Why don't people like program mode?

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Ysarex

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Is 14 pages and 8 years enough for a thread? Chances are program mode and indeed basic manual mode and auto ISO modes have changed a LOT since this thread began its life.

Yes, but fundamental ignorance about how a camera works is ramping up fast.

Joe
 

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Ysarex said:
Yes, but fundamental ignorance about how a camera works is ramping up fast.

Joe

Why do (many) people dislike Programmed mode?

I'll take a stab at that, again: Because it is NOT what they grew up with. Because they have very little understanding of how to shoot a new, modern, digital SLR camera. Because they grew up shooting manual film advance cameras, or they grew up with expensive film, expensive processing, and expensive printing, and even-more costly enlarging of the best frames. Because they grew up in the era when shooting ONE, single FRAME was the norm.

Why do so,so many older people dislike hip-hop and rap music?

What were ,"Long-haired hippies!" to my father in 1964? Answer: The Beatles.

People who grew up with a Speed graphic, or a Nikon F, or a Rolleiflex f/3.5 probably have very different opinions on the so-called best way to set up a camera, in many scenarios. As Ysarex notes, "Fundamental ignorance about how a camera works is ramping up fast." We are NO LONGER shooting on film with a five- to seven-EV total range. Many of us have cameras with new SONY-made sensors that have incredible dynamic range, and which have incredible shadow-recovery potential...even with the Gain Control Set to previously science fiction-like ISO levels of say, 6,400. Software is far better than it was in 2005.

I remember the hue and cry over, "Automatic" light metering. And that ,"Useless TTL flash metering!". And that gosh-danged new, "Autofocusing cr@p!"

People who diss program mode usually are old-school thinkers, and are stuck in 2007-era or earlier ways of thinking. Theory and reality have diverged to a huge degree over the last few generations of sensors; ideas about quality loss, and noise, how to expose, what ISO levels to set or to meter to,etc,etc. have changed MARKEDLY since 2008.
 

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I have never heard any serious photographer that knows beans about photography say they don't like program mode, or any mode for that matter because it is just bad. Any mode can be bad in certain situations including manual mode. That doesn't mean people don't like it or shouldn't like it. I suppose it is possible for people starting out that haven't developed a full understanding of light, transmission, reflection and refraction and the ways to capture it might make statements like that, but certainly not any truly experienced photographer who has tried every possible way to use a camera in virtually all situations.
 

Ysarex

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Ysarex said:
Yes, but fundamental ignorance about how a camera works is ramping up fast.

Joe

Why do (many) people dislike Programmed mode?

I'll take a stab at that, again: Because it is NOT what they grew up with. Because they have very little understanding of how to shoot a new, modern, digital SLR camera. Because they grew up shooting manual film advance cameras, or they grew up with expensive film, expensive processing, and expensive printing, and even-more costly enlarging of the best frames. Because they grew up in the era when shooting ONE, single FRAME was the norm.

Why do so,so many older people dislike hip-hop and rap music?

What were ,"Long-haired hippies!" to my father in 1964? Answer: The Beatles.

People who grew up with a Speed graphic, or a Nikon F, or a Rolleiflex f/3.5 probably have very different opinions on the so-called best way to set up a camera, in many scenarios. As Ysarex notes, "Fundamental ignorance about how a camera works is ramping up fast." We are NO LONGER shooting on film with a five- to seven-EV total range. Many of us have cameras with new SONY-made sensors that have incredible dynamic range, and which have incredible shadow-recovery potential...even with the Gain Control Set to previously science fiction-like ISO levels of say, 6,400. Software is far better than it was in 2005.

I remember the hue and cry over, "Automatic" light metering. And that ,"Useless TTL flash metering!". And that gosh-danged new, "Autofocusing cr@p!"

People who diss program mode usually are old-school thinkers, and are stuck in 2007-era or earlier ways of thinking. Theory and reality have diverged to a huge degree over the last few generations of sensors; ideas about quality loss, and noise, how to expose, what ISO levels to set or to meter to,etc,etc. have changed MARKEDLY since 2008.

