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Thread: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

  1. #1

    Default Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Hi all,

    I am new to DSLR, most of time i shoot with A(v) and S mode, i found these two modes meet most of my need. now starting to explore mamual mode, would like to learn more from expert here. what is the advantage of using mamual mode than Av or S mode? in Av or S mode, i just need to decide the aperture or shutter speed, then camera will do the other job to give a appropiate exposure, in mamual mode how do i know the combination? i just want to know how to get start with mamual mode.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    to use manual mode, you need to learn how to read the light meter.

    The good thing about manual mode is that the exposure remains constant from one shot to the next.
    In A or S mode, if something bright were to move into the spot when you half-press the shutter release, your calculated exposure will be too bright, and your resultant image will be dark. I've had this happen to me when photographing cars from overhead bridge...
    Exploring! :)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    i'm a newbie myself as well. but i start off straight from manual mode.
    Slowly exploring the setting along the way.

  4. #4
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    indoors with flash can/should use manual

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    to use manual mode, you need to learn how to read the light meter.


    Also, it's better to shoot in manual mode if the lighting condition is consistent, example in an indoor place with well-distributed light or outdoor daylight without much moving clouds.

    Or as ortega said, indoor with flash.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    We use manual mode for widefield astrophotography or moon photography. Camera meter
    failed under this lighting condition. I prefer manual mode in night photography.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    I would use manual mode when I am going to severely under-expose my picture (like taking cloudscapes/moon etc). In manual mode, you get to adjust the shutter speed and aperture. while A/S mode only allows you to adjust aperture/shutter speed and exposure comp.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    I use Manual mode when ever I don't want the camera's computer to keep on changing settings.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    i'll use use manual mode when the lighting condition is more or less constant, and i need consistent exposure.

    or simply, when the camera meter cannot give me the exposure i want.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    To understand the advantage or when to use manual mode, you have to understand first how the in-camera meter works.

    The in-camera meter takes reflected (as against incident) readings off the scene. The meter is calibrated to middle grey which usually means 18% grey but I was told that digital cameras are calibrated to 12% grey. If you were to point a camera set to P, Av or Tv mode completely at a black wall. Your picture of the wall will be grey. Similarly, a white wall will also be grey in the picture.

    Of course in real life, pictures are not all about walls (except for some pixel peepers ). However, there will be times when a predominantly bright or dark scene that will cause the camera to under- or over-expose. Quick examples that I can think of are beach scenes or snow scapes. If left to the camera uncompensated, shots made in these places will underexpose.

    You may just set the exposure compensation and get away with it. However, things are not usually that black-and-white . As mentioned by some of the bros above, the lighting may be constant but the elements are changing all the time. This can fool the camera meter and this is when you'd want to set the exposure manually.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    i think i learned a new thing today, tks all bros here to share your information. concluded as below:

    When the light condition is consisternt, such as indoor, indoor w/flash, night photography -- shoot in mamual mode.

    another silly question: when i switch to manual mode, first thing i will decide the DOF i want and set appropriate aperture value, the next thing is to set the shuttle speed, how do i decide the shuttle speed value under various of lighting condition?

  12. #12
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky77 View Post
    i think i learned a new thing today, tks all bros here to share your information. concluded as below:

    When the light condition is consisternt, such as indoor, indoor w/flash, night photography -- shoot in mamual mode.

    another silly question: when i switch to manual mode, first thing i will decide the DOF i want and set appropriate aperture value, the next thing is to set the shuttle speed, how do i decide the shuttle speed value under various of lighting condition?
    yes decide on the DOF first
    and if you are using flash you need to decide if the flash is the main source of light or you want to mix it with the ambient light

    the slower the shutter speed the more ambient light is recorded
    also slower shutter speed will also introduce movement (camera or subject)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky77 View Post
    i think i learned a new thing today, tks all bros here to share your information. concluded as below:

    When the light condition is consisternt, such as indoor, indoor w/flash, night photography -- shoot in mamual mode.

    another silly question: when i switch to manual mode, first thing i will decide the DOF i want and set appropriate aperture value, the next thing is to set the shuttle speed, how do i decide the shuttle speed value under various of lighting condition?
    from the light meter . set it to 0.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    u also shoot in manual mode when there is a "large amount of white" in your framing.
    E.g. shooting white tigers at the zoo or a group of bridesmaid wearing white

  15. #15

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    from the light meter . set it to 0.
    err..........you mean set the shuttle speed to 0?? btw, how to read from light meter?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky77 View Post
    err..........you mean set the shuttle speed to 0?? btw, how to read from light meter?
    whoa.. no no no..
    does the below looks famaliar? U should able to see from ur viewfinder for D90/alike

    Last edited by Numnumball; 27th January 2010 at 04:52 PM.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by KT1031 View Post
    i'm a newbie myself as well. but i start off straight from manual mode.
    Slowly exploring the setting along the way.
    i started off like tht but i regret a bit cause even thou i learn much but i keep shooting so many shots of the same thing.

    now tht i tried the shutter/aperture auto modes, i have more keepers actually

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    I shoot manual mode when I want to control both DOF and freezing of moving subject, e.g. objects swaying in the wind. If there is insufficient light, the auto-ISO can be activated to let camera set the right ISO.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Numnumball View Post
    whoa.. no no no..
    does the below looks famaliar? U should able to see from ur viewfinder for D90/alike


    oh.....that is exposure compensation. tks, will start shooting mamual mode from now on.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Newbie question - when to use mamual mode

    Quote Originally Posted by redname View Post
    i started off like tht but i regret a bit cause even thou i learn much but i keep shooting so many shots of the same thing.

    now tht i tried the shutter/aperture auto modes, i have more keepers actually
    actually it's still better than started off from auto mode and keep shooting with auto.....
    Canon EOS 500D, 18-200mm f3.5-f5.6

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