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What Are The Best Rebel T3 Manual Settings To Use?  
User currently offlineYYCSpotter From Canada, joined Jul 2012, 208 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8530 times:

I have a canon rebel T3, and am wondering what the best settings are for aviation photography, as I thought I found the best settings, but All my photos were well overexposed.

Any Info would be greatly appreciated.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJOshu From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8525 times:

I have a T3i. Set the aperture to 8.0 and go from there.
Most of my shots at BWI (look through the DB) are at 8.0, ISO of 200-400, and a shutter speed of 640-1600.

* It all depends on the light available! Practice helps!

Washington-Baltimore Spotters Group
User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1331 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8525 times:

There are no 'best settings' in any mode. Everything depends on the light. You should read up on the exposure triangle and learn how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO all work together.

I don't want to give too much advice, but to start keep the sun at your back, put the camera in aperture priority (Av) mode set on f/8, set the ISO to 100 and take some shots. Learn how light hitting the subject can change the shutter speed which is the only variable you have in Av. You can also do the same thing in time mode (Tv) and see how light can effect the f/stop number.

Manual mode takes you manipulating all 3 parts of the exposure triangle, and if light is changing faster than you can keep up, or your settings are off from the start, photos can very easily be over or under exposed.

User currently offlineptpolanski From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8513 times:

I have a t3i too you just need to play around with the shutter speed and the ISO and Aperture... There are some videos on YouTube that might help you out, but anything f8 or slightly higher or lower will work, with shutter speeds of at least 500, so you get a sharp look and if your taking photos of a helicopter the blades will look frozen. Also depending on the time of the day for the ISO.... When it's sunny I go with 100 maybe 200 if it's cloudy

Hope this helps 

User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2962 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8497 times:

Quoting YYCSpotter (Thread starter):
and am wondering what the best settings are for aviation photography

Rather than asking what the best settings are, I think some learning in the basics of photography would be better in order to understanding the exposure triangle and how it interacts with each other. Once you understand exposure and the exposure triangle, things should start to make sense. If you don't have an understanding of the basics, I wouldn't recommend you shoot in manual for the time being. As others have said, settings very much depend on available light and what type of shot you're trying to achieve so every situation will be different. A good start is aperture priority at f/8-f/10 as this is the sweet spot sharpness wise for most lenses. Use ISO 100 on a bright day (with -1/3 exposure compensation if needed) and ISO 200-400 on a cloudy day. I would recommend reading a basics of photography book first though then get lots of practice. There's more to photography than just pointing a camera at an aircraft and pressing a button!


Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5896 posts, RR: 38
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8492 times:
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Quoting YYCSpotter (Thread starter):
as I thought I found the best settings,

What made you think that?
As Matt & Darren pointed out there are no best settings for aviation.. or portraiture, motorsport, landscapes or any other subject.
Many on this forum are likely tiring of my personal hobby horse.. learn the craft.
Despite the incredible advances in technology over the last couple of decades you still need to learn the craft!
The good news is.. in many ways it easier now,
- The data on each shot that needed to be recorded so one could learn from one's mistakes.. no need any more, the camera records this data in more detail than anyone ever did in wet film days(many of us couldn't be bothered and kept on making mistakes)
- Mistakes themselves.. so much cheaper now, just learn from your mistakes, delete the shot and try again. no buying film, paying for processing and waiting days to see what a hash you made of your shots.

Having said that without a basic understanding of how light works and how a camera records that light you will only ever achieve reasonable results by happy accident.

As Matt & Darren said learn about the "exposure triangle" it wll be a big step towards success.. once you have the exposure thing nailed then there is focus and composition**... but small steps!!


** Anet is not the best place to learn about composition

If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8485 times:

The OP says shooting in manual mode. In manual mode you are overriding the auto-exposure system of the camera therefore you need to

a) learn how to use the camera's built in lightmeter and understand what you are being told by the info in the viewfinder
b) understand how to take light readings

There seems to be a tendency for people to hear about experts shooting in manual mode and think this is the way to go but without understanding what this entails. Apologies to the OP is he knows this already, but as no-one seems to have mentioned lightmeters, I thought I should.

Incidentally it is possible to get excellent exposures with a bit of trial and error by using the histogram - but I don't recommend this.

The only value of shooting manual is to take control over the camera's automation. If you do not have a thorough understanding of exposure and metering techniques, then 99% of the time the camera's auto modes will do a better job.

Personally I almost use either AV or TV mode (which to choose being an entirely different topic), switching to manual only when using flash or extreme lighting conditions.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 5071 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8412 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 6):
switching to manual only when using flash or extreme lighting conditions.

It might seem counter-intuitive to a beginner but the tougher the conditions, the easier Manual mode makes things, in my opinion.

Quoting YYCSpotter (Thread starter):

I have a canon rebel T3, and am wondering what the best settings are for aviation photography, as I thought I found the best settings, but All my photos were well overexposed.

Any Info would be greatly appreciated.

Well if your shots are overexposed, what do you think needs to change? If you can't answer that, then you don't have a basic understanding of exposure which means simply telling you a good Manual setting won't benefit you one bit.

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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