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Thread: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

  1. #1

    Default Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    I'm a total newbie and slowly learning new things everyday reading from online tips and forums.

    Ever since the first day I got my dslr (650D) I have been playing around mostly with the AV or M mode. For sure taking still object (anything that doesn't move) is ok for me since I can play around till I get the best setting and composition I like.

    Well when it comes to taking people 10/10 times I found that pic taken with auto mode looks much better although not the best than me taking with Av mode. Reason being when taking photo of friends etc you can't expect people to pose for you for 5-10 min until u get your right setting so after 1-2 try on av (mostly exposure issue) had to switch to auto to get the shot right.

    I figure one way to solve is probably using the live viewfinder to guide but well still need some time to get it right and you may miss the "moment"

    Just wondering those who went thru this stage what did you do to improve? Or share your learning experiences, sweet or bitter..
    Last edited by Elson17; 16th October 2012 at 11:17 AM.
    Canon 650D with Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Samsung Galaxy Camera

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Do NOT use Liveview in this case - Canon's autofocus in liveview is terribly slow and you will miss a lot of "moments".

    Make sure you understand what aperture does, and that f/5.6 is actually a *bigger* aperture (and lets more light in) than f/22.

    Try shooting in Auto, then review the picture you took. Try to see what settings the camera chose (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) and try to understand what adjusting any of those values will do.

    Shooting in Av mode (A mode, or Aperture priority mode) is actually quite "newbie friendly" and you should not get exposure issues unless you are shooting at f/1.4 in bright daylight (in which case your ISO cannot go low enough and your shutter speed cannot go high enough to compensate for all that extra light, etc etc).

    Read your manual, keep shooting, don't be afraid to just shoot at an object at home, testing setting after setting after setting.

    Learn how metering works, and how to read your camera's meter. Learn about spot, zone and matrix metering and how this might help you or throw off your intended results.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae
    Do NOT use Liveview in this case - Canon's autofocus in liveview is terribly slow and you will miss a lot of "moments".

    Make sure you understand what aperture does, and that f/5.6 is actually a *bigger* aperture (and lets more light in) than f/22.

    Try shooting in Auto, then review the picture you took. Try to see what settings the camera chose (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) and try to understand what adjusting any of those values will do.

    Shooting in Av mode (A mode, or Aperture priority mode) is actually quite "newbie friendly" and you should not get exposure issues unless you are shooting at f/1.4 in bright daylight (in which case your ISO cannot go low enough and your shutter speed cannot go high enough to compensate for all that extra light, etc etc).

    Read your manual, keep shooting, don't be afraid to just shoot at an object at home, testing setting after setting after setting.

    Learn how metering works, and how to read your camera's meter. Learn about spot, zone and matrix metering and how this might help you or throw off your intended results.
    Yes you are right, live view terribly slow.

    Most of the time mine is under exposed. But good points you mentioned I will try
    Last edited by Elson17; 16th October 2012 at 12:43 PM.
    Canon 650D with Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Samsung Galaxy Camera

  4. #4

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Elson17 View Post
    Yes you are right, live view terribly slow.

    Most of the time mine is under exposed. But good points you mentioned I will try
    Then you need to learn about your metering modes and reading your in-camera meter. Chances are your camera is trying to expose for a scene but you are trying to expose for a specific subject.

    Post a sample photo with EXIF intact for us to take a look.
    Alpha

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Then you need to learn about your metering modes and reading your in-camera meter. Chances are your camera is trying to expose for a scene but you are trying to expose for a specific subject.

    Post a sample photo with EXIF intact for us to take a look.
    Yes i think you pointed out the problem, camera is trying to expose for a scene but you are trying to expose for a specific subject. Never really look into the metering yet that could be where the problem lies too
    Canon 650D with Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Samsung Galaxy Camera

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elson17

    Yes i think you pointed out the problem, camera is trying to expose for a scene but you are trying to expose for a specific subject. Never really look into the metering yet that could be where the problem lies too
    Read your manual, the section on metering modes
    Alpha

  7. #7
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    TS, I think your problem is that you do not yet understand how to handle your camera works. Which means, when you switch away from Auto, you do not even understand how/what your camera is metering. I suggest you take time to learn how to handle your camera as well as the basics of exposure. Here is a start:

    Camera Metering Modes for Your Canon EOS 7D - For Dummies
    Last edited by daredevil123; 16th October 2012 at 02:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    stick with auto mode,
    until you really have time sit down read a basic photography from beginning to the end,
    understand the light, the exposure, the metering and how camera works
    instead of try here and there with your luck.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    quick tip:

    expose for 1 person shooting.
    set your camera Metering Mode to "Spot". You can get there by pressing the Menu button and it should be in the first or second menus for shooting. using spot metering will correctly expose the area inside that circle you see thru your viewfinder.

