What Shooting Mode do you Shoot in Most?

What Shooting Mode do you Shoot in Most?


Digital-Camera-ModesReader Question Time….

What mode do you shoot in most?

Grab your digital camera and check something for me. Look at the dial/switch/menu that shows you which shooting mode you’re currently in and let us know what it is.

I’m fascinated by watching how others use their cameras and am particularly interested to see what modes they use by default.

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’s no right or wrong answer – but I’d love to hear what your camera is set to right now and whether that’s a ‘normal’ mode for you? Answer in comments below.

Let me share my own preference:

What mode do I shoot in?

I’m an ‘Aperture Priority Mode’ kind of guy.

I personally like it because I find it gives me the type of creative control that I want on how my images look – specifically over depth of field.

The only time that I really switch over to another mode is when I’m shooting moving objects and need a faster (or slower) shutter speed (to capture some motion blur or freeze the motion completely).

Not familiar with Shooting Modes? Check out these posts:

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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+.

Some Older Comments

  • casey p. August 7, 2013 12:11 pm

    I shoot horse racing as a hobby and find I usually shoot in manual mode. I would love to see articles on how I can improve my photography.

  • John C Stires April 16, 2013 02:55 pm

    Av, Av, Av, Av, Av, Tv, Av, Av, Tv.... seems to be a pattern emerging :-)
    Thanks, Darren

  • bob c. April 9, 2013 01:20 am

    I shoot sports for local paper mostly, set TV at 250-350 with ISO at 2000and let camera set A...when shooting landscapes other way around... set A at 16, Iso usually at 200 and let TV take care of itself. In a pinch...use P, with AUTO ISO...just to get the shot..

  • Karl March 3, 2013 10:18 am

    98% of the time i'm in manual mode.

  • Wesley Frazier January 12, 2013 07:50 am

    Auto most of the time, most of my photos have been at family reunions sence I purchased this camera

  • David J December 5, 2012 09:42 pm

    I'm a Ludite, 90% manual, 10% AP. I love the control that manual gives me and use a Minolta Auto meter III F which I have calibrated to my Nikon D7000.

  • MISSBLACKROSE May 1, 2012 12:42 am


  • reggie January 28, 2012 10:37 am

    i shoot in full manual mode i bought this camera D3100 Nikon about a week ago. My wife and kidsalready hate me, they say its like living with pavaratizzi

  • Alex Maximov December 21, 2011 07:29 pm

    Manual exclusively. I like to have full control over my camera.

  • Tiberman Sajiwan Ramyead October 6, 2011 05:35 am

    I commented a few weeks back; as an 18 months on beginner (upgraded to Nikon D7000, humbly assiduous with my photography), this is my situation presently, particularly when shooting on tripod, and with time on my side: I use both aperture and manual, and rarely switch over to the other modes. I use more of the manual just past twilight.
    I NEED SOME HELP: On manual, over/under exposure seems to work better with the exposure compensation, rather than over/under exposing by altering shutter speed, keeping aperture fixed; especially for night shots. Why?

  • Brian October 3, 2011 10:55 pm

    AP 4 me

  • Dr.Albert May 2, 2011 11:21 am

    I always shoot in A mode because I like the depth of field that it gives me and the ability to control my apature

  • joe roscillo April 29, 2011 08:12 am

    Love shooting out in the woods. So I set to: sports/action mode @ 5.3 frames per second, I get some great action shops.

  • Yann April 15, 2011 07:44 am

    99 % of the time, Aperture mode. For the same reason as Klick : fastest set up ...And, as a bridge camera user, if I want to get few blur or reduce as much as possible the depth of field, I have often to maximum open the diaphragm because of the very little sensor of my FZ7 ...........

  • Tiberman Sajiwan Ramyead March 25, 2011 06:19 am

    As a D-SLR beginner (one year anniversary this month!) I shoot mostly on tripod - landscapes, monuments, bridges, village life, cemeteries; from mountain summits I always manage an anchoring point if there is no space for a tripod - I have given up the following modes: Auto, P, S, Scenes. I start with Aperture Priority. When I think I have obtained the composition I want, I do some exposure bracketing.

    I then switch to Manual keeping the exact same composition. It is NOW that the creative bit starts. Over and under-exposing in manual is not the same as in A-mode. I agree with the pros here. I fiddle with everything my Nikon D7000 offers; even if I think I am wasting my time; like metering on a bright spot and then on a shadow in the scene; altering white balance; changing metering and focus modes. Back home it's amazing the fantastic nuances you come across on the screen. For my last shots (of the same scene) I always check the virtual horizon. I also allow myself to get carried away with the filters. Better that than no filter when there should have been one.

    I am working on a checklist of the combinations. NOT EASY, but it feels good to ' know what I am doing '.

    To my beginner comrades, I have the following humble advice to offer:

    1. NEVER change lenses outdoors. Do it in the car with the windows raised, if you must really change.
    2. Smoke at least 2 metres downwind from the camera. Downwind means downwind!
    3. Draw up a checklist of setting combinations (at home); a tedious job but it FORCES you to learn
    4. There a 3 types of images: (i) on the LCD screen, where they always look great (ii) on your PC screen back home (iii) In print; that's the acid test for sufficient or insufficient light. And Photoshop cannot perform miracles.
    All three are DIFFERENT!
    5. DRAW CONCLUSIONS after each downloading session, and write them down, no matter how schoolish it feels. There is no other way to learn.

    Regards from Mauritius & thank you Darren for the invaluable guidance and inspiration.

  • Michael Stagg | Maikeru Foto March 24, 2011 05:22 pm

    I mainly shoot in Av mode but have began to experiment with Tv and full manual modes.

  • KliK March 14, 2011 12:33 am

    Aperture Priority 85% of the time. Find it the speediest mode to use.

  • E Collings March 13, 2011 03:04 pm

    At the moment manual, though just because I am trying to learn more about how to get the right exposure for the right type of shot - so If I am after a good quick shot and don't have a lot of time its full auto - though I am going to have a play with Aperture priority now after seeing howmany people swear by it!

  • Vicki Maheu March 4, 2011 06:44 am

    I was stuck in auto most of the time at first, but I've been wanting to learn more creative control, and so have forced myself to shoot almost exclusively in manual for the past few weeks. I've learned a lot, and am getting a lot more comfortable.

    Invaluable to this was learning about my camera's light meter, which I've found usually overexposes a shot, so I just compensate for this by adjusting settings until my meter "says" I'm one stop underexposed, that's when the exposure is usually actually the best.

    I can't stress enough how helpful it has been to get a guide specifically written for my camera, http://www.amazon.com/David-Buschs-Canon-Digital-Photography/dp/159863903X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299181364&sr=1-1

    AND to get the book "Understanding Exposure" http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Photographs-Camera/dp/0817439390/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299181409&sr=1-1

    I have learned so much from these books in just the few days I've had them, I highly recommend that new SLR users get a camera specific guide, and the Understanding exposure book.

  • Soup March 2, 2011 12:56 pm

    Manual most of the time.

  • may February 21, 2011 12:58 am

    as a beginner, i love using portrait

  • saleem shahid February 13, 2011 03:03 am

    I use manual 90% of the time

  • elsje boer February 11, 2011 04:34 am

    I use the no flash on my rebel xt the most. It is an automatically focussing setting. Now that I have read your post on manual focusing for low light conditions, I am curious about which manual setting I would use. I have read some of the book that came with my camera, but it is a bit overwhelming for some reason. Can you recommend some posts here that might help me with this? I use my camera mostly for photos for my kid's clothing that I post on my Etsy shop and my blog. Thanks! Love your posts!

  • Naveed January 27, 2011 04:27 am

    90% manual, oths 10%

  • Zvi Harduf, Israel January 22, 2011 02:49 am

    It's P+"spot" focusing+ iso 800 combination.
    Allows me control of sharp-focused points on subject, low light and moving objects.
    If there's time to think- I for sure exploit and modify.

  • spotty December 30, 2010 10:17 pm

    Hi Darren,
    Did anyone mention P mode?
    It is an excellent way to start weaning off Auto - allows control of flash and ISO for starters.
    I leave my camera on P even though I prefer AE most of the time.
    For those people who do not have AE, Shutter Priority or Manual this is the only alternative to using the Pre-sets.
    Love receiving your newsletter every week :)
    Thank You

  • Terry Brown December 30, 2010 04:12 am

    Program AE most of the time, aperture priority sometimes and macro pretty often. I mainly shoot wildlife or insects and you never know when a shot might come up or how long it will be there and most of the time I don't have time to be fooling around with camera settings. I do use burst and alservo sometimes for moving subjects.

  • beans November 3, 2010 05:08 pm

    AP most of the time. I use Manual if I have a flash attached.

  • Mike Kelley October 27, 2010 07:34 am

    You want the truth? IT depends on what I'm doing. If I have to move fast, I either park it in program or aperture priority. If I have more time to play with, I'll shoot one in program, then tweak it full manual. That seems to work the best for me. I tend to avoid the 'scene' modes mostly because I just like to have more control over my images.

  • rmnjr September 27, 2010 04:36 pm

    S - 60%
    M - 30%
    A - 10%

  • Marty September 25, 2010 11:18 pm

    Aperature Priority most of the time, otherwise P mode. I shoot mainly action sports so I want the fastest shutter as well as a blurred background

  • Khurram September 24, 2010 03:27 pm

    50% on aperture priority (outdoors only) rest on Manual Mode (Indoor/outdoor) since most of the picture i take is of my 2 years old daughter indoor with flash, so i need to make sure that the shutter speed remains constant.

  • Wayne Bretl September 24, 2010 07:15 am

    Most often P, with metering set to center weighted, and focus points set to center only, then adjust exposure compensation if I don't like what the auto did. Occasionally shutter priority, for example twilight/night shots of Buckingham Fountain light/water show in Chicago, or documenting the picture on an antique TV set. Haven't used aperture priority, but I really should when doing macros of flowers.

  • Laura September 21, 2010 12:33 am

    Manual all the way. I learned how to shoot in manual on my point and shoot and have never turned the dial off manual in my DSLR!

  • Rick July 24, 2010 07:09 pm

    I switch between auto for people, and manual for evrything else. I found my camera liked to decide to not take a shot, I assume because the lighting wasn't right, or it was slightly out of focus, and I was missing a lot of great shots fighting with the camera. When I depress the shutter release, I want my camera to stop thinking and take the picture! I don't care if it's not going to turn out, that's why I got a digital, and am going to take about 10 pictures! I haven't taken too much time to look into the other modes, but this forum has made me pull out the manual again.

