What's Your Preferred Shooting Mode?

ericgtr12

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Just thought I would get an idea of what people generally shoot in. For me, it really depends on the situation (as I'm sure is the case for all of us) but as a general rule I leave it in aperture priority probably 90% of the time. If I'm in low light situations, need to freeze action or taking long exposures I will switch to manual or shutter priority.
 

mollyc

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Manual. Always. (unless I'm using my iphone, but even then I often switch over to the LR app and go partial manual.) I don't even use auto ISO. And I manually focus with about half my lenses.

Give me all the control.
 

deep diver

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Jan 17, 2008
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I have no idea.
Mostly aperture priority. Manual for the difficult images. I rarely use shutter priority. I never use full auto. I don't have anything against full auto but I don't like giving up all of the exposure control.
 

ericgtr12

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Mostly aperture priority. Manual for the difficult images. I rarely use shutter priority. I never use full auto. I don't have anything against full auto but I don't like giving up all of the exposure control.
I'm really into night photography so I use shutter priority quite a bit while on a tripod and a shutter release cable for those, that or bulb mode depending on whether I need more than 30 seconds or not. Otherwise, I'm the same.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Aperture Priority most of the time here; rarely shift into Shutter Priority, but there are occasions which do require it; there have been times when I realize belatedly afterward that I should've used it. I shoot mostly with autofocus as well, although again, there are some situations such as shooting macro subjects that manual focus is really preferred and pretty much necessary. Thank goodness for Focus Peaking, which helps significantly there.

Rarely, rarely do I shoot in all-manual mode these days -- I've been spoiled by the ease of aperture priority and autofocus! There are those times, though, when one does need to have everything manual, including ISO (although I've also shot with Auto ISO and had the other settings in manual).

I have always ignored "Auto," "Program mode" or "Scene mode" on any camera I use; those are just a waste of time unless someone is just starting out and needs to get familiar with some things in general first. "Auto" is fine for point-and-shooters, of course.....

I also use Single frame most of the time, except when shooting in situations where there is a lot of activity, either by people or animals, and then I do go into Continuous High mode. That can eat up a memory card in nothing flat, though, so I try to keep a light finger on the trigger when I am doing that!
 

Darmok N Jalad

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When I began, I used Auto, then for a few years, mostly Aperture. Now it's almost entirely Manual. I find that Manual mode is far easier with a 3 dial camera to make quick adjustments on the fly. When my camera only had 1 dial, defaulting to Aperture or Shutter priority was more the way to go. I think that once you discover your camera's limits and/or ideal settings in certain situations, Manual mode is not as intimidating.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
That is a good point about how the camera itself is configured; those which have more dials and buttons do make it easier to control things while actively shooting, rather than those which require menu-diving or tinkering with just one dial and perhaps simultaneously holding or pressing a button. There's a reason why some cameras are significantly more expensive than others!
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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That is a good point about how the camera itself is configured; those which have more dials and buttons do make it easier to control things while actively shooting, rather than those which require menu-diving or tinkering with just one dial and perhaps simultaneously holding or pressing a button. There's a reason why some cameras are significantly more expensive than others!
Yeah, my first camera didn't have any dials, just buttons. My next camera had 1 dial, and my previous had 2. It really is freeing to have the third dial, even if you only occasionally adjust it. Once ISO is buried under a "button + dial" configuration, you are less apt to use it, since it means pulling the camera away from your face to adjust. I like being able to make minor adjustments with minimal effort in order to maintain focus and also have quicker reaction time to a particular shot.
 

ericgtr12

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When I began, I used Auto, then for a few years, mostly Aperture. Now it's almost entirely Manual. I find that Manual mode is far easier with a 3 dial camera to make quick adjustments on the fly. When my camera only had 1 dial, defaulting to Aperture or Shutter priority was more the way to go. I think that once you discover your camera's limits and/or ideal settings in certain situations, Manual mode is not as intimidating.
I personally don't find it intimidating, it's far more about convenience and offloading some of the work to the camera although I almost always manually set my ISO. I also rely on my histogram for exposure and sometimes set my exposure compensation to work with whatever odd lighting situations I'm in.
 

mofunk

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Manual most of the time. When I just shooting for kicks I might play around in Auto only to see what I will get.
 

globalist

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For those that shoot manual, what's the "workflow" that warrants the use of this mode, as opposed to e.g. aperture priority?
 

Apple fanboy

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For those that shoot manual, what's the "workflow" that warrants the use of this mode, as opposed to e.g. aperture priority?
I choose the shutter speed and aperture. I know if I’m handholding how slow I can shoot and still get it sharp.
In AP it will choose the shutter speed and because I’m not, I could end up with a blurred image.
Plus I’m so used to it it takes seconds.

If doing landscape photography I’m probably on a tripod and using filters, so manual works well there as well. I’m in no rush.
 

globalist

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I choose the shutter speed and aperture. I know if I’m handholding how slow I can shoot and still get it sharp.
In AP it will choose the shutter speed and because I’m not, I could end up with a blurred image.
So let's say you need to shoot at 1/50s minimum to handhold succesfully. So you set 1/50s shutter speed. You then need to set a certain aperture at your ISO to get good exposure. Let's say you set it to f/4.0. Your needle is now in the middle and you take a well-exposed shot.

