How do I Use a DSLR Camera On Manual Mode – All DSLR Modes Explained

By Arindam Roy

This post will help you to learn about using your DSLR camera on manual mode! You can read about what each of the buttons mean, what different modes might feel like, and get some pointers for how to shoot in any given situation.

Getting started with manual mode is super easy, and it’s worth trying out if you’ve only used automatic settings before. For a lot of people, they don’t shoot anything but auto because that makes it easy to set the camera up for shooting whatever type of shot (close-ups or landscapes) they want. However, there are a lot of benefits to shooting on manual – for example, you can save your camera settings (called a “shooting mode”) and use them over and over again.

Using the right setting means taking control of the colors and exposure, meaning you can get consistently good-looking photos every time. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you get started with manual mode.

Know your camera – get familiar with your settings before you use them!

Getting to know your camera is a very important part of getting comfortable with manual mode, so spend a little time to check out the settings on your DSLR. There are some great sites online that have articles that explain all of the different pieces of the DSLR (for example, the following links might be helpful if you’re looking for general information): Canon – Nikon. I’d also recommend downloading these two apps onto your phone: Camera Control Pro (Android) and CameraPro Live (iOS). Both of these apps have loads of great camera information, and they can help you understand how to leverage the controls on your camera to get the shot you want.

How do I use a DSLR camera on manual mode – All DSLR modes explained

Also read: Cheapest DSLR Camera in India – Top Picks & Buying Guide

Put your ISO on auto

ISO is a setting that makes it easy to control light sensitivity – if there isn’t a lot of light around, you can put your ISO higher so that your camera will still be able to take a photo in darker lighting conditions. When you switch to manual mode, it’s best to put your ISO on auto so that the camera is still controlling it for you. It’s easy to set your ISO on your DSLR, and you can find out how to do this in this article: ISO on a DSLR.

Focus on your subject

When you switch to manual mode, focus becomes a lot more important! Some situations aren’t great for manual focus – if the light is really tricky or if you are photographing something moving quickly (for example, shooting sports), automatic focus might be better. However, here are some tips for using manual focus: Use the viewfinder – It can be hard to tell if your camera is focusing properly in the LCD screen. The viewfinder is much easier to see, so use it! Get familiar with your focus point – First, practice by finding a few different objects that you want to photograph, and then set your focus point on the first one. Don’t forget to take your time and check that the camera isn’t taking a picture of something else. Set your focusing preferences – If you are using an SLR (like a Nikon or Canon), you normally have one of two options for autofocus: One-shot AF (this is what most people use) or continuous AF. If you use one-shot AF, the camera will take a picture after you press the shutter – continuous AF means that the camera keeps focusing as long as the button is held down. You can learn more about these options here: Canon vs Nikon.

Read more: Top DSLR Cameras You Can Buy under ₹40000 in India

Shoot in manual mode!

Once you know how to use your DSLR on manual mode and have some general tips, it’s time to get out there and start shooting! Shooting in manual mode isn’t difficult, and best of all – you’ll be able to try weird and crazy settings without fear of ruining your camera (which might happen if you only used auto). Try out different settings, get to know what they do, and remember to take your time when you’re experimenting!
DSLR camera modes are beneficial to digital photographers because they allow for a certain level of creative control. If you want to take a photo, you can select the mode that will best suit what your goal is. These different camera modes also help photographers get detailed shots or easily capture moments without having to worry about the technical aspects of photography, which can be an overwhelming task even for those with years of experience. Below is a list of these different modes and their benefits for DSLR cameras:

Related article: Best DSLR Cameras Under ₹30000 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

