What is the “M” Mode for?

“M” means “Manual” and stands for Fully Manual Mode.

In this mode, the photographer selects, using the appropriate controls, BOTH the shutter speed (or exposure time) with which to work AND the other parameters like the lens aperture and/or ISO sensitivity required to get the right exposure.

The cameras metering system will still show whether the exposure is correct, or whether it is over or under exposed. But the photographer will then need to MANUALLY (hence the mode’s name) adjust the settings until the exposure is correct.

“Why bother” you ask?

Good question!

Well, for some photographers, the main reason to work in manual mode is to control ALL the exposure factors, in order to obtain exactly the desired effect in their image.

Few photographers use the manual mode at all times. The majority use the manual mode for specific images or for some effects that are difficult to achieve otherwise.


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