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Thread: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

  1. #1

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    Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I have been on holiday which for me means i only have time for improving three things:
    1. Photography.
    2. Chess.
    3. See number 1.

    Most books and articles online have fully explained that it is better one stays on top of the "shooting" situation so I have been giving that a try with the recommended manual mode but the manual mode comes with some problems which is that:

    a. After getting the correct combination(a balanced exposure meter) of f/stop, shutter speed and iso, few seconds before the actual shot, everything just fluctuates and i'm either under or overexposed.

    b. I currently do not own a tripod so a slow shutter speed is a big no at the moment but many times i choose an aperture, only a really slow shutter speed satisfies my "Sir Camera".

    ISO immediately comes to mind but then, while cranking it up may help with a faster shutter speed....how about the little devil called 'noise'?

    All the above have actually made the "P" mode my favorite and as a matter of fact only viable option, except Auto which I am learning to drop(starting to feel like a pro ).

    So do you shoot manual a lot and what is the trick or your method for getting it right without spending too much time fiddling with the camera(mostly at an event).

    I use a Canon 1000d, 18-55mm kit lens and 70-300mm Sigma f4-5.6.

    I'll be waiting to hear from you.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyracles View Post
    So do you shoot manual a lot and what is the trick or your method for getting it right without spending too much time fiddling with the camera(mostly at an event).
    My answer is:
    a) Yes - I shoot in full manual mode 100% of the time
    b) Do not try to learn how to do it at an event or on a journey where it is important what you get. The fiddling (hours/days of fiddling) must come before you go out to shoot something important, so that by the time you do so you are comfortable and confident about your knowledge and skills in using manual mode.

    There is no substitute for practice, practice, practice ............... and then more practice.

    Once you are confident that you have ability to adjust ISO, Shutter, Aperture quite independently of each other to achieve the result you want becomes second nature to you, then start shooting the important things.

  3. #3

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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I think you might have become a victim to a rather wide-spread belief that "real" photographers shoot in manual mode, M.

    To tell you the truth, mostly we don't.

    Manual control is one thing, manual mode quite another. Many of us old farts started out in an era without any automatic features at all. We had to set shutter time and diaphragm on our cameras, according to light meter readings or maybe only a little table of different settings that was included in the film box. And we couldn't crank up ISO, it was fixed with what came in the film box.

    So learning to control the camera manually grew into our spine, and automation in fact took out some of the tedious cranking different settings and letting us concentrate on the image we wanted to create. Nowadays, most people use some kind of automatic feature, the most popular seems to be the A mode, where you control the F-stop and the camera does the rest. In fact, we don't let the camera take over entirely, but evaluating what is in front of the camera, we may alter exposure to fit the situation.

    So don't make life too hard. If you wish to do anything else than shoot in full auto, which you also do when using P mode, try the A mode, where you control the F-stop. A large F-stop (low number) will give shallow depth of field at close distance, while a smaller F-stop will provide greater depth of field. The large stop will allow a faster (shorter) shutter time, but the camera will generally take care of that, telling you in the viewfinder which time it will use.

    Sometimes, when your image is supposed to become dark, but there are bright parts that do not cover a great area of the image, you might want to make the image darker than the camera would at its own. There's where you kick in "compensation". Also sometimes, there will be much bright area in the picture, and you might wish the image to come out with the snow white instead of dark grey. Still compensation is the answer, but this time you use positive compensation, toward plus.

    It is actually about as simple as that, and it gives you the manual control with the speed of auto.

    "Depth of field" might need its own explanation, it is the property of certain depth in your subject before the camera to become sharp in the picture. We have some small tricks to do that, the simplest being stopping down to a smaller aperture (high number), but when even that is not enough, there are special lenses or other tricks by merging images taken at different settings. But a good exercise is to get your entire chessboard sharp, from the closest row all the way to the other side. In the image below, it was done by tilting the lens down. There are special lenses for that.

    Manual Mode is making me lose shots.
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 12th September 2012 at 05:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkanyezi View Post
    To tell you the truth, we don't.
    But some us do enjoy the challenge of doing so. That's why we do it.

