determines the correct shutter speed for me to give me the "correct" exposure. If i want to over or under expose I can just adjust that by using the dial, and the camera will spit out a faster or slower shutter speed.

    Isn't this essentially giving you the flexibility that you can get in manual mode? So then what's the advantage of using manual mode over other modes?
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Manual for flash exposure, custom effects, times when you don't have metering, or metering is useless.
     
  3. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's just different.

    I use A mode ONLY in situations where I need a quick shot; street photography of people, for instance. Manual simply gives you more creative options. It's not ALWAYS about getting only the correct exposure, it's also getting a creative exposure.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Or when what you want to meter on isn't dead center, where the 'spot' for spot metering is.

    (I realize that some cameras attach the spot to the active focus point, but those cameras are in the minority.)
     
  5. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Your meter doesn't always pick the best shutter speed for you in A, so if you know how you want the photo to look, you need to dial in the shutter speed yourself.
    It's also helpful when you meter off a subject, and then recompose your shot. For example metering off a bright blue sky on a sunny afternoon.
     
  6. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Why wouldn't you just spot off the sky and exposure lock?
     
  7. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Because people are still smarter then their camera when it comes to choosing exposure.
     
  8. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Can the camera really mess up the metering of the sky, if you have a good camera that is?
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use A (aperture priority mode) for the majority of my work and will continue to use it if I am using flash for fill light (ie its just lifting a bit from the shadows and is not the dominant light source). I will also use exposure compensation for those times when the meter is giving me results a little to bright or dim (I review using the histogram as often as I get the chance to).

    Manual mode though is there for when I don't want the shutter speed that the camera meter wants to give me - a good example is for shooting the moon, when the camera meter will read the light wrong and give me a blownout shot; or for when flash is the dominant light source (since the camera cannot meter for the inclusion of flash light).

    Each mode has its purpose and use and its best to always use the mode that will get you the shot you want (or at least hte best possible shot) rather than try to limit ones self to using only the "proper mode" by convention. A shot taken in full auto can be just as good and impressive as a shot taken in full manual mode.
     
  10. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    Regarding metering somewhere else - there's an exposure lock button so I could point my camera away to another point, lock the exposure, go back to the original composition and take my shot.

    Hmm I understand the creative exposure point too, but in aperture mode you can also adjust the exposure, I guess that's similar to manual mode where you control the aperture + shutter speed to give a certain exposure, and in aperture mode you control the aperture + exposure to result in a certain shutter speed?
     
  11. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Why wouldn't you just point the camera at the sky and take a second to adjust your shutter, and compose your shot?
     
  12. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    Hmm thanks that's actually quite insightful
     

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