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Different Camera Modes for the DIY photographer

The best camera modes for a beginner photographer (explained by a professional) 🤓


As a beginner photographer, or even one that is a more experienced DIY photographer, understanding different camera modes is essential for mastering your craft and getting the best shots in various situations. Here's an explanation of the most common camera modes and when to use them:


1. Auto Mode (A+ or Auto):

Ideal for beginners who want to capture images without worrying about settings but, suitable for quick shots or when you're unsure about the best settings. Even pros use this mode when shooting outside in quickly changing light like cloud cover/sunlight or having to go between shade and bright sunlight very quickly. This is basically the same as shooting with your phone, but with a much better quality camera.

My recommendation: For beginners or for quick lighting changes when you NEED to get a good shot.


2. Program Mode (P):

The infamous "P" mode, or I like to call it "Professional" mode.

Provides more flexibility than Auto mode while still assisting with settings.

Good for beginners who want a bit more control over their photos without delving into full manual control.

My recommendation: Beginners and event photos that are either indoors/outdoors. This is a great mode for natural lighting for casual wedding photos.




3. Aperture and Shutter Priority Mode (A or Av and S or Tv)

These modes give you control over the Shutter Speed (S) or the Aperture (A). When you want to freeze moving things you need a fast shutter speed so use S mode to make shutter the main focus. When you want a blurry background shooting at a wide aperture or want to get everything in focus like shooting a group or landscape shoot in (A) mode.

My recommendation: For the DIY photographer or someone who knows a little more about camera settings and needs to freeze action like sports or wants to take a wedding group photo and needs to get everyone in focus.


4. Manual Mode (M):

Gives you full control over all settings, including aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and focus.

Practice makes progress, especially in manual mode. Use this when taking your time shooting something artistic like portraits, beauty shots, or consecutive photos where the light doesn't change or change fast.

My recommendation: Use this mode if you are an experienced hobbyist or are a professional. Keeps the white balance the same, (not in auto) keeps aperture the same and also shutter speed the same to achieve consistent results. Adjust when you see fit.




Bonus mode - Auto ISO:

This mode is amazing if you shoot with a new mirrorless camera and want to change the shutter speed and aperture on the go for creativity but want to always get close to good exposure. Great option for someone who knows settings but wants to shoot without any worry.


I hope these explanations of modes help at least a little bit! If you have any other questions about shooting modes or even camera settings, please feel free to reach out and send me a message. I always love to geek out of technical stuff.



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