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Thread: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

  1. #161
    Member milez's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    It was pretty good shooting in the daytime - ok enough exposure, etc.

    Then, I went indoors at 5pm (partially sunset) inside a church (site visit - I do decorations for weddings, including for churches) .
    Lights could not be switched on [uh ohhhh ]. No time for tripod (since i am not supposed to be a photographer but the decorator heh).
    I shot in P mode
    Mounted my cheapo external flash, white card out (for ceiling bounce and fill...) -- severely underexposed while shooting down the aisles.
    Altar piece (1 meter distance) :: harsh flash. (no flash modifiers)

    summary: I suck. I suck even more in auto/P modes. (but I did not do any program shift to wider aperture values either, so as not to 'cheat' in shooting P/Auto. I probably deserved it.)
    I don't know how you bounced your flash, and how your camera setup with flashgun works. If its TTL, the metering should be fairly accurate in P mode (depending on cameras).
    And i dont know which ISO you were on. Probably auto ISO.

    I can only speak of my experience of photographing church wedding and Uni convocation using film SLRs in my days.

    Firstly, having a good flashgun is very important. For church weddings, flash with guide number (GN) of 28 and above is ideal. Set up your flash for your zoom range is also important. Some TTL flash will auto zoom with the zoom you adjusted.... but some you will need to adjust the zoom yourself. What i do is set the zoom to widest possible (24mm or 35mm depending on your flashgun), the use exposure compensation to push up the exposure if i zoom to tele range. Depending on flashguns, usually setting it at 35mm ... shooting at 50mm is not a problem at all. But if you zoom to 105mm with 35mm setting, it may underexpose. Then either you adjust the flash, or use exposure compensation.

    Secondly, church ceiling is usually very high, bouncing off the ceiling is almost not possible. Your shots will be under exposed. Using flash bounce diffuser should be the only option. Shoot with flash gun head on... you will get ugly shadows.

    Thirdly, i dont know how DSLR works with Auto ISO and flash, but for quality shots i'd lock the ISO at 400 or max 800 with flash. So i have more control over the aperture and shutter speed. Otherwise, Auto ISO might set it to lowest 100 or 200, which is not ideal for flash photography. In my film days, i have no choice but to stick to whatever ISO film i got. Usually ISO400.

    Fourthly, Knowing you camera X-sync speed. ... most camera topped at 1/250. I believe only Olympus cameras has X-sync of up to max shutter speed of the camera (e.g. 1/4000 or 1/8000). If you use P mode, likely the camera will set x-sync speed to maximum, ie. 1/250 or 1/125 (depending on camera model). You should dial it down to 1/60 so that wider aperture range can be used.

    Hopefully by sharing my previous experience helps you take good pictures, even on P mode for weddings. In any case, if you are unsure, always bracket your shots. 3 frame bracket with 1 stop interval is good enough. At least you will have majority of your shots in acceptable exposure range.

  2. #162

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by milez View Post
    I don't know how you bounced your flash, and how your camera setup with flashgun works. If its TTL, the metering should be fairly accurate in P mode (depending on cameras).
    And i dont know which ISO you were on. Probably auto ISO.

    I can only speak of my experience of photographing church wedding and Uni convocation using film SLRs in my days.

    Firstly, having a good flashgun is very important. For church weddings, flash with guide number (GN) of 28 and above is ideal. Set up your flash for your zoom range is also important. Some TTL flash will auto zoom with the zoom you adjusted.... but some you will need to adjust the zoom yourself. What i do is set the zoom to widest possible (24mm or 35mm depending on your flashgun), the use exposure compensation to push up the exposure if i zoom to tele range. Depending on flashguns, usually setting it at 35mm ... shooting at 50mm is not a problem at all. But if you zoom to 105mm with 35mm setting, it may underexpose. Then either you adjust the flash, or use exposure compensation.

    Secondly, church ceiling is usually very high, bouncing off the ceiling is almost not possible. Your shots will be under exposed. Using flash bounce diffuser should be the only option. Shoot with flash gun head on... you will get ugly shadows.

    Thirdly, i dont know how DSLR works with Auto ISO and flash, but for quality shots i'd lock the ISO at 400 or max 800 with flash. So i have more control over the aperture and shutter speed. Otherwise, Auto ISO might set it to lowest 100 or 200, which is not ideal for flash photography. In my film days, i have no choice but to stick to whatever ISO film i got. Usually ISO400.

