Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Your Guide To Camera Modes
Get better images more easily with your digital camera’s pre-programmed settings
Labels: Learning Center
We won't cover every special mode you may have on your camera, as they vary from model to model. Here are several of the most common modes and what they do for your photography.
Manual. The shooting mode that started it all. You set the shutter speed and aperture, with options to change white balance, ISO, flash and even focus on some cameras. Choose this mode if you're sure of your exposure or want maximum latitude for experimentation.
Aperture Priority. In this mode, you select the aperture, thereby determining your depth of field, and the camera automatically sets the best shutter speed to match the conditions. This is a terrific mode to use with a stationary subject when you want to control your depth of field and aren't concerned about shutter speed. It's also a good choice when you want the camera to automatically select the fastest possible shutter speed (just set the camera to its widest aperture).
Many professionals choose Aperture priority as their default setting. With the traditional SLR, this allowed them to quickly change the exposure without taking their eye off the subject or their finger off the shutter, by spinning the aperture ring with their left (lens-holding) hand.
Shutter Priority. This mode helps you control motion, both as it relates to the subject and the camera. You select the shutter speed and the camera chooses the best aperture. The obvious example for stopping action is sports photography, where you'll need a high shutter speed.
Photographing a walking person might require a shutter speed of 1/125 sec., and a golf swing might take 1/500 sec. Conversely, there will be times when you want a slow shutter speed, such as for blurring moving water in a stream-try a speed between 1/15 and 1/60 sec.
For controlling camera movement and to improve your handheld exposures, use a shutter speed that's the reciprocal of your lens focal length (i.e., 1/300 sec. for a 300mm telephoto lens).
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