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Full Version: Why not shoot day to night transitions in Aperture Priority ( A / Av )-Mode?
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While setting the camera to aperture priority when shooting day to night or night to day situations might work in some scenarios, for several reasons it's not the recommended way to shoot transitions.
  • When using A/Av (same goes for S/Tv and P) you rely entirely on the internal metering of the camera and this is not very consistent when it gets dark (the images will get too bright). Metering stops working at a certain darkness also. Additionally the metering will get distracted by every change in luminosity, most likely causing bad flicker. The flicker could of course be fixed with LRTimelapse, but only as long, as the images are not blown out.
  • In A/Av mode you will only be ramping the exposure, not aperture and ISO and you cannot define any boundaries for the settings (for example to prevent the shutter time to get longer than the interval).
  • If you use ISO-Automatic, to have the ISO increased as it gets dark, the camera will aim for short exposures, since this mode has been designed for handheld shooting. This means, it will quickly increase ISO to the highest possible, instead of increasing the exposure time first, as we would prefer it.
  • When the exposure times get longer, the camera won't respect your interval - this means it can even happen, that the exposure times get longer as the interval. You have no control about this.
  • You won't be able to intervene when the shots get too bright or too dark.

Bottomline: if you want perfect results and reliable results, go for the holy grail method. LRTimelapse's "Holy Grail Wizard" will then do the rest and create a smooth transition. I've developed this method over the last years exactly because of the deficiencies of the A/Auto-ISO approach.

The "Holy Grail" approach is simple: you just shoot in M-Mode and change the settings for Exposure, ISO and Aperture manually or via an app like qDslrDashboard.

Check out my tutorial, to learn more about this approach:
Doesn't it depend on what metering youre using? Multi, spot, etc?
Not at all since the metering mode will only affect, how the camera reads the brightness of the scene, it won't change anything on the points mentioned above. I've updated the first post to make it more concise, you might want to read it once more.
Thanks Gunther you answered my question here.
But.... if you follow Morten Rustad ( very good norwegian timelaps shooter) he use av mode a lot.. maybe not in day to night, but in sunset, sunrise shooting with very good results?
Casseragi is right, Morten uses A-mode a lot with great results.

My two cents from own experience:
The main reason I try to avoid "Holy grail" approach is because I don't like touching the camera during the shoot. I've had too many sequences damaged by camera shake caused by my fiddling. Especially when using a slider and 1 or 2 axis shooting setup, the rig is quite prone to movements caused by physical contact.

On Sony cameras, A-priority actually works quite well for sunset/sunrise sequences. In my experience it is very reliable, compared to for example Nikon cameras where the metering fluctuates a lot, causing flicker to the extent it is hard to remove in post.

However, this thread is about "Day to night" sequences, where Gunther's arguments mostly hold true, also for Sony cameras. After sunset, auto metering will yield irregular results and generally too bright images.

Btw, I've never been able to successfully use qDslrDashboard with any of my Sony or Nikon cameras, which has forced me to explore A-priority mode further.
Of course I agree, that touching the camera is not the solution. And yes, there might be situations, where A+ISO-Auto work. But for me, this just lacks the control about the parameters. Most important, I cannot do controlled long exposure, which mostly are a guarantee for better quality.

You should give qDDB another try, with "ControlMyCamera" it's back in the iOS store now and either Android and iOS Versions just got another upgrade. There's a lot of threads here covering using it with sony, see this for example: