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Question about Aperture priority and Shutter Priority

 
 
John Edwards
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      01-04-2005
I had been trying to use Aperture / Shutter Priority modes for some
time now. In all my readings online and in books, it is adviced that in
low light situations where we need more light to come into the camera,
use aperture priority. That seems about right.

My question is the following :

1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture. Now
the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low light
situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider apertures, am
I correct in this assumption.. ?

BTW, the camera I am using is a Nikon 4500 Digital Camera.
Regards,
-- John Edwards.

 
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Jim
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      01-04-2005

"John Edwards" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> I had been trying to use Aperture / Shutter Priority modes for some
> time now. In all my readings online and in books, it is adviced that in
> low light situations where we need more light to come into the camera,
> use aperture priority. That seems about right.

Sorry that is not right. While it is correct that you need more light,
there are many ways to accomplish this goal.
>
> My question is the following :
>
> 1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
> built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
> lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
> speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
> Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
> speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
> mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
> consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
> the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture. Now
> the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low light
> situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider apertures, am
> I correct in this assumption.. ?

No, you are very incorrect. The reason the camera chose f2.9 when you set
the shutter speed to 1/60 was that f2.9 is the widest available.
In the prior instance, the camera came much closer to the correct exposure.
You should use flash in such a case.
Jim


 
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Dave Cohen
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      01-04-2005

"Jim" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:6AzCd.10798$(E-Mail Removed) om...
>
> "John Edwards" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>> I had been trying to use Aperture / Shutter Priority modes for some
>> time now. In all my readings online and in books, it is adviced that in
>> low light situations where we need more light to come into the camera,
>> use aperture priority. That seems about right.

> Sorry that is not right. While it is correct that you need more light,
> there are many ways to accomplish this goal.
>>
>> My question is the following :
>>
>> 1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
>> built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
>> lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
>> speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
>> Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
>> speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
>> mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
>> consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
>> the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture. Now
>> the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low light
>> situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider apertures, am
>> I correct in this assumption.. ?

> No, you are very incorrect. The reason the camera chose f2.9 when you set
> the shutter speed to 1/60 was that f2.9 is the widest available.
> In the prior instance, the camera came much closer to the correct
> exposure.
> You should use flash in such a case.
> Jim
>

On a canon A95 if you select a shutter speed for which the camera cannot
match a correct aperture, the max aperture displays in red to warn that you
are out of range.
In aperture priority, if flash is not set, a time of 1 sec was indicated. If
flash is set this changes to 1/60 and flash fires. All this requires display
to be on. I would be surprised if other cameras weren't equally helpful, but
if this is not the case it only reinforces my good judgement in selecting a
canon.
Dave Cohen


 
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Joseph Meehan
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      01-04-2005
John Edwards wrote:
> I had been trying to use Aperture / Shutter Priority modes for some
> time now. In all my readings online and in books, it is adviced that
> in low light situations where we need more light to come into the
> camera, use aperture priority. That seems about right.
>
> My question is the following :
>
> 1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
> built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
> lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
> speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
> Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
> speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
> mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
> consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
> the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture. Now
> the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low
> light situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider
> apertures, am I correct in this assumption.. ?
>
> BTW, the camera I am using is a Nikon 4500 Digital Camera.
> Regards,
> -- John Edwards.


Sorry, but no. When you forced the 1/60 second, the camera just did the
best it could with your required 1/60. Based on the camera's meter the
image will be underexposed, or it might have increased the effective ISO
(light sensitivity) setting, which you could have done manually.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


 
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paul
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      01-04-2005
John Edwards wrote:
>
> 1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
> built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
> lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
> speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
> Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
> speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
> mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
> consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
> the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture.


It probably adjusted the ISO for you which is good. I think you are
understanding this correctly, if it's so dark that you are getting
speeds too slow to hand hold then yes, set it on shutter priority so
you're pics don't come out blurred from shake when you don't notice.

I usually use aperture priority when I need a high depth of field & the
light is adequate. Total auto mode for some reason always defaults to
poor depth (small aperture number) which is seldom what I want. Normally
it won't give you a better depth until the speed goes below 1/60.


