What is Your Favorite Shooting Mode? - Digital Photography School

What is Your Favorite Shooting Mode?

Digital-Camera-ModesTime for another reader question – to answer this one simply pick up your digital camera and look at the shooting mode that it is currently set on.

What is Your Favorite Shooting Mode?

Are you an ‘Auto’ photographer? Do you use Aperture or Shutter Speed Priority Modes? Are you one of the few photographers who actually shoot in full Manual mode? Or are you the type of photographer who uses the preset shooting modes like ‘Landscape’, ‘Portrait’ or ‘Sports’?

There is no right or wrong answer on this one – it is possible to take great shots in any mode – but I’m always fascinated to see what people shoot in.

My personal preference these days is Aperture Priority Mode. It gives me enough creative control over things like depth of field but allows me to shoot quickly knowing that exposure will generally be right.

Not familiar with Shooting Modes? Check out these posts:

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Kiwi

    Im a kid, but i love photography and do it a lot and have been studying for a long time. i usually use Av mode when I go on trips so I am ready if I come across nice landscape photo moments, though I haven’t had many of these chances yet. I use Tv often with a shutter speed set on 1/100 for normal pictures around the house.

  • Cassandra

    I shoot a lot in full manual mode. Mostly because that’s what I was taught in school. I really enjoy it because it makes me problem-solve when I’m photographing something. I have to figure out what needs tweaking, whether it’s the aperture, shutter speed or ISO. I’ve taken a lot of unexpectedly creative photos just from goofing off with the manual mode.

  • Lejaun Eksteen

    Full Manual mode is sometimes tricky, I’m new to photography, so sometimes I shoot x1 photo in full auto after I have taken the same using full manual. It is very interesting to compare. Human VS Auto Mode

  • Brett Valentine

    I stay in manual mode just about all the time. I like the control, and having to think on my feet. The only time I’m driven to aperture is when I’m shooting landscapes or cityscapes on windy days, and the light is rapidly alternating between sunny and cloudy.

  • Gary Truchelut

    I shoot on manual mode 95% of the time. I find this gives me much more control over the resulting image. I try to pre-visualize what I want my image to be whether I’m wanting to tell a story or focus all the attention on the main subject. It also depends on the type of lighting I find and how much time I have to prepare for the shot. If I’m shooting passing birds and the light changes dramatically from one side to the other I will opt for setting a high shutter speed and ISO and letting the camera take care of the aperture.

  • susan blick

    manual focus nearly always, manual setting, and usually one shot, but sometimes i use burst, high speed.

  • Paul McBride

    I just purchased a Canon T2i camera and used it extensively on a trip we just took. I found that I almost exclusively used the C/A, “creative automatic” mode. It allowed me to take excellent photographs in darkened conditions (inside churches, for example) as well as emphasize flesh tones for people pics and blues and greens for scenic vistas. With a little practice I could set my camera to my preference hardly looking at the camera itself. However, I also occasionally used the various program modes if I were in a special hurry to take the shot.

  • Jerzy

    I mostly shoot in the aperture priority because I believe it to be the best compromise between the quality and speed. I do prefer manual, and I do actually use a tripod and a separate exposure meter, however, on many occasions it is too slow of the process. I also do not complain about the program mode with the shift. I cannot submit an image because I do not have a web site. I would appreciate the possibility to attach as an attachment.

  • Aloy Gorotud Rumantai

    I prefer manual setting most of the time

Some older comments

  • Jerzy

    November 5, 2011 05:06 pm

    I mostly shoot in the aperture priority because I believe it to be the best compromise between the quality and speed. I do prefer manual, and I do actually use a tripod and a separate exposure meter, however, on many occasions it is too slow of the process. I also do not complain about the program mode with the shift. I cannot submit an image because I do not have a web site. I would appreciate the possibility to attach as an attachment.

  • Paul McBride

    November 5, 2011 04:52 pm

    I just purchased a Canon T2i camera and used it extensively on a trip we just took. I found that I almost exclusively used the C/A, "creative automatic" mode. It allowed me to take excellent photographs in darkened conditions (inside churches, for example) as well as emphasize flesh tones for people pics and blues and greens for scenic vistas. With a little practice I could set my camera to my preference hardly looking at the camera itself. However, I also occasionally used the various program modes if I were in a special hurry to take the shot.

  • susan blick

    October 3, 2011 06:19 am

    manual focus nearly always, manual setting, and usually one shot, but sometimes i use burst, high speed.

  • Gary Truchelut

    September 28, 2011 09:59 pm

    I shoot on manual mode 95% of the time. I find this gives me much more control over the resulting image. I try to pre-visualize what I want my image to be whether I'm wanting to tell a story or focus all the attention on the main subject. It also depends on the type of lighting I find and how much time I have to prepare for the shot. If I'm shooting passing birds and the light changes dramatically from one side to the other I will opt for setting a high shutter speed and ISO and letting the camera take care of the aperture.

  • Brett Valentine

    September 27, 2011 06:21 am

    I stay in manual mode just about all the time. I like the control, and having to think on my feet. The only time I'm driven to aperture is when I'm shooting landscapes or cityscapes on windy days, and the light is rapidly alternating between sunny and cloudy.

  • Lejaun Eksteen

    September 20, 2011 09:09 pm

    Full Manual mode is sometimes tricky, I'm new to photography, so sometimes I shoot x1 photo in full auto after I have taken the same using full manual. It is very interesting to compare. Human VS Auto Mode

  • Cassandra

    August 11, 2011 01:22 pm

    I shoot a lot in full manual mode. Mostly because that's what I was taught in school. I really enjoy it because it makes me problem-solve when I'm photographing something. I have to figure out what needs tweaking, whether it's the aperture, shutter speed or ISO. I've taken a lot of unexpectedly creative photos just from goofing off with the manual mode.

  • Kiwi

    April 24, 2011 01:29 am

    Im a kid, but i love photography and do it a lot and have been studying for a long time. i usually use Av mode when I go on trips so I am ready if I come across nice landscape photo moments, though I haven't had many of these chances yet. I use Tv often with a shutter speed set on 1/100 for normal pictures around the house.

  • Gaute

    March 26, 2011 06:26 am

    I hardly ever use anything other than manual mode. After years of photographing one gets a 'feel' for the correct settings. I use AEB sometimes too.

  • saleem shahid

    February 13, 2011 03:20 am

    I use manual mode 90% of the time and on auto focus 99% of the time

  • Donna

    January 18, 2011 05:27 am

    my favorite is manual but now that my eye sight has gotten poor i rely on the auto focus .

  • Thomas

    December 28, 2010 10:19 pm

    Aperture priority is my favorite. I like having control over dof. I use both a D90 and a D5000 and I rarely use any other modes, unless I'm shooting action or children.

  • Nalanti

    December 24, 2010 05:56 am

    When I first got my camera it was alway on auto, so that I could exercise compotion and the most basic. As I got better and wanted to advance I started using Program mode. Latly I prefer manual, but use auto for those quick snaps, when I don't have time to get all the settings and exposures right.

  • Rama

    December 10, 2010 08:12 pm

    I use manual mode almost all the time. I use a hand-held light meter so manual is the only way to go if you are doing that.

    The exception is when I need to shoot fast like sports or something similar. Then I use shutter priority.

  • Henry

    October 7, 2010 01:36 pm

    Shutter Priority for me. I do lot of waterfalls. Rest Aperture Priority.

  • IWthis

    September 16, 2010 05:00 pm

    Manual all the way. A lot of my friends, family and subjects seem to suffer from the lazy eye phenomenon because of pre-flash metering, and upgrading to a dedicated flashgun did not completely remedy it. Only shooting in full manual did and after that, I got too used to the absolute control. Plus I almost always use flash now for fill, bounce and alot of wireless for creativity, and since I use the Sony Alpha, you need to do some tweaking if you don't want the on camera flash showing up in wireless flash photos. I will use auto for a shot just for kicks to see what the camera happens to be thinking I should be shooting at, but besides that, Manual exclusively.

