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There are a lot of decisions that need to be made before you take a picture: Where should you focus? What shutter speed should you use? What aperture should you use? What's the best white balance? What's the optimum ISO? What's the best image format to use? Fortunately, your camera can make many of these decisions for you. Which ones it will make is determined by the shooting mode that you are in. In other words, your shooting mode choice gives you more or less control over the camera. Now, sometimes, you want the camera to make lots of decisions for you, as this will allow you to work faster and spend more time thinking about composition and seeing.
At other times, you'll want to take more control yourself to ensure that you get the image that you want. By default, I am in Program mode on the D800. In Program mode, the camera is going to decide most things for you. It's going to choose a shutter speed and aperture based on the light in your scene. If you're set for Auto White Balance it's going to automatically choose a white balance, you can set for Auto ISO, which means it will automatically choose an ISO based off its metering in the scene. Image format will still be left up to.
You you'll still have the option to override its exposure settings in a couple different ways, but this is a very good general-purpose, mostly fully automatic mode. It's not going to decide if you need flash in a scene. You're still in full manual control of the camera's built-in pop-up flash. To change mode on the D800, I press the Mode button and then turn the main command dial back here. S means Shutter Priority. In Shutter Priority I get to choose the shutter speed that I want and the camera automatically picks a corresponding aperture.
A is Aperture Priority. In Aperture Priority mode, I choose the aperture that I want and the camera automatically picks a corresponding shutter speed that'll yield a good exposure. Or I have a full manual mode where I can pick both values myself and the camera will shoot whether it thinks it's a good idea or not. And finally, I cycled back around to Program mode. After I've chosen the mode I simply half- press the Shutter button or press the Mode button again to take that selection. Over the rest of this course you are going to see exactly what Program mode does, as well as explore the D800's other shooting modes.
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