Top Deck: Mode Dial (Manual Modes)
Now we're getting to the good stuff, in my opinion, and this is where we start having more manual control of the camera. You'll have full access through the menu. The child safety locks have been taken off. The first and easiest of these modes is the program mode, and the program mode, in some ways, is very similar to the scene intelligent mode. It sets shutter speeds and apertures for you. The two big differences in my mind is the flash does not pop up unless you tell it to pop up, so it's under manual control, and the second thing is is that the child safety locks on all the other buttons and dials of the camera have been taken off, so you now have more control on it. So in this case the camera is gonna set shutter speeds and apertures for you, and you will see that by looking through the viewfinder. And when you look through the viewfinder, there's a line of information down along the bottom. I'll go through the specifics of that here in a little bit in the next section. But to star...
t with the numbers. Starting on the left, we have our shutter speed and then our apertures. So those are our important exposure numbers. And then a bit over towards the right you're gonna see the ISO setting on the camera. And then way over on the right hand side is where you're gonna see the images left that you can shoot at any one time in a burst of images. And so, you can just be aware of where those numbers are when you have that set. Now, if you're not happy with those numbers, you would like to adjust them, you can do so. Even though the camera is giving you a set of numbers, you can adjust them by doing program shift and turning the top dial on the camera. So let me show you on my camera. I've got my camera set in the program mode to start with. And there's a couple of different display screens, and we're gonna talk more about this up there. But this one here, let me see if it is giving us, yeah, along the top here it's 1/60th of a second at 7.1 aperture. If I don't like that, I can turn the dial, and you can see that I'm getting more depth of field. Down at F32, I'm gonna get more depth of field and a slower shutter speed. Now, as far as brighter and darker, I haven't made any change there. We'll talk about that here in just a moment. But this is changing both of those numbers, and let me just do a couple of test shots for you. I'm gonna set it all the way to the extreme here, and I'm gonna take a photo. And then I'm gonna quickly go back and get this set up. And I'm gonna go to the other extreme and we'll take a photo here. And I'm gonna play these photos back. And they're gonna look nearly identical to you. So here's the one at F32. Here's the one at F5. Exposure-wise they are identical. They are the same brightness here. There's a very, very slight difference, and so you're gonna get an even exposure but the depth of field is different. This isn't a great example for showing you depth of field. I just wanted to show you you get the same exposure, but you get to choose different numbers, so the more you know about shutter speeds and apertures, you can just put the camera in the program mode and make quick adjustments. But one thing I do want to show you on that, take a look on the back of the camera here. Let's say I wanna choose F8. Okay. So, I'm at F8 right now. Dandy. Now I'm thinkin' about my photograph, and the camera goes to sleep. I press down on the shutter release to wake the camera up, and it's no longer at F8 anymore. It resets back to its default position. And so what it's doing is it's always trying to give you just kind of a good generic starting point. The problem is is that when you know what you wanna have set, it doesn't stay there. And that's why we're gonna be using some of the other modes coming up next. Now when you're in the program mode, if you do wanna adjust the brightness on the back of the camera is an AV, stands for aperture value, but you'll also see it's got a plus and minus sign. And whenever you see plus and minus that generally means brighter and darker. So if you wanna make the picture brighter or darker you're gonna be able to press, do it by pressing the button and turning the main dial on the camera. So, you can go to the minus side, which means it's going to be darker by one, two, three stops or more. You can go to the plus side, which means it's gonna be brighter by one, two, three stops or more. And so if you don't like the brightness of your image you can adjust that. And you'll do that here in the program mode. You'll also do it in the next two modes that we're gonna talk about. The time value mode. And the aperture value mode. And so, it is a little bit tricky. And one of the down sides of this camera, the complaint that I and everyone else has about the, your standard Rebel line of cameras, is that we only have one dial on the camera. So let me show you on my camera real quickly. If you recall in the program mode, screen turned on, this dial was adjusting shutter speeds and apertures simultaneously. But by pressing in on the plus minus button here and turning the dial, you can see I got those little arrows