  5. #5

    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I am no Pro but I do enjoy shooting in manual mode (like Donald the challenge) as I have control over the whole show. I am still learning but I have picked up speed from when I first started to shoot manual mode.
    Some cameras deal with noise better and some software deals with a part of it and some you live with it.
    However I think the best shooting style is the one your most comfortable with for the situation. I would never shoot manual at an important event, probably "AV".

  6. #6

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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Oh, I do use manual too, but not for the challenge. Sometimes manual is the better choice, particularly when many shots are to be taken with the same setting. Shooting products with a rather fixed lighting setup or taking a panorama that is to be merged, manual will keep the camera from altering exposure between shots.

    Also, sometimes, just for the fun of it, but really not as a challenge, I use manual mode and set exposure according to a rule learned long ago, called "Sunny 16". When light conditions are right, it may render perfect exposure without a light meter. In bright sunlight or with haze I really do shoot according to Sunny 16, in manual mode. But when the sky is overcast I usually take a meter reading or shoot in A mode.

    So manual sometimes is the better option, particularly when you don't want exposure to change between different shots.

  7. #7
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I do use manual mode from time to time but like many I shoot mostly in AP mode. Have try this to see how things work out for you.

  8. #8
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I often use manual mode, but as a means to an end, not as a challenge. I consider a camera a tool, and the Av and Tv modes give me flexibility I did not have when I started, back in the Pleistocene Era. E.g., if I am concerned about DOF, have no reason to be too worried about shutter speed (ample light, no fast-moving subjects), and highly variable lighting, I will often use Av to speed things up. Likewise, there are times when Tv is faster than M (for me). However, that is about it. I never use Program or full auto, because I don't want to give up control. Likewise, I never use auto-ISO. If lighting is variable and there is time to think, I will often use spot metering (still my favorite since my old FTb days) to figure out what exposure(s) make sense, and then I prefer M so that changing perspectives does not cause the camera to change exposure.

    However, I agree with the comment above that the time to practice all of this is not when you are in a tight situation with little room for error. practice when the pressure is off. One of the great things about digital is that you can experiment at virtually no cost, other than putting wear on your shutter. When I learned this stuff, I had to pay for each shot. Until you are comfortable, better to use a more automatic mode than to come home empty handed.

  9. #9
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I use solely aperture priority mode and manual mode.

    Aperture mode, with a combination of ISO control and exposure compensation gives me more than enough control when I am shooting more candid scenes in variable light conditions, wildlife, that sort of thing, where you cannot afford to 'miss the shot' because you were scrolling through shutter speeds to match your chosen aperture.

    Where I have more time, eg landscape photography, still life, architecture, portraits, etc where I want more control then it's manual all the way. It definitely gives you more control, especially in challenging lighting conditions, and or when you don't necessarily want to expose 'correctly'. But you definitely need a little more time, well I do. If time is not a luxury you can afford and you're in danger of missing out, then choose A-mode.

    For me though, I'd rather get the shot than not.

  10. #10
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I'm a photographer that started out on an completely manual, match-the-needle type SLR. I graduated to a SLR that let me shoot aperture priority or manual and when I finally moved over to a DSLR I now pretty well always shoot either aperture or shutter priority, and I set my ISO manually. I generally do with the slowest ISO setting I can get away with, so I never let the camera override me on that decision. I shoot on manual occasionally, as one of my lenses has no electronic connections to the camera body, so it is really the only way to go with it.

    First of all, my shooting style means I predetermine whether I plan to shoot aperture priority and shoot with a specific depth of field in mind, or shutter priority, when I plan to either freeze or blur motion, I'm a bit of a histogram peeper, so the exposure override is part of my workflow as well. I personally see no advantage in going totally manually, because ny camera can do this a lot more quickly than I can, and I would rather be working on the framing and compositional elements, Shooting manual gives me no more control, but in fact takes away from other activities like focus and composition. I will bracket my shots in both modes too; playing with either aperture or shutter speed values and will use the exposure compensation controls, as required.

  11. #11
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I use a combination of Programmed; Aperture priority (Av - aperture value in Canon speak); Shutter speed priority (Tv - time value in Canon speak); as well as manual. I choose the mode which IMO is best for the situation I am in...

