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10-19-2010, 07:49 PM   #1
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Confused by the different modes: AV, P and M

Hi,
Not sure if this has been asked before, but I find the P mode and AV mode is the same, when I adjust the dial in P mode it changes the aperture and sets the same shutter speed as when I use the AV mode. So what's the difference between them? I noticed it says AV hyper on the top left of my k-x screen when I adjust the dial in P mode.

Also, whenever I press the green button in M mode, it acts like if it's P mode with the same aperture and shutter speed as the P mode...I'm getting confused on which mode to use, should I just stick with AV mode?

Thanks

10-19-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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The hyper-program mode (P) will set the shutter and aperture. The "hyper" part allows you to go to A mode directly by using the wheel to set it. I'm guessing there is a small square button you press to change from making aperture adjustments to making shutter speed adjustments since your camera has only one wheel (right?). So, you could go from P mode to Tv with the button-press and wheel-turn. It usually takes three fingers :-)

I shoot in P mostly, and I find I frequently and accidentally jog a wheel and don't notice often enough. I could be shooting a f27 and 1/15 :-( I'm in the habit of tapping the green button a lot. The "Green Button" will get back to P mode from whatever mode you went to with the dial (assuming it works the same way as my K20D).

In Av or Tv mode, you make one setting and the camera changes the other variable for the metered exposure. In M (manual) it is all up to you.

You should read the mode page of the manual again.
10-19-2010, 09:27 PM   #3
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Learn to use M mode. Practice with it until it just comes natural to you. You'll never bother with the other modes once you do.
10-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
Learn to use M mode. Practice with it until it just comes natural to you. You'll never bother with the other modes once you do.
Any tips to get started with M mode?

10-19-2010, 10:01 PM   #5
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Put in P mode. Look at the settings for aperture and shutter. Change to M mode. Change the aperture and shutter to the values you got in P mode. That is your start.

Frankly the mode is far less important than learning when to use exposure compensation :-)

Good luck. I'd advise more doing, less asking :-)
10-19-2010, 10:23 PM   #6
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P mode
The camera will calculate a combination of shutterspeed and aperture and set that as the default

Av mode
You set the aperture and the camera will calculate the shutterspeed

M mode
You set both; the green button just does a calculation for a default combination (not sure based on what)

Note that in M mode the settings are fixed (till you press the green button) while in the other 2 modes the settings change at the moment that you press the shutter button halfway


How to start:
Set in M mode and press green button; next start fiddling. Note that if you change aperture, you also need to change shutterspeed (and vice versa) unless you want under/over expose on purpose (which is quite normal in high contrast scenes)
10-20-2010, 01:58 AM   #7
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P mode explained

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
P mode
The camera will calculate a combination of shutterspeed and aperture and set that as the default
P mode will choose what it thinks gives the sharpest picture based on light level, focal length, lens sharpness data, knowledge about sensor noise and the shutterspeed>1/f rule of thumb. P mode is pretty smart and it deserves some respect.

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
M mode
You set both; the green button just does a calculation for a default combination (not sure based on what)
Based on P mode.

1. When light is plenty, P mode will choose a lens sweet spot aperture, base iso and a fast shutter speed to match.

2. When light diminishes, P mode will open the aperture and lower the shutter speed according to some complex system that I haven't figured out, until it hits max aperture and the shutter=1/f rule of thumb limit. I suspect it looks at lens sharpness data and weighs it against some expectation of blur from camera shake at the current focal length.

3. When light diminishes further, P mode will up the ISO until it reaches the set ISO limit.

4. When light diminishes even further, it will slow the shutter speed below the 1/f rule.

Then there's the scroll wheel (P shift). It chooses alternative, equivalent exposures by trading aperture for shutter and ISO.

That's how P mode works on my K-x, if I remember correctly.

Sincerely,
--Anders.
10-20-2010, 02:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
Learn to use M mode. Practice with it until it just comes natural to you. You'll never bother with the other modes once you do.
+1. Shooting in M (full manual) will best help you understand how shutter speed, ISO, and aperture affect the picture. You will learn how to achieve the depth of field you want, the white balance, exposure etc.... Shooting in M mode for me helped me become a much better photographer instead of relying on my camera to choose for me.

Once you fully understand M mode then you can start to use the other modes as you will understand what those modes do for you.

10-21-2010, 06:33 AM   #9
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Well I set the green button to TV priority and in M mode, I set the aperture value, then whenever I press the green button the shutter speed changes while the aperture remains unchanged to give me the correct exposure. Looks like a manual AV mode to me, except that the readings don't change until you press the green button. So what's so different about manual mode other than to deliberately under or over expose a photo? Is it mainly good for spot metering when there's a wide DR between bright skies and dark shadows and set exposure in between the 2 readings? eg. f8, 1/500 and f8, 1/50, then set it to maybe f8, 1/250 for a balanced image?

Last edited by catastrophe; 10-21-2010 at 06:44 AM.
10-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #10
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You do not always want different exposures between two or more shots; e.g. in the case of taking 2 or 3 photos to stitch a panorama. So you don't press the green button in between, else each shot wmight have a different exposure resulting in e.g. different brightness of the sky. And you can't use Av in that case.

And there is basically no difference if you know what's going on. I have been using a SLR for roughly 30 years and I have mostly used Av. Only time I really use M is when using flash. Set shutterspeed to what I want and determine flash range based on aperture.
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