If you just picked up a new DLSR or Mirrorless camera or have not left Auto yet, then this post is for you. We are going to start at Auto and look at eight different settings on the Mode Dial. We will not be covering P, TV (S), Av (A), or M in this post, which are more advanced settings on the Mode Dial.
The modes we are looking at are:
Me: "Let's start in Auto Mode."
You: "But I already know how to use auto!"
So, let's check. To start, we first have to dive into the exposure triangle. There are three adjustments on the camera for the exposure triangle:
For a more detailed understanding of these settings watch my YouTube Video explaining these three settings. You need to understand the exposure triangle even in auto mode. Sure, you can get by without learning the exposure triangle. However, if you want to understand why a subject is blurry or the background or foreground is over or under-exposed, then understanding the exposure triangle will help you as you move away from auto mode.
In Auto Mode, the camera will decide the settings for each side of the triangle and it may choose a value that may not necessarily give you what you want or expect. It may pick a high ISO, a high shutter speed, a wide-open aperture, or some combination of those. The settings the camera chooses will be based on the scene and the amount of light across the scene. It is even possible that your subject does not match the light in the rest of the scene so your subject may get over or under-exposed. The point is you will have very little control.
If your scenes are always evenly lit, then auto mode may work for many situations. However, as you learn how to use your camera you will want to control the exposure triangle to support what you are trying to accomplish.
So let's start a journey to start learning some different settings on your camera to help you in different situations. All of the settings are still a form of auto-mode, but each setting on the camera mode dial that I will be covering will have a preference for one leg of the triangle.