    Fourthly, Knowing you camera X-sync speed. ... most camera topped at 1/250. I believe only Olympus cameras has X-sync of up to max shutter speed of the camera (e.g. 1/4000 or 1/8000). If you use P mode, likely the camera will set x-sync speed to maximum, ie. 1/250 or 1/125 (depending on camera model). You should dial it down to 1/60 so that wider aperture range can be used.

    Hopefully by sharing my previous experience helps you take good pictures, even on P mode for weddings. In any case, if you are unsure, always bracket your shots. 3 frame bracket with 1 stop interval is good enough. At least you will have majority of your shots in acceptable exposure range.
    thanks for the tips! I would definitely bear this in mind when I am shooting in manual / AV or more advanced modes (which are what I normally used)
    Yesterday, the shots I took are deliberately in P/Auto, as part of the P/Auto vs Manual experiment.

    The shots were of an empty church for a site show as my client is planning her wedding for next year and I will be decorating her church. Even if super under exposed and have to expose in PP at the expense of incurring noise, it would be okay as long as I can see the # of pews, spacing, church hall 'volume' etc.

    I am curious though why you recommend a shutter speed of 1/250 which I read in other tutorials to be very useful outdoors ? I'm newbie, please advise..

  3. #163
    Member Unagidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma
    Hi sempais and seniors,

    Sometimes, I see people shooting DSLR in auto mode. Do you think it's 'wasteful' to do so ?
    (of course certainly everyone has the right to enjoy their camera no matter what format or type...)

    Sometimes I see very expensive gear being shot in auto to commemorate events , kids at playground (shot by mummy/daddy, etc). I wonder if it's "overkill"? Convenience? or is photography about enjoying the moment and capturing, or just shooting nice artistic photos out of the green box ?

    if there were a scratch head icon here I'd put it in. but there isn't so please use your imagination.
    To me auto mode is not a waste, first of all you can learn a lot from your auto settings its like a camera tutorial for from your camera. Second like some people said give you a faster reaction time, depend on what you shoot. There are many function in Dslr, all are created with a purpose. Know your camera and it can deliver.

  4. #164
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    i use aperture mode or manual mode for me got dslr use auto mode must well go buy pns camera
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  5. #165

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kitaro9202 View Post
    i use aperture mode or manual mode for me got dslr use auto mode must well go buy pns camera
    newbie like me want to buy DSLR so use auto mode

    i looking at D7000 to use as pns.

    must learn the basic first
    Last edited by steventay; 2nd July 2012 at 01:03 PM.

  6. #166

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kitaro9202 View Post
    i use aperture mode or manual mode for me got dslr use auto mode must well go buy pns camera
    You are entitled to your own opinion.. but thats very typical way of saying things..

    None the less.. even on auto mode... a PNS camera cant do what a DSLR on auto can do.. At least the obvious fact..I cant change the lens of a PNS.. But i can happily fire off in auto mode with my 800mm on a DSLR camera (I dont own 1..but just saying..if you understand what i mean..)

    End of the day.. Its their choice..their gear..their money.

  7. #167

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TWmilkteaTW View Post
    You are entitled to your own opinion.. but thats very typical way of saying things..

    None the less.. even on auto mode... a PNS camera cant do what a DSLR on auto can do.. At least the obvious fact..I cant change the lens of a PNS.. But i can happily fire off in auto mode with my 800mm on a DSLR camera (I dont own 1..but just saying..if you understand what i mean..)

    End of the day.. Its their choice..their gear..their money.