  • punit

    August 10, 2010 08:25 pm

    i like to shoot on macro mode

  • Bitzy

    June 9, 2010 02:35 am

    Mostly Aperture Priority, Sometimes Manual... NEVER use the preset selections. Never have been content with the results. Use the Program rarely and only when I'm in a real quick time pinch when there's clearly no time to change settings for those unpredicted opportunities. I shoot primarily wildlife, birding, nature, scenic, community events and also do some portrait work. I usually set up my cameras ahead of time for nature etc. based on the general weather conditions and light so I'm more/less ready and only have to make minor adjustments for aperture and/or shutter speed.

  • Selma Sundholm

    April 29, 2010 01:04 am

    I shoot in manual when I am setting up for macro pics such as drop photography - I really need to buy myself an external flash ..

  • George

    April 23, 2010 03:47 am

    I personally shoot in manual almost 100% of the time, unless if I'm doing portraiture where I don't want to be constantly adjusting the flash as well and want to use ETTL, then I shoot Av.

  • GradyPhilpott

    April 22, 2010 11:41 am

    I shoot for my club which restores aircraft. There is a flurry of activity in the hanger and I document the progress.

    I need to take pictures wide and long and everything in between and I need to be ready for whatever happens when it happens. I like candid and action shots.

    I new to DSLRs, so Program works very well for me under these conditions.

    Someday I intend to shoot more leisurely and learn to take more control, but for now, I'm happy with "P."

  • veerendra

    March 28, 2010 03:18 pm

    i started with auto and now i like aperture mode and shutter mode....
    sometimes complete manual

  • Bill Merritt

    February 28, 2010 08:59 am

    P, then AV, but as I experiment with manual, the more I learn and the more I like using it.

  • Mandy

    February 8, 2010 05:06 am

    I started off with auto, then program mode. Now ive graduated to manual. Aperture gets some play as well. Pace yourself and youll get to whatever you desire......

  • Edsar

    January 18, 2010 07:29 pm

    For a year and a half 95% manual and very few in AV and TV mode..

  • Steve Glasser

    November 6, 2009 11:30 am

    Enjoy your site and am learning a lot! I shoot shutter priority. It's just the way that I think...fast freezes slow gives depth.

  • Lena

    November 4, 2009 03:15 am

    For about a year and a half, I have shot mostly in auto mode. I have alot of quick situations (i.e. kids or funny friends, parties) that you need to be on point with or you miss the shot. But lately, I have felt I need something more, and have been messing with Aperture and Shutter Priority. I feel slightly overwhelmed with these settings right now b/c I haven't had the opportunity to really sit and "learn" them well. I will be looking to upgrade as soon as I learn them though, to the D300. (I have the D40x). Hopefully soon I will find the automatic setting on my current camera a thing of the past. :)

  • Shannon

    September 10, 2009 01:41 pm

    I like to shoot between ISO 100 and 200 to both maximize dynamic range (maximum dynamic range is found at ISO 200 on the 5D-MkII) and minimize grain. I also usually shoot with a 28-135 zoom and a tripod. Whenever I have the time to go at my own pace, I use Manual to allow me to optimize all aspects of a shot, and typically I will use spot metering for the more important shots. For the rest, I use Matrix metering.

    I don't get good results from, don't like and therefore rarely use image stabilization, so to prevent camera shake hand held with my 28-135 zoom "standard lens", I typically shoot Shutter Priority at 1/160th of a second and use auto ISO if I do not have time to think, as this allows me to be reasonably certain I have an image that won't be blurry at any focal length... this will work with or without a hot shoe flash, which syncs at 1/200th of a second on my camera.

    Aperture priority, under the lighting conditions I typically shoot in, would force me to use a tripod because of the shutter speed... and if I'm going to do that, I just shoot Manual and do it all. Therefore, I almost never use Av.

    In my studio, of course, I always shoot Manual and use a tripod and my monolights and my 100 mm prime macro lens.

    I started off with learning photography in Auto mode, but that quickly frustrated me because metering was frequently off, and focus was not where I wanted it (typically the eyes). Then I switched to Programmed mode, which allowed me to focus where I wanted the focus and manually adjust shutter and aperture without losing exposure, but now I find myself shooting in Manual about 80% of the time and Shutter Priority the rest.

  • Edge

    July 5, 2009 04:46 pm

    Whenever there's good lighting (i.e. outdoors, daytime) I ALWAYS use manual, I only shift to AV when there's not much light around.

  • Tommy

    July 5, 2009 12:48 am

    Manual. Sometimes i used P in a hurry. Av if shooting macro.

  • ASharpe

    May 29, 2009 06:51 pm

    Aperture Priority, followed by Manual.

  • alex

    March 18, 2009 09:52 am

    Manual all the time. I'm learning and I think it's the best way. It's slow and difficult, but hey, that's the fun part. I also don't think I've ever used Auto or P.

  • Larry

    January 1, 2009 07:35 am

    If I am outdoors I prefer Landscape on my Canon 20d.

  • Lou

    December 25, 2008 03:50 am

    I use P mode on my Canon 30D exclusively, but will give A a shot now. I hope someone can direct me to links teaching about shooting in Aperture, please. Other than wanting to get a shallow DOF, would using my camera in A mode be feasible when taking lots of candids and group photos?

    I prefer focusing on composition and taking many shots, rather than adjusting Aperture. For those of you using Aperture, how often and how much do you adjust Aperture while shooting multiple shots during an event, like at Church? Much thanks.

    Can Aperture mode be good when walking around taking photos of activities with scores of people around you? Would I have to constantly adjust the aperture when moving around and changing shots?

  • josh

    October 31, 2008 02:38 am

    Manual, most of the time. its a learning experience allowing me to ingrain the skill of getting the correct exposure in each kind of light instead of learning it like a science in a classroom. learning from experience works best, with help along the way from mentors and professionals.

  • Laura

    August 6, 2008 03:08 am

    I use manual pretty constantly, but I'm always ready to switch down into auto if something interesting happens and I don't have time to adjust my manual settings.
    I'm just not usually happy w/how auto turns out. It's nice being able to control every aspect of the photo and have the opportunity to be creative.

  • Martin

    July 9, 2008 06:38 pm

    There seem to be plenty of people wo keep their camera in manual mode most of the time. However, unless you're very comfortable in manual mode, and can instinctively adjust aperture / shutter speed to get a good exposure, you could miss out on some photo opportunities as you quickly try to adjust the camera settings...

    I have my camera in aperture priority most of the time, as I find I typically want/need control over the aperture to get the shot I want.
    Shutter priority is used for fast action shots (car racing, sports, etc), and I typically switch to manual mode when using a flash (or when doing HDR / stitched panoramas / etc).

  • Susan

    July 2, 2008 05:23 am

    I usually switch back and forth with P mode and Aperture priority. Occasionally I'll use Shutter priority when I specifically want a motion blur or want to freeze the action.

  • Ed O'Keeffe

    July 1, 2008 09:37 am

    Program - I trust the metering in my camera to get the best of the available light so I can concentrate on composition. I will sometimes flip to manual for the odd photo but it depends on what I am photographing - 95% of the time it is taken on program.

    If I am in the studio it I will be using a light meter so I would be in full manual in this case.

    Out of a night shoot with the camera on a tripod I often will used aperture priority or manual.

  • Cindy

    July 1, 2008 02:47 am

    I shoot mostly in aperture priority, occasionally in shutter priority and rarely in manual mode. I don't shoot much in manual mode because I'm a chicken.

  • Maud

    June 30, 2008 08:55 pm

    Manual!

