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Fully automatic

From: Photography 101

Video: Fully automatic

Most of the SLR's have a Fully Automatic mode perhaps a Green Square mode. But they'll also have a couple of icons on there that are usually called Scene modes. On the Canon for example you'll see a series of icons up at the top and they're on the dial itself. So for here for example we have a Portrait mode, a Scenic mode, a flower, and a Sports mode. If we take a look at the Nikon, you'll see its very similar. If I switch the camera into the Scene mode and then push the Info button on the back. I can now start to cycle through the various modes.

Fully automatic

Most of the SLR's have a Fully Automatic mode perhaps a Green Square mode. But they'll also have a couple of icons on there that are usually called Scene modes. On the Canon for example you'll see a series of icons up at the top and they're on the dial itself. So for here for example we have a Portrait mode, a Scenic mode, a flower, and a Sports mode. If we take a look at the Nikon, you'll see its very similar. If I switch the camera into the Scene mode and then push the Info button on the back. I can now start to cycle through the various modes.

So again, there's a Landscape mode, a Child mode for shooting kids, there's a Sports mode. Closeup and so on. So a lot of the same modes you're going to find across different DSLRs. Now, what are these for? Well clearly, the intention of the manufacterer is that if you're going to shoot closeups or portraits. Or perhaps night scenes or big scenic pictures, by putting the camera in that mode the camera is going to kind of optimize the Exposure settings. And everything else to get the best possible picture. And that's fine if you need the camera to be in Fully Automatic.

But of course if you're watching this video chances are you want to get beyond that. So what good are those modes? Well there's really two places where these modes can be very, very useful as you're learning how to use your camera. The first one is simply to see what the camera does and then you can copy those settings. So let's say I'm doing a portrait session, and I go ahead and set the camera into the Portrait mode. Fire off a couple of shots, and then look at the LCD, and look at the settings that the camera chose. What I might see is that it has a very wide aperture giving me shallow depth of field.

That would be something like an F4, or F5.6, and it would have a relatively fast shutter speed. If I switched over to the Night Time mode, I might see it go the other way around. I might see it go to a really small aperture and a really long shutter speed. Depending on the mode, you will see different settings in the camera. That way you can take a look at those and go oh, okay. So if I'm going to shoot portraits, what I want is kind of a wide aperture, a fast shutter speed great. Now I know that, and now what I can do is choose to work in a different mode like Aperture Priority. Set that setting myself, set the aperture myself, and let the camera figure out the rest.

And we'll go into those modes in a moment, but I wanted you to know that you can use the Scene modes. To quickly see how the camera would choose it, and then you can make the choice yourself. The other place it's really handy is if you're handing the camera to a stranger. You don't want to be out and about and have your camera on some complicated manual mode. And hand it to someone to get a picture of you and your loved one at the front of the Eiffel Tower or something like that. And end up with a blurry or out of focus, moving, icky picture. You want to make sure the picture's nice, so you don't want to have to explain it to everyone. Just switch that back into Fully Automatic.

And hand it off. And then when you get it back, get out of that Fully Automatic mode and take advantage of some of the more advance features of your DSLR.

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Photography 101

41 video lessons · 28794 viewers

Joseph Linaschke
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