Manual Controls

by snapshot2 Moderator - 12/28/12 3:29 PM

In Reply to: HELP! Its URGENT....Camera buying help by nickton_shaan

The manual controls (all DSLR cameras have them) lets you step outside the box a bit.

The two I use most of all are the Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority.

Just about every photo you take can use several shutter speeds and aperture settings for the same perfect exposure setting.
When in Auto mode the camera always selects something in the middle.
When you are taking action shots you want to favor the faster shutter speeds.
Press the shutter half way down and look in the viewfinder and see what speed the camera chose.
Switch to Shutter Priority and select a faster speed, the camera will automatically select the appropriate aperture setting and will automatically adjust the ISO if necessary.

Adjusting Aperture can give you a shorter/longer depth of field. (area of sharpness).
If you are taking a picture that has something important that is near and far, you want a longer depth of field so that both are in focus.
In Auto mode the camera will select something in the middle.
If that is not good enough, you press the shutter button halfway and see what the camera chose.
Switch to Aperture Priority and then you can use a darker setting which will give a longer depth of field.
Aperture for normal pictures can be from about f/2.8 up to f/16.
The smaller number is a brighter setting, a larger number is a darker setting.
The shutter speed will be selected automatically for a perfect exposure.

If you want to get completely outside the box you can go full manual.
You can select settings that the camera will say is all wrong.
But sometimes you want that setting for a reason.
When in manual mode you can set shutter speed and aperture to anything you want. Take the picture and check the results, if the picture is not what you wanted change the settings and try again.

The DSLR also lets you adjust the place of exposure
In Auto mode it is set to look at the entire area and base the exposure on that, but favor the middle of the scene.
But what if you are in a dark audience watching a play and want a good picture of the stage.
You want the camera to ignore the darkness of the audience and concentrate on getting a good exposure of the stage.
You then set the exposure setting to "spot" or "center" and the camera will base the exposure on the center of the scene.

The camera has so many features that it will take a long time to understand and use them all.
But that is the fun of photography.
Learning!

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