    put the circle on your subject and apply first pressure (half press shutter button) You may wish to "lock on" this exposure setting by pressing the * button.

    after pressing * button the exposure setting (in Av mode it would be ISO and shutter time), will be 'stuck' or locked, until you take the photo. hence your subject will be correctly exposed even if you move the frame to recompose. (ie, subject off-center),
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Hi TS, i myself is also learning but the problem u mention is what i had before too, i totally agree with Shizuma. Using spot metering is good for tricky lighting situation. And always remember the 3 rules: Aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Bigger Aperture < shutter speed, Small Aperture > shutter speed etc.
    I normally use A mode which actually is a very friendly mode but ofc u also need to know what setting to set for different situation.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    stick with auto mode,
    until you really have time sit down read a basic photography from beginning to the end,
    understand the light, the exposure, the metering and how camera works
    instead of try here and there with your luck.
    I agree with catchlights.

    Stick with the auto mode and use the technology you paid for in these expensive cameras. Photography is not for everybody, it calls out to many but selects only a few. Some just cannot figure out the technicalities. Some are too good technically but a block of wood creatively. Only a few excel in both aspects and even that takes years of practice.

    When you don't have time to slowly experiment and learn, just shoot auto and be happy. If you got the time, then slowly figure it out, read the manual, watch a video or attend a class or something.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    we can always try P for "Professional"
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  13. #13

    Default

    Get to understand better as I read more into exposure / metering thanks guys

    Also been watching photography tutorial from YouTube these few days ( Digital Photography 1 on 1 by snapfactory) .. Learn a lot of new things.
    Canon 650D with Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Samsung Galaxy Camera

  14. #14
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Elson17 View Post
    Get to understand better as I read more into exposure / metering thanks guys

    Also been watching photography tutorial from YouTube these few days ( Digital Photography 1 on 1 by snapfactory) .. Learn a lot of new things.
    Good for you!
    Exploring! :)

  15. #15

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Elson17 View Post
    Get to understand better as I read more into exposure / metering thanks guys

    Also been watching photography tutorial from YouTube these few days ( Digital Photography 1 on 1 by snapfactory) .. Learn a lot of new things.
    now, all you need to do is go out there and put that knowledge to practical usage

  16. #16
    Member Foxshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Now, let's pour some cold water.....

    After you think you know everything, buy a dedicated flash, and set cam and flash in manual mode... you'll realise that it's almost a totally new playing field.

    If you wouldn't give up despite all that, then welcome to the club.
    A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.
    ~Ansel Adams

  17. #17

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Elson17 View Post
    Get to understand better as I read more into exposure / metering thanks guys

    Also been watching photography tutorial from YouTube these few days ( Digital Photography 1 on 1 by snapfactory) .. Learn a lot of new things.
    Good. This is the right altitude and approach to learning photography.

    Instead of asking what's the next piece of gear to buy, look for the next photography lesson to exercise.

    Do more with less and shame the gear hoarders.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    I almost always take in manual. As much as i agree with you other modes do certainly produces better outcome at times! My reason for doing so is to make as much mistakes as possible. Then adjust accordingly to physically understand the mistake committed and how to prevent it/research.

    For my case, when I get into a shooting ground, I'll 1st set the suitable ISO, followed by the sort of aperture I'll need/want, then just toggle the shutter speed while i move and shoot. If I realize that I'm not getting enough light even by 1/30, I'll reset ISO and aperture again to prevent blurry pictures due to camera shake. Which also results me in taking pictures real slow at 1st. But I do think that my speed is gradually increasing in the midst of these mistakes!

    It really depends on your style and whether or not u are happy with your photos end of the day! The modes are just a twist away anyways... Play around with them and have fun with your gear is the most important in my honest opinion! =D

  19. #19

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    shoot in P, seriously. can use the main dial (or equivalent) to "tune" the lens towards aperture values or time values. different sides of the same ruler, anyway.

    it is like erm...swimming with flotation device. you got to do some kicking, but you won't sink
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  20. #20

    Default Re: Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    shoot in P, seriously. can use the main dial (or equivalent) to "tune" the lens towards aperture values or time values. different sides of the same ruler, anyway.

    it is like erm...swimming with flotation device. you got to do some kicking, but you won't sink
    me newbie too. any different with p mode and shooting in Aper mode with auto iso set?

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