Canon EOS 12O0D


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Feb 11, 2016
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Hey Guy's
so im a beginning with photography...well sort of just got a canon EOS 1200D for my birthday and its like the best camera and i've never had one of these before.

anyone able to help me out with the P,TV,AV,M setting's ive tried googling and youtubing but i dont understand how to set them up...and what each setting actually does..

sorry if this sounds very stupid haha
Read the maual. It's dry, but there for a reason.

Welcome to TPF!
A great book to help you out is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen. It should be at your local library, but it's worth buying. The question you're asking is basically the entire fundamentals of photography, so it's more than could be explained in a single post.
Every DSLR camera (like yours) has a few standard modes... but before you can understand the modes, you need a little background on how "exposure" works on a camera.

The camera needs light to produce an image on the sensor inside the camera. It controls the flow of light into the camera much in the way a faucet controls the flow of water from the tap.

In the case of the tap... you could... barely open the tap and let the water trickle out for a long time to "fill your glass"... or you could crank that valve wide-open and let the water come gushing out and it would fill your glass a lot faster. It's also possible to over-fill the glass and make a mess.

Same holds true of photography...

There is a setting that controls how long the shutter remains open when you take a picture.
There is another setting that controls the size of the aperture opening in the lens (but the lens obviously has limits to just how small or how large this can be and it varies by lens -- but within that range, you can control it.)

Lastly... there is also a setting that controls how much light the camera should receive in order to have a satisfactory exposure. You can think of this as a setting that controls the sensitivity of the image sensor. In our "water glass" example where we have to fill the glass to get a good exposure... this would be like changing the size of the water glass. BTW, to say that it controls the "sensitivity" is the simple way of explaining it... in reality it doesn't alter sensitivity, it works more like a kind of "amplifier" (but to keep this reply short, we won't go into the nuances of how it really works and will just say it deals with "sensitivity").

So that's basically it... (1) aperture opening size, (2) time that the shutter is open, and (3) sensitivity of the sensor.

When the camera is in "M" mode (Manual mode), you control all three settings manually.

When the camera is in "P" mode (Program mode), the camera sets all settings automatically but it does give you some latitude to over-ride things (features such as "program shift" and "exposure compensation"). If you have no idea what settings to use and just want to pick something "safe"... this is the setting to use because the camera will try to find a "safe" (likely to be good) exposure for most shots (whenever possible... in some extreme shooting situations you can back the camera into a corner and deprive it of being able to use a "safe" exposure. )

The downside to using "P" all the time is that you can usually get an even better exposure than the "safe" exposure, if you understand how to tweak some settings.

The other two modes... Tv and Av are modes where you pick one setting and the camera picks the other.

Tv stands for "Time value" and this means you want to set the shutter speed, but have the computer pick whatever aperture is needed to create a good exposure. Be careful here because as previously mentioned, there are limits to just how large the aperture opening in the lens can be -- so it's possible to set a time value for which the corresponding aperture needed cannot be achieved by your lens.

Av stands for "Aperture value" and this means you want to set the aperture opening size, and have the computer pick whatever shutter speed is needed to create a good exposure. This is usually safer because the camera can handle pretty fast shutter speeds (I think your camera model can handle speeds to 1/4000th second) and there's no practical limit on the maximum exposure duration (the camera's shutter speed goes to 30 seconds but it's possible to take long exposures with a the "bulb" setting (which relies on external input to control the shutter duration.)

Now you know what those settings "do"... but you don't really have any examples of "why" you'd pick one mode over another. That's more than I can explain in a post.

I suggest you pick up a copy of "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. The book is designed for beginners. He doesn't use terminology that requires any previous photography training to understand. It will walk you through not only how those controls work... but why you'd use them (with practical examples.)

You may find this video to be helpful:

I would start with a book specifically for your Canon 1200D. They have several in the ibooks store or Kindle. It will cover all those different settings and others. So does the manual but the ebooks are easier to read and understand. Then I would get Bryan Petersen's Understanding Exposure. I really like books by Ben Long, too.
thankyou so much for this!! :D
I just bought that camera and doing experiences. A useful tip, while in photomode, press the live button beside the viewfinder, this will switch the view from the EVF to the LCD and will show you how the photos will come out, so you can balance and adjust the tones.
AVOID if possible to use the LIVE view to Focus, with the EVF is faster and less noisy.
Also if you have a Android phone that supports OTG USB download the App to remote control the camera.
I'm Testing with my Huawei Honor6, soon I will try also some timelapse.
Use REMOTE RELEASE app to see if your phone is compatible and after you can purchase the DSLR controller

Enjoy your camera

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