Manual Mode

In the previous lessons you should have learned about how your camera works and found some limitations. You should have found the minimum Ss for you to hand hold, the maximum ISO with acceptable noise levels, and how very wide and very narrow apertures affect sharpness. Having limits is just something you have to accept. Every camera and lens has them. Eventually you may find the limits your present gear presents is to much and want to upgrade camera body or lens. But first you should learn how to manage those limitations. Manual mode is best for this.

Let me say that I don't use manual mode very often. And even when I do I usually have auto ISO enabled so I'm still not in complete manual control. That's ok. I let the camera change for me what I would change first if I were in complete manual settings. But whenever you let the camera make some choices for you it adds the potential for the camera to make a "bad choice". 

There are times where getting proper metering from your camera is very difficult, like with small and fast subjects. In those cases full manual control can give better results. Some people use full manual mode all the time. That's ok too.

You don't have to use full manual mode, but you do have to be able to. (If your camera has that ability).

Here's a very nice camera simulator. If you slide the controls around it will take the picture with different results.
Note that you have to slide the controls to change the settings and that there is no "auto ISO" capability. Your camera will behave differently in the different modes if you have auto ISO enabled.
There are two "speeds" in this image. the speed at which the child is moving and the speed at which the pinwheel is spinning. IMO, the child's motion is frozen at slower SS than it should, but if you choose a SS around 1/100 The childs motion should be frozen with the pinwheel still blurred. SS's less than 1/focal length will get you a "camera shake" warning.


Stop playing with the simulator. It's a neat exercise, but your actual results will vary. It's time to take some pictures using full manual control (auto ISO disabled) and see what you can do!

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