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In Program mode when you meter a scene by half-pressing the Shutter button, the camera calculates an appropriate shutter speed, an aperture, and possibly ISO if you're set to Auto ISO. There will be times though, when you know that you are going to want a lot of control in shutter speed. Maybe you are shooting a sporting event, and you know that you want to perfectly freeze motion so you want to make certain that the camera is always using a flash shutter speed. Or maybe you're shooting a landscape with some moving water in it, and you want that silky, smooth, blurry water effect in all your shot so you want to make certain that you are always using a slow shutter speed.
In Shutter Priority mode you can choose the shutter speed that you want and when the camera meters, it will automatically pick a corresponding aperture that will yield a correct exposure. To change to Shutter Priority mode I simply press the Mode button and turn my main command dial until I see S for Shutter Priority. A half-press of the Shutter button or another press of the mode dial takes me back into Shooting mode. The camera has metered. It's at 1/125th of a second right now because that's the last shutter speed I dialed in the last time that I used Shutter Priority; it remembers from mode change to mode change.
I can change shutter speed by metering and then turning my main command dial: to the left gives me slower shutter speeds, to the right gives me faster shutter speeds. Shutters speeds are changing in one-third stop increments. You can change that value if you want, that interval value, and you'll see how to do that later. Watch what happens as I change here. My aperture is changing automatically because the camera is re-metering and changing my aperture to fit the shutter speed that I want. My aperture is getting wider and wider. My lens though is a 2.8 lens, so right here, that's as wide as the lens can go.
If I go to a faster shutter speed now, a couple of things happen. This starts flashing and my Exposure Compensation display is showing one-third stop of underexposure. Now, the camera is going to take the picture anyway, but it's warning me that if I take the picture right now, it's going to be underexposed by a third of a stop, and that just keeps getting more underexposed as I go. So again, this isn't preventing me from shooting an image; it's just giving me a warning that I am now shooting an underexposed shot. If I had a faster lens, that would come in later. If the aperture could open up wider, then I would not see this warning until I'd gotten to the maximum aperture of the lens.
Shutter Priority doesn't allow you to take any shots that you couldn't take in Program mode using Flexible Program; rather, it simply provides you with a speedier way to get the shutter-speed-based exposure settings that you want.
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