Understanding Camera Shooting/Exposure Modes

Full Auto

Auto means that the camera uses a combination of information it gathers about the scene and your settings to automatically set the best exposure settings for a picture. The problem with this mode is that you can’t change these settings after the picture is taken. So you are relying on the camera to choose the settings for you.

Program Mode

shooting modes

The Program Mode of cameras allows the user to take pictures or video clips without having to remember camera settings. What is it? It’s a feature that is available on most digital cameras. In the past, this mode was known as the “Shutter Priority” mode and has now been renamed to “Program Mode.” It lets the user control the exposure and lighting by using an on-screen preview window, which shows how the photo or video will look. In Program Mode, the camera automatically determines the shutter speed, the aperture (f-stop) and the ISO sensitivity (ISO) based on the exposure and lighting conditions, and sets the camera accordingly. The user can then select one of the pre-programmed modes such as P, A, S, M.

 Tips for using Program Mode:

• If you are taking a photo of a moving object, you should press the Shutter button halfway down and then immediately press the Shutter button again to take the photo.

• When the shutter button is pressed halfway down and released, the camera will make a sound like “beep, beep, beep.” This is because the shutter speed and ISO sensitivity have been set by the camera.

• If you want to stop the picture, simply press the Shutter button again.

• If you want to set the exposure and lighting conditions (shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity), you must press the Menu button, turn the Main dial (to adjust the ISO sensitivity), and then press the Menu button again.

• Some cameras have a mode called “Exposure Compensation” which enables you to correct the exposure. The user can select “Highlight Priority”, “Mid-tone Priority” or “Shadow Priority”.

How does it work? There are two ways to use Program Mode:

1. The camera takes the picture or records the video clip, automatically. The camera decides the shutter speed, the aperture and the ISO sensitivity based on the light conditions.

2. You take the picture or record the video clip yourself. You then determine the settings and press the Shutter button to take the picture or start recording the video clip.

What is its advantage? It makes it easier to take pictures or record video clips in low light or when you want to take a series of pictures or video clips with the same exposure and lighting. It also gives you more control over the exposure and lighting conditions.

What are its disadvantages? It requires you to know how to use the menu system, which might be difficult for people who aren’t very familiar with cameras.

Shutter Speed priority and Aperture priority

shooting modes

Shutter speed priority is a setting on cameras that lets you control the speed of your shutter so you can choose how long the picture will be exposed. Shutter speed priority allows you to decide how long your shutter will stay open, while keeping the aperture (the opening in your lens) the same.

Shutter Priority Mode: How and When to Use it!

In photography, shutter priority mode is a very useful and versatile setting. This guide will help you

Aperture priority, on the other hand, lets you control the amount of light entering your lens, but you do not decide the length of time it stays open. Most digital cameras have both these settings, which allows you to choose between them for different situations.

For example, if you want to take photos in a bright sunshine, aperture priority might be better because it keeps the exposure constant by allowing you to choose how much light comes through your lens. However, if you want to take photos in a low-light setting where there isn’t much light, shutter speed priority is more useful because it allows you to control how long your camera will expose the film or sensor (the electronic part of your camera that takes the image) to the light. Shutter speed is measured in seconds, and aperture is measured in f-stops.


The manual mode of a camera is when the photographer has complete control over the camera’s settings. This allows the photographer to set the camera to their desired settings and take pictures without relying on the camera’s autofocus or automatic exposure features.

Some people may prefer to take photos in manual mode while others may prefer automatic mode. Ultimately, the mode of your camera is up to you to decide.

Some applications of the shooting modes

How to Choose the Right Shooting Mode

There is so much more to know about a camera than just its shooting mode, but that’s why I wrote this article to help you get started.

After you’ve taken some time to get to know your camera and what it can do, you’ll start to see some patterns in its shooting modes.

For example, if you are shooting landscapes, you may notice that there are a lot of options in aperture. And if you are shooting portraits, there are a lot of options for shutter speed.

The best way to learn about a camera’s shooting modes is to read about them. You can also read up on the manual to understand what they mean.

There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a shooting mode. For example, if you want to take photos at night, you need to decide between aperture priority or shutter priority.

You can also choose from any combination of these settings, as well as full auto mode.

1. Abstract/macro

When you are focusing on something that is out of focus it can be tricky to capture the right images. Macro photography can be useful for capturing things that are far away. However, it can be difficult to capture an image that looks good. The best advice for those new to macro photography is to learn about each mode and see which works best for you. A useful place to start is the manual.

2. Portrait/people

This is a well-established mode which gives you control over a number of settings. These include shutter speed, aperture, flash power, metering and white balance. The best place to start when learning how to use this mode is to read the manual and try out a few simple examples on your camera.

3. Landscape

This is a common mode for beginners and covers most situations that we find ourselves in – taking landscape photos. Landscape mode offers the user complete control over a number of settings including exposure, focus, metering and white balance. There are also a range of different focal lengths, from wide angle (wide) to telephoto (tele).

4. Sports/action/indoor

A lot of people like to take photos of sports. However, there are different modes for capturing sports. The best advice for those new to sport photography is to learn about each mode and see which works best for you. A useful place to start is the manual.

5. Close-up

When you are focusing on something close up it is important that you keep your aperture wide open to allow as much light in as possible. This means that it can be difficult to take photographs of very small objects. So if you want to capture close up detail you may need to use a macro lens, which will let you do this.

6. Night time

One of the most common modes on a digital camera is night time. It allows you to control shutter speed and aperture. It’s a useful mode for creating night time pictures and has some useful features including flash control, white balance, exposure compensation and auto focus.

7. Food

This mode works well for photographing food and has several options including white balance and exposure compensation. It is also useful for capturing food photography at different times of day, including sunrise and sunset.

8. Close-up food

This mode is perfect for capturing close-up photographs of food. It offers the user complete control over a number of settings including exposure, metering, white balance and flash.


The purpose of this article is to teach you the basics of shooting modes, so you can get the best shots possible.

The best way to do this is to understand the differences between them, so you know which mode to use.

1 thought on “Understanding Camera Shooting/Exposure Modes”

Comments are closed.