Camera Modes P, A, S, M
Usually, after all the ‘Auto’-modes of the camera get bored, a lot of people start using special semi-automatic modes M, A, S, P. These modes can be found on the camera control wheel, as shown in the picture below. Usually mode M, A, S, P are allocated in a separate set, for example, in the photo below, these modes are highlighted with a special arc that unites them. You can come across instead of naming ‘M, A, S, P’, another naming – ‘P, A, S, M’ or ‘M, AV, TV, P’ – all the same. About these modes just I will try to tell in this article.
All modes of the camera are aimed at creating an optimal exposure. Any mode selects the shooting parameters in such a way as to obtain the most accurate picture in terms of the amount of light needed to transfer the exposed scene.
Important: P, A, S, M modes give additional access to many menu items that are not available in automatic modes. In these modes, you can customize any functions to your liking, for example, control ISO, choose the format of images, etc.
To understand how these P, A, S, M modes work, I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with such basic concepts in photography as:
The simplest special mode is ‘P’ (Programmed) mode – flexible program mode.
It is very similar to the automatic mode of the camera ‘Auto’, but in this mode you can change the shutter speed within certain limits. The shutter speed varies in the range allowed by the extreme values of the lens aperture. Shutter speed can be changed using the camera control wheels. If the shutter speed has been changed by the photographer, a “*” is added to the mode name. The shortest shutter speed in ‘P’ mode is available at the smallest F number, and the longest shutter speed is available for the largest number F. There is a golden rule, the interchangeability of aperture values and shutter speed is based on this rule and the operation of this mode is built. For example, if you increase the shutter speed, for example, 2 times, then the diaphragm will close by one degree.
Example: if you increase the shutter speed from 1/200 of a second to 1/100 of a second, then this will allow the matrix to absorb more light and get overexposure, because the camera should reduce the amount of light by covering the aperture, and the aperture will close by one notch. For example, if at 1 / 200s it was F4.0, then at 1 / 100s it would become F5.6. I do not like this mode because it constantly tries to set the shutter speed and aperture values that are convenient for the camera itself. With each new scene with a different exposure, the camera re-selects the shutter speed / aperture value and the shutter speed has to be changed again and again for its tasks.
What is the use of the ‘P’ mode: it is convenient to use the mode when switching from the green zone (fully automatic camera mode) to the M, A, S, P class modes. You can be sure that the camera will help you to set the normal settings. In this mode, you can take pictures of almost everything, without particularly worrying about the correctness of the settings. It is very easy to achieve the shortest shutter speed available, which the lens allows and the current ISO value, while being completely confident in the correct exposure of the frame. This can be used to ‘stop time‘. If you turn on auto-iso mode, the program mode works a little differently.
A (or Av)
A very useful mode is ‘A’ (Aperture Priority) mode, or ‘Av’ (Aperture value) – aperture priority
This is one of my favorite camera modes. It is quite convenient, as it allows you to control the aperture, and with it the depth of field. In this mode, you can simply set the desired aperture value, and the camera recalculates and selects the shutter speed itself. The larger the aperture, the slower the shutter speed. Conversely, the smaller the aperture, the greater the shutter speed. Exposure maneuver is much wider than the diaphragm maneuver. Typically, the shutter speed varies from 30 seconds to 1/8000 seconds, that is, the shutter speed limit is very large and the camera can almost always pick the right shutter speed for almost any aperture value on the camera.
For example: for a lens with aperture limits from F3.5 to F36, the camera will almost always select the desired shutter speed for any value of F. Thus, a relatively short shutter speed will be selected for F3.5, and a long shutter speed for F / 36.
If at a certain value of the F number the camera cannot pick up the required shutter speed, then the camera will show HiGH or LOW in the field responsible for the shutter speed.