Why use Av instead of P?


Mongoose

Link Posted 27/09/2013 - 16:43
it has always been my opinion that Green is there so that you can hand your camera to your Gran to take a picture of you with your favourite sports/music/other star who has suddenly and unexpectedly turned up when there is no one else around who knows what to do with a camera.

Green is like Sat Nav, it will result in a photo, it may or may not be the best possible, but it will work. A little knowledge and a map may yield better results, but the auto-generated result is better than nothing.
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help

MrB

Link Posted 27/09/2013 - 23:12
John (J2R), I think these are the important points -

Johnriley - "It makes no difference what mode you use, just use the one that suits." - If you are confident that you can get the image that you want, it matters nothing which mode you use.
Yourself - "My question is rather why would you, or another skilled and experienced user of these cameras, switch to Av instead of P? Does Av provide anything which P plus rear dial does not?" The answer is No; in fact, as you know, it offers less - P Mode allows instant transfer between Av and Tv.
Aero - "The only practical difference is that you'll lose your chosen aperture when you switch the camera off and must reset it when you switch on." - So leave the camera switched on throughout a shoot; it will save the battery by dropping off into Sleep Mode after a short period of inactivity, and it will return to your chosen Av aperture when you wake it.
Smeggy - "Often it's better use the brain's processing power to make artistic compositional decisions and leave the computing of exposure settings to the camera." - I agree. It makes sense to utilise the capabilities of our great cameras when they work to the advantage of our images.

Similar threads on several different photography forums usually contain posts from more than one member of the "real men" camp(!) - i.e. the type suggesting that anything other than Manual Mode is amateurish and not real photography. Ironically, it seems they are often the same ones who proclaim that they (the real men) only shoot Raw, and then justify it by stating that Raw enables them to better rescue images that they shot with the wrong camera settings.

Philip

McGregNi

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 00:16
In my view this 'thread summary' misses every significant and important point made
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MrB

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 01:01
McGregNi wrote:
In my view this 'thread summary' misses every significant and important point made

Firstly, it was not claimed to be a thread summary - I considered that the four points quoted and commented upon were important in regard to John's question in his first post and which he repeated in his second and third posts.

Secondly, your comment dismisses those points quoted from John R, John J2R, Aero and Smeggy, as being of no significance or importance in response to John's original query.

Philip

Smeggypants

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 03:19
McGregNi wrote:
I would say that Av & Tv are more 'active' modes for the photographer, and so the choices you make first up are likely to be more positive, a specific decision (eg to start with f1.8 for a portrait) than if you begin in P. With P you take the default (usually averaged) type of settings, then you need to take your active part. There is a risk this will therefore be too timid, and you will not achieve the full effect that may be possible or desirable (its a bit like the scene modes on 'entry-level' cameras I was talking about on the the other thread).

I believe that operating in Av or Tv will result in stronger and more positive user input than P - resulting therefore in stronger images.

I know what you're trying to say but you cannot generalise.


The stronger image comes from a variety of different approaches depneding upon the scenario at hand. Sometimes the stronger images comes from having a catch all setting such as P or green selected, sometimes the stronger images will come from manual mode.

This is almost a pointless discussion. I've taken strong images from simply picking up the camera and pointing it at something I've decided spontaneously might be a good pic, without even looking through the finder never mind looking to see what mode is selected. At the other extreme I've also taken strong images by using manual made and taking full control over the technical settings.

I've also taken shitty pics using both the above those methods too
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
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gartmore

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 07:40
I always put my cameras away left in P mode, perfect for that quickly grabbed shot. I also use P MTF mode so that the aperture is the optimum one for the lens in use. 50% of pictures are taken in the studio so i'm using M for those, for the remainder I guess 40% P (MTF) and 10% AV
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

McGregNi

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 09:20
MrB wrote:
McGregNi wrote:
In my view this 'thread summary' misses every significant and important point made

Firstly, it was not claimed to be a thread summary - I considered that the four points quoted and commented upon were important in regard to John's question in his first post and which he repeated in his second and third posts.

Secondly, your comment dismisses those points quoted from John R, John J2R, Aero and Smeggy, as being of no significance or importance in response to John's original query.