  • Mark July 3, 2010 04:20 am

    I'm just a beginner but I always put my mode On Full Manual by doing so it will allow me to learn in and out of the settings.

  • d90 usa June 26, 2010 06:21 pm

    i have just purchased a nikon d90 and the modes i mainly use it on are sports and full manual. if i were to check it now it would probably be on sports just for safety in case i see something really cool and want to capture it with a quick shutter speed. but for more creative shots i use manual. for example water drop photos.

  • enjaphotographer June 24, 2010 04:41 pm

    Always manual, except on very rare occasions.

  • Brian Jones June 20, 2010 07:31 am

    AP mode.
    although i will be going to shoot some waterfalls soon so will be manual for that.

  • Graeme June 16, 2010 05:48 pm

    Well I have a 50D and I started out using only manual, but I going to to play with the other settings as I still find it all a bit to hard.

  • Kirk Bruner June 15, 2010 02:00 pm

    I just bought a Panasonic Lumix FH20, which has no AP or SP or manual. I got it to be a real point -and-shoot. It has "Intellegent Auto", which chooses even the mode to be used. It's actually quite good and you can see the icons in the display switching back and forth. However, I still shoot a lot of film, manual and auto-focus Minoltas, and most of the time I'm in Aperture Priority mode. I'll go to manual to tweak certain shots, and if I'm in a real hurry, I occasionally will use Program. Shift is nice also, for nudging something one way or another.

  • Fauzi May 25, 2010 06:40 pm

    I use Manual and Aperature Priority

  • Liam May 25, 2010 03:09 pm

    AP first, yea

  • Talia May 18, 2010 01:59 am

    I usually shoot in Manual...I like to have control over EVERYTHING!

  • Angela Harkavy May 1, 2010 07:32 am

    I use Aperture priority mode most.

  • Yogesh Khandale April 29, 2010 03:59 pm

    I use Manual Mode 90% of the time and Programmable auto mode when I don't have enough time to do the settings !

  • Queensfrog April 26, 2010 02:13 am

    I always use P mode b/c my friend said it's the most common mode :P

  • M-J April 24, 2010 04:07 am

    aperature - 90% of the time - pretty much for the reasons Darren stated - creative, light and dof control.

  • Amy B. April 23, 2010 09:16 pm

    I shoot on manual most of the time, occasionally flipping back to shutter mode.

  • Rick April 23, 2010 06:56 am

    Almost always shoot in "P" mode.

  • Terry April 23, 2010 05:33 am

    Usually program.

  • Jeremy Kemp Photography April 23, 2010 04:01 am

    80%= Manual mode
    10%=Shutter Priority
    7%= Aperture Priority
    3%= Programmed Auto

    I don't bother with any of the others, I even put it in P mode for Hand-the-camera-to-a-stranger-to-take-your-picture type of shots.

  • gotglade March 18, 2010 05:10 am

    Manual 90% of the time and apurature priority the other 10% (usually when I'm looking at moving subjects). I'm often shooting at night and so need full control to get just the exposure and amount of drama I'm looking for in a shot.

  • Scottyea February 26, 2010 07:15 am

    I use mainly manual lenses so AV is the one for me!

  • albert February 25, 2010 12:30 am

    i'm by default on Aperture Priority. - reason why i do Aperture is to make the most of the light available. it also makes me take advantage of the faster shutter speed unless i want full control of the situation then i go full manual. good question!

  • JACOB FRAZIER February 21, 2010 06:03 pm

    I'm into all manual I think I'm still use to my old film gear Thank You

  • Chris Johnson February 17, 2010 09:08 am

    I've been using manual for about 95% of my shots on my XSi. However I don't really know what I'm doing. Well...I kind of do. My shots have been ok, but it's too much info at once to process.

    I think most people here use Av mode, so I'll re-start and take it one step at a time. I'm not looking to be a follower, I was just looking for consensus. :)

  • David C Smith February 13, 2010 02:16 am

    Colin, based on your comment, "why not use the technology," you may have wasted your money for sure on the class and need to do a good bit more reading here.

  • David C Smith February 13, 2010 02:09 am

    I usually chose manual. However, I like AP when I don't want to think about it too much. When using my speedlite, I go to manual always and ettl on the flash to make sure I can obtain a minimum shutter speed.

  • keith January 25, 2010 02:19 pm

    Have just learned ( still learning) but now use Av 90 % of the time

  • techpriester January 17, 2010 11:24 am

    Aperture Priority most of the time. In very dark conditions I sometimes switch to shutter priority to void accidental camera shake with too slow shutter speeds.

    For some special shots I use Manual: Panoramas, HDR, long time exposure or when the metering simply get's it wrong ...

  • Irina Kobets January 8, 2010 07:03 am

    I have a Nikon 90. I use manual - 80% and aperture priority - 20%.

  • Jenna Marie December 1, 2009 03:42 am

    Personally I shot it Shutter Priority 90% of the time. I'm always shooting moving subjects and its the easiest to switch from stop motion to blurred shots while on the same subject.
    I'm still learning how to read apertures by switching into AP or full manual the other 10% of the time

  • Charles November 25, 2009 10:16 pm

    Fully manual... I just find auto metering to be too imprecise... and useless in the studio!

  • Ben Mar November 13, 2009 05:39 am

    Manual Mode. Since I could control both the aperture and the shutter speed to have a better control for the lighting situation. Many times the Shutter mode or the Aperture mode alone could not give me enough lighting as I want it to.

  • Colin October 23, 2009 05:45 am


  • MS September 22, 2009 01:12 pm

    When I first got my DSLR, about nine months ago, I started with AUTO. I quickly found that I hated what the camera decides to use as settings. I quickly switched over to Program Auto Exposure. I enjoyed that mode until I took an introductory photography course on SLRs. For the past eight months I have used Manual Exposure 99% of the time. It has meant that I missed out on a few shots since I had the wrong setting or I took to long configuring the camera. But I see it as not having missed a shot. Just delayed it. One day I will be back to take that picture. Cheers!

  • Adam Backer September 14, 2009 07:22 am

    80 % - Apperture Priority
    15 % -Manual Priority
    5 % - Shutter Priority
    0% - Program Priority (Never found this mode so appealing)

  • Mandi July 26, 2009 01:55 am

    I use manual for the most part, but sometimes aperture priority

  • Katie July 11, 2009 01:06 am

    Depends on what I'm shooting. I prefer Manual, and use it the vast majority of the time, but when I'm trying to capture a toddler moving from one activity to the next faster than I can adjust my settings, I pop into Aperture priority.

  • Jo July 3, 2009 11:05 am

    I usually used aperture mode. i just started to learn my camera and it's features and I really like to capture flowers and animals with blurry backgrounds. But i also want to used shutter priority modes in the future.

  • Algernon June 28, 2009 07:16 am

    I'm an amatuer but I have found something that helped me out. It may help you also. I read Bryan Peterson's 'Understanding Exposure', and it was probably the best thing I could do as far as learning how to actually use my camera the way it was meant to be used. I highly recommend this book!

  • Rachel June 28, 2009 04:43 am

    First it was always aperture, because I thought it would be really important to well composed photography, all the cool "professional" touches, etc. etc. Then, I spent too much time at school and sports events, and got irritated with the blurring, so I switched to shutter speed (which probably wasn't the way to fix it, now that I think about it)
    Now, i'm trying to understand my camera and make use of the little adjustments I'm allowed, so I'm trying manual. (dying at it-- not productive!)

  • fiona June 17, 2009 12:58 am

    manual mostly. sometimes auto/portrait.

  • jerry martin June 7, 2009 08:20 am

    I like to use apature priority for most of my photos, although I will use auto for some

  • Algernon May 25, 2009 02:05 am

    Thanks for the advice Justin. I actually messed around a little with aperture priority last night. I like how my pictures come out. It's easier than having to worry about and test for light. I will continue to practice with the priority settings and concentrate on composing. Thanks!

  • justin May 24, 2009 08:24 pm


    All the diehard purists and college lecturers tell you to strart with manual. But you will waste a lot of great shots. I'm not saying it's not important to learn how the camera works. But save that for test shooting on Sundays when you've got nothing important to shoot so you don't risk losing a great picture while you're fumbling with dials and measuring the light.

    It is better to concentrate on composing good pictures. Using full auto is OK for a while until the camera starts to feel natural in your hand. But try to practice with aperture priority. That will allow you to practice with 'depth of field', which means: do you want all your picture in focus back to the horizon (good for landscapes) or only your subject in focus with background blurred (good for portraits)?

    High 'f' numbers (f11, f16, etc) give you deep focus and low 'f' numbers (f2.8, f4, etc) give you shallow focus. Practise that for a few weeks and it will start to make sense. If you are taking action shots (eg the enemy running away LOL) you need to switch to shutter priority so you get the highest shutter speed possible to freeze motion, or low shutter speed to get motion blur against focussed background. Try that also for a few weeks.

    That should take you through the summer. You can start to think about low light and winter shooting in the fall.

  • Algernon May 24, 2009 10:20 am

    I am very new to photography. I am in the navy and currently at sea. My wife bought me a Nikon D60 and shipped it to me. I really dove into this new hobby and trying to learn all that I can. I currently shoot in full manual mode. I was just looking at some of my photos yesterday and I'm learning that I'm not as good as I thought I was. I like shooting manual but I'm thinking maybe I should go auto until I learn a bit more. Any advice? I'm really into this new hobby and very willing to learn...

  • Juan May 20, 2009 11:09 am

    i use Av when the light is good enough, then move to Tv when i wanna freeze moments...if it doesn't work, Manual is the last resort with real time controlling the aperture n speed....for me, Manual is the best when shoot indoor with minimum light.....

  • Lyndon May 18, 2009 10:57 pm

    I am a "manual" guy... like a lot of people here, it takes me more time to get what I want but I like having complete control. Problem is that I tend to use this mode even when I go on photo-ops (Red Bull Air Race for eg) and I over/under expose shots, especially when zooming in or out. I really should try using shutter & aperture priority from time to time...

    The only time I consciously remember to change the setting is to infinity mode when I am capturing sceneries or landscapes.