    i like 800mm gun

  8. #168
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    I am curious though why you recommend a shutter speed of 1/250 which I read in other tutorials to be very useful outdoors ? I'm newbie, please advise..
    He is not recommending it. It is merely a limitation of the equipment. When using flash, the sync speed between camera and flash as maximum shutter speed need to be observed. If not, you will end up with black lines at top or bottom of the pic. You can always use a lower shutter speed, but then you will run into issues like handshake or motion blur from the subjects. A shutter speed close to flash sync speed will simply freeze all motion.
    Canon cameras have different options when using flash. Apart from the flash and exposure metering (see my earlier link) there are also different options for shutter speed when using flash. Some cam (older and entry level) will use 1/60s straight away in Auto and P when flash used. Newer models (e.g. 50D and others) have options to change this, ranging from 1/60 up to maximum flash sync speed. Select according your needs. For 2nd curtain images (also known as 'dragged shutter') you will need to set a shutter speed even slower than 1/60. That's the point where the Manual mode comes in handy
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  9. #169
    Member milez's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    He is not recommending it. It is merely a limitation of the equipment. When using flash, the sync speed between camera and flash as maximum shutter speed need to be observed. If not, you will end up with black lines at top or bottom of the pic. You can always use a lower shutter speed, but then you will run into issues like handshake or motion blur from the subjects. A shutter speed close to flash sync speed will simply freeze all motion.
    Canon cameras have different options when using flash. Apart from the flash and exposure metering (see my earlier link) there are also different options for shutter speed when using flash. Some cam (older and entry level) will use 1/60s straight away in Auto and P when flash used. Newer models (e.g. 50D and others) have options to change this, ranging from 1/60 up to maximum flash sync speed. Select according your needs. For 2nd curtain images (also known as 'dragged shutter') you will need to set a shutter speed even slower than 1/60. That's the point where the Manual mode comes in handy
    Thanks for elaborating my thoughts.
    2nd curtain, slow flash sync and multi exposure with flash to create strobe effect are all creative ways of using flash that i seldom explore. But for wedding, maybe difficult to achieve.

    Another way to avoid ugly flash shadow with low cost setup is, using 2 flashguns. One on camera hotshoe, another one as slave (remote) behind the subject. Can be quite effective. But more control of the flash's burst is needed. But it is a cheap alternative.

  10. #170
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by milez View Post
    Thanks for elaborating my thoughts.
    2nd curtain, slow flash sync and multi exposure with flash to create strobe effect are all creative ways of using flash that i seldom explore. But for wedding, maybe difficult to achieve.

    Another way to avoid ugly flash shadow with low cost setup is, using 2 flashguns. One on camera hotshoe, another one as slave (remote) behind the subject. Can be quite effective. But more control of the flash's burst is needed. But it is a cheap alternative.
    For bridals I understand the use of off camera flash and multiple flashes. For AD weddings, I think it is not that practical...

    And for the dark ambiance in trend with most venues, ISO800 is not really cutting it to bring the background in... very often above ISO2000 is needed to bring enough details back in.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 2nd July 2012 at 03:25 PM.

  11. #171

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    For bridals I understand the use of off camera flash and multiple flashes. For AD weddings, I think it is not that practical...

    And for the dark ambiance in trend with most venues, ISO800 is not really cutting it to bring the background in... very often above ISO2000 is needed to bring enough details back in.
    when use ISO2000 need tripod?

  12. #172
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by steventay View Post
    when use ISO2000 need tripod?
    ??? huh.. sorry bro I lost you.

  13. #173

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    thanks! (i had misunderstood milez sempai's post)

    again, I am a wedding vendor meaning i supply stuff. not shoot the wedding...so the quality of the image is not that important as the existence of the image.

    2nd curtain (which is slow sync flash) is a "advanced" shooting mode and style. I have tried it but without a tripod and with too much coffee in me, i tend to have very blurry image due to hand shakes. I am not able to use a tripod because I am carrying files, brochures and sample kits. oh well.

  14. #174

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    ??? huh.. sorry bro I lost you.
    i thought taking high iso have con factor... ?

    does it require to use tripod?

  15. #175

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by steventay View Post
    when use ISO2000 need tripod?
    Err...
    Usually..in most cases..reason for using such ISO eg more than 1600..is because dont want to use tripod...
    hmm....

  16. #176

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by steventay View Post
    i thought taking high iso have con factor... ?

    does it require to use tripod?
    what con factor u referring to? mind sharing with us..?

  17. #177

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TWmilkteaTW View Post
    what con factor u referring to? mind sharing with us..?
    i am new.

    i thought use high iso will blur so need tripod.
    Last edited by steventay; 2nd July 2012 at 04:19 PM.
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  18. #178

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by steventay View Post
    i am new.

    i thought use high iso will blur so need tripod.
    First..i just hope you are not confused between "high ISO" and "long exposure"

    Blur? It can happen..if you are not steady enough or your "high" ISO still not high enough to give you good shutter speed. In this case..yea a tripod can help. But in most cases..people will choose to use high ISO because of poor lighting and they dont want to/cant use a tripod. There are other scenario where people still use tripod on high ISO but shall not confuse you.

