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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday Tip: The Difference Between Auto and Program

Buttons, buttons, buttons.... I tell you these camera's should come with instructions! Oh wait... they do! You know that book that has like 6 languages and makes NO sense to you? I know, who wants to read that... it is not what I would call "instructional" maybe functional knowledge... but not easy unless you are just looking up something for reference. It is not the way to learn photography, or your camera in my opinion!

So lets talk about the most basic choice you can make to improve your images. I said in an earlier post that the best thing you can do is get out of that "auto" push here dummy mode. I stand by that statement. If you want to take better images, that is the first step, learning what other options you have, where to find them, and when to use them... well that's why you have me!

First lets look for your camera mode options. In many camera's this will be on top of your camera and located on a dial, kinda like what is shown here.

If you don't have a dial, then you typically have some sort of menu system where you push a button and go up or down to make a selection... sometimes you have to push the same button down multiple times to achieve different "modes" if you are unsure send me a message with your camera type/ model and I will be happy to help you specifically.

AUTO: Common symbols: Green Square, Green Camera, or as shown above a camera with the word auto above it.
  • Good for: "oh my gosh my child is walking for the first time and I dont want to miss this" if you have been playing with your camera and want to take a shot without fail, this is your "safety mode" it works - more or less for any situation, but its not the "go to" after you learn a few simple things. 
  • Functionally: This gives full control over your camera settings to your camera. It says when it will flash, adjusts aperture, shutter, and everything else on "auto"
  • Drawbacks: It gives full control over your camera settings, to your camera! Camera's do not have BRAINS! 
"P": Common symbol: a "P" sometimes a white camera icon
  • Good for: Important photos I don't want to miss, but I want to be sure I get the best image I can quickly and easily in situations I understand.
  • Functionally: It allows the camera to set the best aperture and shutter speed, while you remain in control of Flash, WB, ISO and several other things (don't stress if you don't know what those letters are standing for... we will get there. The important one while your learning is Flash)
  • Drawbacks: This can still be tricked and not always the best for every situation. It is "generally" a good option.
Now, for the purpose of making this a basic post, and not TOO long, I am going to dive into some other must know about buttons later. This is something I see so many people confusing and asking "why do I have two buttons that are the same thing" all the time. I wanted to clarify the differences for you so you have a leg up on everyone else!

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