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What shooting mode do you shoot in?


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It depends, I typically shoot in Aputure Priority when photographing perched birds except for in really dark or gloomy places, and I always use Shutter Priority for any bird in flight. I'll jump into manual mode on occasion, but not very often. I'm usually much more focused on birding than photography, so I like not having to mess around with so many controls. However, my photos would likely turn out better if I did.

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11 hours ago, Aidan B said:

I'm usually much more focused on birding than photography, so I like not having to mess around with so many controls.

This, with collards and jalapeno cornbread on the side.  For these reasons, Programmed Auto.  Other than zoom (almost always max range) and focus, I adjust only exposure comp.

11 hours ago, Aidan B said:

However, my photos would likely turn out better if I did.

This I'm not too sure of.  Right now the camera can crank out a better image on its own than with my 'help'.  I can either improve my birding or improve my photography.  When I retire in a few years, hopefully I will have improved my birding some, and will have more time overall so I can give some attention to each.  

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I'm with you, IKLland. Manual with auto ISO. I like having control over aperture because it helps get sharper photos and shutter speed because it ensures the birds aren't blurry. Auto ISO will help me get the proper exposure without having to fiddle around too much. 

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Shutter Priority for me. I don't like carrying a tripod so shooting with a heavier zoom requires higher shutter speeds while handholding. The slowest I'll usually go is 1/800 sec. but like to go higher if the light allows.

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25 minutes ago, stitch58 said:

Shutter Priority for me. I don't like carrying a tripod so shooting with a heavier zoom requires higher shutter speeds while handholding. The slowest I'll usually go is 1/800 sec. but like to go higher if the light allows.

Same. Shutter priority all the time.

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I use manual exposure. I typically start off at ISO 400, F/6.3, 1/800s and adjust each setting as conditions require/allow. If the birds are far away, I might open the aperture to as much as f/2.8 for a faster shutter speed or brighter exposure, or I might close the aperture to f/8 for more depth of field if the bird is close. I might increase my ISO to 1600 if I'm trying for an in flight shot with poor lighting and want the fastest possible shutter speed. I might slow my shutter speed down to 1/125s so I can drop my ISO down to 100 if I am shooting a stationary bird. Any form of auto settings would probably improve my photography, but it wouldn't be as challenging for me or provide the same satisfaction when I get it right. I'll admit it, I enjoy playing with the camera, it might mean missing a few shots, but auto settings have ruined my photos more often than I've done it to myself so I'll keep playing with my settings and try not to ruin my own photos.

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I have no idea since the top of the dial fell off😄.  I adjust the ISO with back dial and speed with top dial.  The opportunity for getting a shot I want to adjust the aperature, just never happens around here.  ISO adjustment will allow me to adjust the exposure compensation though since the light can vary so much.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/26/2021 at 6:54 PM, lonestranger said:

I use manual exposure. I typically start off at ISO 400, F/6.3, 1/800s and adjust each setting as conditions require/allow. If the birds are far away, I might open the aperture to as much as f/2.8 for a faster shutter speed or brighter exposure, or I might close the aperture to f/8 for more depth of field if the bird is close. I might increase my ISO to 1600 if I'm trying for an in flight shot with poor lighting and want the fastest possible shutter speed. I might slow my shutter speed down to 1/125s so I can drop my ISO down to 100 if I am shooting a stationary bird. Any form of auto settings would probably improve my photography, but it wouldn't be as challenging for me or provide the same satisfaction when I get it right. I'll admit it, I enjoy playing with the camera, it might mean missing a few shots, but auto settings have ruined my photos more often than I've done it to myself so I'll keep playing with my settings and try not to ruin my own photos.

I should have added the one setting that I consider a total game changer for me, an adjustment that once I tried it, I never looked back. This adjustment can be done on most DSLRs but I don't think the option is available on P&S cameras. I am referring to Back Button Focus. Basically you assign a button on the back of your camera to be your focus button and use the shutter button strictly for activating the shutter. The biggest advantage to this method is you never have to worry about the camera hunting for something you previously focused on. You focus with the back button and once you have the desired focus, you can press and re-press the shutter button without the focus changing or the lens hunting for your subject. I can't explain it as well as other's can, but I can endorse this method as being a real game changer for those willing to give it a fair try. Yeah, it will take a few days of practice to get used to back button focus, but I don't think you'll switch back after you get the hang of it. 

A few links and a short video to explain things better than I could.

https://photographylife.com/back-button-focus 

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/a/tips-and-techniques/benefits-of-using-the-af-on-button-for-autofocus.html 

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/learn/education/topics/article/2019/february/back-button-autofocus-explained/back-button-autofocus-explained 

 

 

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When birding lately I'm using a point and shoot with superzoom. Not great photo quality, but it at least gets shots of birds I can look at later for ID purposes. With that one, I control ISO and fire on auto. Occasionally I'll mess with exposure compensation. My only real complaint is I wish there was a way to manually focus it. It has been complete trash at getting birds flying high in the sky.

When I'm doing real photography, I control ISO and shoot aperture priority.

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