    I am not locked into any single mode. I use what produces the best results for me. I seldom miss an exposure because I have control over my f/stop and shutter speed in any of the above modes...

    In each of the four modes I use; I can tweak my control in one way or another; adjusting f/stop, shutter speed and/or ISO. Monitoring the exposure is the trick for getting good shots. It doesn't matter what mode you are using...

    I usually leave my camera in Programmed mode between shooting. That way, if I need to pick up the camera and shoot very quickly, the shutter speed and f/stop will be pretty well right in the ballpark. Of course, I can tweak the shutter speed, ISO, or f/stop while looking through my viewfnder.

    When I drive the backroads of the American West, I always have my camera ready with the longest lens I have with me mounted, the camera in Programmed mode and the ISO set around 320 or 400. That way if I see wildlife (a common occurance in the West) I can pull off the road, grab my camera and shoot. Chances are, that the combination of the 320 or 400 ISO and the Programmed exposure will get me a keeper. If I have the time and the light is sufficient, I will reduce my ISO to 160. I have the longest lens attached because if I see a shot which calls for a wider lens, it is not normally a time critical shot. I usually will have more time to set up for a landscape than for a wildlife shot.

    One thing that I will always do is control the ISO myself. I never use auto ISO because I want to ensure the quality of my imagery. If I am shooting in lower light levels, I want to be the one to decide that I need a higher ISO not, have my camera surprise me by selecting a gazillion ISO level...

    I will most often shoot in Av because I usually know what f/stop I want to use based on whether I want shallow or deep DOF. I also use Av mode in order to shoot several shots to be combined into a panorama or an HDR image. That way, the f/stop and thus the focus will be stable throughout my shooting.

    I will most often use Shutter speed priority when shooting action shots when I want my shutter speed to remain above a certain speed. I will always monitor the f/stop and my ISO in my viewfinder.

    I usually choose manual mode when I am shooting with studio strobes.

    I think that if a person does not want do play around adjusting his or her camera, shooting in Programmed mode and with auto exposure bracketing would be a sure way to come home with usable images. That would be the way I would recommend a newbie with a DSLR to shoot his or her vacation shots.

    What makes a good photgrapher good is the imagery produced and not the mode in which that imagery is shot.

  12. #12

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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    .............................

    What makes a good photgrapher good is the imagery produced and not the mode in which that imagery is shot.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    I'm another photographer who started out using fully manual control 35mm cameras.

    Setting the exposure on one of those was a series of steps, taken one at a time, and probably not repeated once the end step was reached. Here's what I mean:

    Step One: The ISO or ASA, the film speed, was as previously noted set according to the film itself and was not varied during a shoot (with a few specific exceptions).

    Step Two: The shutter speed was set more or less according to the shooting conditions; with a flash demanding a set shutter speed of 1/60th of a second (generally); hand held photos demanding a shutter speed that was reciprocal to the length of the lens being used (50mm lenses needing 1/60th of a second, a 200 mm telephoto needing a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, a mirror lens telephoto of 500 mm needing a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, and so on).

    Step Three: the aperture of the lens was adjusted to correctly exposure the film, as determined by a light meter reading or a match needle type of light meter inside the camera viewfinder.

    Sometimes - even often - a specific aperture setting would be needed to control the depth of field, so the shutter speed would need to be re-adjusted accordingly; but the important thing to remember here is that nobody who started out using manual setting cameras adjusted ALL of the settings for every photo they took!

    MOST of the settings were chosen before the shooting started, with just one setting being constantly changed in order to gain a correct exposure for each photograph.

    I pretty much do the same thing now with my digital camera: I set the ISO as low as I can get away with in order to maintain the range of shutter speeds I need to be working with; I set the camera to Aperture Priority ("A"), and I keep an eye on what my shutter speed is doing in case I need to adjust my ISO to keep the shutter speed within a workable range for whatever lens I am using.

    Then, with all of the settings more or less in place, the one that I tend to change around the most is the "Exposure Compensation" setting - which might as easily be called the "Manual Override" setting because this is where I decide what the exposure should be, rather than letting my camera take full responsibility for that.

