Reasons for using "M" Mode


Nov 4, 2009
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#1
I have often heard advanced photographers advocate using full manual mode for taking photos, but i cannot think of any reason why is that an advantage over Shutter or Aperture priority?

After all, if u wish to obtain correct exposure,and assuming the camera's metering is accurate, semi-auto modes work just fine, while giving u control over things like DOF,motion blur as well. Even if u feel the exposure is not right, u can adjust the EV.

Hope to learn something new :D
 

chiangkxv

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Jul 5, 2008
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#2
There are many situations where it require manual mode.

1. Using manual flash, lights
2. Using extreme filters, like 10 stop ND filters.
3. Ensure consistent exposure
4. Achieving exposure where its more than what the camera exposure compensation can do

and many others that are beyond my knowledge.
 

Apr 30, 2010
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Seagull
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#3
i always have the mindset that the camera is actually quite dumb, it gives you the correct things you want except when you need it. so by being able to grasp the basic factors that affect your photos (exposure, composition, etc), using manual mode ensures that you get the most consistent performance in the way YOU want it, whenever YOU want it ;)
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#4
i use M mode. because M stands for Master... while P = Poor, A = Amateur and S = Shi+e!
 

spree86

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Feb 3, 2009
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#5
Metering can be rather dumb at times. Compare spot metering on a person wearing white and a person wearing black and you will know.
 

snowc

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Jan 8, 2006
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#7
Cameras are not mind readers. Sometimes, the "correct" exposure may not be the best exposure for a photo. Also, the exposure settings in "M" mode doesn't change which make it essential when using ND grads. Just my personal opinon.
 

Cowseye

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Mar 7, 2010
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#8
I started with manual since I first held a DSLR. Learnt aperture mode and shutter mode later, but find that too many situation that I shoot doesn't make sense when shooting in others than manual. Such as macro, landscape with long exposure.
 

Nov 4, 2009
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#9
However,even when using Manual,don't you guys rely on the camera's metering to give an indication of exposure? Wouldn't 1 be able to do the same with playing with the EV??

As for manual flash, I haven't used 1 yet, but i guess M would have to be used in that case, since the camera is unable to meter
 

symmetrix

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Mar 14, 2011
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#10
Metering can be rather dumb at times. Compare spot metering on a person wearing white and a person wearing black and you will know.
I learned this one the hard way. Or rather, I have experienced this one and still haven't gotten it quite right. :bsmilie:
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#11
Metering is another thing altogether. even on Manual, looking at the + and - can be tricky especially in scenes with too much shadow or highlights.

afterwards you'll be "!!!!!".

so usually i just gauge what shutter speed and aperture to use after determining the brightness of the area.
 

snowc

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Jan 8, 2006
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#13
However,even when using Manual,don't you guys rely on the camera's metering to give an indication of exposure? Wouldn't 1 be able to do the same with playing with the EV??

As for manual flash, I haven't used 1 yet, but i guess M would have to be used in that case, since the camera is unable to meter
Sometimes, the EV is not enough to compensate for high-contrast situations. Also, an accurate method to check your exposure is by checking your camera's histogram and not relying on the camera's metering system alone.
 

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Nov 4, 2009
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#14
Yea I have done so on a couple of occasions,such as Night shots of city skyline on tripod, where there is time to trial & error...but most of the time when speed is required, I am not able to use M...maybe i just need more practice to recognize different conditions and apply the appropriate settings...but its really mind-boggling...thousands of possible combinations....
 

Aug 16, 2010
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#15
Yea I have done so on a couple of occasions,such as Night shots of city skyline on tripod, where there is time to trial & error...but most of the time when speed is required, I am not able to use M...maybe i just need more practice to recognize different conditions and apply the appropriate settings...but its really mind-boggling...thousands of possible combinations....
List a few examples as to when speed is required? The only situations i can think of is events and streets.
For events normally people would use a flash, than you would want to set to M too to keep your exposure constant otherwise you are going to get either over expose or under expose shots.
Streets than yes i would say you would need the speed as you can't miss the moment. However if you know your cam's buttons lay out would help greatly in changing your settings quickly so i would still prefer M.

Well that's just me and my style. It might or might not work for you. So just shoot with what you are comfortable with. If you are scared that the end results is not to your liking than shoot raw and go home PP.
 

snowc

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Jan 8, 2006
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#16
Frankly speaking, it doesn't matter which mode you used as long as it achieved the effect you want. I used Av mode most of the time although sometimes i switched over to M.
 

Cowseye

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Mar 7, 2010
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#17
For nikon D90 and D300s, I've to hold the EV button and turn the thumb wheel to adjust ev in aperture mode. In manual mode, I just need to turn the thumb wheel and I know exactly how much more light I add or reduce into the frame. The only type of shoot that I give in to aperture priority is birding. Which I still tends to switch back to manual eventually.
 

Mar 9, 2007
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#18
for me, i think it is more of a competency problem then anything else. i cant meter correctly on both shutter or aperture priority mode to get e correct feel i want in my pictures, or rather dont know where to put e focus point ;p. i depend very much on e manual mode and e LCD screen to get what i want since e variables dont change unless i change them myself. once in awhile i will go shoot streets and try to pick up on how to use e aperture mode more :).
 

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catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#19
I have often heard advanced photographers advocate using full manual mode for taking photos, but i cannot think of any reason why is that an advantage over Shutter or Aperture priority?

After all, if u wish to obtain correct exposure,and assuming the camera's metering is accurate, semi-auto modes work just fine, while giving u control over things like DOF,motion blur as well. Even if u feel the exposure is not right, u can adjust the EV.

Hope to learn something new :D
because there wasn't any mode on the 35mm film camera when I started photography,

and there wasn't have any meter on the medium format and large format cameras that I use for my work.
 

#20
Metering can be rather dumb at times. Compare spot metering on a person wearing white and a person wearing black and you will know.
i always have the mindset that the camera is actually quite dumb, it gives you the correct things you want except when you need it. so by being able to grasp the basic factors that affect your photos (exposure, composition, etc), using manual mode ensures that you get the most consistent performance in the way YOU want it, whenever YOU want it ;)
I lol'd at these! :D
 

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