    It helps reduce post-procesing by getting your image just right!

  • kris

    June 30, 2008 01:25 am

    Av most of the time. About 20% or less in Tv and M.

  • David

    June 27, 2008 05:52 am

    Program mode for me. I like having the control over aperture and Shutter speed, but I want them to be in sync. I don't like to do a lot of manual adjusting of the lighting unless I am just shooting to achieve something I can't achieve by adjusting the Exposure of my RAW image in processing later.

  • bogart

    June 26, 2008 11:41 am

    It depends on the subject. When it is an event and you have to immediately capture the subject I use auto mode. But if I have a choice I use the manual mode. After learning how to mixed aperture and shutter, I lost my trust on auto mode. Specially on low-light you can't trust your auto mode.

  • AndreasK

    June 26, 2008 01:54 am

    Av for me!
    I am not good at all on manual mode!
    I will surely mess it up, and then get frustrated cause i can't get a decent picture!
    Im a beginner in photography but Av is something that i can handle!

  • gandi

    June 25, 2008 07:45 pm

    mostly I use manual, it giving me wide range of exploration. But sometime I use aperture or speed priority which depends on the object (moving, static, etc) and other conditions.

  • Lars

    June 25, 2008 06:10 pm

    Aperture Priority!

  • MikLav

    June 25, 2008 07:50 am

    My favorite - just as for many people above - is aperture priority. Most of the time with some exposure compensation.

    When in studio - always manual.

  • Marcelo Rodrigo

    June 25, 2008 04:18 am

    Aperture Priority in 85% of cases (want to control depth of field)

    Manual in other 15%

  • Shawn

    June 25, 2008 12:06 am

    I almost exclusively shoot in Aperture Priority mode, but when I am fooling around with new techniques I'll switch to Manual mode. Every now and then I'll do Shutter Priority mode when I am doing long-exposure shots at night.

  • ThomasK

    June 24, 2008 10:55 pm

    I mostly shoot in Aperture or Shutter Priority if (with exposure compensation, if necessary)

    Additionally, I sometimes take "Backup" Photos in Auto Mode.

  • Fazed Reality

    June 24, 2008 08:09 pm

    When there's no time to tweak & play: mode P

    When there is time: mode M or A

    At night I just use the camera's pre-set modes 'cause I really have no idea what I'm doing :)

  • Jono

    June 24, 2008 04:23 pm

    Canon 20D

    AV - 85% (want to control depth of field)
    TV - 10% (So I can make full use of TTL flash or control motion blur)
    Others - 5% (I like to experiment)

  • Devyn

    June 24, 2008 12:41 pm

    Manual about 90% of the time...

  • Deb

    June 24, 2008 11:37 am

    Wow! I am impressed with the number of A/M shooters. I use Sports mostly, because I take a lot of sports photos for school yearbook. Even at night. I need training and experience for using A/S/M/P. But I think I will start experimenting with A with my Canon Rebel EOS and 580EX Speedlite.

    Any hints for getting better night time football games? I can get shots across the field by holding the focus button until I take the shot, but get a lot of good shots. Would love to get GREAT nighttime sports shots.

  • Deb

    June 24, 2008 11:35 am

    Wow! I am impressed with the number of A/M shooters. I use Sports mostly, because I take a lot of sports photos for school yearbook. Even at night. I need training and experience for using A/S/M/P. But I think I will start experimenting with A.

    Any hints for getting better night time football games? I can get shots across the field by holding the focus button until I take the shot, but get a lot of good shots. Would love to get GREAT nighttime sports shots.

  • Take 5

    June 24, 2008 08:02 am

    Mainly (M) some (P) and always fighting with it. I guest I should try some (Tv). And make my life easier.

  • GL

    June 24, 2008 06:55 am

    Manual all the way!

  • Paulo Rodrigues

    June 24, 2008 06:36 am

    It depends on what I'm doing. If I'm shooting with off camera flash its manual all the way.

    I'll also shoot in manual when the light is quite stable, so that I don't miss any shots because of the scene fooling the meter.

    The rest of the time its aperture priority.

  • Esther

    June 24, 2008 02:38 am

    Wow! I'm seeing a big Aperture priority trend!

    I've only been shooting with a DSLR for about 1/2 a year and I've been constantly favouring Shutter speed priority.

    Hum...why is Aperture better? What am I missing?

  • Monika

    June 24, 2008 01:06 am

    I usually shoot with Program mode.

  • Steve

    June 24, 2008 01:03 am

    I shoot in Manual whenever I'm shooting indoors. However, when I'm out of doors, (especially early or late in the day when the light is changing), I prefer to set my exposure in aperture priority so that I can spend less time worrying about settings and more time on composition.

  • Ash

    June 23, 2008 09:47 pm

    Mostly Manual with a little Av, and sometimes Tv for lazy photographing of garden birds. I then find myself playing around with the metering mode (mostly between evaluative and spot metering on my 40D).

    I've learned more shooting in M, but it's useful sometime to switch around and watch what the camera is doing. Those guys in Japan are very clever and know their stuff, so it's good to learn from them!!

  • Laura C.

    June 23, 2008 08:04 pm

    My camera is always set on Aperture Priority. As per shooting necessity, I may work on Shutter Speed Priority and Manual.

    I don't know about other cameras, by mine (Canon 400D/Rebel XTi) seems to hate the Auto mode.. Even a my boyfriend's Sony regular point&shoot makes better picture in auto !

  • GregB

    June 23, 2008 07:06 pm

    I usually flip between aperture priority and manual for standard shots. However there is sometimes the need for shutter priority when the occasion suits.

  • Roy

    June 23, 2008 06:50 pm

    I am always trying to shoot in UV mode usually on F11 amd I have noticed though at times the camera will switch to say F16 eyc auto. My camera was the cheapest I could get as a pensioner (81) is the Pentax K100D with a 28-300 Sigma zoom
    and I use it around about every week and at time in the week. You see I am driver restricted and have to get my wife Gwen to take me out not always too easy!
    Congratulations to you and partner on the new born wonderful news we had 3 boys all grown up now ofcause. All the very best and many thanks for all the help you give. Roy.

  • Munir

    June 23, 2008 04:45 pm

    Start off with Av and move to full Manual after the first few shots once I get the feel of whats working and whats not =)

  • pixel pixie

    June 23, 2008 03:28 pm

    It's manual most of the time for me. I'm so used to it that I forget I can use T or AV sometimes when I think it could actually help.

  • Christer

    June 23, 2008 02:50 pm

    I use Aperture Priority most of the time, but am more and more going towards Manual :) Never use any auto modes anymore.

  • katch

    June 23, 2008 02:35 pm

    1. Aperture Priority (90%)
    2. Shutter Priority
    3. Manual

  • musik320

    June 23, 2008 12:39 pm

    I use manual all the time.

  • Patrick Galesloot

    June 23, 2008 08:13 am

    Thanks for the post.

    I got my Nikon D40 one year ago and I'm still playing and learning on it so really I use all the modes. P, A, S, Auto and all the other presets too. Often taking the same photo with 2 or three different modes for comparing later.

    Thanks

  • XmasB

    June 23, 2008 05:23 am

    Aperture mostly, but use Manual a lot as well.

  • Dixon Marshall

    June 23, 2008 03:25 am

    In case anyone noticed the mistake in my post above, my camera is the Canon EOS 40D, NOT D40,b/>!

    My wife's Nikon D40 was on my desk for downloading photos, and I guess I had that on my mind. Sorry.

  • Dixon Marshall

    June 23, 2008 03:14 am

    I use everything but the "scene" modes, which I've found pretty useless both on a good p&s and my current Canon D40 DSLR.

    On the D40, I use most of the modes depending upon the subject and conditions. For instance, for very fast moving subjects such as birds and other wildlife, I find that Tv (shutter priority) combined with rapid fire at 6 frames per second works best.

