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On the top of your camera on the left is a dial which lets you choose a shooting mode. The shooting mode that you choose determines what decisions the camera will make, and what decisions will be left up to you. Now, sometimes having the camera make lots of decisions is a better way to go, because it allows you to work more quickly, while at other times, you'll want control over more decisions, to ensure that you get the type of shot that you want. Changing modes on the Mark III is very simple. The mode dial here has a locking button in the middle; I can't turn it unless I press that button.
So I am going to press that down, and make sure that my mode dial is on the green box with the A in the middle of it. For the rest of this chapter, we are going to be working and Scene Intelligent Auto mode, so set the mode dial to the green box with the little A in it. From here on, I am just going to call this Auto mode. In Auto mode, the camera will choose all exposure settings, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, as well as choosing a white balance. In Auto mode, you will not have access to program shift, exposure compensation, or many of the other controls that we'll talk about later, but you will be able to select the file format that you want to shoot in.
Auto mode basically gives you a snapshot camera, albeit a very good one. While you may think that Auto mode is inherently a compromise, the fact is that the Auto features on your camera are very good, and will probably make the right choice 80 to 90% of the time. When and how to use it will become apparent as you learn more about exposure, and about the camera's other shooting modes.
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