All that but more. It's reached self-sustaining myth status. I know this is entirely anecdotal, but this semester right now Fall 2016 I had to kill it three times. Two of my young 20 year olds came to class believing they had to shoot in full manual to have "creative control" of the camera and I know where they got that -- other faculty. AND I'M THE OLD RETIRED GUY!

And then I have this middle-age woman who has teenage kids in the class. The family got her a new 5300 and she's real interested in learning to use it. Teenage son has helped and he told her to use it in manual!! Where's he getting that cr*p from?!! She comes to class with the camera and I see the dial set to M and ask her why -- junior showed her. I'm the one who grew up with cameras that didn't have light meters in them. What's a 15 year old doing telling Mom to put the camera on M?!! ARRRGHHHH!

Joe
 

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Most people should leave exposure in Program or Auto and first learn how to take pictures with content that is interesting. Once you've learned that, then you can play around with manual modes to effect DOF and speed. Remember, mainly we're talking about getting the right light exposure so the picture isn't blown out or dark. But none of that will make compelling photos. If you're going to make boring pictures, you might as well leave it in Program.
 

Ysarex

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Most people should leave exposure in Program or Auto and first learn how to take pictures with content that is interesting. Once you've learned that, then you can play around with manual modes to effect DOF and speed.

Or play around effecting DOF and speed and just keep the camera in Program mode to do it. Manual mode offers no additional options to effect DOF or shutter speed that aren't already there in Program mode.

Joe

Remember, mainly we're talking about getting the right light exposure so the picture isn't blown out or dark. But none of that will make compelling photos. If you're going to make boring pictures, you might as well leave it in Program.
 

SCraig

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I don't understand why people have to get hung up about exposure modes. "You NEED to use THIS mode all the time" or "You MUST use THAT mode all the time" or "I ONLY use MANUAL mode" or whatever ad nauseam.

My camera bodies have a mode dial. It turns so that I can easily change the mode to shoot the situation I'm shooting in. In my personal opinion telling people that they need to use program mode all the time is no different from telling someone they need to use manual mode all the time. Modes are selectable so that they can be tailored to the shooting situation. Use whatever works or whatever one is most comfortable with. Feel free to try other modes, and if you don't like the way they behave then just don't use them again.
 

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This is a long thread for a useless subject. I don't care what mode YOU shoot in.
 

Desert Rose

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I don't even care what mode I shoot in, as long as the results are what I intend.
This is a long thread for a useless subject. I don't care what mode YOU shoot in.
 

Frank F.

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The point that is missing here is: I am often not satisfied with the camera's decision what exposure should be like. Even Auto-ISO means I need to steer the camera to the exposure I want. The fastest way in steady light situations is usually all manual, except for situations in which the scene DR fits into the camera DR completely, then any Auto mode will do, also Program mode.

As I shoot a lot @1.4 and @1.8 I hate it when the camera chooses 6.3. I do not use stabilized lenses, so currently I like to have a 1/200st or faster of a second shooting the 85mm just because I fear my hand is not steady enough. In action I like to set time to just-about-freeze-the motion , which is different for every flavour of sports or kind of bird. Sometimes it is 1/350st sometimes I need 1/2000st.

You are right that in many siutuations I only want to control time or aperture and do not need to control both. Then Program shift can work.

Since the F4 I steer the camera's exposure by measuring spot into a part of the picture that represents the medium exposure of what I want. Then I save the setting, reframe and shoot. These were taken with a F100 & 1.8/85D in 2001: content is our business *** Software-Pioniere 2001 *** HOME - HochschulMediennetz Deutschland

All spot metering into the eye
 

Ysarex

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The point that is missing here is: I am often not satisfied with the camera's decision what exposure should be like. Even Auto-ISO means I need to steer the camera to the exposure I want. The fastest way in steady light situations is usually all manual,

The point that's missing here is that it may be fastest for you to use all manual (great), but given a different camera design and/or someone accustomed to using a camera in P mode, it may be as fast or faster to get the exact same result you get in manual using P mode instead. I'm nearly 100% unsatisfied with the camera's calculated exposure parameters and I quickly get what I want leaving my camera in P mode. I can keep the camera in P mode and come up with the exact same settings you arrive at using M (within the reasonable range of exposure; got ten stops on my camera).