    For portraits and the one wedding I've done, manual M mode is the only way to go (except for the dimly lit wedding reception, where Av aperture priority was a must.

    For those unexpected shots, such as when a streaker was running up main street, I'll quickly switch to Auto to make sure of capturing the moment.

    For large group shots, my D40 has a mode called "A-dep," for Automatic depth of field, where the camera processor insures that everything in the frame is in focus, so that no faces are out of focus.

    I find that for the subjects that I shoot, mosty architectural, landscapes, and wildlife, I mostly use Manual, followed by Shutter priority.

    The point is, there is no firm "correct mode" to use; I wind up using all of the modes (except the "scene" modes) at one time or another. I think you need to fit the mode to the subject for the best results.

  • sandra

    June 22, 2008 10:19 pm

    As we had that nice post from Natalie sometime ago she said that using Auto was not a bad thing. Using Auto gives you that info so you can move into using the other settings. For me I keep trying them all so I can see the difference and learn from them all.

  • Almonz

    June 22, 2008 10:00 pm

    I have mostly use Tv or P when shooting, I sometimes swtich to Av when I have time to test things out.

  • Jeenu

    June 22, 2008 09:22 pm

    "A" most of the times, and then "S". I switch to "M" only if I've enough time to experiment. I usually avoid the "Auto". I hardly shoot in preset modes.

  • ilva

    June 22, 2008 04:36 pm

    manual!

  • Olav

    June 22, 2008 12:22 pm

    I use P for generall use and sometimes Aperture Priority

  • Micah Olson

    June 22, 2008 12:19 pm

    I hardly ever go to auto anymore. Yay! I never thought that would happen when I first started! I shoot mostly in Manual though sometimes if I'm feeling lazy then I'll turn the dial to Aperture Priority.

  • Michael

    June 22, 2008 11:58 am

    I almost always shoot in Aperture Priority mode, but also sometimes in Manual mode, especially if I'm doing nighttime photography.

  • Azeem Qais

    June 22, 2008 11:18 am

    Always manual mode in raw format.

  • Yvonne

    June 22, 2008 10:25 am

    I shoot in Aperture Priority most of the time. Sometimes I change to shutter and occasionally full manual. Once in a while I put it on Program but that's pretty rare.

  • Chet Marlow

    June 22, 2008 09:40 am

    Aperture Priority Mode 90% of the time. Otherwise, I like to dabble with manual.

  • Dennis

    June 22, 2008 09:24 am

    I'm always on manual mode to get consistent control of exposures.

  • Helen

    June 22, 2008 09:10 am

    I shoot manual. I like the total control!

  • Jeni

    June 22, 2008 08:43 am

    Manual mode always...I have control issues and like to be in charge of my shot in all aspects.

  • Steve

    June 22, 2008 08:14 am

    I generally use aperture priority, but I do wander occassionally into manual.

  • Garran

    June 22, 2008 06:30 am

    Usually manual but slowly making the change to

  • Garran

    June 22, 2008 06:30 am

    Manual but making the switch to Aperture priority ... too much wasted shots and missed opportunities in Manual mode.

  • Gene A.

    June 22, 2008 05:44 am

    Latley I rediscovered manual mode. Before that always Aperture priory for the depth of field control. Now that I've been using manual mode I've been experimenting a lot more with +/- bracketing.

  • Anne

    June 22, 2008 05:34 am

    I prefer continuous shoot. You can capture shots that you normally would miss by shooting one shot at a time. Otherwise it depends on what I am shooting.

  • Archangel Photo

    June 22, 2008 05:32 am

    I use a bit of all modes depending on the situation, and I taken a lot of creative shots in Automatic. but still, it all depends on the situation. I mostly use Manual and Portrait.

  • Jim

    June 22, 2008 05:27 am

    Canon xSi

    50% manual and 50% aperture priority, just depends on how much time I have to compose and shoot. Mostly shooting scenics and birds, etc. Every shot is RAW, just can't warm up to processing JPEG's.

  • Doc Holliday

    June 22, 2008 03:53 am

    Out of the case, my camera is usually set to aperture priority at f/11, average metering and ASA 100. I change aperture a great deal and let the camera deal with the shutter speed - except when I set it to shutter priority and work the speed to get the best f stop and lowest shutter speed for blurring motion. I, also, change the ASA a lot, too, to get what I want.

    I use "sports" program to photograph flags, (one of my perennial subjects), and animals, (particularly sled dog races), in motion. Gives me the fastest shutter speed without having to worry about changing the settings. This works pretty well and I can be lazy.

    I use manual a great deal for night shooting. My most recent full moon shots - Moonlight on Beaver Creek and Moonlit Creek - are full manual. I must have taken 50 images to get the two that I posted on my Flickr site. I like these two images more than anything I've shot in the recent past...

    So, I guess one could say I am all over the place... I can't imagine using "P" mode. I wasn't really trying last Christmas at my sisters and shot on "P" with built-in flash. Got absolutely nothing worthwhile... LOL

  • Jenny

    June 22, 2008 03:33 am

    Manual all the time every time. I love having full creative control.

  • rtcary

    June 22, 2008 02:26 am

    For pictures where I have time to "setup", I use manual...especially when using raw; otherwise it is Aperture.

  • Dru

    June 22, 2008 02:22 am

    I usually shoot in "P" mode. If I need to change aperture and/or exposure, I switch in Aperture priority/Shutter priority/Manual

  • Snargles

    June 22, 2008 02:16 am

    I currently only have a point and shoot, and I'm most often in Macro mode (I like to get up close and wide open with my subjects)...

    I have a sneaking suspicion that when I get a DSLR (which will hopefully be soon!), I'll keep it in aperture priority until I can get the hang of manual mode.

  • sil

    June 22, 2008 01:50 am

    Aperture priority but I sometimes use full manual for difficult exposure situations.

  • OMLN

    June 22, 2008 01:28 am

    I'm a newbie in photography and I've been using the Aperture Mode since I've read about it early this year. I would like to try other modes too but I still have a lot of things to learn in this field.

  • António Chagas

    June 22, 2008 01:26 am

    Usually I prefer shot at Aperture or Shutter Speed Priority Modes, but I am learning shooting at Manual Mode.

  • John Russcher

    June 22, 2008 01:13 am

    I use mostly aperture priority and every once in a while manual.

  • Dr Peter J Venter

    June 22, 2008 01:10 am

    full manual

  • Victor Ionescu

    June 22, 2008 01:10 am

    On my digital camera I shoot mostly in Aperture Priority. I like to use shallow depth of field without thinking about the exposure. I sometimes use full manual in case in which I know the light won't change any second.

  • Andrés Torres

    June 22, 2008 01:05 am

    M when i'm using studio lighting, and P the rest of the time.

  • Angela

    June 22, 2008 01:01 am

    I use Close Up alot.
    I also use Sport and Indoor/Party alot as well.

  • Jackie

    June 22, 2008 12:45 am

    I don't like flash, so I use fully Manual on Raw all the time. However, when I am on vacation with my point & shoot, auto is just fine.

  • Daniel Giovanni

    June 21, 2008 11:30 pm

    Aperture mode almost any times
    But sometimes I use Manual if I think I've got enough time to think of some creative shot :)

  • Mario

    June 21, 2008 11:26 pm

    Manual - Always.

  • Calvin

    June 21, 2008 10:51 pm

    I use manual mode. I would like to try Aperture priority mode.

