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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:20 am 
Hello every one!

I wish i would have found this amazing site a couple of months back. So just got my first "real" camera (T2i) in january. I wanted to learn how it works before my trip to Peru that was in may to bring back some great souvenirs. Unfortunatly, the only tip i had when I first started to learn how my DLSR works was: " dude, you always have to be in full M mode and take care of every single settings your self, thats what pros do..." Now watching all the tutorials I see that i can use all these great Tv, Av, P modes. My question is, eventualy will I be only using the full M mode as my friend says or do we always continue using all the other modes depending on the situation?

Thanks for helping a newbi!

Didz


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:30 am 
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Location: Almere, The Netherlands
Hi Didz,

If I am not mistaken (I am not a pro but I know quite a lot of pros) the M mode is absolutely not the only mode that pro photographers use. Why should they? Av and Tv can be useful at times and you still have to decide on the majority of functions and settings anyway. M mode for example can be way to slow if you have to adapt quickly to a surprising situation. Av is much quicker to use then.

So I would say: try to learn what kind of settings you need in different situations. Av is very useful when shooting action photography in fast changing circumstances, and M is great for when you have all the time in the world to edit your settings. Keep in mind though that there are a lot more settings to decide on: metering mode, autofocus mode (or maybe even manual) etc etc.

Hope this helps and if you have any specific questions just ask :).

- Mike

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF-S 60/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Canon EF 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro L IS USM, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtkoopmans/
Website: http://www.mtkfotografie.nl


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:52 pm
Posts: 244
Location: NB, Canada
If you look at interviews with pros, a lot of them tend to use Av mode for most situations. When they say to only use manual modes, they usually refer to using Av/Tv/M, and staying away from the Auto mode. Using Av mode offers more flexibility, especially when the light changes rapidly. With M mode, if a cloud passes overhead while you're setting up your shot, you're screwed. With Av mode, the camera will compensate. Then use the Ev +/- feature to compensate for camera error, especially when there's back lighting, or if the sun is playing funny tricks that the camera can't understand.

When I started off with the T2i a few years ago, I also tried to stick in M mode, and I wasn't ready for it. I then switched to using mostly the Av mode, except in cases where it didn't work. Sometimes I need a specific shutter speed / aperture / ISO that the camera won't let me choose. For example, I know I can hand-hold my Tamron SP 70-300 VC USD at 1/60 shutter speed with 99% success rate at 300mm thanks to the USD. But if I use Tv mode, it might give me too much or too little aperture, and the depth of field isn't what I'm looking at for the shot. Then I switch to M mode, and usually let the auto-ISO on.

In some cases, such as astral photography, light painting, fireworks, etc, you're not exposing for what the camera can see, so I definitely go in full M mode for those, including manual ISO.

After 2 years and roughly 8000 photos of sticking mostly with Av mode and examining what worked and didn't work, I'm now starting to have a general idea of what M settings will work, and I'm starting to use it more often.

Any true professional will tell you that the important is to get the shot. If Av permits you to take shots that you wouldn't be able to pull off in M mode, go with it. Likewise, if there's shots you can only achieve with M mode, go for it.

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:24 pm 
Thank you guys for all this precious info! It makes alot more sense. All this info makes me think of another question... Lets say I'm in Av mode, so I select the F that I want, but that decision is not base on the amount of light or brightness but more on the sharpness of the detailling I want in my photo? I should take care of the light/brightness with the Ev fonction right? And the Ev is the exposure that I can go from -2 to +2?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Posts: 224
Location: Almere, The Netherlands
Well yes, but you need to understand the basics first. Exposure consists of three important settings: ISO, aperture and shutter time. I will discuss them a bit below.

1. ISO: simply put a lower ISO gives a higher picture quality but you will need longer shutter times to get a picture. With a higher ISO you can decrease shutter times but this will result in more noise and lower picture quality. So you only want to increase your ISO in the case that your shutter time becomes too long to get a sharp picture because of movement. You can say that a higher ISO makes your sensor more sensitive to light but at the cost of more noise.

2. Aperture (Av): your aperture setting determines how much light your lens will let through. With a small number the lens will be wide open and let's through more light than when you pick a higher number. A wide open aperture gives a smaller depth of field though so less of your picture will be in focus. Using a smaller aperture/opening (which you do by choosing a higher number) increases depth of field but you will get longer shutter times as a result because the lens will let less light through.

3. Shutter time: this determines how long the shutter will open. Opening it for a long time will increase the amount of light that will be let through and vice versa.

