How Do You Shoot?

By which I mean, which mode do you use most frequently?  Are you still stuck on “P” or are you a hardcore “M” person?

Digital Photograph School conducted a poll on this topic and had more than 72,000 responses.  Here’s the inevitable pie chart:

So #1 is Aperture Priority – choosing the lens opening and letting the camera decide on the shutter speed. Manual comes in a relatively close second.

So clearly people are placing a “priority” over having control over depth of field.  I find myself shooting last-place shutter priority almost as often as aperture.  Most often I’ll do this when I’m shooting a band – I want to make sure the shutter speed is fast enough to freeze the action.  On those (increasingly rare) occasions when I’m shooting models in the studio, I’ll go to full manual.  I think in part I’m comfortable doing that because I’m shooting in a very controlled environment and not concerned that the light is going to change from one minute to the next.

So what’s your favorite mode?



  1. Buck February 14, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    I tend to be in manual when I’m out for a walk by myself and I have the time to take several shots. Otherwise, it’s aperture priority. I use shutter priority for daytime action shots though. It’s good to have multiple settings on the dial.

  2. Luke February 14, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    99% of the time I shoot manual. Set up the light in a small room for f/11 or a larger room f/8 and i am there.
    I used to shoot aperture priority a lot, and a lot of ‘artistic’ stuff at f/2 or larger. When shooting sports it was always shutter priority.
    On holiday, in a bar at night, using a flash, then I would switch to P mode.

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