  • Bev

    June 21, 2008 10:30 pm

    I have been using Manual more and more. It has helped me
    understand aperture, ISO and shutter speed and how they
    work together. I once read that when in doubt use AUTO.
    I do this and am relieved when family event pictures are
    presentable. But when I am enjoying my hobby and am alone,
    I like Manual. Bev

  • lars

    June 21, 2008 10:25 pm

    I leave it on "P" as standard so it is ready to make some fast shoot where I don't have time to change settings

  • Dumitru Tira

    June 21, 2008 10:23 pm

    Aperture Mode all the way, or, sometimes, Manual :)

  • Tesha

    June 21, 2008 09:58 pm

    I like to use Aperature Priority most of the time, however I also use Auto and the rest of the settings too with the exeption of Manual which I don't know how to use.

  • Ajith

    June 21, 2008 09:36 pm

    Mostly manual and other modes rarely.

  • Rod Beglerf

    June 21, 2008 09:26 pm

    I'm a newbie (1 week of serious photo...), so auto when I have no time, or some pre-programmed modes. When there is more time available, I like to play with shutter speed, to smooth movements.

  • Morgana

    June 21, 2008 09:18 pm

    Manual mode all of the time.

  • Marc Henry

    June 21, 2008 08:55 pm

    I have been making photos for over 40 years. At that time, it was manual mode, period. These days, unless there is some esoteric purpose, I can't see using manual mode when your meter is built in (and quite accurate) and sets the proper exposure for you. It's easy to override with +/- or you can decide aperture or shutter priority and still have full control. I usually leave it on P and adjust it as I need it, no need to be a martyr in M.

  • me

    June 21, 2008 07:43 pm

    i shoot mostly in aperture mode. candid or party shots sometimes in auto mode. i also like the sport mode (up to 6.5 pictures per second) by my eos 40d.

  • Roberto Ballerini

    June 21, 2008 07:05 pm

    Manual, followed by AV, rarely TV, very rarely P

  • Andy Stuart

    June 21, 2008 05:59 pm

    I'm trying to learn more so just now my camera is set on M most of the time with occasional dips into AV & TV (Mainly AV) very, very occassionaly I find a reason to use P.

  • JohnE

    June 21, 2008 04:13 pm

    Manual. Other times I might shoot in Manual, but most of the time I just shoot in Manual.

  • Onkar Singh Plaha

    June 21, 2008 03:15 pm

    I normally shoot in Aperture priority mode. This allows me to control d.o.f which, is important for my kind of work (portraits and close-up).

  • Brett Dickson

    June 21, 2008 03:11 pm

    I normally use "P" mode on my Pentax K10D; however program mode on the Pentax incorporates TV and Av modes, so I can shift between all three without taking the camera from my eye.

  • Kunal Daswani

    June 21, 2008 03:06 pm

    If i need a quick shot, Av
    Otherwise, M

  • david

    June 21, 2008 02:47 pm

    Lately:
    RAW
    ISO 200 or 400 (trying to avoid anything higher to avoid the noise, alls I got is a D40). If I can't nail the pic at ISO400 or less with avail light, I usually pass it up (got no bounce flash, either)
    WB: Auto (unless terrible after reviewing the picture)
    Metering: Center weighted + Exposure lock for recomposition. Spot if necessary
    Focal length: always avoid 18mm when shooting faces. otherwise, no restrictions.
    Composition: rule of thirds usually
    Finally: if shooting my kids, shutter priority at 1/30 or 1/60.
    If shooting anything else, P mode
    For 'masterpiece' works :), M mode

  • Gavin

    June 21, 2008 02:42 pm

    D2x & D300

    D2x for work as a Private Investigator - Shutter Priority - for when it has to be shot....

    D300 for pleasure Manual all the way.....

  • Kim Siever

    June 21, 2008 02:27 pm

    Auto. Usually, I try to focus on the subject and don't worry about lighting. If I have time, I will turn to AV or M and experiment with lighting and exposure.

  • Irene

    June 21, 2008 02:07 pm

    Manual. It's easier to do it myself.

  • Paul

    June 21, 2008 01:48 pm

    Almost always aperture priority, though lately I've taken to using manual mode for flash shooting, for easier control of ambient light.

    I know the reasons why I might want to use shutter priority, but I seldom shoot subjects which call for it.

  • james

    June 21, 2008 01:36 pm

    AV mode, working towards manual

  • monet

    June 21, 2008 01:24 pm

    It is a rare day for me to ever go change from Aperture Priority. I just love a shallow depth of field too much.

  • Sean

    June 21, 2008 01:20 pm

    My D300 thankfully doesn't even include full Auto or the scene modes, but other than that I can't locking into one mode or the other any vast majority of the time. Each mode has its advantages and disadvantages and each has situations where it is most suitable mode. NONE of them is the best for all situations. I would have to say I use a healthy balance of all modes as the situation calls for it.

  • Theresa

    June 21, 2008 12:49 pm

    I shoot in full manual mode. The priority modes scare me a bit. I need to play around with them some more.

  • Luis Aguirre

    June 21, 2008 12:31 pm

    My first film two film 35mm, cameras were manual so that's what I'm most comfortable shooting with. The only time I venture into an Auto mode is if I have to shoot fast but even then I usually default back to manual after a few clicks.

  • Maria Sabala

    June 21, 2008 12:12 pm

    I'm a full-manual gal. I'm a control freak and I don't trust the camera to give me the exposure I'm going for. I like to do portaiture work and I work in lots of tricky lighting conditions sans flash. Manual is the only way to go for me. I sometimes play with Aperture-Priority, but not much.

  • George Fragos

    June 21, 2008 11:43 am

    Depends on subject, motion and desired depth of field but for dificult or dim lighting work I prefer Manual.

  • Josh Lloyd

    June 21, 2008 11:33 am

    Manual!! All the way. Unless I'm using flash, then automatic.

  • Kendp

    June 21, 2008 11:19 am

    Mostly P, Av or SCN when appropriate.

  • Mary

    June 21, 2008 11:06 am

    When I'm not shooting in Aperture Priority, I'm using manual.

  • Odyn

    June 21, 2008 10:40 am

    P because Pentax's hyper mode allows me to enter A with a turn of my front wheel and T with my back wheel and I only have to press +/- button to over/under expose. It just works.

  • Liz

    June 21, 2008 10:36 am

    Manual--there's no way around it, it's the best thing! Of course, I do go back to auto if there's a lot of outdoor family/children shooting.

  • mamba

    June 21, 2008 10:15 am

    Lately, I've been shooting in Manual the majority of the time. If not in Manual, it's Program w/ Spot metering, usually just to get the exposure reading and then use the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO readings in Manual. I adjust accordingly from there.

  • Paul

    June 21, 2008 09:39 am

    Aperature priority ... usually 8.0 as most of my photography is of aircraft and this setting works well

  • Joel

    June 21, 2008 09:12 am

    Av mode on my 20d (and probably 10d, 30d, and 40d) is kind of like semi-manual. I can set the aperture and let the camera do the rest, but then I can tweak it a bit with the dial on the back. So that's where I leave it.

    Though, I've been venturing off into Manual mode lately if I want something other than what Av is giving me.

  • yuyucheu

    June 21, 2008 08:55 am

    I mainly use Aperture Priority. hardly use other mode now.

  • Andrew M

    June 21, 2008 08:20 am

    Manual, very rarely in P or Av for really sudden, fleeting moments :)

  • Danielle

    June 21, 2008 08:18 am

    90% M - Like spot-on exposure
    10% Av - For fast changes like following a couple from dark rooms to bright outdoors

  • Jessica

    June 21, 2008 08:11 am

    I usually shoot in Aperture Priority with the runner up being Shutter Priority. Sometimes if I think the shot might disappear I'll take one in P and then try to get a better shot using a more manual mode.

  • Scott

    June 21, 2008 07:57 am

    Full manual about 80% of the time, and aperture priority almost the entire rest of the time. On occasion I use shutter priority.

    Tricky lighting calls for manual, since your camera generally isn't as good as you can be about exposure. But in constantly changing light -- for example, covering an event with multiple rooms where the lighting is dramatically different in each room -- I'll stick to Av, and make sure my ISO settings are high enough to allow me to hand-hold in the darker areas.

