If you inspect your camera, at the top of the camera you might find a dial with the words “P/A/S/M/Auto” What are they and when should we use each of them? Let’s find out!
Meaning of P/A/S/M/Auto
P-mode – Programmed Auto: You do not need to care of Aperture or Shutter Speed but you can adjust ISO.
A or Av-mode – Aperture-priory: You set the Aperture and ISO. Camera will calculate and provide a suitable Shutter Speed.
S or Tv-mode – Shutter-priory: You set the Shutter Speed and ISO. Camera will calculate and provide a suitable aperture value.
M-mode: Full Manuel: You can control Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Camera will only provide metering reference.
Auto-mode: Point and Shoot. All of the Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO cannot be assigned.
So when to use each mode?
P-mode – When you do not care about aperture or shutter speed and want to focus on composition, you can use P-Mode.
A or Av-mode – You can use A-mode 80% of the time by just setting aperture value to control Depth of Field or amount of light entering the camera. This is largely used by travel or landscape photography.
S or Tv-mode – When you want to specifically use a high or low shutter speed. For example when you are shooting a moving object.
M-mode – When you are shooting special topic and would like to have complete control of the exposure. For example waterfall, star, car trail, night scene etc.
Auto-mode – Better don’t use it.
Author: Alex Tam