Philip

Ok,I don't mean to dismiss those people's views, I just felt a bit left out

You don't feel that the priority modes are important and a significant aid to camera control for specific subject types or effect?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 28/09/2013 - 09:23

Crossed-up

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 09:51
I think J2R was actually enquiring about the method of selecting Av mode, rather than the photographic merits of Av, Program or any other mode as methods for the camera to determine exposure i.e. is Av mode selected via the mode dial any different from Av mode selected via the thumbwheel when the mode dial is set to P, which is technically Hyper Program mode? The reality being that you are not shooting in Program mode at all but Av or Tv depending on which wheel you rotate.

Similar to Gartmore I leave my camera mode dials in P by default, but I almost never actually fire a shot in P mode, but use it as the fastest way to select Av or Tv. In essence you have DOF control via the rear dial (Av) and motion blur control via the front dial (Tv), which is very handy at motorsport events where I may be in Tv mode with a slow shutter speed and a long lens taking panning shots on track, then spot something interesting in the paddock where I want a nice shallow DOF, and I can just flip to Av and a wide aperture, take the shot then flip back to Tv for the next panning shot again, all without touching the mode dial. Then when I decide to move on to another spot a quick press of the green button has me back in P mode ready for that unexpected grab shot.

I would say that the only advantage in selecting Av (or Tv) via the mode dial rather than via Hyper Program mode is to ensure that you are locked into the mode you actually want and prevent accidentally dropping into the wrong mode.
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Last Edited by Crossed-up on 28/09/2013 - 09:52

doingthebobs

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 11:10
I must admit I tend to use Av most, occasionally manual & Tv modes, probably because I understand them!

I tend to think of program mode as the one where the camera will do it for me. I do know that the program mode is adaptable but it wasn't on my Super A, so I tend not to use it. Perhaps I should educate myself by using it more often and explore my cameras capabilities more but so long as I get the shot I'm after, is it a problem?

Thing is though, you get used to working in a certain way and you carry on, even when, possibly, better options come along. I hate it when Microsoft re-gig the way windows is operated, with every new version and always seek out the 'classic' mode!
Bob

MrB

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 11:56
McGregNi wrote:

Ok, I don't mean to dismiss those people's views, I just felt a bit left out

You don't feel that the priority modes are important and a significant aid to camera control for specific subject types or effect?

Sorry if you felt left out, Nigel, everyones views are interesting. I didn't include anything from your posts, as you appeared to be suggesting that P Mode somehow makes it harder to get into creative work in Av or Tv. In fact, as mentioned by Aero and Gartmore, a camera left in P Mode is always ready at switch-on for a usable grab shot and, as Crossed-up describes perfectly above, P Mode for the Pentax DSLRs with two dials gives instant access to full control of the Tv and Av Modes, for the appropriate and important creative control of the next shot, and without having to fiddle with the Mode Dial.

Philip

McGregNi

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 14:18
They are all very good points, and it's great to be highlighting the amazingly flexible options we have with our Pentax DSLRs to apply these controls!

'Hyper-P' is of course very useful - I agree with that completely. Its cool to watch the LCD highlight jump from the Av to the Tv and the ISO as you switch around - thats got to be better than the competition surely?

And yes, I do use this sometimes. But I see it as a 'fine tune technique' to what is basically still program operation - meaning general shots without a specific 'priority' need where the camera gets you started - the user input is still a secondary action, not primary. So, for me, its just to, say, quickly get a higher shutter speed for a steady shot, or if the lighting is good then to quickly stop down a couple of stops to increase DOF - relatively minor adjustments to general shots.

I know this Hyper-P working can be used in a more extreme manner - but I guess my point has always been about the mental approach and the focus on the priority for the subject type - I believe that making this conscious decision at the start, then setting the camera to provide the specific priority control in a locked manner, leads more naturally to stronger working (as far as cameras settings would influence that).

Here's another thought - I don't think that P mode should be for beginners ... Why? Because, often with a new camera and kit lens thats what someone would start off using. A kit lens usually has a conservative maximum aperture range - mine is f3.5 at 18mm through to f5.6 at 55mm. Whats the effect of this ? Well, not much effect at all !!

The result can be an average and less than optimum setting for most shots. Small tweaks on the dials may have little impact - consequently our beginner doesn't see much difference between shots and does not learn to appreciate the possibilities that could be available.

If they were forced to consider a priority at the early stages then there's more thinking involved, more likey to provoke experiments with more extreme settings and start to see greater differences in their shots.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Crossed-up

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 20:30
McGregNi wrote:
They are all very good points, and it's great to be highlighting the amazingly flexible options we have with our Pentax DSLRs to apply these controls!