coming up, now I can make our picture darker and brighter. So as an example let's do a series of shots. Starting at minus two. And let's get back in here. And we'll set the next one at zero. And we don't have to hold onto it. It's at zero right now. And so, we'll go back in and now we'll do a plus two. And so once we set it to two, it's at two. And so if the camera goes to sleep, we'll let it go really to sleep here. Take a couple more seconds. Ah, now it doesn't wanna go to sleep. But it needed, there we go. And so, it's still at two, so we'll do plus two and let's take a look at these three photos. And so here is the one at plus two. You can see it right down here on the bottom. Plus two. Normal. And minus two. And so if you said you know what, that seems a little dark, that seems a little bright, maybe plus one is the correct setting for this particular scenario. 'Cause not every scenario is at zero. And so it depends on the brightness of the subjects that are there. And so that actually looked pretty good. If I go back and press play. Plus one looks pretty good. Plus two seems a little bright to me. And normal seems a little bit on the dark side. But once again, I'm gonna wanna go ahead and reset this back down to zero. Kind of as a default place to keep it. And so that's your exposure compensation. Which is a great way of controlling the brightness of your images. All right, next up is the time value mode. And this is where you get to choose the time that the shutter is open. And that's gonna range from 1/4,000th of a second all the way down to 30 seconds. And so, you'll also be able to change your exposure compensation like we just talked about by pressing the back button, holding it down, and turning the top dial. So the top dial controls both the shutter speeds and the exposure compensation. It depends on whether you are pressing that plus minus button on the back of the camera. So you'll change it for, the shutter speed to something really fast, like 1/1,000th of a second for any sort of action that's happening very, very quickly. If you want to blur the motion, you could use a very long shutter speed like a one second shutter speed. And so this is very good for using with moving subjects. But there is a little caveat that you need to be concerned about. But I wanna get to aperture value next. And we'll talk about both of these together here. And so in aperture value, you get to set the aperture according to how much depth of field you want. And the aperture will depend on what lens you have on your camera. If you don't have an aperture that goes down to 1. that won't be an option. But there are lenses that will go down to 1.4. So let me show you on my camera real quickly. On the aperture priority mode, aperture value mode on the back of the camera. You can see our little aperture back here has a maximum aperture of F5 on this lens. But if I zoom it all the way back to 18, let's see, we can get all the way down to 3.5. And we can go all the way up to F22, where we have sharp in the background. And this is gonna be blurry in the background down here. But if I go to the time value mode, we'll have a little different option here. We can go to slower shutter speeds and we can go to faster shutter speeds. Up to 1/4,000 of a second. But you'll notice that the camera has a little bit of a warning here. Images will be underexposed. And that's because we don't have an aperture that is bright enough for this situation. You'll see at the top of the screen the F3.5 is blinking. And that's what will happen in the view finder. You don't get this fancy little graphic here in the view finder. You'll just simply have a blinking 3.5. And if we shoot a photo this is what it might look like. See, that looks pretty dark. And is clearly too dark. And so, what we wanna do is we wanna adjust our shutter speed back to where it's in an acceptable level. And at this case, the fastest we can shoot is 1/400th of a second for this case and still get a normal exposure. And so you do have to be very careful in the time value mode because you can go beyond what the aperture can handle. If we go back into the aperture mode, you'll find that we don't have that same problem with shutter speeds. So on either extreme we do not get a warning that says that we don't have an appropriate shutter speed. And you can see our shutter speeds up here on the top are well within the range that the camera can handle. And so, I very much prefer the aperture value mode for general photography. Because you're less likely to end up with a major mistake problem. Now in this mode you can of course press down on that plus minus button to get your exposure compensation. For getting great depth of field you'll wanna stop down to F11, 16, 22, numbers like that if you want everything from the foreground to the background in focus. If you want very shallow depth of fields you'll open it up as wide as your lens will go. Might be 3.5. If you have one of the lenses that go down to 1.4, you're gonna be able to get really shallow depth of field. And so, aperture value is one of the most popular ways that Canon cameras are used because it's