It’s the age-old perpetual question. And it’s one seen daily in photography forums and groups on social media. What camera mode should I use? And, well, it’s not really an easy question to answer. There are those who are of the “manual, always or you’re not a real photographer” persuasion, but there are times when the other modes work extremely well.
In this video, Mike Smith takes a look at the different shooting modes offered by cameras and offers up some tips as to when might be the right time to use each. And while the names might be slightly different for some brands, these modes are consistent throughout pretty much all brands and types of interchangeable lens camera from 35mm SLRs, through DSLRs to mirrorless.
The short version is that there’s no right answer for all situations. All of the different modes have their advantages and disadvantages against the others. It’s more about being able to figure out which is best for the situation you’re facing. The trick is to learn how each of the modes works so that you can figure that out for yourself at the time you need to shoot.
Personally, I shoot manual exposure probably about 95% of the time. But it’s what best fits the majority of the shooting I do. It works for me and what I need – especially when working with flash. But there are times when I’m not using manual. For wildlife, I’ll often go shutter priority. When location scouting with lighting conditions that are constantly changing, sometimes I’ll just go P mode. I’m forced to shoot family stuff, I’ll go aperture priority and throw a flash on the hotshoe in TTL mode and I don’t have to think too much about anything.
Not everything needs to be a work of art. Sometimes you’re just capturing memories or shooting a record.