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What mode do you use?

This is a discussion on What mode do you use? within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Hi, I was just wondering what camera modes people use and why. For me, here's how it breaks down: 40% ...

  1. #1
    BlueX's Avatar
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    Default What mode do you use?

    Hi,

    I was just wondering what camera modes people use and why.

    For me, here's how it breaks down:

    40% in Program mode- What I also call "snapshot" mode. Most of my shooting time is spent walking around on trips with my family or while hiking. I keep my camera in this mode for a quick "gotcha shot" when I don't have much time to think about the settings, then if I have time or the opportunity, I'll go into another mode. This percentage was around 80-90% in the months after getting my d40, but has come down as I understand photography more.

    30% in Aperture priority mode- Most of the time I am more concern with controlling depth of field. I also turn to this mode indoors in low light to use the widest aperture I have, although I've learned my camera's p mode also favors wide open aperture in low light.

    14% in Shutter priority- Only time I'm in this mode is to use a long shutter speed to get a specific effect, ie. in night shots or photographing waterfalls (or the one time I photographed fireworks).

    14% in Manual mode- Again, I'm only in this mode for a specific effect. Most of my night shot are in this mode because I want lots of dof and a long shutter speed. Sometimes when I experiment with my flash, I and in this mode. As I learn more about exposure, I am using this mode more and more, but only when I have the time to really think about my shot.

    2% in the special scene mode- I've really only play with these modes. I think if I learned exactly what settings they changed and didn't change and what affects they have, I'd feel more comfortable using them.

    That's basically how it works for me.

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    Default

    I guess this kind of will depend on what people are shooting the most but here's how I think it breaks down for me pretty much ...


    40% Shutter Priority (Tv on a Canon) - I shoot a lot of cycling, wildlife, and landscape. Much of the landscape is water. All of there things need me to control the movement to get the effect I want. I use the Tv to achieve this most often and then switch to manual if the effect needs finer adjustment in terms of DOF, exposure etc

    39% Manual - After using Tv I often find I need to fine tune my shot so I use manual alot for this. Sometimes I want to be cautious so I use manual to slightly underexpose my shots knowing I can correct them properly in PP.
    I use manual exclusively for the more special effect stuff like the extreme lighting/shadow shots and also for portraits.

    20% Aperture Priority (Av on a Canon) - For landscapes I often switch to Av to control the DOF and colour intensity I want and then switch to manual if I think the shots needs more fine tuning. Sometimes I'll start with this for portraits also before switching to manual again.

    1% Other - on rare occassions I'll use A-Dep, or even Auto as a metering exercise, and bulb for lightning/night shots.

    Good question!
    Last edited by Mad Aussie; 03-03-2009 at 12:24 AM.

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    tirediron is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmm... lessee.. a rough guesstimate would be:

    70% Manual: Having "grown up" in the day of the fully manual SLR (Heck, most of my early cameras didn't even have built-in light meters!) that's what I'm used to. I shoot mainly still subjects, so it suits me well.

    14% Shutter priority: Action shots, especially with long glass. Set my minimum shutter speed and off we go.

    14% Aperture priority: Weddings, and people.

    2% Auto/program: This is what I leave my camera on if I'm just wandering.

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    It depends on what Im shooting.
    Manual for sports and wildlife 15%. I get into one spot, set my exposure, then adjust shutter or f-stop depending on what I want or the light conditions. Its more complicated than that but its the short of it
    I use aperture priorty almost 85% of the time. Most of the shots I take are of still subjects, buildings, landscapes, glass, or anything else. Usually try and get the highest f-stop possible.
    Never use shutter priority.
    Bulb for night shots in a moving car or other special occasions. .05%
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    Ok I'll tell.

    I only use 3 modes in these rough percentages

    Aperture priority - 60%
    Manual 25%
    Shutter priority - 14%

    1% misc. ( changed it for the one shot on 100 where I might try bulb (stole that one from JJ) )

    I NEVER ever let the camera choose the main setting because cameras have no brains.
    I would encourage people to never use the fully programmed mode for this very reason. Even when you are wandering, most subjects will benefit from having the aperture pre-selected.
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    mindforge is offline Senior Member
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    I usually shoot just in Shutter or Aperture. Probably 70% of the time in A.

    Rarely I go to manual. I will do manual in a really controlled environment where I get to manipulate everything... and have time. This is rare for me.

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    65% Aperture Priority (basically, most natural light shooting)
    35% Manual (basically, most flash shooting, and sometimes tricky situations)
    5% Shutter priority (for those special effects)

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    I am trying to use manual more and more. I'm an old Nikon user so shutter priority is my standby, but I use it with the aperture I want in mind. I have played with program for family snap shots. Percentage wise I'd have to look at my data for that.

    BTW bulb is manual, very manual.

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    kat
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    Let's see. I've had my camera for just over a year now. For the first 4-5 month it was mostly on auto because I just couldn't get things changed fast enough or good enough and really didn't want to ruin my "family outting trips". Then I got to reading and started playing around. Right now I'm between Shutter and Aperture Modes. I've only started using Manual, only really starting to get to that this will do this and this will do that. It's funny how much better photos can come out if you do it yourself (sometimes for me lol).

    I have a funny feeling you ask me this question next year and it will be different.

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    If I am in quick point and shoot mode then I will fall back to Auto but I've been spending much more time in Manual. I haven't quite figured out why I would go to aperture or shutter priority when I can control them myself but maybe that speaks more to my lack of experience in playing with those modes.
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