Now my question is, if you're in aperture mode taking the same shot, and you make sure to set your aperture so as to not get your shutter speed lower than 1/50s (incidentally resulting in an aperture of f/4.0 for a well-exposed shot at your ISO), what is the difference?

I guess I still don't see the need to set both aperture and shutter manually...
 
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Apple fanboy

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So let's say you need to shoot at 1/50s minimum to handhold succesfully. So you set 1/50s shutter speed. You then need to set a certain aperture at your ISO to get good exposure. Let's say you set it to f/4.0. Your needle is now in the middle and you take a well-exposed shot.

Now my question is, if you're in aperture mode taking the same shot, and you make sure to set your aperture so as to not get your shutter speed lower than 1/50s (incidentally resulting in an aperture of f/4.0 for a well-exposed shot at your ISO), what is the difference?

I guess I still don't see the need to set both aperture and shutter manually...
It gets dark. You don’t notice. Suddenly you are shooting at 1/4s and you didn’t notice. You get home and your shots are garbage.
Also I can shoot as quickly in M mode as people do in A mode. It’s just what you get used to and personal preference.
With a duel dial camera set up its right by my thumb or finger.
 
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mollyc

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Aug 18, 2016
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So let's say you need to shoot at 1/50s minimum to handhold succesfully. So you set 1/50s shutter speed. You then need to set a certain aperture at your ISO to get good exposure. Let's say you set it to f/4.0. Your needle is now in the middle and you take a well-exposed shot.

Now my question is, if you're in aperture mode taking the same shot, and you make sure to set your aperture so as to not get your shutter speed lower than 1/50s (incidentally resulting in an aperture of f/4.0 for a well-exposed shot at your ISO), what is the difference?

I guess I still don't see the need to set both aperture and shutter manually...
I rarely meter to -0-. If I were using a semi automatic mode then I’d have to deal with exposure compensation in addition to making sure the camera kept the settings within a comfortable tolerance.

it’s easier just to do it all myself.
 

globalist

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It gets dark. You don’t notice. Suddenly you are shooting at 1/4s and you didn’t notice. You get home and your shots are garbage.
Also I can shoot as quickly in M mode as people do in A mode. It’s just what you get used to and personal preference.
With a duel dial camera set up its right by my thumb or finger.
Ah ok. I only have a single dial camera and I always make sure before each shot in AP mode that I'm not below my hand-held shutter limit.

I rarely meter to -0-. If I were using a semi automatic mode then I’d have to deal with exposure compensation in addition to making sure the camera kept the settings within a comfortable tolerance.

it’s easier just to do it all myself.
OK so a more convenient/quicker exposure compensation. What do you meter to if not 0?
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I first start with ISO. Being on m43, it’s a little more sensitive to noise at higher ISO than your larger sensors, so auto-ISO can be trouble if it takes it too high. On my PL12-60 2.8-4.0, I can take ISO way down, but for my O75-300 tele, I rarely take ISO lower than 1000 so I can always keep shutter speed up. It’s somewhat about keeping a fast shutter speed, but with abundant light, I will keep ISO a little higher to drop aperture a touch for additional sharpness. I also don’t always zero the meter, but rather I use live preview on mirrorless to know that my subject is exposed the way I hopefully want it.
 

mollyc

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Aug 18, 2016
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OK so a more convenient/quicker exposure compensation. What do you meter to if not 0?
Well I'm rarely shooting anything that is middle gray, so why would I want to meter to 0?

My family is all fair skinned, so they need to be +2/3ish. If my son is playing lacrosse outdoors and has his head in a helmet where skintone isn't an issue, I will meter for his dark pinnie and underexpose, because I don't want a navy jersey to be too bright (which also protects highlights of the white helmets). If I am shooting in studio, the camera meter doesn't do me any good anyway since it can't see my light until it fires.

Metering to 0 only means that the camera will make whatever the subject is middle gray. Unless I am shooting grass or something, my subject is almost never gray.

I don't think of shooting all manual as a faster EC (although I guess I've always had a camera that has allowed me to change everything through a button). I don't want my camera to determine my exposure. I want to. Me, the human, who is in charge of the creative decision. 🙂

As for my actual workflow, I almost always choose aperture first. Then I will keep SS within some tolerance for what I am shooting (slower for studio or still subjects, faster for multiple people, etc.). ISO is decided last. I often shoot wide open or really narrow for a sunburst.

The exceptions to this I guess would be if I am shooting in full sun where I can't open up as much as I would like OR if I am shooting lax or swimming where I know I need a minimum SS. Even then I will still generally set on aperture first and then just increase my ISO so that I can keep an eye on the minimum speed.

I also don't use any of the tracking modes for focusing. I pick a single focal point and track my subject with my camera movement. I have a pretty good track record here as well and always wonder about people complaining about poor focus with Camera X. (To be fair, it can be a camera error and I have a much better track rate with Nikon than I did with my old Canons.) But in general all modern cameras focus pretty well and quickly. I think a lot of people rely too much on the camera to do the work and then are disappointed when the results don't come out.
 
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