Camera Modes For Beginners-Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority

Best modes for a beginner

Shutter Priority & Aperture Priority

stevedaponte_sutterpriority_img5936

 On Canon it is indicated by ( Tv ) on Nikon ( S ) on others ( Sv )

When the camera is set to Shutter Priority ( Tv, S, Sv ) you control the shutter speed and the camera will automaticaly select the Aperture for proper exposure.

TIP: The suggested safe shutter speed for hand held shooting is 1/60 at 50mm focal length when you change lens focal length the general suggested guideline is to simply place a 1 over the focal length. 

Example: 250mm lens – safe Handheld minimum shutter speed is 1/250 

Note: To freeze action like an ocean wave, water splash etc.  your shutter speed should be 1/500 or above.

 Q:  In certain lighting situations I cannot get a high enough shutter speed to safely hand hold the camera, what can I do to raise the shutter speed?

A: When shooting in shutter priority you can set a faster shutter by Increasing ↑ ISO from say ISO100 to ISO800

Q: Doesn’t increasing ISO effect the image quality?

A: In Short yes, as ISO increases so does digital image noise. With todays post processing software much if not all the noise can be reduced or eliminated. The trade-off, using post processing software to remove noise will make the image soft. More About ISO

TIP: Do test shots with your camera and determine what the highest ISO acceptable is and make a mental note of that ISO setting. I will go into more detail about ISO in seperate post.

Q: I set a shutter speed of 1/500, why does my camera set the shutter speed lower when I take the photo?

A: In some camera models you can set what is called safety shift. This will override your shutter speed setting in order to maintain a proper exposure. This feature is accessed through some cameras through the menu settings. It can be turned OFF/ON but I suggest you leave it ON. If it is not turned ON you may end up with underexposed photos.

TIP: Consult your camera menu for the safety shift feature

The ultimate remedy for low shutter speed situation is to use a nearby stable surface or tripod and use self timer or a remote trigger

Aperture Priority:

When the camera is set to Aperture Priority ( Av, A) you control the aperture and the camera will automaticaly select the Shutter Speed for proper exposure.

Aperture priority works in the same manner but you will have to watch your shutter speed (remember the guidelines)

The suggested safe shutter speed for hand held shooting is 1/60 at 50mm focal length when you change lens focal length the general suggested guideline is to simply place a 1 over the focal length. 

Example: 250mm lens – safe Handheld minimum shutter speed is 1/250 

Q: What does changing the Aperture do? More about Aperture AKA f-Stop

A: It does two things

1: Lets more light through the lens f1.4 or less Light f22

2: It gives the image more or less depth Depth Of Field which is how much of the scene will be in focus.

Examples – 50mm prime lens at f1.4 a very small area will be in focus and the rest will be blurred. At f22 with the focus set to 3-meters the image will be in focus from front to back.

Q: When would I use say f1.4?

A: Portraits of people, animals or any other objects you want to be the main focus in your image. You would also opt for f1.4 in low lighting conditions as this will let the maximum light through the lens.

Q: When would I use f13,f16 or f22?

A: For environmental portraits, landscapes, seascapes or any other environment that you want most if not all of the scene in focus.

Another helpful article The Exposure Triangle

Feel free to leave comments and questions.

 

3 thoughts on “Camera Modes For Beginners-Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority

  1. Pingback: Why Post Process? Part 3 | Lighthouse Camera Club

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