Newbie exploring out of Auto Mode


Elson17

New Member
Sep 28, 2012
69
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SG
#1
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 :thumbsd: 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..
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#2
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.
 

Elson17

New Member
Sep 28, 2012
69
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SG
#3
Rashkae said:
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
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#4
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.
 

Elson17

New Member
Sep 28, 2012
69
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SG
#5
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
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
12
0
#6
Elson17 said:
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
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
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lil red dot
#7
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
 

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catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#8
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.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
0
#9
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),
 

Zen Seng

New Member
Oct 7, 2012
11
0
0
Singapore
#10
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.
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
871
9
0
#11
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.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
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0
#12
we can always try P for "Professional" ;)
 

Elson17

New Member
Sep 28, 2012
69
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SG
#13
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.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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rainy Singapore
#14
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! :)
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#15
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
 

Foxshade

New Member
Jun 26, 2009
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In cat's stomach
#16
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. ;)
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
871
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#17
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.
 

May 29, 2012
20
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0
38
Singapore
#18
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
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
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0
#19
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
 

buzzmario

New Member
Mar 12, 2011
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#20
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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