Program mode , when and why using it ? Locked

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Ysarex Veteran Member • Posts: 3,033
Re: Program mode , when and why using it ?

Q-ball wrote:

Ysarex wrote:

Q-ball wrote:

Tbamed wrote:


I've read and viewed a lot about the use of the P mode, I've even encountred some confirmed photographers who are using it, however, I stilldon't understand why we use it ?

I mean if we want to control the aperture or the schutter speed we use the A or the S mode, and for the rest of the option the camera takes care of, ...

What's the practical uses of the P mode ?

I "affectionately" refer to P mode as Pointless mode, but yes, it does have it's uses for some people and their particular situations. I refer to it as "Pointless Mode" because if camera manufacturers decided for whatever reason to remove it, it would not affect me in any way at all.

If you just need nice looking, ready to use sooc snapshot jpegs then P mode should do a reasonable job without necessarily optimising the exposure (amount of light that falls on the sensor per unit area) to minimise visible noise.

If you have fast moving action in the scene you want to freeze and/or are panning while shooting then P mode most likely won't give you want you want.

Personally, I never use P mode because I prefer to set the aperture and shutter speed I want directly rather than have to hope P mode will pick them for me on its first guess saving me from having to fiddle with Program Shift to hopefully set the exposure I want to minimise visible noise.

Program mode has made it's selection the instant you turn the camera on.

Far more often than not P mode gets it wrong because it has no idea what dof I want and what my blur requirements are.

If someone has very flexible dof and shutter speed requirements then maybe P mode might guess satisfactorily on its first guess.

Program mode always gets it wrong first turned on. That doesn't matter. It's simple and fast to use program shift to set the parameters you want.

It then waits for you to bring your eye to the viewfinder. I personally prefer to use just one same and simple control wheel to set either the ideal shutter speed or f/stop

How do you tell that one wheel to change the shutter speed to your ideal shutter speed without changing the aperture and vice-versa?

For example, if in your mind you know you need 1/2000s to freeze the motion in your scene, how do you tell the wheel to set shutter speed to 1/2000s?

You just turn the Program shift wheel to set that shutter speed or f/stop as you prefer. On my camera turning the wheel left speeds up the shutter and turning it right slows down the shutter.

Of course the f/stop changes at the same time -- very nice and convenient feature that.

Once Program shift is engaged the camera remembers and stays with the newly set parameters for the next shot.

as needed to get the optimal exposure

What are you optimising for?

I optimise the exposure to minimise visible noise within my dof and blur constraints without blowing important highlights.

I place the diffuse highlight at the sensor threshold and expose for maximum recorded data (taking into consideration my requirements for DOF and motion rendition).

I require instead of wasting time twiddling separate shutter speed dials and/or aperture rings while watching the meter to try and set an exposure manually.

I have my index finger on the shutter speed wheel (right next to the shutter release button) and my thumb on the aperture wheel on the back of the camera. I can change both aperture and shutter speed instantaneously and easily and it's like having both aperture and shutter speed priorities at my finger tips at the same time.

Then your camera is as well designed to use manually as mine is to use in Program mode. AND THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE MATTER. I have my right index finger on the EC wheel on the front of the camera and my right thumb on the Program shift wheel on the back of the camera -- as fast and efficient as possible. Sounds like your camera is designed to do as well in manual -- mine is not. All of my lenses have aperture rings and to use the camera in manual I have to turn those rings (otherwise set to A). My shutter speed dial is on the top of the camera (legacy style) and moves in 1 stop increments. To get 1/3 stops I have to both turn that top dial and then turn the back thumb wheel.

None of this is any big deal as my other reasons for choosing the camera are higher priorities. The point is I can set any reasonable exposure that meets the requirement to optimize the exposure just as quickly and easily as you can in manual, but with my camera the way it's designed manual would be slower to use.

Usually I'm on to the next shot while a manual shooter would still be twiddling.

That depends on the skill and experience of the photographer, does it not?

I've seen P mode shooters fiddling with Program Shift as I move on to the next shot.

It depends on the photographer's experience using their camera and the design of the camera's controls. You're no faster or more efficient using manual on your camera as I am using Program mode on mine. Sounds likes it's a wash. Given the unique design of the controls some cameras may be more complicated to use one way or the other.

But that's just the way I prefer to do my photography.

No problem as obviously everyone will have their own individual preferences.

Just do whatever suits you best as I do.

That's right. Program mode gets the photographer to the same exposure parameters as does manual mode so there's no difference of consequence and it really comes down to learning to work with the camera you chose and being happy with the way it's designed to operate. So there's no reason to disparage one over the other as you originally did.

To answer the OP's original question Program mode is another alternative approach for the task of setting the desired exposure parameters. It's practical appeal is that It can be very efficient and quick (given the camera's design) if you want and learn to use it.

But that is just the way I prefer to do my photography.

For other people, TMMV

The OP asked - "What's the practical uses of the P mode ?"

I posted my opinions in my first post and how I came to them. I can't be any fairer than that

I acknowledged some people find P mode useful while pointing out why I do not.

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