  • valerie May 18, 2009 01:59 am

    Always manual. It gives me the control of how pictures turn out. :)

  • Anthony Harris May 11, 2009 08:03 am

    Aperture Priority 90% of the time, Shutter priority the other 10%

  • Justin April 20, 2009 02:06 am

    I use aperture priority mostly (95% +/-) on my Nikon D700 and F100 (for colour), and Canon T90 (for black and white) for maximum creative control ie depth of field (which I prefer to call depth of focus).

    I'll switch to shutter priority (4% +/-) in hand-held, low-light work (usually with a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens) without flash to maintain a 1/60 shutter speed to avoid camera shake. I also use it for daylight photos from a moving car or other motion shots with a telephoto zoom lens, eg motor racing where a high shutter speed is needed to freeze action.

    I never use program mode as it is too hit and miss - if it works, fine, but you seldom get excellent keepers with program mode. The T90 has programs that are biased towards shutter speed or aperture, but this is more a case of better than nothing. You're still being controlled by the camera, not the other way round.

    I use manual occasionally (1% +/-) for difficult lighting conditions eg shooting the moon - where you need to set a fixed low ISO speed and stop down about 3 or 4 stops to avoid getting a fuzzy white ball with no definition - and low-light, hand-held digital photography, to avoid camera shake, where I have time to set up the camera and can keep to one setting for a few shots. However, I don't like manual without fixed lighting, as in the studio, as it's too fiddly - too many pictures lost or screwed up by wasting time playing with controls every time a cloud rolls over, which is why I sold my Hasselblad 500cm.

    I tend to go for manual for dificult conditions as I grew up with it since childhood and understand it, but changing the EV with the exposure compensation button - and staying on AP(AV) or SP(TV) is also effective for difficult lighting conditions. So, outside the studio, where you can meter and set up just once - I can see little reason for a modern photographer to use manual very often, if at all.

    I hope that helps people who aren't sure what choose.

  • Deviate April 14, 2009 09:23 am

    Manual.. for about 90% of the time..

    Sometimes when there no time to adjust: A or S ..
    and when there's really no time Sports-mode

  • Anna April 11, 2009 03:51 am

    I don't touch aperture priority, shutter priority or any mode other than manual, for that matter.

    The reason being that I'm pretty much a beginner (been seriously shooting for only 7 months), and I want to LEARN what I'm doing as oposed to letting the camera TELL me what to do.

    Honestly, I've had a few nice shots so far :-)

  • peter k April 7, 2009 03:24 am

    Most of the time in aperture priority; manual mode for night shots

  • photo568 March 12, 2009 06:29 am


    I have a point and shoot camera, it doesn't have apperture or shutter priority modes. It doesn't have manual mode either. I usually use Program Auto mode which is not full auto as i can change ISO, white balance etc. The only two things that I can't control is Apperture and Shutter Speed.

  • Fotofantom March 7, 2009 07:58 pm

    I'm a chameleon kind of guy. If I need depth of field I use aperture priority, if I need blur or frozen I use shutter priority. Change with the wind, go with the flo.

  • KATIE February 27, 2009 12:46 pm

    98% Manual.
    Except if I'm playing around, but when I do that I don't get the results I expected except in Manual.
    Particulary when it come to White Balance. When I have taken a white balance check in Manual, it does not take when I switch to a different program.I use the xpo disc.

  • Dat Nguyen February 27, 2009 12:06 pm

    I very often shoot in full Manual mode because I want to master this mode. Something in the low light with subject and distance are not always the same, I then use Shutter Priority set to 1/60th because I know my camera will set to 2.8; this seting will asure me from having blur picture. (Assume ISO is set to 800 and not changing)

    best regards;

  • Kaylee February 27, 2009 12:03 pm

    right now i'm in manual but most of the time i shoot in shutter priority because i do a lot of sports.

  • Jimby K January 29, 2009 10:10 am

    I shoot in Aperture Priority and Shutter speed most of the time but I'd like to graduate onto manual control soon; I just need to take the plunge!

  • Eric Lent January 23, 2009 05:17 am

    shutter priority -- I keep it as high as light will allow and ISO 200 will handle if I can. I do street shots and like to crop to features and relativity to situation (if I'm lucky). So, the 125/160 range helps a lot with keeping the picture smooth. Mostly, there is no time for a set shot.

  • Dave January 22, 2009 07:23 am

    I personally shoot everything in manual... unless I must use AP or SP. I tend to stay away from auto modes, use the camera's internal meter, histogram, and LCD to see technical specs, but to truly get those creative shots, you need control of it all (shutter, aperture and ISO).

    A great book I learned from to really understand exposure and manual settings:
    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

  • Kemble Pierre January 21, 2009 03:36 am

    Nikon D60, I shoot Program Mode most of the time, I can take a shot in Program then take the same shot in Manual, look at the aperture and shutter speed and both or the same, the camera does a great job of picking the exposure I would have picked anyway, also I can change my shutter speed and F-stop in Program mode just like Manual mode without over/under exposing the picture. I also have my auto ISO set at Max ISO 800, Min shutter 1/60. Also the exposure compensation button lets me adjust if im not happy with the pic.
    Program= 60 %
    Manual= 20 %
    Shutter= 15 %
    Aperture= 5 %

  • Althia Natram January 19, 2009 07:03 am

    I have a Nikon D80. I shoot full manual and i like to shoot at night without using the flash.

  • Jan Huth January 10, 2009 10:57 am

    Since I have had a camera, age 5, (I am 43 now) I've always shot in full manual mode and rarely use flash. Friends all think I'm crazy, then they see my work :)

    Through the years my cameras have been
    a very old Leica M
    SLR Pentax MEi super
    SLR Canon EOS Elan 7E
    DSLR Canon 40D

  • William Rodriguez January 1, 2009 12:18 am

    Each photographer will use what is convenient and works best for him or her.
    I use manual for full control and aperture priority when I select an auto mode. In aperture priority I still can control my exposures adding exposure compensation while selecting the aperture I want for my subject.
    Even if I use my point and shoot I go with aperture priority.

  • Julie December 31, 2008 12:53 pm

    I am all over the place but rarely Auto. I will use Priority if I need the shot NOW. Otherwise I try to always shoot in Manual. But I think I am going to try using Aperture priority a little more.

  • Rob November 22, 2008 09:42 pm

    Aperture priority when I'm at a location, but I like to switch to shutter priority when I'm just driving around with my camera.

  • Mary Anne October 9, 2008 11:34 am

    Mostly full Manual or Aperture Priority. :)

  • Farhan September 2, 2008 03:18 am

    I have Rebell XSi, and when I am shooting out side in day light I alwasys shoot in Aperture priority. And when I am shooting indoor in low light I always use Manual mode so, I can have better control on low light. And I think Manual is the best mode to shoot indoor in low light even with slow lens like f/4-5.6. I think a lot of people find it hard shooting in low light with slow lens. I would recommend them try Manual mode and see the difference.

  • Jaap August 4, 2008 06:43 pm

    Program Mode.
    Fixed ISO value.

    Sony A100.

    Zwolle, Netherlands

  • william rodriguez June 25, 2008 11:53 pm

    I have been into photography for more than 45 years. I learned when manual was the only option and hand held exposure meters were the only option. Manual has been with me for as long as I can remember.
    Modern cameras are very convenient and have sophisticated exposure metering. Digital allows the photographer to see on the spot what he or she has done and modify settings accordingly. The auto modes have become very accurate with modern meters.
    I still use what I have used for so long, manual but a large proportion of my shooting is now done with aperture priority because it is very convenient and allows adjustments by the operator when when needed
    I see no problems using program. If you do not like what the histogram looks like, simply use exposure compensation.
    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.

  • Miriam June 22, 2008 04:29 am

    I normally use Program mode. It allows me to at least control flash intensity, color mode, ISO and a couple of other things. I'm slowly moving into manual mode and enjoying it.

  • Serge June 22, 2008 04:01 am

    Aperture priority most of the time as I shoot natural light portraits and flowers. Switch to Speed priority for action shots, and totally Manual in studio!

  • Radu June 21, 2008 11:39 pm

    Manual! No exception!

  • Mikael June 21, 2008 03:43 pm

    ... and the other 5% I probably just don't know.

  • Mikael June 21, 2008 03:41 pm

    Apperture and Manual 80% of my shots. Shutterspeed when playing with motion in about 10% of the shots. Remaining 5% in P mode when I can't, or don't have the time, to figure out why the photos come out totally over- or underexposed.

  • bill June 21, 2008 03:43 am

    auto and sport been shoot with 300mm lens

  • Bethy June 10, 2008 01:44 pm

    I'm a "new" photographer if thats what you'd like to call me. I just graduated from my first year in art school..and this coming September is my FIRST year of photo. I use 95% of the time Manual Mode, simply because I'm still getting to know my camera and what all the buttons and gadgets do. However I'm LOVING IT! Anyways who can help me..ALL is WELCOME!!

  • mahree April 22, 2008 07:54 am

    I just got my first DSLR so I've been practicing and experimenting with M/S/A modes. But, to ensure I take decent pictures of my childen, I use the preset called "kids". It's like 'sports' but it takes into account that my subjects are usually not more than 5 feet away from me. "Kids" also lets me shoot in 3 shot bursts (like an M-16)because kids are quick as lighting and at least one of those 3 shots is in focus.

  • Peter Hooper April 17, 2008 12:52 am

    Mostly in aperture priority mode now although I like to dabble with full manual whenever I can. I only very occasionally drop into auto mode if I am in a real rush to get a shot that I don't have the time to check the settings for.

  • Paul March 30, 2008 08:11 am


    mines in manual !

    great site. i am learning loads


  • Sheila March 27, 2008 02:52 am

    Manual mode now.
    six months ago it was aperture priority.
    Four years ago it was mostly auto. Which is interesting since I had just transitioned from a fully manual film camera to a DSLR. I guess all the bells and whistles available to me were overwhelming.

  • Perlina Varon February 25, 2008 02:01 am

    Manual. I am in full control of the camera when I use the manual mode.

  • william rodriguez February 1, 2008 01:37 am

    I would say it depends on what I am shooting. Sceneries for sure manual mode. Same goes for portraits. Aperture priority if depth of field is a priority.
    On regard to metering it also depends. Sceneries I tend to go with matrix metering, portraits with cdenter weighted and difficult lighting situations I go with spot.
    I guess we are all different.

