So many options
If you’re just starting out, your brand new DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera can be overwhelming. It is totally understandable. You think the easiest thing is to just start out in FULL AUTO mode. You may be right to an extent but lets take a look. Here are some alternative shooting modes, that you might not have been aware of. Or maybe you just didn’t understand what they were. Lets see what we can learn. You’ve probably seen the options on the top of the camera dial P, A, S, M. On both a Nikon or a Canon these options are on both of them. There are a couple variances that we will explain below. If you aren’t sure what those are let’s dive in a little bit.
Program Mode (P)
P mode is also known as Priority Mode. What is it you ask? Well Program mode is an advanced version of auto mode. The P mode might remind you of Auto because they look very similar, and they are in a way. In P mode you, the photographer control the ISO and flash. The camera will automatically adjust the Aperture and Shutter Speed, based on what the camera feels is the best option. You can easily use this mode as a learning tool. After you take the shot you can go into your image settings and see what the camera chose as the best option. This will give you a tool to use going forward. You can then mimic the settings and help yourself to understand what the camera was going for.
Aperture Priority Mode (A/AV)
So you may have noticed something different about this mode. It isn’t a typo, trust me. On a Nikon your dial will show A. On a Canon it will show AV (Aperture Value). So in this mode the photographer will control the aperture / Depth of field. While the camera will once again will choose the best shutter speed for the picture. In this mode you will be able to shoot handheld without a tripod. The flexibility to just be able to shoot without constantly monitor the exposure levels for every shot.
Shutter Priority Mode (S/TV)
WHOA?! You weren’t expecting that were you? Why is there a difference, well let me explain a little. Nikon has the S for Shutter priority. Canon has a TV , which stands for Time Value. Same thing just different terminology. You will control shutter and in this scenario. The camera will select the aperture it feels is best for the situation. When should you use this mode? Usually when you are panning or shooting a moving subject
Manual Mode (M)
In Manual mode you have full control of every aspect. You are making all the decisions here. Full manual mode is the true mode in which we all purchase a DSLR camera. It allows you to set any parameter of the camera. You will control ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed
Getting out of full auto can be scary. Hopefully now that you know that there are other options out there. You can build on your skills and your confidence and work your way into Manual. Stay with me as we get into diving deeper into ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed in the coming weeks. Comment below if you have any questions regarding todays topic, and maybe it will be another topic to cover.