  • Bobo

    June 21, 2008 07:49 am

    P Mode is the first thing I reach for so I can shoot in raw and have access to more features on my rebel xti.

    Then I will go with Aperture Priority Mode.

    But every once in a while... if Aliens are visiting my backyard... or the price of oil drops below $4 a gallon i'll put it in full AUTO mode. (A friend of once mine asked me if auto mode was for shooting cars.... but that's another story)

  • Chris

    June 21, 2008 07:31 am

    Aperture priority with auto ISO for most occasions, but I turn ISO to manual for when I need more control of the speed as well as aperture. This seems to give me a higher percentage of shots that I feel good about, especially indoors with no flash.

  • brubio

    June 21, 2008 07:11 am

    I shoot primarily in the Aperture Priority mode. Manual mode would come second when it's really needed and when I can't get the results I want from the Av mode.

  • Tim Woodcock

    June 21, 2008 06:48 am

    I move between program, aperture priority.
    Program mode allows me to increase, decrease the aperture, but I only use this when I'm being lazy.

  • Mark

    June 21, 2008 06:44 am

    Aperture Priority.

  • Lou Ann

    June 21, 2008 06:33 am

    I always start in Av ... when shooting in "normal" conditions. Typically around f/8. But in low light situations or when I want different effects, I will change either the aperture or switch to Tv or manual....

  • approximate

    June 21, 2008 06:23 am

    Overwhelmingly Aperture Priority, since I primarily shoot outdoors. Shutter Priority, when the situation calls for it. Sometimes Manual, but only with a tripod for now. Rarely Programmable. Once Auto, never again.

  • apurohit

    June 21, 2008 06:14 am

    I for kids' birthdays etc. I still use auto (old habits die hard). However, for trips and other outdoor shoots, I use Aperture Priority or Program Mode.

  • his4ever

    June 21, 2008 06:03 am

    Manual mode. I use a bounce flash and I feel I have better lghting control if I have it in manual.

  • derfasaurus

    June 21, 2008 06:00 am

    Aperture most of the time; unless the exposures are off then its off to manual land. So much easier to adjust in manual than try to decide on how many stops to adjust, where to meter, etc. Full control is beautiful.

    ~derf

  • Peach

    June 21, 2008 05:59 am

    Aperture Priority 90% of the time. Shutter Priority 10%. I'm hoping to switch to Manual when I get better at this.

  • Jeff

    June 21, 2008 05:50 am

    I'm a manual guy. My first camera was a fully mechanical camera with a handheld light meter. I can't imagine trusting the camera to make exposure decisions for me. Learning exposure isn't as complicated as many think it is. And once you get good at it you can shoot just as fast as "auto" folks.

  • Fernando

    June 21, 2008 05:39 am

    I use Aperture Priority Mode most of the time, however I have found myself using Full Manual often recently. For some reason I tend never to use Shutter Priority. I like AP so I can control the Depth of Field

  • Aaronth

    June 21, 2008 04:58 am

    Manual almost all the time - it forces you to slow down, think about the shot and what you want to achieve and helps you learn more about light and the camera.

  • xlt

    June 21, 2008 04:55 am

    Aperture Priority Mode - for the same reason you mentioned. but i shoot in a Manual Mode a lot, too - when i need absolute control over my gear.

  • Bryan

    June 21, 2008 04:48 am

    Aperture for me - I can control the DOF while playing off of the resulting shutter speed. If the shutter speed is too slow, I can change the aperture, or quickly up the ISO.

    Also, some lenses have "sweet spots" at certain apertures (f8 - f11 usually), and I can have direct control over that as well.

  • daemonhome

    June 21, 2008 04:14 am

    Aperture: 85%
    Manual: 15%

  • Kelsey

    June 21, 2008 04:13 am

    I always use Manual mode. I told myself that if I used auto or present modes on my DSLR, I would never learn how to use it for what it's meant for. I go stupid when I try to use a camera other than a DSLR, now. =P

  • Tana

    June 21, 2008 03:41 am

    Shutter priority. I always shoot with a wide open aperture so I have a shallow depth of field, but if I put it on aperture priority, all I get are action-blurred pictures of my kids. So I set it on 1/80 shutter priority and then adjust the ISO to get the aperture that I want. Works like a charm!

  • Jeff

    June 21, 2008 03:32 am

    I usually shoot in Aperture priority mode. I rarely use the full auto mode on my dslr. I do use manual mode quite a bit as well. I have a 500mm f8 manual lens that has no auto capability so everything is manual for that lens.

  • danfoy

    June 21, 2008 03:19 am

    Aperture priority because by necessity a lot of my shots are done inside (for college etc) and I need fast speeds. However I exclusively use manual for anything with flash and have found myself using it more and more when I'm not using flash. It makes my image more consistent and forces you to consider all elements of exposure rather than guessing using the light meter and then locking the exposure for each shot.

  • Taylor Hain

    June 21, 2008 03:10 am

    I mostly shoot in manual, but I do sometimes switch to AV if I do not feeling like thinking too much. I've never had much use for the other modes.

  • John D

    June 21, 2008 03:09 am

    I shoot on manual 99% of the time. Right now I screw up more shots that I'd like to admit, but I think in the long run I will be a better photographer for it. I do use one of the preset modes when I am taking pictures for someone else and I only have one shot to get it right (at least until I build more confidence in my own judgment).

  • The Z

    June 21, 2008 03:05 am

    Another "it depends" answer:

    - With monolights: Manual
    - With natural light: Av (apperture priority)
    - With on camera flash: Set exposure for good background in any mode, lock it down, use TTL to ensure correct flash strength.
    - For motion shots, like rain, moving water: Tv (shutter speed priotity)

    Never, ever Auto. I didn't spend $1600 on a point and shoot body, dammit! :)

  • Christy

    June 21, 2008 03:04 am

    Most of the time Aperture. Since starting as a second shooter I have been starting to figure out manual mode, so far I really like it!

  • Pihe

    June 21, 2008 02:58 am

    I think it depends on what is to be photographed and with what. I use full manual 90 percent the time (for work) but if I'm just wandering and taking snapshots, I use aperture priority or hyper-program. Hyper-program on Pentax DSLRs is a mode that functions like an auto but you can override the aperture and the shutter speed with a single click, so it's great for tourist snapshots.

  • Debbie

    June 21, 2008 02:47 am

    Aperature Priority for me. I'm thrilled to be able to control so much. I've tried manual a couple of times, but am just not there yet. Maybe someday... But if not, that's okay!

  • Jorge

    June 21, 2008 02:41 am

    I use Manual and Aperture Priority.

    Manual when I have enough time to "think" the photo and AV when I need a "speed" photo or "creative" with less time.

  • T. Daniell

    June 21, 2008 02:32 am

    I started shooting with a Nikon EM (aperture priority 35mm) long ago. So when I bought a D50, I naturally gravitated toward aperture. But I've since forced myself to learn to shoot in Manual mode. I take a lot of low-light indoor photographs (dance) and find that aperture priority doesn't quite cut it. I've been meaning to try shutter priority in those situations, but haven't managed to get myself there yet. Auto mode when I'm in a hurry.

  • Peter

    June 21, 2008 02:29 am

    Usually A-Mode, because I want to be in total control over the DOF. If I disagree with the camera's metering, I first check if switching to Spot metering fixes the problem. If not, I use the exposure compensation rather than switching to S-Mode since that allows me to dial in the difference once and be done with it, whereas in manual mode I have to adjust the shutter speed whenever there is a slight change in lighting. With the exposure compensation, the camera automatically adjusts but at the same time remembers how my idea of the right exposure differs from its own. It just allows me to work faster and lose fewer shots because I forgot to adjust the shutter speed or something.

