To use manual or not to use manual that is the question is something I hear from many people so I am going to try dissect this question a bit in this post and give my "very expert" advice...
So when I first started taking pictures with my DSLR, I used a combination of manual and automatic. I liked the power of using manual, but some stuff I read said to use automatic and frankly I just wasn't very good at using manual. So here's tip #1: If you are not confidant with using manual, just stick with automatic for now, but keep reading to see the rest of my tips.
Since I was terrible at using manual, I started fiddling around with it, and actually got better results! So if this works for you, go for it! But I would highly recommend taking a course that guides you through the basics. I'll link to the course I took, which I highly recommend. It's clean, Christian, and it does things really well. So tip #2 is to use manual if at all possible and if you can find a course to help you along, great! https://www.lenspiration.com/
If you are not comfortable with going full manual but want to get some of the more 'finished' look of manual, try semi-automatic. It lets you have some of the power. There are more than one semi-auto functions (at least on mine) so you can pick and choose what you want to have control of. So my 3rd and final tip: Try to take at least partial control of your camera by using semi-auto.
Ok so here are my final thoughts (sorry for not being SUPER clear, but I'm novice at this too!) Manuel is the ultimate way to go; if you are a pro photographer, you won't use automatic, but the fact is not everyone is comfortable with having all the power so that is where semi-auto comes and saves the day.
Now for my closing, I'm going to show some pictures I took in manual and some I took in semi and full auto.
This photo was taken on full auto. Therefore I was not able to have the full control I needed to get it the right colour. I also wasn't able to adjust the shutter speed, which made the picture a little blurry.
This picture on the other hand was taken on semi-auto so I had much more control. It is much darker, which is what I wanted, and it is more clear. To be clear, this is still not an amazing photo (it was one of my first and I just pulled it up for this example).
I took this one and the one right after as examples of manual and full-auto. This on is full-auto and the next is manal.
This picture was taken on manual, and as you can hopefully see, is much better than the one above. The colour is much more correct and the image itself is nicer.
Well I hope this helps! I had a lot of fun doing this and would love to hear feedback of how you shoot!