Your original statement; "'P' is the fast mode in good light, when it is important to have the picture and artistic considerations do not play any role.", implies that P mode limits access for "artistic considerations." It's the same nonsense that's been repeated for years by people who don't understand how cameras work that in P mode you must give up control and let the camera decide for you. That's wrong.

except for situations in which the scene DR fits into the camera DR completely, then any Auto mode will do, also Program mode.

As I shoot a lot @1.4 and @1.8 I hate it when the camera chooses 6.3.

Then in P mode rotate the shift wheel to the f/stop you want. With my camera I need to rotate the shift wheel just once and that setting stays put.

I do not use stabilized lenses, so currently I like to have a 1/200st or faster of a second shooting the 85mm just because I fear my hand is not steady enough. In action I like to set time to just-about-freeze-the motion , which is different for every flavour of sports or kind of bird. Sometimes it is 1/350st sometimes I need 1/2000st.

Best possible argument to use the camera in shutter priority.

You are right that in many siutuations I only want to control time or aperture and do not need to control both. Then Program shift can work.

You still seem to be missing the point that the constraint required to achieve exposure doesn't change with the mode selection. For any given exposure selecting aperture immediately determines the shutter speed and vice versa. You can't select aperture and shutter speed independent of each other without altering exposure.

Since the F4 I steer the camera's exposure by measuring spot into a part of the picture that represents the medium exposure of what I want. Then I save the setting, reframe and shoot.

And I just press the AEL button, reframe and shoot -- quick button press might be faster than manually saving a shutter speed and f/stop.

It's OK to use the camera in manual. But using the camera in manual does not give you control for "artistic considerations" that is not available to someone using their camera in P, S, or A modes. Those semi-auto modes allow the user equivalent artistic control over the camera. Given design variations in the different cameras fine grained control may very likely swing in favor of the semi-auto modes. Fuji cameras are popular with the retro crowd, but when you switch a Fuji X camera into full manual you only have full stop shutter speeds. In the semi-auto modes you get 1/3 stop shutter speeds. How the knobs and dials are laid out can be the deciding factor.

The original point you missed was that using a camera in P mode is not inferior to using it in manual. That's what you implied and that's wrong.

Joe

These were taken with a F100 & 1.8/85D in 2001: content is our business *** Software-Pioniere 2001 *** HOME - HochschulMediennetz Deutschland

All spot metering into the eye
 

Frank F.

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"You can't select aperture and shutter speed independent of each other without altering exposure."

That is obviously bullshit, sorry.

I have four parameters to steer exposure: Time, Aperture, ISO and flash dosage

When ISO was still a real constraint earlier in life shooting darkish indoor events (ugly downlights) with two D70-bodies, I had them both set to ISO 1250 (fixed), f=4 (fixed), t=1/125 s (fixed)

The only thing I changed was the body (one with 50mm, one with 24mm) and the flash dosage. For one-head-shots I opened the aperture to two, to blur the BG more.

***

I really love the LOCK function for any parameter I want to lock and let the other paramters flow. But not every camera offers that. I used in on the D3 all the time.

***

The point I give to you is that "your milage may vary", so some people are faster with program mode, some love center weighted, some spot some this new fifth gen mode I do not unterstand yet, some love program shift and exposure compensation. I used to work that way earlier in life, I guess the F4 already had some program shift. Yet I came back to the other modes, always searching for the maximum amount of shots that are not for the bin.

For example: With the SB800 on the D600 I feel the fill flash and white balance works better in Auto modes than done manually by myself.

PS: ISO 20.000 today on the D500...

small_KC1_2189.JPG


and a crop with Noise Reduction = OFF

small_text_only_KC1_2189.JPG
 

Frank F.

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PS: It is more or less the same with AF. I love AF in many situations, but sometimes it is a pain to steer AF to do what I want, so I choose MF.
 

Frank F.

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With "saving exposure" I meant "using the AE-L button".
 
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