    Sometimes I will shoot in Shutter Priority ("S") mode; for instance, when the lighting is a problem and I need to be sure that the shutter speed will stay within a usable range that won't give me blurry photographs. That way, I can concentrate upon my photography and I don't have to keep watching the shutter speed to make sure it stays within an acceptable range. This most commonly happens when shooting indoor concerts, since the stage lights are so much brighter than everything else and the camera can easily be deceived into erroneously choosing a much slower shutter speed than is needed.

    Sometimes, in situations like that where the subject and its background are lit so very differently, I will just switch into full Manual ("M") Control mode because it is a lot easier than trying to fight with the mistakes the camera makes trying to automatically set the exposure for me. Fireworks displays are another example of where full Manual mode is indispensable.

    I've never used the "P" mode on a camera. For me, that first showed up in the early 1980's on my Minolta X700; but when I went over the 'shutter speed-to-aperture' allocation tables in the instruction manual, I didn't see anything in the 'setting pairs' that I myself would ever choose to be using so I never bothered with the "P" mode on that or any other camera.

    More accurately, I didn't like the way that the shutter speed could switch around when the aperture was also changing because some of the pairings the camera listed were ones I would never choose to use; so I decided that mode was a no-go for me. There were shutter speeds listed that I would choose not to use; and there were apertures listed that I would rather not be using. I guess, though, that some people who have started out with cameras that have a "P" mode actually tend to prefer this kind of programmed response curve; but for me, it just seems 'weird.'

    Anyway; the thing to remember is that the goal in using full Manual mode is to select as many of the settings as you can to bring the exposure as close to where you need it BEFORE you start shooting, and then just deal with one setting to nail the exposure exactly while you are actively taking photos. You might need to adjust one or more of the other settings once and again while you are shooting, but you don't want to be trying to change them with every photograph.

    One other thing you will learn in the course of your photographic career is that you will ALWAYS have shots that you missed, shots that you would have liked to catch; so just remember, as long as you are taking photographs you are still catching a lot more shots than you would if you didn't have a camera at all!
    Last edited by John Morton; 13th September 2012 at 04:35 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Some posts seem to indicate that the P Mode is an auto mode in which the camera gives the photographer little control. However, they have also got me wondering whether perhaps this is because P Mode operates differently on different cameras.

    The key points of agreement for me are in Richard's post, quote - "I usually leave my camera in Programmed mode between shooting. That way, if I need to pick up the camera and shoot very quickly, the shutter speed and f/stop will be pretty well right in the ballpark. Of course, I can tweak the shutter speed, ISO, or f/stop while looking through my viewfinder."

    That is exactly how the P Mode works on my camera - it gives a starting exposure value set by the camera's metering system that is often pretty close to being correct. This makes it ideal for many situations, e.g. on holiday, when you don't want to miss a shot.

    However, as Richard states, the important point is that I still have control, even while looking through the viewfinder. I can set the ISO value, and the exposure compensation (if required - from experience, or as indicated by the previous shot). The remaining two factors - either the aperture or shutter speed (to suit depth of field or movement resp.) - can be altered by the camera's rear and front control dials, while the camera alters the other one to maintain the exposure.

    So, this seems to be a good mode for normal use - it is like having Auto, Av, Tv and (almost) M all immediately available during the actual composition of the shot! But does the P Mode work differently - in particular, giving less control - on other cameras?

    Philip

  15. #15

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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    So, this seems to be a good mode for normal use - it is like having Auto, Av, Tv and (almost) M all immediately available during the actual composition of the shot! But does the P Mode work differently - in particular, giving less control - on other cameras?
    Of course you're correct. The P mode is different from Auto mode, by the fact that it can be tweaked. You may cross-wise alter shutter speed vs aperture, and you may compensate to plus or minus. But in order to know why you would use any of those tweaks, you must learn what each of them will accomplish.

    So in essence, you must first learn how changes in each of the variables will work in practice, before you will have much use for the tweaks you may do. Also, you might run into "hidden" features that work against your learning curve, as Auto-ISO, which for some camera models may make full manual an automatic mode.

