Using Automatic Camera Modes

Even a more advanced photo situation – like this long exposure in nighttime lighting – doesn’t always have to be set up manually. Understanding your camera’s automatic settings is helpful; it saves you work, and allows you to make the most of your hardware. In this tutorial you will learn about the most common automatic camera modes of digital cameras.

The most common automatic camera modes are:

• Full Auto Mode: Automates shutter speed, focus, flash, etc. Great for amateurs and candid shots.
• Portrait Mode: Sets aperture to soften background and make subject stand out.
• Landscape Mode: Sets aperture to focus on entire scene, from foreground to horizon.
• Close-up Mode: Sets wide aperture to soften background and emphasize subject.
• Sport Mode: Sets shutter speed as fast as possible to capture motion.
• Night Portrait Mode: Turns on flash and reduces shutter speed to capture more detail and color.
• Night Landscape: Reduces shutter speed to increase detail and color.
• No Flash Mode: Disables flash.

Advanced Modes include:

• Aperture Priority Mode: Automatically selects shutter speed based on aperture.
• Shutter Priority Mode: Automatically selects aperture value based on shutter speed.
• Manual Mode: Leaves everything under manual control.
• Program Mode: Shutter Speed and Aperture are adjusted simultaneously. Flash and focus are manual, but other settings are automatic.
• Creative Auto Mode: Photographer controls picture style, drive, and RAW vs. JPEG. Everything else is automatic.
• Bulb Mode: Keeps shutter open as long as shutter button is pressed.


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