  • Matt January 31, 2008 03:19 pm

    Manual. It was the reason I bought my DSLR in the first place. Every shot I take I do manual and can usually get what I'm looking for in any condition in 2-3 shots.

    Auto focus and auto modes are for when my mom or friends hold the camera.

  • Mario January 31, 2008 06:24 am

    Always manual.

  • Steve January 31, 2008 05:24 am

    For ice hockey, I use manual. For outdoor sports, I use Shutter Priority. For Portraits, I use Ap. Overall, mostly Manual.

  • hanif January 31, 2008 01:29 am

    Mostly in Manual 50%
    Aperture Priority 35 %
    Shutter Priority 15 %

  • beachmom January 31, 2008 12:52 am

    New to DSLR, I have been using manual. I do like the a-dep mode for fast moving objects. I have really gotten some fantastic shots. I am practicing for a wedding this year. I have read that manual mode is better to use for that and AV us better to use outside for fill flash.

  • Angela January 31, 2008 12:12 am

    I usually find myself using those ("Portrait" "Landscape" or "Sport") modes. But more often than not I use the "Close Up" mode. It gives a very good focus on what I am taking a picture of.

    Usually I take close up shots, so that mode works best for me.

  • Josh January 30, 2008 01:16 pm

    im almost always in "P" mode because whether i want to pay attention to shutter speed or aperature, im always able to adjust quickly

  • One Eye January 30, 2008 11:40 am

    Manual when doing sporting events or flash

    AP when shooting skulls

    Automatic when out and about just snapping

  • David November 20, 2007 02:10 am

    I've recently started using P with Auto ISO (min 1/30th and max 1600 ISO) on a Nikon D80.

    Othewise, A for most situations, S when I need the stop-motion.

  • j b bryant jr October 7, 2007 01:18 pm

    I guess i would have to say, auto because it frees me up to just concentrate on my subject and how i want to take the photo, but i also use the other modes (portrait, landscape ect.) it depends on what i'm photographing at the time.

  • Karen September 25, 2007 11:52 pm

    P mode alot lately because I'm moving so fast with the sun going down the entire time. I can get thru the sand, shoot pictures and not get as tired. I must be getting in shape and my fingers are in the best shape of all. LOL

  • Phil September 25, 2007 02:55 am

    > I’m an ‘Aperture Priority Mode’ kind of guy.

    Exactly the same as you for exactly the same reasons.

  • AC September 3, 2007 05:01 am

    Currently in manual... just finished shooting with my flash. Usually in apeture priority mode because I shot mostly portraits. Shutter priority when shooting subjects in motion.

  • AndyW July 30, 2007 05:19 pm

    Sports - Burst 90%
    night mode 10% (but they never really turn out)

    I'm not a photographer. I'm a computer guy with a camera. I don't really know about cameras, though reading this site and others is helping. My favorite camera was a little sony (U40 I think). No settings, no zoom, burst mode. but it stopped working after 3 years and 9000 pictures)

    I can only take one kind of picture (backround for a desktop on my computer).

    Here is my criteria:
    Subject offset down and to the right,
    L shaped empty space (for icons)
    clear (not blury unless on purpose).
    Surprisingly some even look nice (to me)

    Other than that my pictures suck. But that is ok. I'm not a photographer, just a computer guy with a camera.

  • Will Rountree June 7, 2007 08:53 am

    I love to shoot nature hand held with Canon 30D / 300 4.0L IS and Canon 1.4 extender. I usually shoot in "P" mode as most shots are quick aim & shoot at a bird while it is foraging in a tree. I have used AV and S modes at times.

  • Gary W. Fesperman June 4, 2007 07:20 am

    I shoot mostly in Aperture mode.But it really depends on what I'M shooting. I shoot an average of 300 - 500 photos a day...6 days a week.
    Just an estimate would be -
    Aperture = 40%
    program = 30%
    Mamual = 15%
    Shutter = 15%
    Happy shooting :)

  • Sylvia Kirk June 2, 2007 05:07 am

    Manual makes the most sense to me. Without taking my eye away from the viewfinder to change the mode dial, I can either adjust the shutter speed (if motion is a consideration) or aperture (if depth of field is an issue). And adding exposure takes only one finger this way, as opposed to two, on my Nikon D70.

  • Jimmy Walls June 1, 2007 12:31 pm

    I use Manual 99% percent of the time. I was a Program user for a long time. I found out that if I listened to my digital camera it would make me a better photographer.

  • JJ May 27, 2007 08:23 am

    Manual 85% of the time along with custom WB and 50% manual focus. I like being able to have control over every dimension of the creation of my photograph's.

  • Debbie May 23, 2007 08:15 am

    shutter speed all most always, I just can't seem to master AV

  • Gary Dean May 23, 2007 06:15 am

    Full manual.

  • Sandy Redding May 22, 2007 05:40 am

    I shoot in aperture priority primarily or shutter priority. Typically auto focus. Camera is a D50.

  • Katie Baird May 22, 2007 12:08 am

    mostly auto or AP

  • Rog Patterson May 21, 2007 08:03 pm

    Hve been quite satsified with mostly Auto, Portrait and P on my Olympus C740UZ but expect to try more settings reported above while waiting for FedEx to deliver a just purchased Fuji S6000fd.

  • eva May 21, 2007 04:51 pm

    I use (P mode) and Auto I also use ISO sensitivity alot. I would love to learn to use manuel maybe later. Love your site.

  • eva cantrell May 21, 2007 04:48 pm

    I use (P mode) and Auto and ISO sensitivity mode and would like to learn Manual. Looking for someone to teach me. Love your site.

  • Vernon May 20, 2007 11:28 am

    Full manual and manual focus. Anything else is for sissies.

  • Josh Bobb May 20, 2007 11:27 am

    Manual 98% of the time. Aperture Priority every once in a while.

  • Danielle Hinsey May 20, 2007 07:24 am

    Auto, portrait, landscape in that order. I am begining to experment in Manual mode.

  • Robert May 20, 2007 05:11 am

    AP You still have the freedom of adjusting.

  • Bo Boswell May 19, 2007 09:54 pm

    I have a tendency to shoot in Shutter Priority mode more than anything. After reading the comments here, though, I think I should try getting into the habit of switching to Aperture Priority instead.

    Thanks for this post, though. I'm fascinated with how others use their cameras as well.

  • Martin Russell May 19, 2007 09:39 pm

    Aperture mode 99% of the time, with some ev comp.

  • Abdallah Baki May 19, 2007 08:31 pm

    aperture priority all the way :D

  • ryusen May 19, 2007 11:02 am

    it depends:
    * If i can control or at least expect consistent ambient light, i will shoot "M"
    * Otherwise, i usually shoot Apeture Priority

    sometimes, i will shoot Shutter Priority, if i need a fixed shutter speed (really low or really high).

  • Carolyn B. May 19, 2007 09:40 am

    Aperture priority nearly all of the time.
    Manual some times depending on what I'm shooting.

  • Denis R. May 19, 2007 06:10 am

    Always M... I need to better understand all the basics

  • David Lambert May 19, 2007 04:31 am

    I never shoot in manual. I shoot mostly in either aperture or speed but sometimes in program to see what it might look like before going to aperture.

  • Paul May 19, 2007 03:34 am

    "M" most of the time, but on the street i'm in "P" mode...

  • Catherine May 19, 2007 02:57 am

    I recd my Canon SD900 ELPH for xmas and just started using it about month and a half ago. It's loaded with so many features that it will take time to decipher. So, in the meantime I'm using the auto mode (it's easier at this point). I'm so hoping to learn how to take photos of anything and everything. I find that I'm not too happy w/my pics. Like they have no meaning and I would really like to learn. So, I'm glad I came across DPS. Thank You

  • keynote May 19, 2007 01:44 am

    The aperture setting is most important for me, but I sort of reverse-engineer that setting by changing the shutter speed. Because of what I shoot, using AP alone might give me an unacceptable speed. This way, I can usually get the AP I want while ensuring the speed is in the range necessary (I try not to carry the tripod around if I don't have to). Although, I have to say that the Canon fully automatic mode does take some pretty good pictures, if you're not trying for something more artistic.

  • Graham May 18, 2007 11:48 pm

    I use P mode aand it sug-mode for aperture and shuter speed in my D80

  • Graham May 18, 2007 11:47 pm

    i use P mode and it sub mode in my D80

  • C. Diane May 18, 2007 10:46 pm

    Most of the times I use 3 different mode, A,S,P mode. I stick with Programming modes whenever I took them on my job sites. Apertures is when I photograph the flowers with my monopod.

  • Sean May 18, 2007 10:25 pm

    Nearly always manual.

  • sirhe May 18, 2007 09:32 pm

    Shutter Speed Priority Mode mainly.

    Then depending on the circumstances (if I have the time to find the right settings by myself or if I have to react quickly, for example) I use Manual or Program mode.

  • Pete Eddy May 18, 2007 09:16 pm

    I use various modes but always shoot in RAW, this gives me a massive control over my shots on the Pc.

  • Nino Xerri May 18, 2007 08:05 pm

    Program : 50%
    Aperture : 30%
    Shutter : 20%
    However until recent times it was always Program, so as my learning curve is flattening out Aperture & Shutter will become more predominant

  • Paully May 18, 2007 06:19 pm

    I use Aperture Priority mostly, if anyone else is taking a picture using my camera I switch it to Auto, and sometimes like to use Auto (when I can't be bothered!)

  • Guillem May 18, 2007 04:49 pm

    Always Manual mode. I first started with the AV but then realized that I'd learn more and faster with the manual mode.

  • Grant May 18, 2007 04:17 pm

    Program mode and then adjust the exposure levels.

  • George May 18, 2007 04:15 pm

    well for it all depends on many factors. If I'm shooting landscape and i can take my time and it happens to have a tripod handy then its all manual. is shooting action and sport then it's shutter priority (but sometimes I set to Auto because the camera usually does a pretty god choice for me)and if I'm shooting portraits then is aperture priority, and there is many other cases when I have to choose so its all depends for me.

  • Andrew Walker May 18, 2007 03:56 pm

    I use P (program) mode most of the time. This lets me mess about with various menu settings but still get automatic exposure.

  • Lao K May 18, 2007 03:13 pm

    To Evelyn

    I have the same problem. I move the camera when I depress the button. Try settling down with the button half depressed. I am the same when I shoot a GLOCK pistol, I tend to squeeze and pull to the right. Monopods are a great help but for crystal sharp images then a tripod is a must. I have reverted to Image Stabilised lenses and they are great. I still have to perfect steady holding though. practise practise practise.

