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12/17/2010 06:48:14 PM · #1
How many professional photogs use mainly auto setting on their camera? Or do most use the manual, shutter, or other settings? Question based on a discussion I had with a professional photog earlier in the week.

Message edited by author 2010-12-17 18:51:57.
12/17/2010 07:29:58 PM · #2
I don't know...but I, a rank amateur, use manual and aperture priority, about 50/50.
12/17/2010 07:32:51 PM · #3
I use Manual pretty much all of the time. The priority settings annoy me in general.
On the other hand, I pretty much entirely use auto focus.
12/17/2010 07:37:03 PM · #4
The only auto setting I use is auto focus. I'm not a professional.

What was the comment from the pro?
12/17/2010 07:41:03 PM · #5
I don't think my D90 has ever been set to auto.
12/17/2010 08:36:14 PM · #6
What difference does it make? As long as you get the shot, who cares? :)
12/17/2010 08:43:05 PM · #7
Full auto to should not be used if you want to achieve a certain goal as you have no control over what the camera is doing.

However, the specialized auto modes like portrait and landscape try to make certain setting choices to achieve a certain effect and may give the result wanted in a particular situation. The results can be pretty sketchy though if the lighting isn't entirely perfect.

The main thing is to know your camera. The more you know your camera the more likely you are to get the shot you want at the time you want it. No use fumbling around with controls if by the time you get everything set the moment has passed and you've missed the shot.

BTW. I shoot almost entirely on manual and I'm an amateur.
12/17/2010 08:49:30 PM · #8
The pro said him and his colleagues use auto a lot. He noticed I was using manual and asked me why. That's when he told me they use auto most of the time.

Originally posted by PGerst:

The only auto setting I use is auto focus. I'm not a professional.

What was the comment from the pro?
12/17/2010 09:05:11 PM · #9
I've been shooting purely manual for over a year now. The learning curve for auto is just to steep to change now.
12/17/2010 09:06:54 PM · #10
*PGerst takes deep breath*
** crickets chirp **
*PGerst raises index finger as if an 'ah ha' moment has reached him*

*PGerst says:

"I got nothing"

It would be interesting to hear their reasons for that, specifically based on experience. To clarify, are they on FULL auto? That is MUCH different than Av or Tv modes which certainly have a utility to any amateur and professional photographer.

I briefly worked as an assistant wedding photographer (briefly because I refused to sign the no-competition agreement, long story, but there were some unreasonable requests). Anyway, I learned a few things from that photographer. I compared notes with those on the site, in particular related to things such as flash brackets, bounce flash, fill flash, natural light, etc.

2 years later, the same photographer was taking shots for my cousin's wedding. She was doing nothing of what I learned from other pros. She looked more like a snappy amateur photographer. I must say, many of the photos looked like it too.

So, I'm quite curious to hear the reasons why.

Originally posted by rugman1969:

The pro said him and his colleagues use auto a lot. He noticed I was using manual and asked me why. That's when he told me they use auto most of the time.

Originally posted by PGerst:

The only auto setting I use is auto focus. I'm not a professional.

What was the comment from the pro?
12/17/2010 09:08:12 PM · #11
Originally posted by rugman1969:

The pro said him and his colleagues use auto a lot. He noticed I was using manual and asked me why. That's when he told me they use auto most of the time.


Pro at what? I can see certain types of photography inviting intelligent use of auto, others not so much. Architectural photography is very sensitive to correct exposure and precise placement of DOF, for example, and is not a likely discipline for auto-anything, inasmuch as there's usually no time pressure or urgency involved.

R.
12/17/2010 09:16:45 PM · #12
usually aperture priority, unless im shooting my kids and then its tv at 1/4000 :)
12/17/2010 09:18:55 PM · #13
I'm not a pro... but I cannot imagine a scenario where full auto would out-perform Av or Tv. The results would be unpredictable, and when you are shooting professionally, unpredictable is the last thing you want.
12/17/2010 09:26:16 PM · #14
Originally posted by kirbic:

I'm not a pro... but I cannot imagine a scenario where full auto would out-perform Av or Tv. The results would be unpredictable, and when you are shooting professionally, unpredictable is the last thing you want.


my highest scoring photo i tried all sorts of settings and then i just tested to see what the camera would do on full auto. it blew away all the other captures i got.

but i see where you are coming from, usually most of us want or need to control at least DOF or shutter speed if not both.
12/17/2010 09:43:34 PM · #15
There are also plenty of ribbon winners that were taken with P&S cameras, but yet many of us spend the bucks on the high end cameras. For that same reason, a single good shot with a P&S or full auto is overpowered by the general day to day quality from SLRs and manual options.

