Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting auto mode, part of Shooting with the Nikon D5100.
On the top of your camera 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 some decisions to ensure that you get the type of shot that you want. You change modes using the mode dial right here. It probably came out of the box already set to auto mode, so you may not need to change it. If you've been changing modes and fiddling with your camera though, change it back to auto by just turning the mode dial until the green auto icon lines up with the white line here, and then you're ready to go.
For the rest of this chapter, we're going to be working in auto mode, so set the mode dial to auto. In auto mode, the camera will choose all exposure settings--shutter speed and aperture--as well as choosing a white balance and whether or not to fire the flash. If it thinks you need the flash then it will automatically pop it up when you half-press the shutter button to meter. In auto mode you will not have access to Flexible Program, Exposure Compensation, or many of the other controls that we'll talk about later, but you'll be able to select the file format that you want to shoot in.
Auto mode basically just 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.
- What is an SLR?
- Attaching a lens to a camera
- Deciding how many batteries and media cards are needed
- Setting Auto mode
- Changing ISO
- Changing image format and size
- Manually selecting a focus point
- Correcting exposure while shooting
- Controlling white balance
- Using a driver and self-timer
- Auto exposure bracketing
- Selecting a picture style
- Using Live View
- Shooting video
- Using custom functions, such as ISO expansion and mirror lockup
- Cleaning the camera and sensor
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting to Know Your Nikon Digital SLR
2. Shooting in Auto Mode
3. Shooting in Program Mode
4. Controlling Autofocus
5. Controlling White Balance
6. Understanding Release Modes
7. Understanding Exposure Control Options
8. Learning More Playback Options
9. Shooting with Scene Modes
10. Shooting with Flash
11. Shooting with Picture Controls
12. Using Live View
13. Shooting Video
14. Customizing Menus and Settings
15. Retouching Images
16. Taking Care of Your Camera
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