  • David Reid May 18, 2007 03:05 pm

    Almost exclusively in Manual mode chosing what I require for the end result.
    Sometimes in P mode

  • Paul Michko May 18, 2007 12:46 pm

    I use almost exclusively Aperture priority.

  • Harish Reddy May 18, 2007 12:18 pm

    Manual mode

  • Evelyn May 18, 2007 12:16 pm

    I'm with Jillian, I'm still learning. My camera is set to Sport 99.9% of the time. I have other issues however. In addition to the fact that I am a point and shoot kind of person, I have a slight nerve tremor. I discovered it because you can't see it and I can't feel it. The camera can and does! So, it's not so much the target in motion, it's me! If someone has any bright ideas, I'm more than ready to hear them! I do lean against walls and trees when I can but those are not always available. Thank goodness for digital and the delete key! I think I need to read more of the archives from this blog and join the group. No, duh! Any secrets?

  • thesinger May 18, 2007 12:04 pm

    Generally Program mode. This allows me control over all options except the exposure itself.

  • David D May 18, 2007 11:57 am

    I do quite a bit of sports photography, so the setting is usually on shutter priority. Occasionally, I'll switch to auto. Would like to experiment more with aperture priority...

  • Tom May 18, 2007 11:47 am

    Every once in a while, I slip into Av mode - especially when speed is of the essence. Otherwise, I go full manual and use the EV to gauge the exposure, then tweak depending on how I want the shot to come out.

  • George Fragos May 18, 2007 11:43 am

    The mode I use depends on what I'm photographing. I do however use Manual a lot because it gives a better idea of what the end result will be rather than the automatic modes which brighten up the image for viewing. Manual wins in low available light and difficult lighting situations situations.

  • al;len May 18, 2007 11:18 am

    manual to have full control of camera

  • Reinaldo M May 18, 2007 10:42 am

    Manual mode in camera and flash.

  • malique May 18, 2007 10:37 am

    i shoot most in manual.

  • Brisbanebighead May 18, 2007 10:36 am

    Pentax istDS
    AP - 45%
    AUTO - 50%
    Manual - 5%

  • Lao K May 18, 2007 10:27 am

    I am obsessed with portrait/glamour photography of Asian women and especiall the BOKEH effect. Focus is critical and I have just bought a new cross-hair split prism focusing screen (Ec-L) for manual focusing. I rarely go off Av setting. My EOS-1Ds has no AUTO setting.

  • stuz May 18, 2007 10:20 am

    Av, 85%
    Manual, 15%
    Subjects consisting of spontaneous portraits, people and life. It takes too long to fiddle with manual and other modes, so leave it at Av but occasionally forget to switch modes when I need it.

  • Pepy May 18, 2007 10:09 am

    Mainly I use AP mode

  • Rusty May 18, 2007 10:00 am

    It depends on where I am, but mostly Programed mode.

    Except when shooting fast or in a dark room, Shutter priority.

  • David May 18, 2007 09:58 am

    I use P - the aperture is widest open by default. I do a lot in low avail light. If I want to stop it down I can, or use AP (D50)

  • Milt May 18, 2007 09:49 am

    Aperture usually--birds, flowers, people, etc

    Shutter for action (grandkids)

    Manual for landscapes, sunsets and difficult lighting situations

  • Les May 17, 2007 09:59 am

    I used an old Nikon FTN for years where everything was manual then I started carrying a Canon Rebel in the late 90's and for some reason fell into the auto mode.

    Now I have two Nikons a D50 and a D40 and I am shooting more and more in Manual but I always have my cameras on Auto when traveling so I don't miss a "grab" shot.

  • Paige May 17, 2007 06:20 am

    Manual all the time.

  • DoN May 17, 2007 04:21 am

    AP 90% of the time. M in specific conditions (sport, night, panorama etc)

  • Caz May 16, 2007 10:41 pm

    I used to be 95% shutter priority but since getting my EOS 400D I have been dabbeling in both shutter and apeture priority.

  • Chris Patterson May 16, 2007 10:40 pm

    AP almost always but I am starting to switch to manual. I find that AP changes the shutter speed too fequently just because I change the focus point even if the overall scene is still the same. Of course if my wife has it I just switch to full auto.

  • Mark May 16, 2007 12:02 pm

    well ... sports and action on S, human events A, and M for everything else. So, about 30/30/40.

  • Suzie May 16, 2007 11:18 am

    I use AP mode 99% of the time. I like to be able to control the depth of field on my Canon 5D. I will switch over to Manual or Shutter Priority in low light or with moving subjects.

  • Rahul May 16, 2007 07:59 am

    Mostly Program mode...

  • Remed May 16, 2007 06:06 am

    No question. Most is shot in Av mode (Aperture priority) I think 80%, than 10% manual and 10% in Ts (Time priority) mode.

  • mainfr4me May 16, 2007 12:22 am

    Manual most of the time, but if I'm in a rush, I go to auto, or shutter priority, but more auto if I'm not in full manual.

  • mjt May 15, 2007 09:41 pm

    manual mode ONLY.

  • Linda May 15, 2007 01:21 pm

    With my SLR - as I'm still learning, I use the 'P' mode. I will occasionally go to Shutter or AP but that's not too often.

    On my point and shoot - I also stick to their 'P' mode. However I *always* turn off the flash - unless I feel that the lighting needs a flash, which is only about 10% of the time.

  • antirealist May 15, 2007 11:10 am

    Canon XT/XTi users who are fans of aperture priority mode might like to take a closer look at manual mode. You can dial in the desired aperture when you switch on the camera, then adjust the shutter speed, keeping an eye on the exposure level. The advantage over Av is that you can intentionally under/overexpose by just turning the dial - no fiddly buttons to press.

  • Craig May 15, 2007 08:37 am

    I shoot in full manual mode 95% of time unless I'm shooting with on camera flash then I use either aperture preferred or program mode.

  • Tarek May 15, 2007 08:24 am

    I've noticed that many responses here are against Auto mode. I also don't use it much, but come on, it is really useful sometimes. For example when I give the camera to my younger sister to shoot me, or when I have no time to shoot-adjust-shoot.

  • Marcello May 15, 2007 08:20 am

    I grew up (photographically) using an inexpensive SLR with no TTL exposimeter and a faulty external one.
    It was not too much fun when a potentially nice image was so bady exposed that the negative could only go to the bin.
    Having so many possible uses nowadays makes me happy. I use different camera modes on the basis of a number of parameters: Time, type of image, lighting conditions, tripod or handheld, etc.
    Anyhow, my favourite is still fully manual mode.

  • Max K May 15, 2007 06:45 am

    Always Manual, full control is vital. Even speedlights, etc. All manual.

  • fall-line May 15, 2007 05:24 am

    M(anual) for most shots currently.

    After reading a selection of comments in this thread though, I'm going to reconsider the benefits of the Av setting for the day to day shooting. I'll always use M when I really want to think about the composition of a shot, but I don't mind saving a little time for the quick shots.

  • Peter Tangney May 15, 2007 04:48 am

    I shoot in Av most of the time. I love the effect of blurring the background in some shots. I rarely use auto mode. I'm also experimenting with full manual mode.

  • Bryan May 15, 2007 04:34 am

    Ahem.... (clears throat...steps up to podium). "Hi. My Name is Bryan, and I'm an "Automatic" photographer".

    Group: "Hello Bryan".

    "I want to be a better photographer, but that green button keeps calling me. It's my crutch. I need a 12 step program to help me break my habits. I bought a nice Nikon D80 and thought I could break my habit, but so far no go. What I really need is someone to boot me in the head every time I think 'Auto is easy and not bad to use'. Thank you"

  • Velvet May 15, 2007 02:40 am

    I tend to leave it at Macro Mode.

  • Denear May 15, 2007 02:36 am

    Aperture priority is what my camera is on at the moment, and that is my most used setting. Some manual shooting, others when needed.
    Canon is my equipment of choice, almost exclusively actually. Looking to add to my lens selection at the moment.......

  • Beth May 15, 2007 01:33 am

    Landscape right now because there was a great cloudburst yesterday! Portrait mostly because it gives the best range of mid-close to mid-distance without fussing around too much with settings on the fly. I just recently discovered aperture priority and I think it's going to be a big favorite too (I swear, every time I go out I learn something new about this camera - Rebel xti and I love it!) I'm using a lot more manual when I have the time to experiment, but at this point I trust the camera more than I do my own knowledge, so if I just want to get the shot I use one of the autosets.

  • Sanjay May 15, 2007 01:10 am

    I use Manual mode almost 90% of the time. Other times I use Auto mode especially at birthday parties when I need to take children's snaps quickly.

  • AB22 May 15, 2007 12:37 am

    Almost exclusively Aperture Priority - I use shutter priority or manual when I'm looking for specific effects.

  • embrownny May 15, 2007 12:34 am

    I finally got out of the "auto" mode. I have begun to shoot mostly in aperture priority. When I'm using lights I shoot manual.

  • RayPG May 15, 2007 12:24 am

    Aperture priority, rarely in Shutter Priority. But I like having the control over the depth of field. Only when I want to capture motion I switch to shutter priority.

  • Bob May 15, 2007 12:11 am

    In order of priority:

    Aperture Priority - because I want full control of DOF

    Shutter Priority - when I'm shooting moving subjects to avoid motion blur

    Manual - when shooting with strobes but I generally avoid it otherwise

    Program - When I don't want (or don't have time) to think and the lighting is changing.

    I find that at my experience level I need all the help I can get from the camera's metering. Certainly I am compensating often I let the camera take me half way.

  • mdwsta4 May 15, 2007 12:08 am

    before my first DSLR i used full manual with my canon s3. i never used auto with my 350d. i started using aperture priority and used that quite often. once i learned how the camera exposes i did manual. rarely ever do anything other than that now.

  • Peter Costello May 14, 2007 11:51 pm

    Aperture Priority most of the time. I like shooting with the aperture wide open, although sometimes I wish I used auto more because a lot of the shots I take are quick I sometimes forget to increase my depth of field when taking in a landscape.