  • 1) Manual Mode- This mode allows the photographer complete control over settings such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity and more. This mode is a great choice for those looking for the flexibility to adjust their settings on the fly. The disadvantage of this mode is that it can be difficult to take a photo without touching your camera.
  • 2) Av and Tv Mode- Users can choose whether or not Av (Aperture Priority) or Tv (Shutter Speed Priority) will be used. This mode allows you to adjust your aperture and shutter speed respectively simultaneously, making it simple to capture unique moments with great dynamic ranges in photography. You won’t miss the perfect moment with this mode because there is no need to move your hand from one side of the camera to the other.
  • 3) Scene Mode- This mode allows you to quickly capture a scene. Rather than having to pick between different camera modes, simply choose scene mode and the camera will automatically take pictures in different settings. This is great for those who are traveling and need to take photos of various things at the same time, or for those who have a child that needs constant attention.
  • 4) Portrait Mode- This mode is great for any photographer searching for simplicity. With this mode, you can adjust your depth of field easily by simply adjusting your shutter speed or aperture without having to fiddle with settings that can be overwhelming even for advanced users.
  • 5) Sports Mode- This mode allows you to quickly capture your favorite sports or other athletic events without worrying about switching between different camera modes. With this setting, you can quickly take shots and change settings with ease.
  • 6) Panorama Mode- This mode is ideal for landscape pictures or any other type of photography that requires a wide angle. With this setting, you can choose from different perspectives to create a panoramic image in one click, and the camera will automatically zoom to the best possible angle before capturing it.
  • 7) Action/Travel Mode- This mode offers users the ability to shoot at one time without having to adjust settings. With this setting, users can quickly take pictures of their favorite subject and if they so choose, they can lock the focus on the object or just let it snap.
  • 8) Food Mode- This mode is ideal for those with a passion for taking pictures of food. With this setting, you can get detailed shots of what’s on your plate without worrying about how good or bad the lighting is.
  • 9) Night Mode- This setting allows you to capture photos at night without many complications. With this mode, users can adjust their settings according to the different light conditions and capture a lot of great shots in one go without having to change settings on the go.
  • 10) Night Portrait Mode- Perfect for night photography, this mode allows you to capture pictures without having to worry about the flash effect. This mode also helps you take pictures that have a soft color look even in dim lighting conditions.
  • 11) Handheld Night Shot Mode- If you are looking for low light photography in comparison to night portrait mode, this mode is the perfect choice. With this setting, the camera will choose the ISO according to how much light is available and how far away your subject is while also adjusting shutter speed according to your own movement and then take a great shot with little effort on your part.
  • 12) Special Scene Mode- With this mode, the camera will take pictures based on the type of scene you are trying to capture. Whether you are taking a picture of a sunset or a close up shot of a flower, this mode is great for new users who can simply choose one of the default settings and let the camera do all of the work.
  • 13) Creative Auto Mode- This mode gives you full control over your settings. If you want an action shot with low light and high motion blur, then this is the setting for you. However, if you want complete control over your aperture and other settings, then use the manual mode instead.
  • 14) Easy Mode- This setting is good for beginners, especially those who want to take great pictures that look clean and uncluttered. With this setting, you can easily change the ISO, shutter speed or aperture without having to worry about the complex details or technical jargon of other camera settings.
  • 15) Scene Intelligent Auto Mode- This mode allows users to make accurate and precise adjustments to settings based on varying lighting conditions and what’s in the frame. Because this setting uses face detection and various other features of the camera, you can still capture great shots with ease without having to worry about any technical aspects of photography.
  • 16) Intelligent Auto Mode- With this mode, you can take great photos with little effort. With this setting, the camera will adjust settings based on your natural movements, and you can easily capture a wide range of scenery and subjects with little effort.
  • 17) Superior Auto Mode- This mode allows users to make some adjustments to settings for better quality shots. With this setting, you can still adjust the shutter speed, ISO or aperture but not as much as in the manual mode.
  • 18) Anti Motion Blur Mode- As the name suggests, this shooting mode is best suited for taking pictures of moving subjects like children playing or animals that like to jump around quite a lot. With this setting, the camera will have a slower shutter speed and a higher ISO to compensate for the fast moving subjects.
  • 19) Handheld Night Scene Mode- This setting is ideal for taking pictures of sunset or other night scenes without any hassle. With this mode, users can adjust settings to get exactly the look they want.
  • 20) Twilight Mode- In this mode, users can choose to adjust the shutter speed, ISO and aperture to take high quality shots with low light levels. With this setting, you can focus on getting those beautiful photos but on less light no less.
  • 21) Backlight Mode- This setting is ideal for getting those stunning flower pictures. With this setting, you can easily adjust the shutter speed, aperture or exposure so you can capture the perfect shot of a beautiful flower.
  • 22) Slow Shutter Speed Mode- This mode is ideal for taking photos of candlelit dining rooms, high contrast scenes or those nights when an aurora borealis has been spotted on the horizon. With this mode, users can get great shots but at a slower shutter speed to allow more ambient light into the frame and get that perfect shot.
  • 23) Bulb Mode- This mode is great for getting those perfect shots of night skies that have multiple stars and even a full moon in them. With this mode, you can get photos that are as bright as daylight and can adjust the settings to get your perfect shot.
  • 24) Time Lapse Mode- This mode is ideal for those users who love taking pictures of any imperfection in nature. With this setting, you can easily take high quality photos of beautiful nature from sunrise to sunset with little effort and a wide range of settings to choose from.
  • 25) Star Trail Mode- This setting is ideal for photographers who want to capture the stars in action or take images that include the stars flying across the sky due to fast moving objects like a plane. With this setting, users can easily adjust the shutter speed, ISO or aperture so you are able to capture those amazing photographs.
  • 26) Motion Snapshot Mode- This mode is great for those users who just enjoy taking a snapshot of the little moments in life and share them with friends and family. With this mode, the camera will take a picture on its own at a short interval until you hit the stop button. This is a great way to capture those special moments that are happening right now.
  • 27) Auto Shot Mode- This setting is ideal for those users who want to get a different kind of shot from the standard point and shoot or auto modes. With this setting, you can take photographs with your camera automatically after shooting another image by pressing on one of the buttons and then hitting it again only after you have taken a photo yourself. This can help you capture those photos that you need to take but can’t think of in time.

Read here: Top DSLR Camera Under 20,000 Rs – The Budget Pick

In the end, it all comes down to how you use a camera. Some people just want something that is easy to use and takes good pictures while others want something more advanced. With the settings above, as well as some simple tips, you will have a great camera for snapping pictures with no worry. Happy snapping!



Q: Can I use an SLR underwater?

A: Yes, but it could be difficult because of the size and weight of the camera and lens combination. We suggest having the camera strap pass diagonally across your body from your left shoulder to the front of your right hip. This position will make it easier to handle the camera and lens.

Q: Will it be able to support a small, compact camera?

A: Yes, if you wear the strap in position 2 or 3 it will be able to support a smaller camera and lens. If you want support for a larger lens, then we would recommend using one of our larger Pro Strap models like the Pro Strap SL-1. (Click here for more information.

Q: Is there a height limit?

A: Yes. The height limit is approximately 6’2″ and the weight limit for the model SL-1 is 12 pounds.

Q: Will it work with an LCD backpack or external monitor?

A: Yes. The Pro-DSLR Holster will work with any camera with a tripod mount, meaning almost all DSLR cameras like the Canon 5D, 6D and 7D or Nikon D4s, D800 series etc…

Q: Will it work with a flash?

A: Yes. The Pro-DSLR Holster will work with flash units and trigger cords. (see gallery photos on this page to see how the Pro-DSLR Holster is used for flash photography)


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Why Does It Still look Blurry After Using the Manual Focus and Adjusting It: Explained
What is Shutter Priority in Photography? – Explained
What is Sensor Cleaning – Detailed Guide



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