what are those rare times when you actually use aperture/shutter priority?
When I’m running and gunning on a job or just casually walking the streets and shooting in conditions that change from sun, to open shade, to sun, to deep shade, to sun, to cloudy, etc.
In running and gunning situations, like chasing a subject moving through different lighting conditions, AV/TV are helpful because the light is constantly changing and you may not have the time to stop and constantly be dialing in new settings. Photo ninja photographers can do it. You had to in the days of all manual cameras. We get to be a bit lazy these days.
Note that I’m nearly always in matrix or average metering mode when I’m shooting like this and my thumb is riding the EV compensation dial. I’m always looking through the viewfinder trying to anticipate how my camera is reading the scene and I’m constantly adjusting EV comp anywhere from +1 to -1. I do find I live a lot around +2/3’s by default.
Basically when ever things are on the move and the light is rapidly changing then I’m looking for the auto modes of AV/TV/TTL/etc to help a brother out. Any other time I’m on manual for consistency. AV/TV in unchanging light can still vary your exposures when it doesn’t need to resulting in inconsistent exposures resulting in time lost sitting on your ass in front of your computer trying to fix all the inconsistencies.
AV for portrait sessions in constant and consistent lighting scenarios bewilders me. I can’t see why anyone would do that except for the fact that they don’t know what they are doing technically and consistency in post production isn’t a concern of their’s.
If the light isn’t changing, exposure shouldn’t be changing. Lock it down and shoot.
Why would you choose to change EV compensation instead of ISO or aperture or shutter speed?
EV (exposure value) compensation works in auto modes like AV, TV, P, etc. EV comp does not work in manual mode.
Let’s say you are in AV (aperture priority) mode. You set the aperture and the camera will meter the scene and calculate the shutter speed needed for that aperture. Cameras are stupid beasts and they use the metering mode you have selected (spot, center, average, etc) and try to average the scene in front of you to 18% grey. What you have in front of your camera might not be 18% grey. A white girl with blonde hair in a white dress isn’t 18% grey. So if you set an aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed in this example then your photo will be underexposed. It’s trying to make a lot of light tones into medium grey.
That’s where EV comp comes in. You’re looking at the scene in front of you and you realize that the camera is going to underexpose or overexpose the image so you dial in compensation. Exposure compensation of something like +1 is basically saying, “Ok camera, I know that you are reading this scene to be 18% grey but I am going to need one stop more exposure than you think it needs so give me one extra stop of light.
In this situation let’s say you are at ISO 100 at f2.8. The camera reads the scene and sets the shutter speed to 500th of a second at zero exposure compensation. You dial in +1 on exp comp and the camera will now shoot at 2.8 at 250th of a second. -1 would shoot the same scene at 2.8 at 1,000th of a second.
If you set the aperture and the shutter speed but have the camera on Auto ISO then exposure compensation will change the ISO as needed. If you set the ISO and the shutter speed manually then exp comp will change the aperture up and down as needed within the limits of your cameras settings. That’s to say if you are shooting at ISO 100 at 2.8 in AV mode and it wants to set the shutter to 8,000th and you dial -1 in nothing will change because your camera can’t go faster than 8,000th of a second.
Is there a setting you leave x100 on most?
My main way of shooting the x100 and xPro-1 is completely different than how I shoot my other cameras on jobs. Here’s how my X cams are typically set up…
Auto ISO up to 800 or 3200 depending on where I’m shooting. Up to 800 during the day and 3200 for late night street shooting.
Standard film simulation setting. Standard dynamic range. Standard everything.
JPG only for personal shooting. I’ll shoot RAW+JPG if I’m using it on a paying job.
Silent mode unless I’m using flash. The hotshoe won’t fire if it is in silent mode.
On the x100 I set the Fn button to turn the ND filter on and off. On the X-Pro1 I set it to multiple exposure mode.
Quick start up on. All power saving options turned off.
Single AF. Rarely use MF. Never have used continuous focus.
Single shot drive. Sometimes I’ll switch to 3 to 6 FPS but rarely.
I typically have it set to average metering. Sometimes I switch to spot if I’m in a tricky lighting situation.
What I control a lot of the time is the AF point and the exposure compensation dial. Those two things are in constant motion when I’m shooting. It’s hard to move between the x100 and x-Pro1 because the AF selection button are in two different places on the bodies so I have to remind myself where they are. I prefer to run those buttons while looking through the viewfinder instead of pulling it from my face, adjusting, and then recomposing my photo.
During the day I primarily use the OVF. At night or in low light I switch to EVF. I rarely compose on the back LCD screen unless I’m holding the camera over my head or holding it low or trying to be sneaky in street shooting.
By “sneaky” I mean I’ll stand in front of someone, look through the viewfinder at something above them, when I pull the camera down to “check my photo” I’m actually now composing the photo I want and taking a shot. If they are watching me I want them to think I am simply looking at the photo I just took of something over their heads or whatever. That sort of shooting looks like the one attached to this post. See that guy looking up? He’s wondering why in the hell I’m so intent on photographing the trees above him. :)
I have image preview set up to display for 1.5 seconds. That’s enough time for me to see if I nailed exposure, focus, and composition.
For run and gun stuff I’ll set it to AWB. When I’m shooting more slowly and in constant light sources I’ll set the WB accordingly.