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5D shooting modes


New Member
<font color="ffff00"><font face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Hi there
I recently purchased a Canon EOS 5D and decided to write a manual. This forces me to fully explore all options without any preconceived ideas.
In this context, I have now come to a conclusion on which I am very keen to get input from more knowledgeable users of the 5D.
The 5D has several shooting modes including P for Program AE, Tv for Shutter priority and Av for Aperture priority. However, in exploring these three modes I have come to the conclusion that - while they explain a specific 'focus (ie have a stated bias)' - there is no difference in what they actually enable me to do. Each offers the same options to decrease exposure time (with the camera increasing aperture) or increase exposure time (with the camera decreasing aperture). In each of the three modes, my interaction is by the same means of using the Quick Control Dial and has exactly the same effect on what the camera does - which is shift between the shutter speed and aperture of the lens.
Am I correct in this perception or am I missing something?


Active Member
Of course you are right: all modes do essentially the same thing - juggle the shutter speed and f-stop. But the difference is in how they do it, and how they allow the photographer to think in different ways. For ex&le, if you're concerned with DOF then use Av mode, because what the speed is is secondary in this case - it is the f-stop you want to control. Alternatively, if the shutter speed is important (hand-held perhaps, or you either want to freeze - or blur - a moving object, then you want control of the speed above that of the DOF. P mode is another thing altogether - it is mainly for people who don't want to know - or don't care - what the details are. But in all 3 cases, it is only speed and aperture which determine the exposure (we always assume that ISO is fixed, as this is usually the case). So, it is the interface that changes, not the nuts & bolts, and it allows different kinds of thinking - you can either take all your photos the same way, or you can allow the situation to modify the way you think of things. It doesn't matter what you decide to do, but the camera is ready, to use all - or one - of the exposure modes. Does this help? >


New Member
I checked the manual; it says nothing about thinking!! Seriously, thank you for your input; I just could no longer see the wood for the trees.


The most important aspect of the Tv versus Av relationship is the fact they produce exposures that satisfy the camera's light meter calibrated to 18% grey. You are still able to spotmeter the highlight and shadow to average the exposure and produce a less contrasty image that can be tweaked in post processing for the specific print you are trying to create. The 5D imaging sensor is nothing short of amazing for re-creating a digital image that is equivalent to low ISO E-6 film.