The only thing missing here is Ev, and you need to understand what this does. The only thing you will change by going for Ev -2 is the shutter speed when using Av mode. This will become shorter two steps of exposure. You can make the shutter time longer too by choosing Ev+. You do this in case that the measuring system of your camera (which decides the amount of exposure needed) makes an error. There are certain tips and guidelines for using Ev so you will know when your camera will likely mess up, but I am typing this on my phone so I will try to get into that later if needed. Just experiment with it: this will bring you a long way.

- Mike

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF-S 60/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Canon EF 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro L IS USM, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtkoopmans/
Website: http://www.mtkfotografie.nl


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:11 pm 
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Posts: 244
Location: NB, Canada
When in Av mode, you have to balance out a few factors:

- Depth of Field: how much the image is in focus. A wider aperture (lower f/ number) means very little of the image will be in focus, and the background will have a nice blur. A narrower aperture (higher f/number) means more of the image will be in focus, and the background blur will be less pronounced.

- Sweet spot of the lens: Some lenses have an aperture range where they function better. The Tamron SP 70-300 VC USD I find works best at f/11, so if I can get the shot at f/11, I try to do so.

- Available light: if you use f/22 at night time, you will need ISO 12800 and a long shutter speed, maybe 2 secs to compensate, which will give you a grainy image with horrible blur if not using a tripod, or a grainy image with motion blur if using a tripod but your subject moves slightly.

- Flash: The aperture affects how much an effect your flash will have in the picture.

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:31 am 
Cant wait to go put all that into practice. Thanks again guys, for you time and advice.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 877
Location: SE Texas
Understanding the Manual Mode, thoroughly, is a good thing, but as others have said, professionals will indeed use other modes. Aperture Value, or Aperture Priority, ("A" on the dial) is especially useful outdoors in daylight. On the other hand, using "A" in low light, with flash, can cause problems, and Manual will be a better choice.

"T" or "Tv" is useful for action, when the subject is moving fast.

Some cameras, in "A" Mode, might select a strangely slow shutter speed if using Auto ISO in some conditions, allowing motion blur to appear in the images. I generally set my ISO at a specific setting, depending upon lighting conditions, so have never run into this.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:54 pm 
Yes, i understand about the ISO. I hate to put it in auto mode and then its set for 3200 or even 6400 and ruins the picture because of the noise. Whats the max ISO you would use? And why do they promote dlsr with high ISO? Once again, im new to this so there probably something im not getting?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom
Didz wrote:
Yes, i understand about the ISO. I hate to put it in auto mode and then its set for 3200 or even 6400 and ruins the picture because of the noise. Whats the max ISO you would use? And why do they promote dlsr with high ISO? Once again, im new to this so there probably something im not getting?

I personally don't go higher than 400-800 at the most with my 550D/T2i. Vendors promote high ISO because sometimes it's not practical to shoot at a low shutter speed (risk of motion blur) or with a wide open aperture (reduced depth of field) in low lighting conditions. Raising the ISO may be more practical even if it comes at the cost of a noisy image - images can be scaled down in resolution so the noise is much less noticeable or apparently removed altogether. It's also worth bearing in mind that vendors don't just promote higher ISO levels in themselves but also how noise management is improved at a specific ISO level with a new body compared to its predecessor/contemporaries.

_________________
Body: Canon EOS 70D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:17 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
Hi Didz, sounds like your friend's in the land of fairies giving you that advice. As a newbie you'd be lucky to get any decent shots shooting manual. For your trip even P mode will give you decent shots most of the time, then you won't go home disappointed.

Have a look at the photography tips videos on the forum, this will give you an understanding where to use A and S modes. Unless your going to shoot night shots I would not even worry about ISO and noise. Pro's don't care about ISO because as pro's they use the correct lighting in these situations.

Have fun with your new camera and as some say "P" mode is the professional mode. :wink:


Cheers

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Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:43 am 
Hahaha, yup i have alot to learn. I do watch the videos and thats what first got me wondering about that "always in M mode" thing. So i slowly started experimenting with the Av today and its much easier to get a nice photo. Thanks for your in put!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Location: NB, Canada
High ISO options are there for instances where there's no other way of getting the photo. Also, with Adobe Lightroom 4, you can reduce the ISO noise quite a lot. On the T2i, I find that ISO 100-400 is usually great as-is, and ISO 800-1600 is usually fine if you improve the image in Lightroom. ISO 3200+ is mostly for "emergency" situations. Also, more expensive cameras behave better at higher ISO. The Nikon D4/D800 and the Canon 1D X/5dIII are example of cameras where ISO 1600 can give nearly pristine photos, and ISO 3200-6400 can be used with some tweaking in Lightroom. ISO 100'000+ will leave you with a picture that looks like it was scanned from a bad newspaper. But given the choice between that look and no photo, it can still be important to have.

If you're in a controlled environment, you'll want to setup plenty of light so you don't need such high ISOs. But if you're a news reporter, you have to work with what's in front of you.

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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