Explaining the Mode Dial on your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera: What Mode is Best to Use

Right before we jump into this video, if you
want to get my free 11 days to better photography mini video course, head on over to froknowsphoto.com/11days
to get started right now. Jared Polin, froknowsphoto.com. And what I want to do in this video is help
you understand the mode dial that you may find on your camera. Now, they come in all different shapes and
sizes so long as they are round, because you really won’t find a mode dial that’s square. So, what is your mode dial? Well, that’s what you select, whether you
want to shoot manual or you want to shoot in the auto modes and I have a couple of different
cameras here to show you how they have their mode dials from a mirrorless camera to two
of these DSLRs, one Nikon, one Canon, and the mirrorless is a Sony. So, what I want to do is start with this Nikon
right here and you’ll see that it has an auto mode. Most of your cameras that you see out there
will have a green auto mode. It says A. It says – it has a square around
it. It’s usually green. That’s full complete auto. The camera is going to do all of the work
for you and your job is to just go and take pictures. Now, have you ever run into a situation where
you press the shutter button and your flash pops up, where you are not supposed to have
flash photography, a lot of today’s cameras have a lightning bolt with a ‘Do not smoke’
sign, you know, the one with the hash through it. Now, you put that on there, you are still
in full complete auto letting the camera do everything, but now the flash won’t pop
up. A lot of cameras are going to have different
scene modes, anything from portrait to landscape to this little kid who looks to be happy and
cheering to a running man mode is what I call it, that’s for your sports mode to a flower
mode and then to a night portrait mode. It’s going to vary from camera to camera
and manufacturer to manufacturer. But they’ve picked good icons that you should
recognize when you look at them. When I first started shooting photography
as a 13-year-old, I shot a lot of sport. I’ve spent a lot of time in the running
man mode. What these modes do is they tell the camera
that, oh, if I’m going to be shooting sports, it’s going to make it have a faster shutter
speed to hopefully allow you to capture the motion and it also goes ahead and sets everything
else that needs to set inside of the camera. But if you are like me and you want to take
complete control of your camera or more control, you are going to live in the P, S, A, and
M modes. Certain cameras name them different things
but I’ll explain that in just a second. Let’s start with P. What do you think P
stands for? No, it’s not professional. It’s program. It’s in essence full auto but the camera
is still doing all the work. When you are in the P mode, generally speaking
you can unlock more things in the menu system where auto wouldn’t let you do that. Then you have something called shutter priority. You set the shutter speed. The camera is going to go ahead and set everything
else to make sure you have the right exposure. Canon on the other hand calls that the Tv
mode. Now, don’t turn the Tv to watch Tv, but
Tv is shutter priority. And then you go to A. A is aperture priority
where you set the aperture, the camera will do the rest of the work. And on the Canon side, they call that Av and
then finally M. You are going to see cameras that have M on there and M stands for manual. You are in complete control of all of your
settings. That’s the mode that I hope that you can
get into because once you get there, that means you’ve kind of made it as a photographer
because you are smarter than the camera. Let’s quickly look at the Canon dial here. This is more of a professional camera. It still has an auto mode. And if you have this professional camera and
you are using auto mode, you should probably not be using this camera. As you can see, you don’t have any little
portrait modes or running man modes when you get into these higher-end cameras. You have the P, the Tv, the Av, you have M. Some cameras may even have a B. B stands for
bulb mode and then this one also has C1, C2, and C3. Those are custom settings where you can then
turn the camera to that area and have a certain setting that you already did. So, that’s a quick look at what you will
find on your mode dial and if you are like me, your goal should be to get out of the
full auto modes. I’m all right if you are in aperture priority
or shutter priority just to get an understanding and a feel for your camera. But you should try and set an ultimate goal
of being in complete manual. And if you are not sure how to do that and
you’re scared of how to get into manual, well, I created a guide called the FROKNOWSPHOTO
guide to getting out of auto. It’s going to teach you in three hours or
less quickly and efficiently how to take control of your camera, so you can get the results
that I know you want to get. To get a free preview of it right now, go
to froknowsphoto.com/guide and see if it’s right for you. So, go ahead and do that. I hope this video helped you out and that’s
where I’m going to leave it Jared Polin, froknowsphoto.com. See you.

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