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03-28-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
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shutter priority vs. aperture priority

This is a very general question and I realize may have many answers but I am interested in what situations you find yourself shooting in shutter priority vs. aperture priority or even Manual mode. I understand how all work but my inexperience is still great enough that when a situation presents itself, I don't intuitively know yet what to do. I like landscapes, indoor architecture, kids sports. Any help is appreciated!

03-28-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
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It's a good question and something I wondered a lot about early on. 18 months on though here's what I use:

Av for 30mm+ primes, for general use, for fill flash

Tv for primes < 30mm or if I want fast or slow shutter speeds - eg sport (fast), panning (slow)

Manual for pTTL flash use, or if I'm shooting something where I want direct control over shutter and aperture and the lighting isn't changing

I had been using Av for handheld HDR but found significant problems with this mode during bracketing, so now only use manual mode for this purpose too.

I only wish I had TAv mode, I think I'd use that more than any other mode.
03-28-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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To put it very simply: If you want to control DoF (portraits, landscapes etc.) then go with Av.
If you'd like control over motionblur then go with Tv (kids playing, sports etc).

I'm a beginner myself and I shoot in manual 99% of the time because I feel I learn better and quicker this way. Perhaps you should consider this option.
03-28-2011, 08:46 PM   #4
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I'm generally either in full program or else aperture preferred auto, unless I'm in the studio, in which case I'm in manual (X with aperture control).
I do surprisingly little in manual, though this is a radical change for me. The K7 proved to me that it would work in auto, prior to that, I was shooting manual most of the time.

03-28-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Most of the time, Av is my preferred choice, with a fixed ISO, since I want to be able to control depth of field. Then if shutter speed is metered too slow for my liking, I simply boost ISO as desired.

When I want to fix my shutter speed, then Tv is what I flick to, as mentioned for action-shots, and set ISO as needed to avoid too thin a depth of field.

Or even easily, I can flick to TAv mode, where I can decide on both shutter speed and depth of field (by aperture) and let the camera meter using ISO as the variable to get the right exposure (granted this is most feasible with a camera like the K-5 where a large ISO range can be employed without much worry about noise).
03-28-2011, 10:00 PM   #6
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i shoot full manual when doing night time outside Basketball { my lads}.. AV when the subject allows me more time with the shot...just lately Ive been using the TAV mode in well lit conditions..but i do keep a beady eye on the ISO..if it creeps much past 400ISO, ill creep the shutter speed down, mainly cause the subject is gonna need a heavy crop to get a good image { my lads playing footy on a massive oval} my TAV setting on my 70-200 is F5.6 1/1250..5.6 being the sweet spot for that lens
03-28-2011, 10:26 PM   #7
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With manual ISO, Tv or Av actually does not matter. Wether you're in Tv or Av, turning the e-dial will influence both aperture and shutter speed. Look in your viewfinder and you'll see it; so with Av you can still do Tv

With auto iso it is different as the camera can influence 2 parameters (of the 3) but I don't like to use it as I don't know when the camera changes the ISO.

I use Av close to 100% of the time (leftover from the film days I guess) and keep an eye on shutterspeed if necessary. The rest is M when using flash.
03-29-2011, 04:03 AM   #8
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I think most of the points are covered

Tv if you want to gaurs tee freezing motion
Av if you are concerned about DOF control
Any auto mode works well if you are doing general shooting
I personally use M mode when doing wildlife or flash

03-29-2011, 04:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
With manual ISO, Tv or Av actually does not matter. Wether you're in Tv or Av, turning the e-dial will influence both aperture and shutter speed. Look in your viewfinder and you'll see it; so with Av you can still do Tv

Exactly! Remember the The Pentax ME and the Canon AE-1? The ME was shutter priority and the AE-1 was aperture priority, this didn't make one camera more or less capable than the other.
03-29-2011, 10:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I only wish I had TAv mode, I think I'd use that more than any other mode.
Definitely. My short stint with the K-5, I found TAv mode very useful. For example I'd set my shutter to match my focal length or faster, then aperture for the DOF I wanted at the moment, and forget the rest. The camera decides the ISO based on the threshold I set (i.e. 80-12800) and I just shoot without abandon just adjusting my DOF. Too bad it's not available for the K-x and K-r.
03-29-2011, 10:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Exactly! Remember the The Pentax ME and the Canon AE-1? The ME was shutter priority and the AE-1 was aperture priority, this didn't make one camera more or less capable than the other.
My ME Super was Av, and I would have thought the ME was the same - not Tv.
03-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
Definitely. My short stint with the K-5, I found TAv mode very useful. For example I'd set my shutter to match my focal length or faster, then aperture for the DOF I wanted at the moment, and forget the rest. The camera decides the ISO based on the threshold I set (i.e. 80-12800) and I just shoot without abandon just adjusting my DOF. Too bad it's not available for the K-x and K-r.

Interesting - is that a generally used guideline to match shutter speed to focal length?
03-29-2011, 08:42 PM   #13
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I have some new tricks to try and practice, practice, practice!
03-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by olivemike Quote
Interesting - is that a generally used guideline to match shutter speed to focal length?
Only if you want blurry photos I use 2 times FL and a minimum of 1/80. That old guideline is far too optimistic and developed in the days when ISO400 was "fast".
03-29-2011, 11:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Only if you want blurry photos I use 2 times FL and a minimum of 1/80. That old guideline is far too optimistic and developed in the days when ISO400 was "fast".

also it was a rule of thumb with a 35mm size film/sensor...as we shoot with a crop format sensor the multiplier is 1.5..so a 50mm lens becomes 75mm.

using the rule of thumb, you'd want a 1/160 or faster with a 50mm lens on a crop body
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