> Now
> the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low light
> situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider apertures, am
> I correct in this assumption.. ?
>
> BTW, the camera I am using is a Nikon 4500 Digital Camera.
> Regards,
> -- John Edwards.
>

 
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Dave Cohen
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      01-05-2005
As long as display is on, in shutter priority my A95 warns if exposure is
insufficient by displaying aperture in red. It will also warn of under or
over exposure in full manual mode.
Dave Cohen
"paul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> John Edwards wrote:
>>
>> 1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
>> built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
>> lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
>> speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
>> Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
>> speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
>> mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
>> consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
>> the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture.

>
> It probably adjusted the ISO for you which is good. I think you are
> understanding this correctly, if it's so dark that you are getting speeds
> too slow to hand hold then yes, set it on shutter priority so you're pics
> don't come out blurred from shake when you don't notice.
>
> I usually use aperture priority when I need a high depth of field & the
> light is adequate. Total auto mode for some reason always defaults to poor
> depth (small aperture number) which is seldom what I want. Normally it
> won't give you a better depth until the speed goes below 1/60.
>
>
>> Now
>> the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low light
>> situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider apertures, am
>> I correct in this assumption.. ?
>>
>> BTW, the camera I am using is a Nikon 4500 Digital Camera.
>> Regards,
>> -- John Edwards.
>>



 
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MarkH
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      01-05-2005
"John Edwards" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:1104855659.888595.215930
@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> I had been trying to use Aperture / Shutter Priority modes for some
> time now. In all my readings online and in books, it is adviced that in
> low light situations where we need more light to come into the camera,
> use aperture priority. That seems about right.


This is true for ambient light, not necessarily true for using a flash.

> 1) Say if I am shooting a picutre indoors (inside the house) with the
> built in flash of my camera, and say I adjusted the aperture to the
> lowest that my camera can go to (which is 2.9), I see that the shutter
> speed is automatically adjusted which it should as I am using the
> Aperture Priority Mode. The problem with this approach is the shutter
> speed is adjusted to say 1/4 or 1/2 sec, which is quite slow and might
> mean camera shake / blur if the subject is not really still. Now
> consider the same situation, if I used Shutter Priority and adjusted
> the shutter speed to 1/60, I can somehow still get 2.9 Aperture. Now
> the question is, it looks like shutter priority is better for low light
> situations where we want faster shutter speeds and wider apertures, am
> I correct in this assumption.. ?


If using Aperture Priority the camera will set the best shutter speed to
match that aperture, many cameras do this for ambient light only and use
the flash for fill.

If using Shutter Priority when there is not enough light the camera will
set the aperture to max wide and then use the flash to get the right
exposure.

It's all about whether the camera is exposing for ambient light and using
the flash as fill, or if the camera is using the flash as the main light
source. If you set the aperture then the camera can use the ambient light,
but if you set the shutter speed then often there is no way the camera can
get the exposure right without using the flash as the main light source.


--
Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz (last updated 12-Nov-04)
"There are 10 types of people, those that
understand binary and those that don't"

 
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John Edwards
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      01-05-2005
Thanks for all the replies.

Mark,
Yes, the Flash on the camera is the main light source. Indoor
photography atleast as far as I have seen has very little ambient light
(which is atleast in the USA driven by halogen lights that are around
150Watts). So I have to mostly use the flash on the camera as the main
light source, ofcourse a TTL external flash would be a better choice.

In my experience, whenever I photograph people at parties,
get-togethers etc. I have noticed that the ambient light is definitely
not enough to get good exposures in the Camera "auto" or "Programmed
mode". This is when I started using the Aperture Prioriy mode to
increase the aperture so that I get better exposures (basically so that
atleast the people are not "dark"). This is the point when the camera
started choosing very slow shutter speeds, which again is a problem as
people at parties often move quite randomly, so photo blur/shake is a
definite possiblity. Then I started to venture into shutter priority
where I can atleast have 1/60th of second so that I do not get motion
blur. Incidentally the camera as you had written chose the widest
possible aperture (f/2.9) in my case, and the exposures were brighter
with the subjects and backgrounds well lit.

