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04-25-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
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How often do you change the settings for pictures?

If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?

Thanks.

04-25-2010, 10:46 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I almost always adjust my speed, aperture, and ISO. How in the world will the camera know if I need to maximize shutter speed or depth of field? How will the camera possibly know when I'm willing to go to a higher ISO so I can use a smaller aperture or faster speed? It can't.

I normally shoot in Av mode with one wheel set to adjust ISO and the other aperture. If I need a faster shutter speed, I either change to a wider aperture or a higher ISO.
04-25-2010, 10:48 AM   #3
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Every time I shoot pretty much. Or at least check to see if what they were on last time is appropriate for this time.
04-25-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Take it in steps, P mode is the 'camera chooses all' mode but you can still over-ride it by shifting or applying EC. You can get to pretty much any result from there. So if you have to act fast due to your subject moving, start in P and adjust as time permits.

When it becomes second nature to do this, go into a semi-automatic mode. I am 95% of the time on A and that seems to be the most common choice. I even know another pro photographer who taped its mode-dial to the A position.

The difference now if that in A, you have to make the choice first. You have to choose how much depth of field is required. In this case, remember to watch the resulting shutter-speed, if it is too low for your subject's motion or focal-length then boost the ISO. That is why if your camera has two dials, the best is to set the rear control-wheel to directly control the ISO. Otherwise, you have to press another button at the same time to do it. If motion is most important than use shutter-priority (T mode) and do the same.

Last manual is the "let me control all the settings because I know exactly what I am doing mode". I guess I use that about 4% of the time. Most often I took a test shot before in P or A mode with a high-ISO to get it over quickly which gives me a baseline. Then, use an equivalent value (based on the combination of ISO, aperture and shutter-speed) and adjust based on desired results (brightness, motion, depth-of-field).

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04-25-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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I'm moving this to the Beginner's forum too. It's there for a reason.
04-25-2010, 02:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?

Thanks.
With my DA lenses, I leave the camera on P, but keep track of what the camera is doing. If I need a higher shutter speed I can spin the front e-dial. If I want a specific aperture I spin the rear e-dial. If I need a higher ISO, all I need to do is press [OK] and spin the front e-dial. One of the reasons I like the K10 is that it lets me do these things without any fuss.

My USER mode is set to my preferences for M mode that I use with the M lenses. With Pentax' hyper program, I see no need for Av or Tv. I don't use auto ISO because I want to keep it as low as possible for image quality reasons, just as I used Velvia 50 whenever possible in film. It does mean that I have to pay attention to the meter to avoid worse things than a little noise in the image.
04-25-2010, 03:33 PM   #7
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I have posted this many many times but it warrents mentioning here.

I shoot almost exclusively JPEG.

As a result, I adjust contrast, ISO, saturation, WB and to a lesser degree sharpening, as a function of lighting at the time. Also, as I shoot a large number of manual lenses, I change some other settings all the time, such as shutter speed, etc. with my AF lenses, I still shoot manual quite a bit, just to insure I get what I want, not what the camera thinks I want.

Pentax's version of Mindread.exe still needs work.
04-25-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?

Thanks.
Probably 50% of the time, I'm in Av mode and taking snapshots. I'll go to Tv or M if I want to stop action or use the High Speed Sync on the flash. I'll go to M if I want something else, such as cloud detail and shadow detail in a landscape type of a shot (spot metering).



04-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #9
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Like some earlier posts, I use the P-mode primarily. When needed, I use the front and rear dials to make some manual adjustements. Afterwards, I need to remember to press the Green button to go back in normal P-mode.
04-25-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
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For me I shoot primarily in Av mode as I really like to change my depth of field constantly while I am out shooting. However, if I come to a photo that the camera just refuses to take I will through it into M mode and make the necessary adjustments. Other than those few moments my camera is always in Av mode.

Cory
04-25-2010, 09:38 PM   #11
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I shoot in Av mode most of the time and manually adjust ISO to keep my shutter speed high enough. If I want a special effect (motion blur, whatever) I'll switch to manual. I'd say 90% of the time I'm in Av mode though. The auto-whitebalance on the K-x is so good I only manually adjust it if I'm in some really weird lighting.

I've learned to take a test shot as soon as I'm out where I want to be, cause I'm really forgetful and hate to get home only to find I started the day with ISO 6400 or 128,000 because the previous photos were taken inside at night :P
04-25-2010, 10:41 PM   #12
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I don't have an option on one of my cameras All lenses are M42 and therefore I use M mode all the time.

