Digital Photography – Is Your Camera Stuck on Auto?
Most digital cameras are supplied with a confusing array of buttons and icons that access different programs. The average user has no idea what setting to use for which picture and the camera stays on AUTO mode.
The camera instruction manual is designed to tell you how to set your camera to a particular program. It is not, however, written to advise you when or why a specific program should be used. By getting to know these programs, you can achieve excellent results without needing much technical knowledge.
Start by checking the camera instruction manual to establish how to access different shooting programs.
In a point and shoot compact camera, this will probably be within the menu. Press the menu button and follow the instructions in the manual that was supplied with the camera.
With a more expensive single lens reflex camera, the shooting programs will be accessible from a dial on top of the camera.
Once you have decided on the photograph you want to take, simply choose the program that fits the subject you want to capture. If you are not sure what program to choose, follow the guide below to help you.
Auto or Automatic
You can continue to use Auto when you want a quick snapshot and if lighting conditions are good. The camera makes no allowance for more difficult lighting conditions, close up photographs or the subject matter.
This mode can be very confusing for a beginner as it appears to be virtually identical to the Auto mode. There is a crucial difference however and it is that it allows you to make some changes to the camera before taking the photograph. For example, you might want to take a photograph without flash and if this is the case, set your camera to P mode and instead use available natural light to take your picture. P mode also allows changes to some other settings, such as changing the ISO and white balance.
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