Tips & Tricks

What is mode dial?

Depending on your own camera type, you may be afraid of the large number of buttons, dials, and parts that the camera has. If you only have time to take out one part of the camera, pay attention to the mode dial. If you are not sure what this means, keep reading to answer the question: What is mode dial?

Explain the dial

Mode dial is one of the most important part of the camera, giving you access to the shooting mode. This helps each icon find a way to achieve the best results while shooting.

Most advanced interchangeable lens cameras include a mode dial, as well as some point and shoot cameras. Most of the time, the mode dial is on the top panel of the camera, although it is sometimes attached to the rear panel. (Remember, not every camera will have a mode dial and not every mode dial has all the options discussed here.)

Advanced shooting mode

  • P mode is short for “Program Auto”, which means the camera controls shutter speed and aperture, leaving the user to control other settings. Use P for basic shooting situations where you want a little bit of control.
  • S mode is “shutter priority,” which means the camera selects the fastest shutter speed, and other settings are second. Use S mode for shooting fast moving subjects.
  • One mode is “Aperture Priority,” which means the camera has the best aperture for the image, and other settings are second. A mode is good for fading background details.
  • M mode is “manual”, meaning all settings are done manually. (In the picture here, A, S, and MO modes all meet in one part of the dial in all modes. Then select the correct mode you want on the LCD screen.)

Basic shooting mode

  • Smart mode, also known as auto mode , is the opposite of M mode. In auto mode, the camera determines best what all settings should be based on lighting conditions and content. This is a common mode for point and shoot cameras. Sometimes, auto mode is represented by an empty rectangle or by a simple icon of a camera. In addition, the smart or auto mode may be a different color from the other selections of the mode dial, as in this picture.
  • Scene mode , also called SCN mode, is another point and camera type feature drawing feature, allowing you to select a “scene” which is similar to the type of picture you have for drawing pictures. For example, if you want to shoot a child’s birthday party, you can choose a “night” mode, a “candle” mode, or a “party” mode.

Special shooting mode

  • Movie mode (icon with movie camera) is used to change the camera settings for shooting video. In this mode, you can usually use the shutter button to pause and start the movie, although some cameras have a dedicated movie button.
  • GPS mode lets you control the camera’s built-in GPS unit. (Not all cameras have a GPS unit.)
  • Wi-Fi mode lets you set up and use the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. (Not all cameras can use Wi-Fi.)
  • Special effects mode (icon with a star inside a camera) gives you access to any special shooting mode that the camera may have, such as a black and white mode.
  • Macro mode – similar to a tulip flower usually marked by an icon, but not shown in this image – is used to shoot extreme close-ups. The macro allows the camera to focus accurately in a close-up image and adjusts the flash intensity for proper exposure.
  • Portrait mode (an icon facing side without being shown in this picture) is good for blurring the background and making the look of the subject stand out.
  • Panorama mode (a rectangle icon not shown in this image), is the mode to use when you want to combine two or more images to create a particularly wide image, which is 90 degrees, 180 degrees, or more.
  • Landscape mode (icons with mountains not shown in this image) increases the depth of field in focus and is good for landscape and nature photos.
  • Sports mode (a runner icon not shown in this image) is good for capturing fast moving objects.
  • Flash mode (icon with a lightning strike not shown in this photo) does not allow you to switch between automatic flash, no flash and constant flash.

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