Today, any digital camera offers the photographer a frightening variety of shooting modes. Due to the fact that the instructions for cameras describe the features and purpose of a particular mode is very vague, it can be difficult for a novice Amateur photographer to determine which modes are really useful, and which are marketing nonsense. As a result, many people either spit on everything and shoot exclusively in AUTO mode, without trying to dig deeper, or, believing the authors of the instructions, try to use narrow-minded story modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Macro, etc.), not suspecting that with a minimum of mental effort, you can achieve much more flexible and complete control over the camera without any damage to your own comfort.
Canon Nikon Pentax Sony
Understanding digital camera modes is the easiest thing you should learn as a photographer. If you are familiar with the concepts of shutter speed and aperture, then it will not be difficult for you to understand the shooting modes.
The basic modes determine the exposure
Since the 80’s of the last century, four modes have been standard for most cameras: program mode (P), aperture priority mode (A or Av), shutter priority mode (S or Tv), and manual mode (M). In the XXI century, but nothing fundamentally new camera manufacturers have not come up with. Using the classic four, you can still shoot anything you want. Other modes (with rare exceptions) – from the evil one.
P-Program auto. The program machine or program line mode is not only the most preferred mode for a novice Amateur photographer, but also a perfectly acceptable choice for an experienced photographer, especially in situations where you have to shoot in a hurry.
In program mode, the camera independently sets the appropriate combination of aperture and shutter speed according to lighting conditions and ISO sensitivity (see Light and exposure numbers). By default, the following combinations are used: f/2*1/15; f/2.8*1/30; f / 4*1/60; f/5.6*1/125; f/8*1/250; f/11*1/500; f/16*1/1000; f / 22*1/2000, etc. within the range of aperture numbers of a particular lens and the range of shutter speeds of a particular camera. Of course, intermediate values of the form are also possible: f/6,3*1/160; f/7,1*1/200; f/9*1/320; f/10*1/400, etc., since the values of both shutter speed and aperture are usually changed in steps of one-third of a step.
To reduce or increase the exposure relative to the proposed machine, use the exposure correction or exposure compensation function. For example, in contrast lighting on many cameras, you have to reduce the exposure by 1/3 or 2/3 steps to avoid overexposure in the light, and when shooting winter scenes, the exposure should be increased so that the snow does not appear gray in the photo. Usually, the exposure correction is controlled by a special button (+/-) in combination with the main control dial. It is even more convenient when a separate disk is provided for expocorrection.
A feature of good cameras is the ability to shift the program, i.e. to choose equivalent combinations of aperture and shutter speed to obtain the same exposure in accordance with the law of interchangeability.
Given example. Typical exposure on a Sunny day is achieved with an expopar of f / 8*1/250 at ISO 100. On the principle of interchangeability, the same exposure can be obtained using any of the following combinations: f/2*1/4000; f/2.8*1/2000; f / 4*1/1000; f/5.6*1/500; f / 11*1/125; f/16*1/60; f/22*1/30. By rotating the corresponding dial, you can shift the program either to larger aperture values and longer exposures, or to shorter exposures and smaller aperture values. This program is called flexible.
The ISO sensitivity in program mode is set either manually or automatically, depending on your preferences and camera capabilities.
A-Aperture priority or Av-Aperture value. Aperture priority mode is deservedly loved by many photographers. In this mode, you set the desired aperture value within the range limited by the lens design, and the camera automatically selects the appropriate shutter speed for it. Compensation in this case is also affected only to the shutter speed as the only variable in the exposure value.
Most of my work was shot in aperture priority mode. Manual aperture control means full control over the depth of the sharply displayed space, which is extremely convenient both when shooting landscapes, when the depth of field should be maximum, and when shooting portraits, when you want to visually separate the object from the background with a small grip. In addition, the overall sharpness of the image depends on the aperture, and therefore it is highly desirable to keep such an important parameter under supervision.
S-Shutter priority or Tv-Time value. The shutter priority mode is the opposite of aperture priority. In this case, you set the shutter speed manually, and the camera selects the aperture. Shutter priority is useful when you need to limit the minimum shutter speed to prevent blurring when shooting fast-moving subjects.
In General, this mode is less convenient and versatile than the aperture priority, because, first, the shutter speed variations do not affect the image as much as the aperture change, and secondly, due to the fact that the range of aperture numbers is noticeably narrower than the shutter speed range, the camera, while in the shutter priority mode, often rests on the maximum aperture values, which results in underexposure or overexposure of the frame. By the way, you can now usually limit the minimum shutter speed by setting the ISO sensitivity automatically.
M-Manual. Manual mode implies, as you might guess, manual setting of both the aperture and shutter speed. The camera’s exposure meter continues to work, determining the correct exposure from its point of view, but its readings are only Advisory in manual mode.
Manual mode is suitable for unhurried work in the Studio (especially with pulsed light), when the lighting remains unchanged from shot to shot, and you know better than your camera what exposure you need. Also, the manual mode can be useful in specific situations when the exposure meter may behave inappropriately, for example, when shooting night landscapes with a starry sky. Another area of application of the manual mode is shooting panoramas, because in this case, you usually need exactly the same exposure for all the frames that are glued together in the future, and in automatic modes, there are always some fluctuations in it.
In all four classic modes, the photographer has access to a full range of exposure settings, ISO sensitivity, white balance, autofocus, flash, image styles, and so on.This compares favorably with the soapbox modes discussed below.