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Old Feb 18, 2007, 5:26 PM   #1
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Hello folks. I recently bought a Canon S3 IS. I've been playing around with all the settings and taking tons of pictures trying to get used to this camera. I've always been a P&S user and this is the first digital camera that I can play around with the settings.

I know that in aperture priority, I pick the aperture and the camera handles the shutter and just the opposite in shutter priority mode. But what kinds of pictures would I want to use each of these for? I know that I can open the aperture to get a smaller depth of field. This allows me to direct attention to the subject of the photo. And a fast shutter speed will help me freeze the action for things like sports, etc.

But when else would I make use of these modes? I have been doing some reading online, and I've got a couple mooks on order. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 5:41 PM   #2
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I tend to use shutter priority in low light situations when I'd rather have an underexposed image than a blurry one.

In bright light, aperture priority can be better than shutter priority for capturing action because it'll often use even higher shutter speeds than what you would use in shutter priority, and sometimes what you really need to control is the depth of field to make it easier to focus on the action.

Aperture priority is also useful for macro photography since you'll usually need as much depth of field as you can get.

Finally, and this is a weird one, you may want to use shutter priority when taking photos that include tvs, monitors and other displays as some shutter speeds will capture the image between refreshing and you'll see dark bars on the screen.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 3:19 AM   #3
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I agree what has been posted. Actually I almost never leave aperture mode.
With the S3 (yes I've got a brand new one too) you actually get some DOF to play with, both with macro but also with full tele at closer distances, you can get nice portraits and similar at 432mm for example, with blurred background.
So, I usually try to have the aperture full open to get the shortest DOF.

Also, when full open (F2.7 at wide and F3.5 at full tele) you get totally round "shine/glitter/flares", whatever its called in english, in the out of focus background areas.
Like if you take a macro at some bug, and in the background in the green grass (which is out of focus) there is a sunlit raindrop shining, then it will be blown up to a large lensflare sort of. How ugly it looks has to do with if the lens has good or bad "bokéh". Anyway, with the aperture full open these flares/rings become totally round, as opposed to if you step down and the aperture shutting mechanism becomes noticable and the rings turn to hexagons instead. Round looks a bit better/softer I think.

Ouch, I'm ranting too much
Back to topic, only time I use shutter priority is when I want to pan after some flying bird or a car or something, and dont care about DOF but instead want a feeling of speed (there is a special IS-mode for vertical panning). Its extremely hard though, I'll have to experiment some more with it. Cool when you finally succeed though

EDIT: Also the lens is said to perform its best (sweet spot) at F/4, so if you want the sharpest output try that. Cant have it all at the same time....usually wide open means softer pics, on most cameras/lenses I know of.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 5:44 AM   #4
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ASBR wrote:
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EDIT: Also the lens is said to perform its best (sweet spot) at F/4, so if you want the sharpest output try that. Cant have it all at the same time....usually wide open means softer pics, on most cameras/lenses I know of.
Actually, the sweet spot for most lenses is between f8 and f11.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 7:56 AM   #5
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amazingthailand wrote:
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ASBR wrote:
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EDIT: Also the lens is said to perform its best (sweet spot) at F/4, so if you want the sharpest output try that. Cant have it all at the same time....usually wide open means softer pics, on most cameras/lenses I know of.
Actually, the sweet spot for most lenses is between f8 and f11.
I dont think I stated anything about what f-value is most common as the sweet spot?
Also we talk about a P&S here, and f8 surely aint the sweet spot for any compact, and f11 often aren't even an option.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 9:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. I'll try out some of the suggestions.


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Old Feb 24, 2007, 7:45 PM   #7
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ASBR wrote:
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I dont think I stated anything about what f-value is most common as the sweet spot?
Also we talk about a P&S here, and f8 surely aint the sweet spot for any compact, and f11 often aren't even an option.
Yes you did, you stated f4. But you are also right, you are discussing p&s (my mistake) and my response was intended for dSLR lenses.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 6:09 AM   #8
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A couple of other reasons to use the aperture:

to allow for a slower shutter speed. Close down the aperture, this leads to a slower shutter speed, and then you can get creative with things like flowing water, moving crowds of people . . .

You can also close down the aperture and take long night exposures of cities. Because of the pattern of the aperture blades you will get a starburst effect on points of light in the photo.

Hope this helps,

Darrell

http://www.digital-photography-tips.net/

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Old Mar 9, 2007, 2:47 PM   #9
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Try this site. http://www.canons3is.com/ It,s a site as you can see dedicated to thr S3.

It,s a VERY friendly site with a lot of newbies asking questions.And getting replys.

you cant go wrong..My tag there is rickus...enjoy...:|
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 10:59 PM   #10
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You can also use aperture priority to close the aperture down, so that you can get as much Depth of Field as you can. This is useful for wide angle photography, when you want to get everything from 1/2 a metre to infinity in focus.

e.g. flowers in the fore ground and mountains and clouds in the background.
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