    Btw high ISO can be from eg 1600 to 12800 and beyond.

    1 thing for sure is..high ISO = you will loose details in your photo and you will see noise (Grains).

    You might want to do some homework on exposure triangle and the use of a tripod.
    Last edited by TWmilkteaTW; 2nd July 2012 at 04:27 PM.

  19. #179
    Member milez's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Well, the basics are,...
    Aperture -- the opening of the lens. Expressed in units called f stop. The larger the number, e.g. f22 the smaller the opening of the aperture. The smaller the number, e.g. f1.8, the bigger the opening of the lens aperture. Bigger opening means allowing more light to enter and exposed to the sensor.

    Shutter speed -- the time taken to open and closed the shutter of a camera. Usually expressed in seconds or fraction of a second. eg. 1/100 seconds. For FF sensor without image stabilizer, at between 12mm - 80mm, our hand movement usually will not be captured for as low as 1/60 sec. Anything slower, with not so steady hands, will give you blurry pictures. The longer the lens, e.g. 105-600mm, the more prone the camera is to handmovement... so faster shutter speed has to be taken into consideration, e.g. 1/125 or 1/250 sec.

    ISO -- traditionally known as sensitivity of the film to light. Modern digital photography ... simply is trying to make it as close to traditional film photography, therefore the term ISO remains. The function is, to be able to be exposed to light as quickly as possible and capture as much info as possible. By using high ISO sensitivity setting, it means you can push shutter speed faster at the same aperture opening to achieve the same exposure. But the con of higher ISO is... the sensor is exposed to the light at too short a time, and will not be able to capture sufficient info for the exposure, hence the noise you see on the image where the processor tries to interpolate what is in between to complete the image. Think of the analogy of recording your own voice with a mic and set the volume to minimum.... you can record your voice, but barely make out the details when you playback... so you increase the volume so that you can hear better... but there will be noise/distortion when the sound you recorded comes on. Similarly, high ISO allows you to capture the image with minimal light exposed... and when you blow up the image, you see plenty of noise.

    A tripod basically helps to alleviate camera shake in slow shutter speed. Because the camera is set on a tripod, there should be little movement. That's why you can use a small aperture to capture more depth of field, at low ISO in low light (low EV) with slow shutter speed (e.g. 1sec or even as high as 30 secs). With longer exposure time, at low ISO, small aperture, you can good info on the sensor and clear image without camera/shake.

    Bulb setting means the shutter is open indefinitely as long as you press on the shutter release button and hold it there. The shutter will close when you release the shutter release button. It is not possible not to cause any movement to the camera by pressing and holding the shutter release button. So, the use of remote release cable for Bulb is necessary, on a tripod. Of course for creativity, you can hold your camera by hand, turn off image stabiliser and user bulb and move your camera around to create some artistic image of some light.

    Image stabilizer -- is a component in the camera to help you hold the camera steady without camera shake at lower shutter speed. But most image stabilizers (IS) works only up to 0.5 stop (meaning allow you to drop from 1/60 sec to 1/45 sec shutter speed) at most. Some in camera image stabilizers work better than others. To me, its a gimmick. I will rely on it only if i am really desperate.

    I hope you have a better picture of how a camera works, in a nut shell.
    Last edited by milez; 2nd July 2012 at 04:50 PM.

  20. #180

    Default Re: Shooting DSLR in Auto Mode = wasted ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TWmilkteaTW View Post
    First..i just hope you are not confused between "high ISO" and "long exposure"

    Blur? It can happen..if you are not steady enough or your "high" ISO still not high enough to give you good shutter speed. In this case..yea a tripod can help. But in most cases..people will choose to use high ISO because of poor lighting and they dont want to/cant use a tripod. There are other scenario where people still use tripod on high ISO but shall not confuse you.

    Btw high ISO can be from eg 1600 to 12800 and beyond.

    1 thing for sure is..high ISO = you will loose details in your photo and you will see noise (Grains).

    You might want to do some homework on exposure triangle and the use of a tripod.
    oh yes long exposure.. i confuse this one.

    i heard can use software to remove the noise. anyone use here?
    Last edited by steventay; 2nd July 2012 at 04:40 PM.
    Newbie in photography.
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