quick. But you still have a fair bit of manual control with it. The final item on the list is full manual control. And this is where you get to choose shutter speeds and apertures. And so you'll change your shutter speeds on the top of the camera. And apertures by pressing the AV button and turning the top dial on the camera. And this is where you'll be looking at the light meter on the camera in order to get a correct exposure. And so there's a number of reasons why I like manual exposure. The first reason is for tricky lighting situations where there's either abnormal amounts of either bright area or dark area. Taking a manual exposure, checking it, making a few adjustments, getting it set right means that you're gonna be able to get that situation exposed exactly the way you wanted to. And the other important reason is for consistent results. If you are shooting under a common lighting system that's not changing on you, it's got the same basic lighting, but you wanna change different lenses and different angles of view, and you want all your photos to come out with the same exposure settings you're gonna be able to do that with manual exposure and get nice consistent results with all of your photos. Now when you are in the manual exposure mode the longest shutter speed is 30 seconds. But when you go beyond 30 seconds you'll hit something called the bulb timer. Which allows you to leave the shutter open for even longer than 30 seconds. It's as long as you want it to be open. And so that's a handy way of doing like a two minute exposure. And so the way the bulb works is you press down on the shutter release to open up the shutter, and it's gonna stay open as long as your finger is pressed down on that bulb release. And, it's best not to use the shutter release on the camera. This is where you'd wanna use one of those remote releases so that you're not vibrating or moving the camera. And then the exposure will end when you take your finger off of the bulb. And so, if you do wanna get into the bulb timer there is actually a bulb timer in the camera that you can get into and program as well. But let me give you a little preview on the manual mode on the camera. Let's go ahead and operate this manually. And so I've got my camera in the manual mode. And let's just say I want an aperture of F8. That's kind of a nice middle number. Currently I'm at 5.6. Now, to change the aperture on the camera if you recall the top dial controls the shutter speeds, I need to press the AV for aperture value. And now you'll see the change. Now I can change the aperture back here. And i can change that to F8. And so I can go throughout the whole range that this particular lens has. And I wanna get it to F8. Now, I don't care what my shutter speed is, I just want to get an even exposure. And so if I press halfway down, you'll see as I change my shutter speed my light meter there at the top of the frame is going back and forth. And the correct reading right here is at 1/100th of a second. Now I do have my ISO set to 3,200. And we'll talk more about that later. And so this is an even exposure because that top indicator is right there in the middle. And I'm going to see a slightly different but similar concept meter in the view finder right below the image area. And so if I take a picture right here, I should get a normal exposure. Now if I'm not happy with that exposure I could make a little bit of an adjustment. Like, looking at that photo I could say, you know what, I think it might be better if it was a little bit brighter. So I could choose to change my shutter speeds in this direction to make it a little bit brighter. Or I could choose to change my aperture in this direction to make it a little bit brighter. So maybe I'd shoot it at F6.3. And this image here, is gonna be a little bit brighter at 6. 'cause it's letting in a bit more light than it is at F8. And so, when you're able to make these fine tune adjustments you're gonna be able to get nice even exposures with consistent results whenever you want. And so, highly recommend using manual exposure as much as you can as long as you have the time and knowledge to work with it. It's gonna make you a better photographer when you are really setting those numbers up yourself. So we have a lot of good options here. There's reasons for using every different one of these options on the mode dial. But to be honest with you, most kind of serious photographers are gonna stick to two modes. Manual. And aperture value. There are reasons to go to other modes. I will occasionally use the time value mode when I wanna hit a very specific time. Sometimes when I just need a quick photo and I don't even wanna think about the settings, and yes that does happen to me, I'll just throw it in the program mode. I can't bring myself to put it in the scene intelligent mode because I still wanna go in and make control settings myself with other features in there. And there's just too many child safety locks in that mode. And so I tend to stay to those first four modes. But most of the time, I'm in either manual or aperture value, which I think are great modes for most everybody.