  • Ikarus2k May 14, 2007 11:50 pm

    Aperture priority mode 95% of time
    Manual on special occasions (very low lighting, portraits etc.)
    [Nikon D80]

  • Jill Paulson May 14, 2007 11:37 pm

    I have to admit that I am mostly auto...I do often use portrait also, but only dapple with the other modes and haven't found too much success there yet. That's the photographer and not camera's fault, by the way. I only got my S3IS a year ago and this is the first camera I have ever had that's even allowed these types of options. I have to admit, they still scare me a little, but hopefully I will overcome that with time. However, I do still think that I manage to get some pretty good shots of my main subject (my daughter) every now and then. I am a scrapbooker, so good pictures are key! I am really looking for some critiques on my photos, so anyone willing to check out my blog (http://jillmarie7276.blogspot.com/) and offer some constructive criticism or advice would be greatly appreicated.

  • Rick Riessen May 14, 2007 11:29 pm

    I shoot mostly manual on my D50. Every once in a while I will slip into a programmed preset to play around, but for the most part I shoot manual exposure with auto focus. I do not trust my eyes enough without a split-center to go manual focus anymore.

  • Sylvan von Stuppe May 14, 2007 11:00 pm

    Why, Aperture priority mode, of course. And when I'm shooting action, I usually stick to Aperture priority - will sometimes switch to shutter priority if I need the action to slow down.

  • phil May 14, 2007 10:47 pm

    Auto about 50% of the time, Aperture priority the rest. (Sony Alpha100)

  • Jeff May 14, 2007 10:42 pm

    I pretty much use Aperture Priority all the time. When I first bought my D50 I didn't know how to use it and I only shot in the auto or sports mode. But now after taking a few classes and reading tips on here I've switched to Aperture mode.

  • Larry Eiss May 14, 2007 10:34 pm

    I shoot in programmed auto (P) a lot with my Nikon D50. More and more lately, I use aperture priority (A) to control depth of field.

  • NaturesPixel May 14, 2007 09:42 pm

    I shoot in Aperture Priority Mode cause ... i need to have my lens set at f8-f11 to get any sharpness.. if i need to control the shutter speed for my hummers and other birds in flight then i shoot in Manual :)

  • Raymond May 14, 2007 09:38 pm

    Mostly > Aperture Priority Mode
    2nd place > P
    3rd place > S

  • Madhur May 14, 2007 08:37 pm

    I don't see what the point is. What difference does it make how everyone shoots? What mode you use depends on what you are shooting. And though people may like to "show off" saying they never hoot Auto and always go Manual, I think Auto gives great shots most of the time. Anyways, that's what I think

  • Selwyn May 14, 2007 08:00 pm

    I have recently taken on manual - before that auto

  • Bastian May 14, 2007 07:52 pm

    I prefer Aperture Priority for most occasions when i'm prepared (control over the depth-field).

    If i have the Cam with me i prefer the Programm Mode its quite nice to shoot fast if you have to be fast ;-)

    When i'm shooting concerts and the light is predictable i sometime shoot in Manual Mode, to get more control over the whole picture (its hard to work so but if you know your camera you will do a good job).

    But its also based in some Photogeekness as Tom stated some comments ago ;-)

  • Hemant May 14, 2007 07:43 pm

    Most of the times I use Aperture Priority Mode with "AF".
    When I want more creative control, shoot in "M" while in Aperture Priority mode.

    I generally switch to "Portrait" mode while shooting portraits.

    Have seldom used "Manual" mode, but that's because I am very new to photography and don't have that confidence at this time to shoot in "Manual".

  • Fatih May 14, 2007 06:14 pm

    Aperture Priority most of the time.

  • utnapistim May 14, 2007 06:12 pm

    Manual, Aperture Priority and Programmable (in that order). I would say nowadays it's M 60% of the time, with A 30% of the time and P, the rest.

  • Tom May 14, 2007 05:49 pm

    Auto 70% [to seize the moment]
    AP 20% [to play the photogeek]
    Others 10% [to play the photogeek more :)]
    [[Olympus sp-500uz]]

  • Shikhar May 14, 2007 04:49 pm

    Mostly M(Manual) mode...:) and Potrait mode and a little landscape mode.

    DSC H2 Sony ::)

  • Sergei May 14, 2007 03:09 pm

    When out and about I like AP.

    In the studio situation manual all the way. =]

  • Kunal May 14, 2007 03:08 pm

    Mostly AV
    Otherwise P

  • Peter May 14, 2007 03:05 pm

    Manual: 75%
    Av: 10%
    Tv: 10%
    Portrait, Lanscape, Night, etc: 5% (DON'T underestimate these modes!)

  • moracca May 14, 2007 02:43 pm


    i use manual 85% of the time, unless I need a quick shot and don't have time to set everything up properly

  • Nat May 14, 2007 02:25 pm

    AP mostly, sometime portrait and sometimes action, sometimes AV for portrait and sometimes Manual. Never the green box.

  • Ben Geldreich May 14, 2007 02:24 pm

    Aperture Priority mode. I only use SP when dealing wiht moving subjects or If I'm on the move. I do use Manual when doing potrait shots with a lighting set up.

    I shoot with a Nikon D70s and the 18-70 Kit lens.

  • Jaganath May 14, 2007 02:10 pm

    AP mostly. I am very particular about the DOF in my shots. Switch to SP mode when I need to shoot some action.

  • tim May 14, 2007 02:08 pm

    always manual

  • Ilya N May 14, 2007 02:08 pm

    It depends. I'm usually in Shutter speed priority for indoor shots. Outdoor, I just shoot P. Sometimes, though, I switch to Aperture priority for depth of field control.

  • Zian May 14, 2007 01:51 pm

    I generally use P but that's because of the type of photographs I tend to catch.

    If I have a few seconds to think, I tweak the settings slightly or switch modes.

    If I really have time to set up a shot, then I occasionally use full manual.

  • Stacey May 14, 2007 12:48 pm

    I usually use Program mode, unless I am trying for a specific effect or if I'm in a specific situation.

  • Kevin Purcell May 14, 2007 11:19 am

    Mostly Manual. But often switch to Aprature and Shutter priority modes.

  • PNG May 14, 2007 11:17 am

    Using AP sometimes TV in sports.

  • Andrew May 14, 2007 10:42 am

    Almost always aperture priority. Sometimes manual. Never, never use auto.

  • Shayan Sanyal May 14, 2007 10:30 am

    I shoot primarily in aperture priority mode - this allows me to control depth of field, which is what I'm mostly interested in. Sometimes I'll over-ride the auto-exposure, and crank it down a notch (if I have some bright light conditions).

    I switch to manual when conditions are such that I need a faster shutter speed, or am in low light conditions, and I want to set the correct balance between exposure, shutter speed and dof.

  • Lori May 14, 2007 10:22 am

    Almost always "auto". But want to try "aperture". Need to get to know my camera a little better.

  • Melissa May 14, 2007 09:59 am

    I shoot almost always in Manual mode or I go mental. I get a little cranky with my point and shoot (when I use it) because I have little or no control on what I want the camera to do.

  • Daniel z May 14, 2007 09:07 am

    60% of the time AP
    30% Program, it is quick when you need it.
    10% Manual - nearly every tripd shot.

  • sk May 14, 2007 08:57 am

    I looked up the aperture "sweet spots" of my lens at slrgear.com, then shoot 90% of my photos using Aperture Priority.

  • Desmond Gunatilaka May 14, 2007 08:57 am

    Definitely Av mode mostly. Use Tv for moving scenes.Never Auto and occasionally M.

  • Tim May 14, 2007 08:38 am

    Aperture priority.

    I use shutter priority occasionally when the speed is important, I use Program when ussing a flash sometimes to maintain a better flash-sync, and manual when I'm taking my time to set up a shot and don't want things chaning while I re-focus, etc.

    Interestingly, I read a book about Bert Stern last year, who is an amazingly good photographer, and it quoted him as being very much in support of automatic exposure modes, which seemed unusual for a professional photographer. His argument was that auto exposure modes free you up from thinking about the exposure and allow you to focus on composition and the moment in front of you.

  • Erin May 14, 2007 08:37 am

    AV for portraits/still life
    TV for sports
    Manual for everything else

    The only time I ever use P is for snapshots

  • JM May 14, 2007 08:05 am

    Manual. I like having full control over the shot. Though I think sometimes this gets in the way of just getting that perfect shot.

    Before I switched to full manual, I used Aperture Priority mode the most.

  • Richard May 14, 2007 07:30 am

    I am sure that if I check my camera now it will be on aperture priority which I us 95% of the time. Most of the time I leave the auto focus off.

  • Roup Hardowar May 14, 2007 07:24 am

    Since I got my first SLR, I started out shooting manual.Sometimes I find it difficult to get the shot, so i switch to the Program mode on my rebel xt. DOF becoming more inportant for me, so I started to use Av more now. I take lots of portraits shots.

    my camera is set to Manual.

    75% I shoot Manual.
    15% I shoot Program
    10T I shoot AV

  • Anton Piatek May 14, 2007 07:09 am

    P auto mode. I often change the aperture while in this mode to suit the photo. If I want to lock the apterture/shutter speed for a few photos I change to Av/Tv but mostly P gives me what I need.
    I like that in P a quick snap will always get a good exposure, if I leave it on Av/Tv then I might have a bad setting for a quick snap and then miss the opportunity

  • Peter May 14, 2007 07:07 am

    Av 70%
    P 20%
    M 10%

  • Andrew Ferguson May 14, 2007 06:25 am

    I shoot in aperture priority mode about 85 to 90% of the time.

    The other 10 to 15% is split between full manual and shutter priority.

  • André May 14, 2007 06:18 am

    Mostly manual, i think I'm a control-freak. Do it yourself ;-)

  • iABC May 14, 2007 06:03 am

    Aperture Priority Mode But flip to manual when using my flash/strobes

  • imyz May 14, 2007 05:43 am


  • James White May 14, 2007 05:38 am


  • Chrissy May 14, 2007 05:33 am

    'P’rogram for just regular shooting. I prefer it over full auto because it allows me to adjust the ISO, white balance, and under/overexposing. And I hate how auto pops the flash open when it thinks it is needed.

    I use Av, Tv, and M as well, depending on the situation. I generally only use M for night photography or when I am using the hot shoe flash.

  • Namuun May 14, 2007 05:17 am

    I used Manual from the beginning.. never used the other modes before. hehe. But I should though.