    Otherwise it's S-Mode when I want to capture fast movements or do long exposures, M for everything involving Flash (I don't use TTL, except for snapshots) since it allows me to balance the light of the flashes and the ambient, and P never except for handing a camera to somebody else.

  • Trude

    June 21, 2008 02:28 am

    I've an AP shooter too, most of the time. I take photos at night (after work) a lot, so aperture priority is where its at to get enough light! :)

  • D. T. North

    June 21, 2008 02:27 am

    I use Aperture Priority mode most of the time. But when I'm photographing my nieces/nephews/son and other children...I've learned (the hard way) that Shutter Priority is the way to go.

    I never use Program mode. I never use Auto or any of the pro-programmed (Landscape, portrait, etc) modes. I will use manual from time to time, but I find the exposure compensation much easier to use.

  • Dave S

    June 21, 2008 02:21 am

    Wander between Av and Tv depending on circumstance. Much of my shots are at indoor events, so I find myself working for the best possible shutter speed most of the time. Thank goodness for optical stabilization!

    Dave

  • --Deb

    June 21, 2008 02:16 am

    Mostly Aperture mode, lately (now that I finally have a DSLR and have the option). Like others, I'm loving playing with the depth-of-field. I'd love to use Manual more, but don't know enough yet--and rarely have my tripod out, either, so that limits the options since I seem to take most of my pictures indoors at about 9:00 pm (grin).

  • Nathan

    June 21, 2008 02:15 am

    I pretty much always shoot in Aperture priority mode. I like shallow dof so that allows me to keep the aperture down and know that my shutter speed should be pretty close to right all the time.

  • Aditya Rao

    June 21, 2008 02:15 am

    I hardly ever use Manual but AV is my personal fav!!
    Allows mobility + sharpness!!! I can always play around with the exposure since I click in RAW these days :)

  • ben

    June 21, 2008 02:13 am

    Since I'm a Canon shooter...

    Tv (50%) - I want the depth of field to be as large as possible while hand holding the camera.
    M (30%) - Eventually this will become my primary shooting mode.
    Av (20%).

  • Argos

    June 21, 2008 02:10 am

    For me the default setting is "P". The idea is that if I'm out & about, and I see something I want to shoot fast, this is the most reliable fall-back. If the situation is something less dynamic, I'll go to aperture priority, or manual (for tricky lighting situations).

  • Richard

    June 21, 2008 02:00 am

    Av and Tv while i'm still learning to get use to playing with manual..

  • tony

    June 21, 2008 01:57 am

    I'm in Av 90% of the time.

  • Jack Foster Mancilla

    June 21, 2008 01:51 am

    Manual 100% of the time I am working.

    On the way anywhere, while driving myself. The camera sits on these settings
    P/SP/AP - 60%/20%/20%
    Just in case something comes up very quickly.

    But when I pick up the, shooting the fast just-in-case setup and grab the first shot, or so, I switch to manual as soon as I can.

  • João Almeida

    June 21, 2008 01:49 am

    Aperture 70%, Manual 20%, Shutter 15%, Program 5%

    I think I've used the automatic modes, the ones with the pretty little icons, only once: when I was testing the user manual, as for the rest:

    Program mode: I use sometimes, but not often and usually when I'm too lazy.

    Manual mode: For some years, and until recently, I did forced myself to use it, so I could control and learn all aspects of composition, but nowadays I it's my last resort for difficult situations.

    Shutter mode: The kind of photography I normally doesn't require this, but sometimes it has to do

    Aperture mode: I guess I'm aperture oriented :D

  • Netwalker

    June 21, 2008 01:49 am

    I usually shoot in Manual, and sometimes in aperture priority.

  • Wolfgang

    June 21, 2008 01:48 am

    Av mode, definitely.

  • James

    June 21, 2008 01:40 am

    Typically AV, as I am usually photographing people up close.

  • Amy Lemaniak

    June 21, 2008 01:38 am

    I just started trying out Aperture Priority mode and I will NEVER go back to full auto ever again. I LOVE the results it gives me!

  • Andy

    June 21, 2008 01:33 am

    I tend to use aperture priority most of the time, but when I work with a flash or doing night photography, I'll use manual. I like using the priority modes, as it allows me to think about the subject, while still keeping whatever visual effect I'm looking for.

  • Kourtney

    June 21, 2008 01:32 am

    AV mode, mostly. If I'm not in aperture priority mode, then I would have to say the action preset, because I take a lot of photos at high school soccer games.

  • Steven

    June 21, 2008 01:31 am

    Aperture priority, no question about it.

  • Melissa

    June 21, 2008 01:30 am

    Manual, but quite often I forget to adjust for different lighting - so I should probably switch to Shutter or Aperture priority.

  • Sam

    June 21, 2008 01:27 am

    Pure manual, since I often shoot in difficult light, and/or using remote flashes.

  • phil

    June 21, 2008 01:24 am

    70% Program, 20% aperture, 6% shutter, 3% manual.

  • Allison L

    June 21, 2008 01:21 am

    Almost always aperture priority mode for me, just because out of all aspects of a photo, it's depth of field I like having the most control over.

  • J Hyslip

    June 21, 2008 01:21 am

    All manual all the time.

  • Bill

    June 21, 2008 01:19 am

    It depends on what I am shooting. Using a flash: M. Outdoors: AV. Sports: TV.

  • Robin Ryan

    June 21, 2008 01:18 am

    aperture-priority, unless the speed gets REALLY low

  • Andrew

    June 21, 2008 01:16 am

    I think I spend an equal amount of time in Av, Tv, and M. Usually aperture priority during the day, and shutter priority or manual at night when I'm more worried about getting the lighting just right and not depth of field.

  • Jennifer Zandstra

    June 21, 2008 01:16 am

    Manual all the way, baby!

  • Lokiii

    June 21, 2008 01:16 am

    P followed by Aperture Priority.

  • Espiox

    June 21, 2008 01:14 am

    I'm shooting with auto most of the time, since I'm still pretty new to this thing.

  • Jonathan

    June 21, 2008 01:14 am

    I tend to shoot manual so I have the most control and can save time during postprocessing. When I don't shoot in manual, I use aperture priority.

  • John F

    June 21, 2008 01:13 am

    I have a D80 and have been told by numerous people that shooting in Automatic is sacrilege.

    As an amateur, I have pushed myself to shoot in all modes, but I have yet to hit one that I really enjoy, my subjects are mostly my kids and people, so Automatic makes the most sense. As I learn more, I am experimenting with P and A.

    I'll throw this out to the group? Is shooting in Automatic really all that bad if you just want to get the picture and learn how the camera works?

  • Daniel

    June 21, 2008 01:10 am

    It all depends on the subject and lighting conditions for me, but usually manual, aperture priority, or shutter priority (in that general order).

  • Kendra

    June 21, 2008 01:10 am

    Manual, 98% of the time. Sometimes I forget those are there and quite useful for faster shots, so I'm trying to use them a bit more just for the reminder.

  • Lisa B

    June 21, 2008 01:09 am

    AV, It's generally always there!

  • Kosior

    June 21, 2008 01:09 am

    I usually shoot in Manul Mode. The only exception is when I shoot for HDR which need the same aperture (depth of field actually) for all pictures, so I change for aperture priority than.

  • Irene

    June 21, 2008 01:08 am

    Manual. I think once I understood it I never looked black. I shoot in auto at night - because I still haven't figured out how to focus at night with my camera - it's quite hard!

  • DelBoy

    June 21, 2008 01:08 am

    My camera is almost always in the aperture priority mode and if it changes, it will be to full manual or P mode.

    I'm not really into action photography and for portraits and landscapes, Aperture Priority does just the trick!

