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Old Jul 27, 2009, 2:21 PM   #1
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Default Sony a200 M mode

I am a newbie, so go easy on me!
I just got an A200 last week and I would like to take a portrait with it in M mode. I The pics are too dark though. It works fine in the other setting as far as lightness.
I am not using a flash the settings I have are 1/125 f5.6.
I want the fast shutter speed because the subject moves fast.
Help!
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 2:39 PM   #2
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Where and what are you shooting.

If you go to A mode and set f5.6 what shutter speed are you getting in the same environment? I'm guessing is it a lot less than 1/125.

Basically there are 3 elements that control how well exposed a photo is assuming the light is constant. These are shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

To make a shot brighter you can do one or a combination of the following:

Reduce shutter speed, widen the aperture (make the f number smaller), increase the ISO.

To make a shot darker it is the reverse:

Increase the shutter speed, close the aperture (make the f number bigger), reduce ISO.

The reason it works fine in the other mode settings is that the camera will select a shutter speed or aperture that will allow the exposure to be correct, however if the light is not enough then you simply can't get the desired shutter speed. This is where having a camera that allows high ISO and also bright/fast lenses (low f numbers) such as f1.7 enable you to get that shutter speed up. Let's say you had a lens that allowed f2 (to my my maths simple) this is 3 stops more light or 3x as much so if a correct exposure is f5.6 and 1/25s then with the f2 lens you will be able to get a shutter speed of 1/200s.

There is another way to get that shutter speed up which is to have more light so an external flash can be a big help.

Oh just to say, ensure the ISO is at it's highest setting, yes it makes the image more grainy however that is the pay off for good exposure with a faster shutter speed.
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 2:43 PM   #3
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If you use a shutter speed that's too fast for the amount of light, your ISO speed setting (which is how sensitive the sensor is to light) and your aperture setting (with lower f/stop numbers representing wider openings that let in more light), you'll get underexposed (too dark) photos.

If you use a shutter speed that's too slow for the amount of light, your ISO speed setting, and your aperture, you'll get overexposed (too bright) images.

Use the meter in your viewfinder as a guide as to how your settings are going to impact exposure. If the needle is to the left of center, you'll get a darker photo compared to the way the camera metered the scene. If the needle is to the right of center, you'll get a brighter exposure compared to the way the camera metered the scene.

If you want to take indoor photos without a flash, you'll need to use relatively high ISO speeds (which means more noise) to get shutter speeds to a reasonably fast level. You'll also want a brighter lens. For example, a Sony 50mm f/1.4, Sony 50mm f/1.8 DT or Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lens. But, if lighting is not good enough, you may still need to use a flash.

Your best bet would be to use a flash for non-stationary subjects when using a lens with a widest available aperture of f/5.6 if you're not outdoors in better lighting.
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