Originally posted by mike_311:


my highest scoring photo i tried all sorts of settings and then i just tested to see what the camera would do on full auto. it blew away all the other captures i got.

but i see where you are coming from, usually most of us want or need to control at least DOF or shutter speed if not both.
12/17/2010 09:53:25 PM · #16
Originally posted by mike_311:

Originally posted by kirbic:

I'm not a pro... but I cannot imagine a scenario where full auto would out-perform Av or Tv. The results would be unpredictable, and when you are shooting professionally, unpredictable is the last thing you want.


my highest scoring photo i tried all sorts of settings and then i just tested to see what the camera would do on full auto. it blew away all the other captures i got.


Well if you compare auto to user error auto should win out. ;)
12/17/2010 09:58:02 PM · #17
There are tons of situations where fully auto is the BEST solution. The mode you choose, as long as it accomplishes your result, does not define how good/bad/professional/amateur you are.
12/17/2010 10:02:15 PM · #18
Such as?

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

There are tons of situations where fully auto is the BEST solution.
12/17/2010 10:16:17 PM · #19
Originally posted by PGerst:

Such as?

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

There are tons of situations where fully auto is the BEST solution.


When there is no time to dial in the correct settings and you can't plan ahead?
12/17/2010 11:38:40 PM · #20
Originally posted by PGerst:

Such as?

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

There are tons of situations where fully auto is the BEST solution.


Such as when you are shooting in a photojournalism situation where the action is moving quickly and you don't need your camera slowing you down.
12/17/2010 11:45:57 PM · #21
Cameras are smarter than most photographers give them credit for. This is a situation I have seen on this website over and over again. For some reason, I believe that photographers feel like they are better at what they are doing if they are doing it in manual mode. Maybe it makes them feel more intelligent when they have to manually set every single aspect of the camera technicals. Knowing how to do that is a good thing, but in so many cases, it seems like a complete waste of time to me. I believe a really great photographer would quickly learn that the PROGRAM automatic mode is their best friend. It's the best of both worlds. It's a fully automatic, aperture priority, and shutter priority mode all rolled into one.

Sure... there are situations that do require fully manual control. It's just that most don't :)

Oh... I forgot... Real photographers spot meter everything too ;)

Message edited by author 2010-12-17 23:47:09.
12/17/2010 11:51:38 PM · #22
I almost always shoot in Av or Tv mode, even "P" sometimes..

Sure, I also use Manual mode, but that's largely for when I want to shoot outside the camera's comfort zone - (think dark night shots, you can't set the auto modes to underexpose enough)...

I find that the intelligence of the auto (assist?) modes is perfectly sufficient for my purposes, and especially when shooting wildlife, I might, on a single animal, quite quickly, find that I need to swing my lens through a wide, wide range of lighting - so much so that the darkest shots would be black, and the lightest would be nothing but blown out.. (think dark bushes or water into a bright sky)... There's simply no time to make those settings, and only a fool or Superman would think they should try..

So, I argue that the reason a person would regularly use Manual mode is probably limited to a few reasonable factors, including:

1. It's great practice to understand what the settings do, and how they should be roughly set
2. If you have a light meter, clearly, manual mode is a must
3. It looks "cOoL" to the amateurs..

Other than that? Put the f-ing thing on P, and switch it to Av or Tv if you need to control depth of field, shutter speed, or if you want to create nice stars from point sources of light, or need a slower shutter speed for motion blurring..

*shrug* I know there will be plenty who disagree with me, but I can tell you this works, and I rarely really "miss" a shot, most of my failures are actually from AF failures, and the only solution for that is more $$ in lenses...

Message edited by author 2010-12-17 23:54:22.
12/17/2010 11:53:15 PM · #23
I'm older than dirt, so I learned to shoot before auto was available. Manual is what I learned with and manual is where it stays. I suppose I'm a control freak, I just hate giving the camera control of anything.
12/18/2010 12:14:55 AM · #24
a pro once told me, "i paid enough for this camera...the damn thing should be able to think for itself."

i don't think it really matters what mode you use as long as you know what you're after and what you have to do with your camera to realize your vision.
12/18/2010 12:19:36 AM · #25
DOF is always my main priority for my day to day shooting so I usually use aV when Im shooting outside stuff. However, I do a lot of indoor events and thats when Manual mode comes in the best. Like, when Im shooting a concert, the camera will tell me that it wants the exposure to be at 1/4 of a second, well thats just too slow for me. Usually in dark areas like that, the highlights on the people are way blown out. However, whenever I use Manual, I set the shutter speed to be around 1/100th or so, depending on the venue. This usually gives me the best shots. The pictures arent over exposed and usually there isnt much motion blur.

When I shoot HDR I always use aV, never shoot HDR with Program Auto. You will probably regret it at least once.
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