  • Chris Osborne

    June 21, 2008 01:03 am

    It's a toss up between Aperture and Shutter Priority for me. Sports stuff is always Shutter, and most other things are Aperture.

  • Susan

    June 21, 2008 01:03 am

    My default is 'P' -- for those just-gotta-swing-the-camera-up-and-catch-the-shot snapshots. However, once I'm shooting, I switch to Aperture Priority, then Manual. I do try to leave it in Program as the default.

  • Scott Fillmer

    June 21, 2008 01:02 am

    My "favorite" method would have to be manual mode. Nothing else gives you the thinking ability to create like M-mode. It also keeps your skills toned and keeps me from being lazy.

    The mode I use most is probably A-priority, sadly. :)

  • oliver

    June 21, 2008 12:59 am

    I use shutter priority most, followed by aperture and manual... shutter priority provided me with the best results in most light conditions, while in sun light 'manual' is the way to go for me.

  • David

    June 21, 2008 12:59 am

    I shoot more Aperature priority, I do know how to shoot manual but am lazy. I am shifting more towards the manual mode. Particularly because to do flash photography auto modes won't cut it.

  • Mike Cohen

    June 21, 2008 12:59 am

    I like Aperture Priority mode. I like to use a narrow depth of field when photographing flowers or nature, so I often set the largest aperture.

  • Blaze

    June 21, 2008 12:56 am

    Aperture Priority, followed by P

  • Allen

    June 21, 2008 12:52 am

    95% of the time I'm shooting in Aperture Priority mode. Outside of that I'm doing something artsy in which case I'll use full manual.

  • Ian McKenzie

    June 21, 2008 12:52 am

    Program mode primarily, though I use manual when shooting indoors with a flash.

  • Peter

    June 21, 2008 12:52 am

    I usually stay in full auto mode until a particular situation come along where I want to control the depth of field. Then it's over to Aperture priority.

  • mainfr4me

    June 21, 2008 12:50 am

    Manual mode on the D300. In the last 2 months I've learned to watch my meter much better and to read my histogram.

  • AC

    June 21, 2008 12:49 am

    Shutter priority followed by P mode.

  • Sean

    June 21, 2008 12:48 am

    My default shooting mode is P, but I'll often switch over to A for my model railroad shots to get the DOF just where I want it.

  • Shane

    June 21, 2008 12:48 am

    Aperture Priority 95%, Shutter Priority 4%, and full manual 1% when I just don't like what the other two are showing me.

  • Kristopher Allen

    June 21, 2008 12:48 am

    I usually start in Program and adjust for effect from there. I'm not much of a human exposure metre yet. My order would be something like:
    Program
    Aperature
    Shutter
    Manual
    Auto

  • greg.newman

    June 21, 2008 12:46 am

    Full on manual for me. I don't think I have used any other mode yet.

  • sherry

    June 21, 2008 12:45 am

    I spent the first week after buying my dSLR shooting in auto because I was overwhelmed. Then I needed to adjust a few things and tried manual. I haven't looked back. I have very rarely switched to anything else. I have used aperture priority a few times and once or twice I've used a preset mode just to see what the camera thinks it should do for comparison's sake, but it's almost always manual.

  • Niallo

    June 21, 2008 12:43 am

    whats a camera? lol i prefer single shot modes myself, one bullet at a time.

  • Larry Eiss

    June 21, 2008 12:39 am

    Lately I have been shooting mostly manual for portraiture and studio work. I need the control it gives me. I like aperture priority for a lot of general work. If I am going to shoot in an automatic mode, it's always programmed auto (P).

  • Ed Maurer

    June 21, 2008 12:37 am

    M - Most of the time because I'm trying to learn
    A - Sometimes
    S - Sometimes
    A - Only when I have absolutely no time to check settings and need to take a snapshot (never anything creative.)

  • Sule Bryan

    June 21, 2008 12:37 am

    Aperture Priority 80% (absolutely love shallow depth of field) and Auto 10% (just for quick family snaps). The remaining 10% split between Shutter Priority and Manual.

  • Philip

    June 21, 2008 12:36 am

    manual, or aperture priority

  • John Jimenez

    June 21, 2008 12:33 am

    I am hardly out of 'P' myself, with the rare App or Shutter control for when I am playing around.

    I only go to full manual when I have a tripod and I am controlling the environment.

  • NB

    June 21, 2008 12:33 am

    Maunal for me.

  • Iceman

    June 21, 2008 12:32 am

    I usually use the "P" mode, except when I have a bit more time to set-up the shot, or I want a specific aperture or shutter speed.

  • Nathan

    June 21, 2008 12:31 am

    I shoot in Manual mode probably about 85% of the time. It took a little to get used to when I was first starting out, but, like Michael said, it provides the most control over how your shot comes out.

    If I'm not in Manual mode, then I'm in Shutter Priority. I sometimes have a "from the hip" style, and I've found that Tv works best with this, as I can specify the speed and not worry about much else but focus.

  • Pierre

    June 21, 2008 12:30 am

    The Camera is currently on manual mode, but I use aperture priority much more often

  • Syafiq

    June 21, 2008 12:28 am

    I think most dSLR users would fancy using aperture priority for general shots, as do I.

    But I am venturing into wedding photography, and I choose to shoot making use of only available light and no flashes at all. That's when I'll go into fully manual mode, including manual focusing. It just gives me results that I want and need, other than allowing me to just shoot on without worrying about the outcome of the consecutive photos, once I've made sure the first shot is perfect.

  • Blake

    June 21, 2008 12:26 am

    I have always used manual mode. This way a reflection or a bright light doesn't change my settings. I do allot of railroad photography and the headlights tend to cause underexposure in any of the automatic modes.

  • Michael

    June 21, 2008 12:25 am

    Most of the time my cameras are in manual mode. It provides the best control over exposure. However there are certain subjects I have found are best captured in Aperture Priority mode These are sports, entertainment, and wildlife. And subject where the light changes a lot lends itself to Aperture priority mode.

  • Yuri

    June 21, 2008 12:24 am

    Usually Aperture mode in static situations and Shutter mode when shooting aircraft with turning props to avoid 'freezing' them in the air :)

  • Caryn

    June 21, 2008 12:21 am

    The macro setting is by far my favorite. I love what details show up when you look closely at flowers, animals, and everyday objects.

  • Grant

    June 21, 2008 12:20 am

    Generally aperture priority. The exception is when I'm using my old aperture-ring lenses or old manual flash unit, where I venture into manual mode (and end up taking pictures twice).

    Even though I'm not terribly good at manual mode (yet) it is nice to be able to use 25+ year old glass with a new dslr. It has definitely saved my wallet a little.

  • Bob

    June 21, 2008 12:19 am

    D200 and D100 cameras.

    I usually alternate between Manual and Aperture priority as the situation warrants. I do a lot of off camera flash work and love the flexibility of Manual mode for those shoots.

    I occasionally use Shutter priority if motion is what I am trying to control.

  • Tim

    June 21, 2008 12:19 am

    I rarely leave 'P' in most day to day shoots, but I do move aperture priority and shutter priority when I need to fix those. Fireworks are almost impossible to shoot out of full manual mode.

    I don't think I've ever tried the full auto modes on my camera.

  • Éric Senterre

    June 21, 2008 12:17 am

    I personally use mostly Aperture Priority mode.

    Don't we already had this poll before ? Anyway it's always interesting to know the current trend. :)

  • Shawn Grimes

    June 21, 2008 12:16 am

    These days I shoot mostly in full Manual mode because I like the full creative control and I usually make my shots a 1/2 stop under exposed to get the detail out of bright areas. If I think my exposures will change and I need to shoot fast, I have no problem putting it in Aperture Priority mode and letting the camera work out the exposure.

  • Frederic M

    June 21, 2008 12:16 am

    Manual !

    I'm shooting a lot of HDR so there is no other mode for me.

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