With modern lenses (DA/FA) on my other camera, I'm in AV 95% of the time. When using flash, I'm often in M.
04-26-2010, 03:19 AM   #13
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I use Av mode primarily and adjust my aperture regularly to play with depth of field as well as to allow for faster shutter speeds. Since I shoot mainly RAW, other settings on jpeg attributes aren't particularly important to me.
04-26-2010, 02:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?

Thanks.
Hi jtp,

With the K-7, I usually shoot Av priority, with the front e-wheel programmed for Ev compensation and the rear wheel programmed for aperture control and Auto ISO with a range that is suitable for the situation. The camera is set to the "speed" program line, so it will generally choose higher ISO to keep shutter speed up. I also use the "info" screen to set max ISO on the fly, so I have reasonably easy control over each of the three exposure parameters. I also set up the Ev steps to 1/2 stop to make transitions from + to - EV comp faster.

But you asked about adjustments for each shot, and how much automation is used. . . I'm a birder, and birds don't give me much choice, so I frequently change settings for the myriad of conditions these little guys require, depending on where they decide to land and sit for a few seconds.

With Av priority, I choose the aperture, and if I can get away with it (with enough light), I'll shoot at lower ISO and at smaller apertures (to get lowest noise [destructive to detail] and widest Depth of Field [to get more of the bird in focus and mask focusing errors as much as possible]), but more often than not, I'm forced to change this, so for darker conditions, I'll go with a wider aperture first (I use premium glass, so wide open sharpness is as good as possible), and if shutter speeds are still too slow, I'll go to the Info screen and up the max ISO to get faster shutter speeds. I keep the Auto ISO range selected on this screen, so it's just one button push and a roll of the either wheel, and I can raise or lower the max ISO, and with the "Speed" program line, this is essentially the same as directly controlling the ISO.

I usually shoot with fast telephotos with TCs, so the net max apertures are usually relatively slow.

Another situation that always develops is that for one shot, I'll be shooting a bird with the sky as a background, and for the next shot, a bird will be sitting on the ground in bright sunlight, then for the next, a white bird (or bird with some white or yellow feathers) will show up in bright sunlight. Each of these requires Ev compensation quickly, so that's why my front e-dial is set to adjust this. (+) 1-1.5 stops Ev for birds against the sky, 0 Ev comp for birds in sunlight, and (-) 1-2 stops Ev comp for white or yellow feathers to keep from blowing them out. This is why I have the front e-dial set to change Ev comp.

I shoot the great majority of the time like this because I've trained myself, and can remember what to do. If I changed modes, I would just get confused. . . I also generally shoot Auto White Balance, because it's so good on the K-7, although it does get fooled occasionally. Usually when this happens, the WB is easily correctable in PP.

I do shoot some in manual mode, but that's usually when there's a difficult scene, and I want to be able to move the subject around in the frame or take shots from different angles without changing the exposure settings. I also shoot in manual when I want certain effects when using flash indoors, but the flashes are usually in P-TTL.

I set up the image parameters as the first thing I do when getting a new body. I try to set things up so the images I get most closely match what I see. These settings are rarely changed, except when I'm not shooting birds. I have a whole different set of settings for macro work, and have them saved as my "user" mode settings.

This is probably more confusing than anything, but I hope it helps to show how some of the features can be used to a shooter's advantage.

Scott
04-26-2010, 03:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
<snip>
Another situation that always develops is that for one shot, I'll be shooting a bird with the sky as a background, and for the next shot, a bird will be sitting on the ground in bright sunlight, then for the next, a white bird (or bird with some white or yellow feathers) will show up in bright sunlight. Each of these requires Ev compensation quickly, so that's why my front e-dial is set to adjust this. (+) 1-1.5 stops Ev for birds against the sky, 0 Ev comp for birds in sunlight, and (-) 1-2 stops Ev comp for white or yellow feathers to keep from blowing them out. This is why I have the front e-dial set to change Ev comp.
<snip>
I do shoot some in manual mode, but that's usually when there's a difficult scene, and I want to be able to move the subject around in the frame or take shots from different angles without changing the exposure settings. I also shoot in manual when I want certain effects when using flash indoors, but the flashes are usually in P-TTL.
<snip>
Scott
I use, as many know, an M 400 manual focus lens, which through the lack of an A setting on the aperture ring, requires manual exposure. I find that manual exposure is far better in cases such as you describe. I don't need to change anything because of a change in background, once I have selected my parameters. I have used manual exposure by choice with every lens I own.

On the other hand, when out for the day, I will often set my mode dial to P and adjust after if the subject waits long enough. With Pentax, P mode can be either aperture or shutter priority at the flick of an e-dial. If I need a smaller aperture, spin the front dial. If I need a faster shutter speed, spin the back dial.
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