  • photovirgin May 14, 2007 05:17 am

    Looks like I have A LOT to learn from you guys. I am new to this hobby and am still in the "Auto" mode stage of the game.

  • Joshua May 14, 2007 04:50 am

    Aperture Priority - 60%
    Program - 20%
    Speed Priority - 10%
    Manual - 10%

  • Casey Lewiston May 14, 2007 04:46 am

    Aperture priority seems pretty common, and is one I agree with. That and manual for me. I don't have a meter in manual mode, though, which is a bit of a problem for me. Sometimes if I want it different I'll check what the camera wants in Av and start on that in manual.

    Never auto.

  • Netty May 14, 2007 04:46 am

    I would say 90% of the time it's in aperture mode.
    LOVE my new lens 1.8 and how I can get the blurred background.

  • Tarek May 14, 2007 04:34 am

    Aperture Priority - 90%
    Auto - 10%

  • Haentz May 14, 2007 04:32 am

    I almost exclusively use full manual mode but I think I will try AP mode, since a lot of you guys seem to like it :)

  • david May 14, 2007 04:29 am

    I use Program mode on my Canon 30D.

    It gives me the flexibility of adjusting settings, but picks up just about everything needed automatically if I don't adjust.

  • Chris Osborne May 14, 2007 04:12 am

    Is it better to use sports mode or shutter priority for sports stuff? Right now I don't really see the difference between the two.

  • Jenn May 14, 2007 04:10 am

    I'm a Manual kinda girl. I used Auto until about February when I finally got down and learned how to use the camera properly! I'm so glad I have control over the flash and everything else now!

  • J.W. May 14, 2007 04:09 am

    either aperture or manual...

  • Keenan May 14, 2007 03:52 am

    I've been using manual because I want to really learn more about exposure and how to figure it all out myself.

    Also for sports photography I use sports mode (duh).

  • eydryan May 14, 2007 03:39 am

    P - 80%
    M - 10%
    S / A - 10%

  • Wulf May 14, 2007 03:36 am

    Since I learnt how to use it, manual almost all of the time unless I'm trying to pull of a shot quickly and don't have time for a few test fires to check I am in the right ball park for exposure. I very rarely use auto mode... I invested in a DSLR because I wanted more control of the image making process, not because I wanted a fancier looking camera.

  • Ben May 14, 2007 03:33 am

    Manual all of the time. I don't like to let my camera decide how my pictures should look.

  • Mark May 14, 2007 03:23 am

    Mine is on Av which is Aperture Priority, I do swap around with Shutter and full Manual, but I've got a lot to learn about which mode for which shot

  • Cory Parris May 14, 2007 03:23 am

    All Manual all...er...most of the time! Control rocks!

  • Rick M May 14, 2007 03:21 am

    I use Manual Mode. I like to have control over the camea. Although there are time I do use preset modes depending on the situation.

  • Jeff May 14, 2007 03:18 am

    I was actually in manual mode today. I've been trying to shoot more and more in manual mode to get a better feeling of the effects of shutter speed and aperture settings. But normally I'm an aperture priority mode dude.

  • Paul May 14, 2007 03:14 am

    Almost exclusively in Aperture priority (which for some reason is Av on my camera)

    I do use Tv (shutter priority) a fair bit too.

    Keep planning on learning to shoot full-manual but never sure if it is worth the extra effort.

  • Hemran Au May 14, 2007 03:05 am

    Mostly in Aperture priority mode, and if I can't get it to what I want I switch it to its neighbor Manual. I find Shutter Priority usage very limited, and P is something I use when I'm traveling and trying to take snapshots.

  • Aayush May 14, 2007 03:01 am

    I'm an Aperture priority fan. If I get the calculations right, I go for manual.

  • Eric May 14, 2007 02:49 am

    Manual. I'm still learning what the closest to perfect settings are for the different shots I take all the time. I do nightlife photography, and for some reason, the same settings look different, depending on the Venue or Club I go to..Wierd.

  • Jayme May 14, 2007 02:40 am

    Almost always AP unless I want to blur something. I like creating a separation from subject to background.

  • Ahmed May 14, 2007 02:34 am

    most of the occasions its on aperture priority
    but when i have time to shoot the image like portraits, macro and landscaping i set it to fully manual :)
    for the shutter speed priority i use it on sport events :)

  • Pewari May 14, 2007 02:26 am

    I usually leave it in aperture priority mode (as I mostly like to do close up photography with a shallow depth of field).

    However, recently I've been playing a lot more with shutter priority - light hasn't been that good and it's been the kids birthdays. Set to 1/125s to guarantee capturing the action and then adjusted ISO accordingly.

  • Randall G. May 14, 2007 02:23 am

    I shoot in the mode that makes most sense for the situation. :) Shutter priority if I'm moving around a lot (don't need to worry about too much blur) or if the subject is moving. Aperture generally gets a lot of use when I'm shooting landscapes so I can keep good DOF. And then for those tricky shots or if both the subject and I are stationary, manual to the rescue! I honestly don't think I've ever used any of the auto modes on any of my cameras except by accident...

  • Scotty May 14, 2007 02:14 am

    75% of the time it's P mode. 15% in A mode and the rest in one of the custom modes like macro, portrait, kids, or sports. I use green when not I'm really not sure, and when handing the camera to others.

    Like others, controlling the depth of field is the effect I like the most.

  • Tim May 14, 2007 02:06 am

    90% of the time, it's in full manual. I only touch the other modes when I'm in a hurry (i.e. shooting sports, events, etc.), in which case I end up using Tv a little more than Av. I've never even used the presets or full auto, and probably never will. I'm a fan of precise control when I can afford the time, and at least a little control when I can't.

  • Steve Madsen May 14, 2007 02:05 am

    I'm aperture priority type of photographer but working towards becoming a manual settings type to improve my technique.

  • Gregory May 14, 2007 02:05 am

    Aperture Priority mode is my preference. Allows for better control of Dof, and also allows me to control how sharp the final picture is sometimes. Occasionally I'll use shutter priority mode for effect (ie panning). Manual Mode is very useful for those times the camera can't figure out what I'm trying to do - starlit night landscapes for example.

  • jillian May 14, 2007 02:01 am

    As I'm still learning, I usually use the sport setting (no flash, and it captures a lot of movement.) I can set it on sport and have my husband take photos of my community band on stage and we'll get acceptable shots. I know that with my Olympus dslr I could do so much better, so I'm I'm scrambling to learn more about photography.

  • Trever May 14, 2007 01:55 am

    Mostly 'P'rogram mode on my 18-200mm VR but mostly 'A'perture priority with my 50mm 1.8 depends what I'm doing.

  • Ryan May 14, 2007 01:52 am

    I'm usually in Aperture because I want to control depth of field, but rarely I will use full auto when I'm either in a hurry or am in snapshot mode. The only time I use manual is in studio. Otherwise I find that my cameras do a good job with metering.

  • matt May 14, 2007 01:52 am

    mostly Av

  • Dave May 14, 2007 01:49 am

    I'm really trying to learn more about photography and use all 4 settings to see what I can do with it.

  • dria May 14, 2007 01:49 am

    Manual usually, AP otherwise.

  • TNBDM May 14, 2007 01:42 am

    It's in Manual right now, with manual focus.

    I'd say I shoot probably 60% Manual with manual focus, 10% Manual with autofocus, 20% Aperture priority, 10% Shutter priority, and 5% Program. It's taken me a while to build the confidence to shoot manual, but I really enjoy tinkering with the setting to get the exposure just where I want it. That's not to say I don't shoot tons of test shots, though. ;)

  • Zibri May 14, 2007 01:37 am

    I usually shot in "P" (not portrait) mode the first photo, then I switch to Manual and tweak the aperture or the shutter speed for all subsequent shoots of the same scene.

    Now, the better I get in gaining "the eye", I shoot in full manual mode.

    Obvoiusly RAW+JPEG is my favourite format so I can have both on my 2GB SD Card.

  • Keith May 14, 2007 01:31 am

    I'm always in the manual. Love the complete control it gives me with the light meter. However i do change over when shooting fast moving objects

  • pqbon May 14, 2007 01:29 am

    Program mode followed closely by aperture mode. I never use the full Auto modes anymore.

  • Taavi May 14, 2007 01:16 am

    Almost always Aperture Priority. DOF is what I like to control the most. Shutter Priority is too much dialing, Manual is too slow.

    Sometimes I'm messing around with the settings and something really cool happens near me, I panic and switch to full Auto just not to miss the moment.

    I think the typical presets should be forgotten by the manufacturers, they should be replaced by Custom Mode 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. At least on dSLRs..

  • John May 14, 2007 01:08 am

    I’m about 50% a ‘Program’ mode photographer,the other 50% is Aperture priority.

  • depe May 14, 2007 01:02 am

    Full manual most the time

    But sometimes the full auto mode - It's quicker then me :)

  • Mjuboy May 14, 2007 12:51 am

    I used to be an 'Auto' photographer but now I'm mainly a 'Program' mode photographer.

    I occasionally use 'Shutter Priority' but I still have to get used to it.

  • Ed May 14, 2007 12:50 am

    Since I take a lot of pictures of concerts and night events, most of the time I'm on Tv. But then again, Av is always the most useful when going for the artistic mood of portraits or macro (in a well lit situation). I find full manual to be useful only for planned sessions or things like that, but for the most point-and-shot Av and Tv is the common mode for me. Oh, and I go P all the way when totally fooling around, sometimes you just don't need to get artsy.

  • Charity May 14, 2007 12:47 am

    I go back & forth between Shutter and Aperture. A couple weeks ago, I was taking pictures of my cousins' kids and played with the shutter speed to get some neat "action blurs" as they ran around and threw the ball around.

  • Cat May 14, 2007 12:43 am

    AP to get in the ballbark, then M to fine tune...

  • Mario May 14, 2007 12:43 am

    I use Aperture Priority most of the time.
    I have no need for full manual mode as I can tweak the parameters in AP mode also :)

  • A Marques May 14, 2007 12:42 am

    AP now...

    Usually I shift between between Manual, Shutter priority and Aperture priority. Very rarely I go into full auto. Sometimes what the camera sees is different from what the eye sees and I like to be able to adjust to what I want the photo to look like and not how the camera wants it.

  • Dennis May 14, 2007 12:39 am

    Aperture here!

