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Thread: AV or Manual

  1. #11
    sk66's Avatar
    sk66 is offline Lovable Contrarian
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    Apr 2008
    Harrisburg, PA


    If "tube light" means fluorescent then you are probably going to need a tripod and a subject that can stay still because you are going to need longer shutter speeds...

    Something around 1/50 or longer...what mode you use to get there matters less.

    FWIW (next to nothing), I shoot in A (Av) almost exclusively...And when I go to manual mode I usually still have auto ISO enabled so it's still not full manual.
    Last edited by sk66; 12-22-2012 at 01:43 PM.

  2. #12
    djscott's Avatar
    djscott is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Mar 2010
    Florence, OR


    My take would be manual(custom) white balance if you've got a mix of lights, manual for camera setting if you have constant lighting and you're not worried about changing lighting conditions. If you're shooting with available light coming through a window or outside where the lighting is changing. Go AV set the aperture you want for the DoF you're looking for and let the camera adjust shutter speed for the changing lighting conditions.

    TV if you're trying specifically to freeze motion or convey movement and let the camera figure out the aperture.

    None of them are perfect. It's a personal choice. I've been doing a lot of off camera flash shooting lately with predictable light. So I've been shooting in Manual mostly. Do what works for you.

    Take some test shots in all modes. Manual is going to give you the most creative freedom without the camera dictating what it thinks the aperture or shutter speed should be.

    I personally never use Program Mode or P some seem to think it means professional

    I guess the moral of the story is use what works for you. If you're more comfortable with AV use AV. If manual works for you, go for it.

    Get a gray card / white card for white balance. Take a photo of the card filling the entire frame (in the current lighting your shooting in) and use that to set a custom WB. Mixed lighting can be frustrating. Incandescent (tungsten) and Fluorescent together stinks. If you can control the situation do it.

    my 2 cents
    Canon EOS 450D kit EF-S 18-55mm &Tamron A17 70-300mm

  3. #13
    Jesse101 is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Mar 2012
    Great Falls MT


    I think there is a time and place for everything. You can easily learn by shooting in auto, thats if of course if you understand whats going on. I too use to shoot in A priority when im doing portraits, then S priority when i was shooting fast objects, then i would use P mode when shooting with flash. That was 2 years i have to shoot in manual just about every time i shoot anything, it takes a bit more time, but the results i have found to be that much better as it gets me what i want every time.

    When i first started to shoot in manual, i would probably only have 60% keep rate, now im close to 90%.

    What helps is knowing where you should generally be right off the bat before you head into anything, for instance if you have an onboard flash, or if you are shooting on a cloudy day or even a sunny day, i hit everything generally where it needs to be, and make slight adjustments while in view.

    I have seen photos taken in A, S and P modes to where i will probably never be able to recreate, so it never hurts to use what works best for you, whatever that may be.

  4. #14
    GTI is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Nov 2012


    Hi Suvorc,

    So much for your simple question eh?

    I've read through all the answers and I think there is one factor that has not been mentioned yet (apologies if it has and I've missed it...).

    That is light metering. There is absolutely no difference in the result that you will achieve using M and Av if you are using the camera's meter... the only difference is that in Av the camera will set the shutter speed for you and in M you will have to set it yourself. But if you are using the camera's light meter and metering scale then for a given aperture you will get the same Shutter speed and end up with the same result....

    So perhaps the most important factor is your metering mode. You are likely to get the best results using spot metering on the skin. Generally for portraits you would set your aperture first and try to make it quite wide - say f4 - this will help put the background out of focus. then you would read your metering scale and set your shutter speed accordingly (if in Manual) or allow the camera to set your shutter speed for you (if in Av). You should then check the shutter speed before taking the shot and if it is too slow (say less than 1/60) then you might want to change your ISO to prevent camera shake or movement blur...

    Hope that helps??


  5. #15
    robi1 is offline I'm new here!
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    Dec 2012


    I learned about photography many years ago in high school, first with a borrowed Pentax K-1000 and then with a Minolta XG-1. As you may recall, the K-1000 was a manual mode camera and the XG-1 had manual and aperture priority (Av) shooting modes. I then went to a Minolta X-700 for many years until very recently. The X-700 had Manual, Av and P modes.

  6. #16
    TM Q is offline I'm new here!
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    Nov 2012


    With my limited skills at holding the camera still, Av often screws up the shots when indoor and not using flash. I use a f/1.8 50mm for my family events and it is almost exclusively indoor this time of the year and often in "cozy light" which is no good for pictures.

    Some tips (some subject to camera features)
    1) Use M mode with auto-ISO
    2) Set max ISO to something you can de-noise in post.
    3) Set shutter speed to something you can handhold and only fiddle with shutter speed when the max-ISO cannot give you enough light. Then let the ISO vary from shot to shot.

    This combo is perfect for beginners who want to go beyond A+ mode. Av sometimes get some strange shutter/ISO combos and on an entry camera with only one dial, setting it to M+autoISO means you get to control both shutter speed and ISO with a single dial. If you are not happy with the camera picking a certain ISO, roll the dial and increase shutter speed until it bumps down. It is a bit like a "learner mode" for getting your mind wrapped around the exposure triangle.

    And most importantly:
    4) Shoot RAW

    After I switched to RAW I now have the luxury of going to through images in the comfort of my office and only discard the ones that are blurred or has bad compositions/poses/facial expressions.
    Anything related to WB can be fixed in lightroom (or similar).
    This has increased by keeper rates significantly. Sure you need more memory cards, but those are cheap these days and I have already earned back mine in the form of pictures of loved ones that money can't buy. Many where the JPEG was ruined but a few moments in Lightroom with the RAW and they turned into frame-able shots. If you make the switch, you will quickly take off the training-wheels (RAW+JPEG) as well, when you realize that the JPEGs are just a waste of space since you almost never use them. And on entry-mid cameras the burst rate is really bad with RAW+JPEG (my 650D can do 5-6 RAW burst before it slows to 2FPS, while it can only do 2 RAW+JPEG).

    Another good tip for WB sync'ing when you shoot indoors with multiple different light sources. Take extra "sync shots". Most of my family photos are taken during family events. I do not have the luxury of setting up lights and usually I make do with whatever is there.
    A trick I often use is to snap off a few extra shots of people in the "key spots". Having multiple shots of, for example your sister, from various light sources will help you use their clothing to sync WB. I then use my "reference" shots to copy WB settings from one picture to another in Lightroom to better get the colors right. At the end of a day you often have multiple shots of people in a couch for example, and clothing is much easier as WB reference than skin tones, assuming you know what color the clothing is supposed to be.

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