Camera Modes

AJ Jewell

TPF Noob!
May 30, 2006
Reaction score
Toronto, Ontario
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Just to get a feel for what other people do, what mode (PSAM) is usually used for general shooting, or does it depend solely on the situation. For example, I am taking some shots of a family backyard party, and I usually just put it on auto because I dont know what mode to set it on, and then what to adjust. It just seems as though asjusting the shutter and app. takes a long time. Its a DSLR if that makes a difference to the answer.
I predominantly use Av...and adjust the aperture to get the DOF I want...or adjust the aperture to get a usable shutter speed. I have been using M, a lot more recently.
do you find that you can adjust the app. fast enough? I find that it takes me forever to get the adjustments right. I guess this will come with time.
Av and the wheel does the trick pretty well. ;)

I look at a subject and I "get" the exposure/aperture settings in my head... I don't use my 20D in M as it's a bit fiddly.

Well, I don't measure out the DOF for every shot....especially when it's family in the back yard. Either I want it to be shallow or I want to get/keep some other elements in focus.

Other times, I just want to keep the lens in the sweet spot...around F8 or down to about two stops from fully open.

I don't find it slow because I'm still letting the camera's meter do the work. I set the aperture and it picks the shutter speed.

When I'm shooting with a telephoto, I often us Tv to keep the shutter speed high enough to avoid camera shake. Or use Av and set it to wide open, to get the fastest shutter speed.
Thanks guys. Wow, I have a lot to learn. What is the best way to learn all this stuff.books, courses, etc?
Practice and experience is always a good help. General reading and hanging out around here doesn't hurt either.

I took a metering course this spring and that got me to start shooting in manual mode a lot more often.

There can be a lot of things to think about when you are shooting...but once you have a good understanding of how your camera works, how the meter works, how aperture and shutter speed affect exposure, DOF and movement....then you can concentrate on composition and capturing the moment. It becomes 2nd driving a car.
AJ Jewell said:
Thanks guys. Wow, I have a lot to learn. What is the best way to learn all this stuff.books, courses, etc?

My personal recommendation is to buy some magazines which you like the pictures in. Whether they're high-end fashion modelling, product shots, candids, nature, scenery etc... cut out your favourite pictures, make a scrap book and try to recreate the pictures. When you struggle with certain aspects, ask here for pointers and you'll learn how to shoot what you want.

You should really learn about exposure, unless you want the camera to make all of your exposure decisions for you. I shoot in manual, unless I'm shooting moving targets, in which case I would shoot in Av.

I would check out books, but a good place to start on the web is

Look at the "Making Photographs" section, and read all of that.
I shoot just about everything in Av, unless I'm panning or doing something else where I want a specific shutter speed. If the shutter speeds get too slow, I boost the ISO, as I'm already shooting at a wide aperture.
I'm just entering this area myself and I think Matt's link is a good starting point, I will spend sometime reading this myself.
I shoot virtually everything in Manual...... the more i do so, the faster i can alter all the settings...... when i started using my cam, i had to look at it to see what i was adjusting..... now i do it without lowering the camera, which is handy for that vital 'quick reaction' shot...... i do also use Av from time to time ;) .... but i would recommend getting to know your camera more intimately..... just dont start sleeping with it :mrgreen:

Most reactions