  • Daniel May 14, 2007 12:33 am

    Av most of the time for normal photo's, and manual for the tricks - I don't think there is a point owning a DSLR if you can't use manual to, say, take a cool night shot. That said, I didn't blow all that cash to take 5 minutes to set up for every shot either, so it's a balance and for the most part Av is a neat compromise.

  • Wee Keat May 14, 2007 12:32 am

    I'm mainly an A-mode guy but quite often find myself using P-mode 'Vari Programs(?)' to jump between controlling the aperture or shutter.

    Rarely use Manual. If needed to, I just turn the dial to -/+ EV for compensation.

  • Bo_ May 14, 2007 12:30 am

    I slowly going from Program mode to Aperture Priority Mode, Shutter speed priority... I'm starting to learn the possibilities in the other settings..

  • Eirik May 14, 2007 12:26 am

    I use P - which is mostly automatic - about 60% of the time, then AV (20%) and M (20%). I sometimes use TV for night photography though - but most of that is done in manual mode.

  • Anshul May 14, 2007 12:23 am

    Aperture Priority most of the time. Shutter priority sometimes when I'm shooting water. Manual even more rarely for night exposures.

  • Andrew Auletta May 14, 2007 12:19 am

    Almost always aperature priority.

  • jimmy brown May 14, 2007 12:14 am

    I find I am using Aperture priority and "P" mode the most. Occasionally the Shutter priority mode comes in handy to decrease camera shake! My Rebel TXi takes photos that are way way to dark on Auto mode,so I seldom ever use it.I am hoping there will soon be a fix from the maker.

  • Chris Thompson May 14, 2007 12:03 am

    Aperture priority almost all the time, unless I'm shooting a panorama, then it's full manual.

  • Todd May 14, 2007 12:03 am

    When I am shooting events with flash, I often use shutter priority so the ambient light is enhanced.

  • troy May 14, 2007 12:02 am

    Aperture Priority almost always. I do have good results with the 'Sports' mode when at the kids soccer games.

  • Adam Howitt May 14, 2007 12:00 am

    Aperture priority mode 80% of the time, shutter priority 20% of the time

  • Dave May 13, 2007 11:59 pm

    I'm usually in Av mode, except for when I've got the external flash attached. Then I'll go full manual. Generally still learning it, but the Av and S modes don't seem to work too well with the XT and an external flash. Manual mode set to 5.5 and 1/50 or 1/100 shifting the ISO seems to work pretty well.

  • bruce anttila van hoover May 13, 2007 11:47 pm

    Full manual mode. I like to have control of the entire camera. I grew up on a Manual only mode 35mm camera, so I'm not used to all the bells and whistles on the digital cameras, but I'm learning!

  • Audrius May 13, 2007 11:45 pm

    Well i'm still using "auto" but trying to learn step-by-step how to make photos with manual mode.

  • Koh Jun Lin May 13, 2007 11:43 pm

    Aperture priority, with rare exceptions.

  • m i k e b May 13, 2007 11:42 pm

    i have shot in aperture priority for most of my career but after encouragement from a friend i have begun shooting in manual. i have been doing this for a few months now and am in love.

  • Jasvipul May 13, 2007 11:38 pm

    Aperture priority mostly. And when it doesn't work for me (tricky lighting or for long shots or when I require bulb mode), I shift to Manual.

  • Kenneth Robert May 13, 2007 11:36 pm

    I shoot most of my work in Aperture priority. All weddings in full Manual.

    The "Boca" effect (background blur), is what makes professional photographers work really pop. Add color saturation control and you get great pictures.

    Sports are really the only time I would switch to Shutter priority.

    Kenneth Robert

  • Brian Auer May 13, 2007 11:36 pm

    Aperture Priority followed by Full Manual.

  • enc May 13, 2007 11:35 pm

    Aperture/Exposure priority modes 50/50. Now i'm starting complete manual mode from time to time.

  • Ron May 13, 2007 11:34 pm

    I've been using the Macro and Portrait scene settings lately, and liking the results.

  • Kris May 13, 2007 11:32 pm

    I use M alot.

  • Mel May 13, 2007 11:18 pm

    I like to shoot in Manual but I don't know enough about the settings to always get it right so I will often take one in Manual and one in Auto just to make sure I don't miss a shot entirely.

  • Bengt May 13, 2007 11:17 pm

    I shoot mostly Av but i am learning how to use Manual and hope i soon will use that more since it gives more control over the picture...

  • YoAshnish May 13, 2007 11:12 pm

    Manual mode with auto focus...for the most part anyway. Still getting use to my new equipment, so there is a lot of experimentation going on ;)

  • Hick May 13, 2007 11:11 pm

    Manual or aperture...mostly manual.

  • thekevinmonster May 13, 2007 11:07 pm

    If I'm out trying to snap a lot of pictures, I always use something like Program Shift mode. I like it better than Auto because at least I can peek at the histogram and make adjustments, and I almost always need to adjust the ISO or white balance manually on my camera.

    If I'm taking macro shots, I leave it on Av, and if I'm doing long shutter speeds, I use M or Tv.

    I'm betting when I get a DSLR, I'll probably use more manual stuff. Adjusting the settings on my camera is a lot of button pushing. I don't know how often I'd love to manually focus but it's just not feasible.

  • Michael Morris May 13, 2007 11:03 pm

    I shoot in manual mode almost exclusively. I like the control over the exposure that is given in this mode. This gives me the ability to tweak the exposure for different scenes.

    When shooting action sports, I use the Sports mode.

  • Geoff Wilson May 13, 2007 10:55 pm

    Usually P while wandering around, swap to AP or SP based on circumstance (AP - depth of field control, SP - blur or stop motion).

    I've been playing with lots of off camera flash (strobist.com), and that is done in M (basically studio work, so want full control).

  • bartheq May 13, 2007 10:52 pm

    I currently have 1503 photos on my website and the counts are:

    M: 553 photos
    S: 472 photos
    P: 348 photos
    A: 130 photos

    I've NEVER used anything below "P" (:

  • Vicki Ekstrom May 13, 2007 10:41 pm

    Aperture Priority for me but I'm new to this and hoping to work my way up to Manual in the future.

  • George May 13, 2007 10:40 pm

    At first with my 350D I used AV mode all the time, the occasional M mode for panos or shutter priority for those special shots. But now I've started to use P mode (think its called 'program'). Give it a go, it's not that bad.

  • El TiDY May 13, 2007 10:39 pm

    really depends on the shoot ... and what it requires ... sports - shutter priority, nighttime - full manual ... the list goes on ...

    but for general walk around, aperture priority ...

  • Seth May 13, 2007 10:32 pm

    When I shoot my point and shoot camera, it's mostly on Program or the Portrait preset. When I am shooting my SLR I shoot a lot on manual. But I also shoot quite a bit with AV and TV. I guess I am all over the place.

  • Chris Osborne May 13, 2007 10:30 pm

    I just got my Rebel XT, and I have to admit that I'm using full Auto more than I'd like. But I'm doing it to see how the camera sets itself up because my thinking is that I can learn from that.

    But the majority of the time I'm in full Manual. I like control.

  • Trevor Carpenter May 13, 2007 10:29 pm

    I keep my D40 set to the no-flash auto setting. However, I use Aperture Priority and the Sport settings quite a lot.

    The AP helps me get the look I like.

    The Sport helps me capture my wild kids.

  • Eric Olson May 13, 2007 10:26 pm

    Almost always manual, since it allows maximum flexibility in selecting the best blend of f-stop and shutter speed. However, if I'm trying to "grab" a shot it's back to Auto. Without time to think, Auto gives me the best chance of getting an acceptable image.

  • thegooner May 13, 2007 10:25 pm

    Program AE. I am on a steep learning curve!!

  • mike May 13, 2007 10:17 pm

    Im a full Manual kind of guy, I like to control the exposure of my shots by playing around, it takes me a little longer, but Im getting the hang of it

  • Kevin May 13, 2007 09:55 pm

    Aperture priority when I shoot flowers/still life.
    Shutter priority when I shoot sports.
    Manual for portraits/everything else.

  • Alick May 13, 2007 09:50 pm

    Aperture priority

  • Phil R May 13, 2007 09:47 pm

    Just about always manual... but it took me a while to go to it. It was a slow march to it!

  • Nick May 13, 2007 09:46 pm

    Av mostly.

    Tv with flash.

    Manual some.

  • Gravecat May 13, 2007 09:32 pm

    Gotta add another vote for Aperture Priority. ;) Manual has its time and place, but I find that AP gives the best balance of control and speed. Sometimes there just isn't time to be fiddling about with the settings for ten seconds before each shot.

  • Pierre May 13, 2007 09:29 pm

    I used to be a "fully automatic" kind of guy, but I grew tired of it.
    But I found that a light meter's wrong about 80% of the time, so now I mostly shoot in fully manual mode. Of course, I do use my camera's meter in the form of a gauge in my viewfinder, but just to help me expose just the way I want depending on the scene.

    I takes a little getting used to, but it really helped me take better pictures.

  • William Luu May 13, 2007 09:21 pm

    Almost always in Aperture Priority mode. But would love to spend more time in full manual mode, just not that comfortable with it (yet).

  • Johnny Malkavian May 13, 2007 09:20 pm

    Manual mostly. I'm new and thought it's the best way to learn what my camera can do.

  • Éric May 13, 2007 09:19 pm

    Mostly Aperture priority mode all the time.

    On occasion, when necassary, I'll switch to Shutter speed priority mode.

    On very special circonstances I'll use the full Manual mode, but that's very rare.

    And finally, my camera is in full automatic mode only when my wife have it in her hands! ;)

  • Luis Cruz May 13, 2007 09:13 pm

    Manual most of the time.

    Av sometimes.

  • aChamp May 13, 2007 08:51 pm

    Manual, i want to have the full control of my camera.

  • deuts May 13, 2007 08:50 pm

    almost all the time, from the time I open my camera until I switch it off, it is in a shutter-priority mode. I still have to learn when and how to use effectively the other modes, especially the full manual.

  • Sime May 13, 2007 08:48 pm

    Mainly AP.


  • hoges May 13, 2007 08:45 pm

    manual 90% of the time use programme to get rough idea then start to shoot and adjust

  • Skyman May 13, 2007 08:44 pm

    Me to :) I like those blurry backgrounds behind my main subjects ;)

  • Timen May 13, 2007 08:05 pm

    Almost always aperture priority. That's one of the few things that really makes those fotos look different.