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In Program mode, when you meter a scene by half-pressing the shutter button, the camera calculates an appropriate shutter speed, and aperture, and maybe ISO, if you're set to Auto ISO. There will be times, though, when you know that you're going to want a lot of control of shutter speed. Maybe you're shooting a sporting event, and you know that you want to perfectly freeze motion, so you want to make certain that your camera is always using a fast shutter speed, or maybe you're shooting a landscape with some moving water in it, and you know that you want that silky smooth blurred water effect in all of your shots, so you want to make certain that you're always using a slow shutter speed.
In Shutter priority mode, you can choose the shutter speed that you want, and when the camera meters, it will automatically pick a corresponding aperture that will yield a correct exposure. You should already know how to switch to Shutter priority mode; that's Tv on your mode dial, for time value. I'm going to press the locking button; turn that to there. Now watch what happens when I meter. I'm at a 60th of a second, and the camera has chosen f/5. I'm in control of shutter speed here on my main dial. As I turn it, I'm changing the shutter speed, and the camera is automatically calculating a correct corresponding aperture for the current metering.
So I can go to faster or slower shutter speeds. Now, watch what happens here as I speed up my shutter speed. Uh oh; suddenly my aperture is flashing. What that's indicating is that I am going to be underexposed. The camera cannot open the aperture any wider, because this particular lens, at this focal length, only goes to f/4. So it's flashing; that doesn't mean it won't take the picture. I can still take the picture. It's just warning me that I'm going to have an exposure problem. The same thing can happen at the other end of the exposure dial here.
So this gives me full control over shutter speed, and leaves aperture up to the camera. Now, I'm going to let the meter time out here, and notice it's still showing my shutter speed. That's because that's something I can just set, and I can actually set that even before I meter. So maybe I'm shooting a fast moving sporting event; before I even get started, I might just decide I want to shoot this at a thousandth of a second, I don't want that to change, because I'm really trying to freeze motion here. And now I would just be able to shoot my way through, with the camera taking care of aperture. I am set at ISO 100; that's one reason I'm getting the underexposure warning is, not only will my lens not open enough, but I'm at an ISO that's too slow for this light.
I'm going to set the ISO over to Auto, and now watch what happens. It's not flashing f/4 at me, because it's bumped the ISO up for me. As I change shutter speed, it's not messing with aperture as much as it's messing with ISO. So the camera is going to be pretty intelligent about trying to make a change to ISO rather than mess up your depth of field. It's going to prioritize its ISO changes. One thing to be aware of is that means that it might go up to a really high ISO. Here it's gone up to 6400.
If you've already decided that 6400, or any of these ISOs, is far noisier than you like, then you're going to want to constrain your Auto ISO settings, so that ISO doesn't go beyond an ISO that you think is acceptable, and we'll show you how to do that in another movie. Shutter priority doesn't allow you to take any shots that you couldn't take in Program mode using program shift. Rather, it simply provides you with a speedier way to get the shutter speed based exposure settings that you want.
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