Photography cheat sheet: how to use manual exposure mode

Manual mode
(Image credit: Future)

One of the top features found on the best cameras for photography are the semi-automatic exposure modes, such as Aperture Priority (A or Av on a camera’s mode dial) and Shutter Priority (S or Tv). These modes are ideal when starting out with photography, as they allow you to concentrate on elements such as focusing and composition. 

However, full Manual mode will always give you greater control over the final look of your images and enable you to be more creative. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO all have an impact on the shots you take, so by controlling them individually you can come up with images that truly match your intent. 

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.

With contributions from