Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by johnmk, Sep 4, 2017.
Re. one or two control dials.
I did not explain my reasoning clearly, and the replies above about Nikon and Canon 'entry level’ camera bodies allow me to do so.
With two dials you can easily adjust aperture and shutter speed simultaneously, which is ideal when using fully manual exposure. What the replies above make clear is that with only one dial this is not possible: you can only adjust one or the other and need some manual dexterity to switch between the two. So the advice to 'try before you buy' in still important.
If one dial is enough, why would Canon and Nikon feel the need to fit two on their more expensive bodies?
Re. 'Progress to fully manual exposure'. A few weeks ago I used a ND4 graduated filter and an ND1000 filter together, early in the morning at Buttermere in the Lake District. For this you do not 'progress' to fully manual exposure: you have no choice. If you have managed to use automated exposure with an ND1000 filter, I am sure many people who have not yet 'progressed' would like to know how you did it.
Re. 'untrue' - see previous entry made a few minutes ago 'Re. one or two control dials'.
Re. 'gibberish'. My omission of the term 'simultaneously' may have given this impression, although I believe it could be implied from the text if read carefully.
To allow more functionality for the more experienced shooter, such as White Balance adjustments on the hoof etc. Having more dials frees up the function buttons for other things.
The gibberish is talk of "progressing" to manual exposure.There's far too much snobbish talk like that which only confuses people. "Progression" is when you know when you might want to use manual and when it's completely unnecessary; I have to say that I have never had a problem with the Big Stopper and even 2 ND grads in aperture priority unless using my Tilt/Shift lens, and even then it works fine in Live View. I mostly use manual when using studio flash, for instance; but on general terms, I progressed FROM manual many years ago.
Just like to point out a very clear flaw in your example of manual exposure. With a ND1000 and ND4 filter on a Pentax OVF camera you can't see anything in the OVF. So the need to adjust exposure while not removing your eye from the view finder is mute.
My camera has only one adjust wheel too and I manage quite easily to change setting with my eye to the viewfinder.
Once a shooter gets fimilar with the operation of a camera they can do things by feel very easily.
You seem to suggest that photography is about using manual exposure not using say A or S mode etc?
No surely it all about composition, seeing the elements that work in a shot. Using say DOF or shutter to give a effect to the viewer.
Exposure system on modern cameras are very clever today. Plus users know how to adjust the system to compensate for possible errors.
But a image can even work with some exposure failure say whites clipped if the elements tell a very powerful story. I have seen some street photos like that. But the image content pulls you away from the errors.
I fairly sure I read in the past that some film shooters would set a rough exposure on the camera because no AE was around then and let the film take up the slack because you could get away with a + or - off the exposure and correct in printing.
Can't say I've ever used both dials simultaneously in manual mode - usually it's one then the other. Clearly I either haven't 'progressed' enough to use manual properly or I lack sufficient manual or mental dexterity...
It's possible I may have adjusted aperture and shutter speed simultaneously with my old film cameras but then I was younger, brighter and more supple - plus you used different hands for each...
Using both controls on my canons means I slipped and have to put the camera down to figure out what the hell I did.
I've just wandered around the flat and taken a random selection of frankly terrible photographs to test this out. And actually what I usually do is look around me to assess the light, then decide how much depth of field I want, select an aperture to put me in the right ballpark and then select a shutter speed that will give the exposure I'm looking for. None of it was done simulataneously - it was a very linear process of decision making. I also, didn't look through the viewfinder to make those choices unitl such time as I got to the shutter speed because I was using the camera's built in light meter.
It's possible, if I were shooting street photography that I might decide at the last minute that I wanted more, or less depth of field for a shot. That's probably why I'd put my camera onto Aperture Priority so that I could change the aperture as I was wielding the camera around at face height, looking through the viewfinder, and let the camera deal with the shutter speed. I don't feel any less of a photographer for taking that approach.
In the studio, with the camera mounted on a tripod, I'd probably use a hand held light meter and that slows the process down even more so you don't really gain anything by twiddling buttons all at the same time.
I just don't see why this might be viewed as an issue to be honest.
If you literally mean, turning two dials at exactly the same time, that is both weird and unlikely to be something even very experienced camera users do. Not just for the reasons given by @Geren but because it's like rubbing your stomach and patting your head. In case it wasn't clear from @Craig20264 's post, to do this on entry level cameras, you press a button with your thumb and turn the single dial with your finger (or vice versa), and then change the button you're pressing and turn the same dial. It's entirely doable without moving away from the view finder and doesn't seem any different to me to turning two dials.
Anyway, others have made the point that pure manual photography isn't something to aspire to, it's a tool to use in the right circumstances like any camera tool. I wouldn't take a panorama without setting everything to manual, but I don't shoot street photography in changing light conditions using manual because that would be pointlessly hard work.
Two dials? One dial? What does it matter if you can get great photographs?
When a kid I got my first camera, a fixed focus film camera, that occasionally took really quite decent photographs. I got better at it (reading my dad's photography magazines when he wasn't looking) and these images became more frequent. I was late primary school or first year at secondary (probably younger age tbh).
My sister had a 110 film camera the year before which sparked my interest. She didn't take good pictures!
So IMHO it's the eye of the photographer that's the heart of a good photograph. All this manual, one / two dial discussion is a bit off topic. Put simply, can you take a good photograph in your opinion with these beginner's cameras? Yes or no?
Sorry if I'm wrong, I am returning to photography and have forgotten so much (plus I was before digital). So can be considered a novice!
You are not wrong. The OP was asking for advice on an entry level DSLR with certain things that they felt they might require. Someone else got hung up on one or two dials. It's of no matter. One dial or three, there's no reason you can't take full control of the errrr...controls, no matter the entry level DSLR. People can make great pictures with biscuit tins if necessary.
If I were the OP I'd go to a camera shop and have a look at a few different models. See what feels good in the hands. Don't dismiss the idea of a DSLR that doesn't have image stabilisation built into the body and consider one where you can buy IS lenses instead. Might broaden the options.
Two dials is easier, to me, in manual mode and can be handy in auto modes for exposure compensation setting (I have cameras with one and two dial set-ups) but other than that it doesn't exactly guarantee a better end result...
Unless I have missed it nobody has mentioned the one major type of shot that needs manual control and that's a stitched panorama where there must be no variation in exposure between each shot. - but that will need to be carefully set up and speed of working is definitely not the essence!
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