I'm taking a photoshoot for a salsa class in a hall with very limited lighting. Can you suggest any good manual setting, as I am fed up with using auto.

I have a Canon EOS-760D with Sigma EX10-20mm 1:3.5 DC HSM.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What problems are you having with auto mode? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Apr 24, 2018 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problem. but all lighting is pre adjusted and want control over photos I take. Just want to know in general, whats the best manual setting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rudi Mehta
    Apr 24, 2018 at 15:32
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ You want control over the images - yet your question indicates that you are not aware of how exposure works or the trade offs involved in selecting aperture, shutter, and ISO. The question is either Off Topic as Opinion Based (define good) or is a Duplicate of "What is the Exposure Triangle?". If I'm wrong is my assumption - please edit your q and define the type of shot you're after \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 24, 2018 at 16:35
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you taking photos of dancers doing salsa dance? Or of a cooking class making salsa sauce? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 24, 2018 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Taking shots of the dancers in a community hall with multi lighting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rudi Mehta
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:57

2 Answers 2


The best manual settings are the ones needed for the shoot environment light levels at the time you are shooting.

There is no way for us to know what the light levels are going to be at the time you shoot so we can not tell you what settings to use !.

YOU have to take a meter reading and set the controls according to the meters reading.

For low light levels you will need to set your ISO to higher value, again we can not tell you what is needed, you will have to be there to determine what that value will be in order to give you the shutter speed you need. The ISO setting on your camera is a way of changing how sensitive your cameras sensor is to light so that when you shoot in low light situations your camera will have the ability to record the low light levels better, this is done with the computer in your camera. Higher ISO comes with a loss of image quality ( or digital noise ) at ISO's above a certain level but you can research the effects of iso on image quality yourself.

If you have access to the hall before the shoot and the lighting will be set the same as shoot time then you can work it out and do some test shooting. Learn how to use and read your cameras light meter while in manual mode. ( or buy a hand held meter )

If the lighting is going to be changing during the shoot then you will need an understanding of how to adjust your camera settings manually according to the meter readings you are getting with each change in lighting.

Practice practice practice.


I would start with about 1/500 shutter speed to freeze the action of the dancers, and use about f/4 for the aperture. The ISO would then need to be selected using the camera’s exposure meter with the available lighting. With you camera in hand, it should be easy to select the right ISO, or you might want to use Auto ISO.

Some movement blur may be desirable, but if you find the shutter speed too slow to stop the movement, you will need to increase the shutter speed to something like 1/750 or 1/1000, and raise the ISO in proportion.

Example: If the exposure was correct at 1/500, f/4, ISO 3200, you might need to use 1/1000, f/4, and ISO 6400 to freeze the movement. (If you double the shutter speed, you need to double the ISO)


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