    It all boils down to learning every essential feature of your equipment so that you know what it does and how to manage it, and you also must learn how each tweak influences the image that you capture. There may be different ways to achieve that knowledge, but starting out "full manual" might not be the easiest way. Trying one property at a time might help to get a better grip on the subject.

  16. #16

    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyracles View Post
    a. After getting the correct combination(a balanced exposure meter) of f/stop, shutter speed and iso, few seconds before the actual shot, everything just fluctuates and i'm either under or overexposed.
    Things don't just fluctuate... unless you have a serious problem with your camera. What is far more likely is either that the light has changed noticeably (and so you need to adjust) or that you aren't pointing at the same area where you took the original meter reading any more.

    You also need to remember that the camera's meter is far from perfect. You need to use the correct metering mode and also meter off the correct area of the image to get a decent exposure. Even then, with experience, you will learn when the camera may need additional exposure compensation.

    b. I currently do not own a tripod so a slow shutter speed is a big no at the moment but many times i choose an aperture, only a really slow shutter speed satisfies my "Sir Camera".
    Sadly physics is physics. You need a certain amount of light to get a good exposure. If you have a low iso and a lens that does not have a very large max aperture (or you specifically select a small aperture for depth of field reasons) then the camera will require a slow shutter speed in order to get enough light.

    Image stabilisation can help to a certain degree but for most slow shutter speed shots you are going to need a tripod - or else find something else solid (like a wall, chair or stool) that you can place the camera on. Putting a bean bag on the stool then the camera on the bean bag allows you to move the camera around to get the right angle for your shot.

    ISO immediately comes to mind but then, while cranking it up may help with a faster shutter speed....how about the little devil called 'noise'?
    You pays your money you takes your choice. You need light and that means a wide aperture, a slow shutter speed or a high iso - or an additional light source.

    As for manual mode.... it is no different from the other modes. You take a meter reading and you set the camera accordingly. They key is learning how to interpret the meter. You will get a different reading in different modes and when metering off different lighter/darker areas. It is important to learn this as this is what will affect your exposure.

  17. #17
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Urban, I agree with your comments in Post #15, except for one tweak - the word "tweak"!

    Tweak implies a minor adjustment, whereas in practice almost any adjustment is possible in P Mode. E.g. If the camera initially suggests f/5.6 at 1/250s, I might adjust to f/16 (in which case the camera setting becomes 1/30s) in order to increase the depth of field. That would be a change of three stops, which is quite a big adjustment rather than a tweak!

    A minor point, perhaps, nevertheless important when trying to clarify understanding.

    Philip
    Last edited by MrB; 13th September 2012 at 11:13 AM. Reason: (wrong speed!)

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Just to add a few thoughts regarding "program mode". Based on my research, this setting uses the analysis from tens of thousands of test images for different lens / lighting combinations and is used to give the end user "optimal" results. Nicely said, some Japanese software engineer is telling me the best way to shoot.

    When I first got my new camera body back in late May, I did some testing of various choices that the camera made for me, versus the settings I would have chosen to use under the same cirucumstances, and found a very significant mismatch. Program mode seems to optimized for what I call "safe shooting"; i.e. chances are you will get an image without motion blur, an acceptable amount of noise and a reasonably conservative use of DoF. In my case, that generally turns out to be taking a shot completely differently than I would have chosen, in fact so much so, I've started to refer to this mode as "snapshot" mode; i.e. the camera will ensure that you will get an acceptable image, but rarely a great one.

    Those predetermined, scientifically analysed settings are not the way I shoot.

    1. I try to shoot at the lowest ISO setting I can get away with, which generally means I am down around ISO 100 and rarely go above around 800. I look for maximum resolution and minimim noise for most of my shots. I ususally travel with a Speedlight in my camera bag to ensure I can keep ISO as low as possible and have a tripod strapped to it for low ISO existing light work;

    2. I bought fast, expensive lenses for a reason; to give me shallow DoF, which means in general, I am shooting wide open or darn close to it. I rarely shoot above f/8 unless I am out on a sunny day in fresh snow. Yes, there are exceptions and I still curse the way modern lenses no longer have DoF markings on them to let me easily shoot to a range. With my film SLRs I would often focus on the subject and then change my focus, based on DoF to ensure I could bring more foreground into focus, while ensuring distant objects were still in focus in landscape and cityscape work. I use aperture priority for most of these shots, which is probably over 80% of the time.