I am not sure how other people cope with this situation, photographing
outdoors where there is enough ambient light is not much of a problem,
I think even with a point and shoot camera if you are lucky you will
get good exposures. I always find it very challenging to photograph
people indoors especially during parties at night where I have to
depend only on the indoor "dull" lighting. I have seen phots taken by
way too many people (not professionals) and have always observed that
the subject is very dark and the backgrounds virtually not visible !!
I am sure if there is a professional taking these photos, (having the
same cameras without any fancy strobes or studio equipment) he would
definitely get better photos. That is what I am trying to find out in
this newsgroup, as to how the pros handle this situation ??
Regards,
-- John Edwards

 
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Owamanga
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      01-05-2005
On 5 Jan 2005 08:08:07 -0800, "John Edwards" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Thanks for all the replies.
>
>Mark,
>Yes, the Flash on the camera is the main light source. Indoor
>photography atleast as far as I have seen has very little ambient light
>(which is atleast in the USA driven by halogen lights that are around
>150Watts). So I have to mostly use the flash on the camera as the main
>light source, ofcourse a TTL external flash would be a better choice.


You got it. External bounce flash is what you need. On camera flash is
fine for daylight fill but just horrible for low-light portraits.

>In my experience, whenever I photograph people at parties,
>get-togethers etc. I have noticed that the ambient light is definitely
>not enough to get good exposures in the Camera "auto" or "Programmed
>mode". This is when I started using the Aperture Prioriy mode to
>increase the aperture so that I get better exposures (basically so that
>atleast the people are not "dark"). This is the point when the camera
>started choosing very slow shutter speeds, which again is a problem as
>people at parties often move quite randomly, so photo blur/shake is a
>definite possiblity.


But people movement also brings life to the picture. You don't want
too much, but you don't want none at all either. Shake can be
eliminated totally by using a tripod or other static support for the
camera. Even the cheapest video camera tripod for $15 will help
enormously here.

>Then I started to venture into shutter priority
>where I can atleast have 1/60th of second so that I do not get motion
>blur. Incidentally the camera as you had written chose the widest
>possible aperture (f/2.9) in my case, and the exposures were brighter
>with the subjects and backgrounds well lit.
>
>I am not sure how other people cope with this situation,


One thing you haven't mentioned is film speed. When the metered
combination of shutter and aperture is still giving you a very slow
shutter speed it's time to turn up the ISO setting.

In these situations I have two approaches, and usually do both.

One: Bounce flash, directly up or slightly angled forward with the
little white card attached to the back of the flash to reflect a
little light forwards to create a catch light in the subject's eyes. I
usually stand about 4ft away from the subject. It's a bounce, so harsh
shadows are not a problem.

Two: Very high ISO (1600-3200), steady support. 1/60th is fine, even
to 1/15th for a little people movement to help with the atmosphere of
the shot. Very low power forward facing diffused flash - or no flash
at all. You get extremely natural night lighting and attractive
backgrounds. Movement of people to show they are alive, and *how*
alive they are.

>photographing
>outdoors where there is enough ambient light is not much of a problem,
>I think even with a point and shoot camera if you are lucky you will
>get good exposures. I always find it very challenging to photograph
>people indoors especially during parties at night where I have to
>depend only on the indoor "dull" lighting. I have seen phots taken by
>way too many people (not professionals) and have always observed that
>the subject is very dark and the backgrounds virtually not visible !!


This is typical of a direct-flash night-photo. The flashlight hits the
subject first, but it's power falls-off quickly so that by the time it
gets to the background, it's significantly dimmer. It's effectively a
1/10,000th sec photo completely obliterating any movement or ambient
atmospheric light and giving the subjects demonic red-eye and bright
shiny faces. The people at the party may as well be dead.

>I am sure if there is a professional taking these photos, (having the
>same cameras without any fancy strobes or studio equipment) he would
>definitely get better photos.


A pro would, by definition, have the equipment he needs to achieve the
shot. Usually multiple strobes, probably just one external mounted on
the camera and the other held high front-side by an assistant. At the
very least a single external bounce flash if a neutral ceiling is
nearby. And if he's using slower shutter speeds, a tripod.

>That is what I am trying to find out in
>this newsgroup, as to how the pros handle this situation ??


Basically, they buy/rent/steal/make the equipment they need to do the
shoot.

But just to be clear, I am not a pro.

--
Owamanga!
 
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