Manual mode is all about learning to have control over your camera from Beachcamera.com instead of letting it control you. Learning manual mode will give you the freedom to operate in all types of light and in all situation.
ISO controls how sensitive your camera’s image sensor is to light. It's better to use a higher ISO number, than it is to use a lower ISO number and underexpose. You'll get less noise, and your images will appear sharper and clearer. When you have a lot of available light use a low ISO and in low light you can use a higher ISO.
Aperture controls how much light is allowed through your Sony Telephoto Zoom A-Mount Lens from Beachcamera.com by setting the f-stop. A lower f-stop, like 1.4 will let in a lot of light and a higher f-stop around 16 will let in less light. Aperture also controls bokeh, or background blur. You get more bokeh with lower apertures.
Shutter speed controls how long the image sensor is exposed to light. Higher shutter speeds prevent motion blur and freeze motion, but let in less light because the shutter is not open as long. A lower shutter speed will let in more light, but may give your subjects motion blur if they are moving in the photo because the shutter is open longer.
White Balance is a setting used to get the right types and tones of color you want in your images. Different types of lights can create color casts on white objects or skin tones in images and white balance is a great tool for correcting this. Some of the basic white balance settings include auto, tungsten, fluorescent, cloudy and daylight.
Using manual mode is not the same as manual focusing. Manual focus is when you move the ring on your camera lens to bring an object into focus, rather than having your camera do it. You can still use auto focus, where the camera will lock focus for you, in manual mode.
Shooting in RAW can be a bit of a lifesaver. RAW files allow you more flexibility with fixing any mistakes, like over or under exposure, or fixing your white balance. Although you’ll have to do a bit of work processing your photos in your chosen editing software, it is well worth it for the extra control you get over how the final image looks. When photographing in manual there are no ‘go to’ settings for shutter speed, aperture, or anything else. You set your camera up for what’s best in that light or for whatever it is you want to achieve. Steps to setting up in manual are to first set white balance, second set ISO, then set aperture, and finally your shutter speed. Then you practice until it becomes second nature. Photographing in manual is hard, but it will force you to learn your camera inside and out and you’ll be a better photographer for it.