    3. I switch to shutter priority to work with motion; to either freeze it or to get a bit of motion blur in my shots. My shorter lenses are not optically stabilized, and depending on the focal length and end use of the image, I don't hesitate to shoot down to 1/15 or even 1/8 hand held, on those lenses. On the longer stabilized lenses I tend not to shoot below half of the reciprocal of the focal length; i.e. at 200mm; I will try to stay above 1/100. I rarely shoot at 1/4000 or 1/8000 because I try to keep the ISO low.

    As I said, the built in algorithms in the camera will generally stop down a bit more than I would tend to and set things at higher ISO settings than I would tend to, but the shutter speeds were generally too slow or too fast, versus where I would try to shoot.

  19. #19
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    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    Urban, I agree with your comments in Post #15, except for one tweak - the word "tweak"!

    Tweak implies a minor adjustment, whereas in practice almost any adjustment is possible in P Mode. E.g. If the camera initially suggests f/5.6 at 1/250s, I might adjust to f/16 (in which case the camera setting becomes 1/30s) in order to increase the depth of field. That would be a change of three stops, which is quite a big adjustment rather than a tweak!

    A minor point, perhaps, nevertheless important when trying to clarify understanding.

    Philip
    I believe I was the original poster who used the word "tweak"... Sorry if my comment seems incorrect to some. I do understand how, in the strictest definition of "tweak" it could mean something else. I could as easily used the words "adjust" or "change" and mean the same thing... The "tweaking" could be as little as a third or half stop or it could be changing the shutter speed and f/stop from 1/160 second @ f/11 to 1/1280 secomd @ f/4.

    However I looked up the definition of "tweak" on google and this is the closest definition to my meaning:

    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definit...-freak-tweaker
    "The term "tweak" may have originated in the early days of electronics, when tweezers were used to adjust the position of a wire on a crystal of galena in order to detect amplitude-modulated ( AM ) radio broadcast signals. Nowadays, hardware and programs of all kinds can (and often should) be aligned or debugged for optimum performance; technicians and programmers call the process tweaking."

    Is the following a tweak or a major change maybe a bit of both: changing the shutter speed and f/stop from 1/160 second @ f/11 to 1/1280 secomd @ f/4.

    Major change because it encompasses a three f/stop difference!

    Tweak because it doesn't change the total exposure one whit!

    Whatever the terminology you use, the Programmed exposure will put you pretty darn close to the correct exposure for average shots and you can, from there, "tweak", "adjust", or "change" your exposure any way you want...

    I don't remember how I changed the f/stop, shutter speed or ISO when I used the 350D but, I do know that changing the parameters is very easy with the two dial system and viewfinder readout of the Canon xxD and 7D cameras....
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 15th September 2012 at 04:21 PM.

  20. #20
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    Philip

    Re: Manual Mode is making me lose shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I believe I was the original poster who used the word "tweak"... Sorry if my comment seems incorrect to some.
    No need to apologise, Richard, it is just another interesting aspect of the English language, and thank you for the history of the technical use of "tweak". I had understood it to mean its dictionary definition: "to make a minor adjustment" (dictionary.com).

    Is the following a tweak or a major change maybe a bit of both: changing the shutter speed and f/stop from 1/160 second @ f/11 to 1/1280 secomd @ f/4.
    Major change because it encompasses a three f/stop difference!
    Tweak because it doesn't change the total exposure one whit!
    But it will be a major change to both depth of field and also to anything moving quickly in the frame!

    Whatever the terminology you use, the Programmed exposure will put you pretty darn close to the correct exposure for average shots and you can, from there, "tweak", "adjust", or "change" your exposure any way you want...
    I agree completely, Richard, as I seem to have control of all shooting parameters on my camera also. However, following Manfred's post (#18) I am prompted to repeat the question: "But does the P Mode work differently - in particular, giving less control - on other cameras?"

    Cheers.
    Philip

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