'Hyper-P' is of course very useful - I agree with that completely. Its cool to watch the LCD highlight jump from the Av to the Tv and the ISO as you switch around - thats got to be better than the competition surely? :wink

And yes, I do use this sometimes. But I see it as a 'fine tune technique' to what is basically still program operation - meaning general shots without a specific 'priority' need where the camera gets you started - the user input is still a secondary action, not primary. So, for me, its just to, say, quickly get a higher shutter speed for a steady shot, or if the lighting is good then to quickly stop down a couple of stops to increase DOF - relatively minor adjustments to general shots.

.......
I know this Hyper-P working can be used in a more extreme manner - but I guess my point has always been about the mental approach and the focus on the priority for the subject type - I believe that making this conscious decision at the start, then setting the camera to provide the specific priority control in a locked manner, leads more naturally to stronger working (as far as cameras settings would influence that).

Here's another thought - I don't think that P mode should be for beginners ... Why? Because, often with a new camera and kit lens thats what someone would start off using. A kit lens usually has a conservative maximum aperture range - mine is f3.5 at 18mm through to f5.6 at 55mm. Whats the effect of this ? Well, not much effect at all !!

The result can be an average and less than optimum setting for most shots. Small tweaks on the dials may have little impact - consequently our beginner doesn't see much difference between shots and does not learn to appreciate the possibilities that could be available.

If they were forced to consider a priority at the early stages then there's more thinking involved, more likey to provoke experiments with more extreme settings and start to see greater differences in their shots.

I don't understand what you are saying, it is exactly the same as Av or Tv. The Hyper Program mode is not an exposure mode per se, it is a state that allows you to select Av, Tv or P with the thumbwheels. Its not a question of fine tuning. I make an absolute decision on the settings I want for the intended shot i.e. I know I want Av at F2.8 so flip the rear wheel to get just that. Or I may want Tv at 1/60 so that is exactly what I dial in via the front wheel. How is this different from me deciding I want Av at F2.8, changing the mode dial to Av then winding the thumbwheel round to 2.8? I'm still shooting in Av at F2.8 as I intened, it just so happens the mode dial is pointing at P not Av and the camera has not used Program mode at all or influenced the exposure other than for the intended mode!
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Last Edited by Crossed-up on 28/09/2013 - 20:32

MrB

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 21:02
Crossed-up wrote:

I don't understand what you are saying, it is exactly the same as Av or Tv. The Hyper Program mode is not an exposure mode per se, it is a state that allows you to select Av, Tv or P with the thumbwheels. Its not a question of fine tuning. I make an absolute decision on the settings I want for the intended shot i.e. I know I want Av at F2.8 so flip the rear wheel to get just that. Or I may want Tv at 1/60 so that is exactly what I dial in via the front wheel. How is this different from me deciding I want Av at F2.8, changing the mode dial to Av then winding the thumbwheel round to 2.8? I'm still shooting in Av at F2.8 as I intened, it just so happens the mode dial is pointing at P not Av and the camera has not used Program mode at all or influenced the exposure other than for the intended mode!

Exactly - and that again answers the OP's question - there is no difference between Av Mode from the Mode Dial and Av Mode from P-Mode. Except that the latter is win-win - all the functionality of Av Mode, but with the added flexibility of instantly changing between Av and Tv without taking the eye from the viewfinder and without having to fiddle with the locked Mode Dial.

Philip

gwing

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 22:26
J2R wrote:
Sure, that's the reason I use(d) Av mode as well. My point is that P mode, as far as I understand it, gives you both Av mode and Tv mode, depending on which dial you adjust. So is there any reason why you would set your camera on Av mode, instead of leaving it on P and adjusting the rear dial?

P mode can, and by default, does work as you describe. But it doesn't have to.

I have my P mode set up to be very much differentiated from Av/Tv modes in that I have one of the dials set to program shift and the other to exposure compensation - so for me there are very real reasons why I choose Av or TV (usually Av) instead of P if I want to work that way for a particular subject type.

Each to their own way of working

giofi

Link Posted 28/09/2013 - 23:12
Thanks to the OP for raising this question. Since I bought my K20d and then my K-5 I have been wondering the same. Leaving the camera on P mode gives you a lot of options, use the dials as in Av or Tv mode, or take a snapshot of the family in a second if you need to (or a family member with no photographic experience grabs the camera).

It's a bit like using AF and then adjusting with quick shift......
Giorgio

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Last Edited by giofi on 28/09/2013 - 23:13
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