Making Use of the Camera’s Features

One of the things that I was glad to get when I last changed camera bodies was the ability to have exposure compensation while shooting in manual mode.  You might wonder why this is a useful thing to have but I was shooting a couple of time recently when it was useful.  Sadly, the first time I didn’t think to use it.  The second I did though.  This is the result of shooting in dark conditions when the light levels are changing quite a bit.

The problem in the first case was that I was shooting in aperture priority mode.  The light was low, so I went to auto ISO to allow it to adjust.  The camera looks to get a shutter speed that is related to the focal length of the lens you are using.  I was shooting a landing aircraft and, when I was out at the full length of the zoom, it kept shutter reasonably high.  However, as the plane got closer and I zoomed out, the camera dropped the shutter speed down which meant the panning resulted in a lower keeper rate.  I should have foreseen this and I was annoyed with myself.

The next time, I thought through the issue a bit better.  A gray sky meant that I needed to have some positive exposure compensation.  I went to manual mode, set the shutter speed and aperture that I wanted but included the exposure compensation.  Then I set auto ISO.  Now I had the ISO adjusting to get the combination I wanted while including exposure comp.  On my old bodies, this was not possible.  The result was the exposure I wanted with ISO adjusting throughout the sequence.  When conditions are not great and changing quickly, this is an approach I can highly recommend.

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