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2006.04.08

Further than metering modes discussed in episode 2, full-manual-controls are another excellent reason to choose a camera over another.

While modern digital cameras can feature dozens of options, only one particular set is known as full-manual-controls. Full-manual-controls are the ability to independently control shutter-speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, focus and flash power, when applicable. Full-manual controls are typically activated by setting a mode dial to manual mode (M). Other common controls include color-saturation, contrast and sharpness, but these are not considered manual controls, although clearly they are manual and they are controls. Semi-automatic modes such as shutter-priority (S or T) and aperture-priority (A) are not full-manual-controls since they still leave the photographer at the mercy of the camera’s metering system.

Full-manual-controls are extremely valuable to the creative photographer. Using these controls, the creative photographer is completely free to control exposure, the rendering of motion and depth-of-field. Mastering full-manual-controls requires the patience to learn an experiment. Consequently, full-manual-controls are of little value to impatient snap-shooters.

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