Beyond Program

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by photoeagle, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. photoeagle

    photoeagle Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2015
    Brad Harris
    Hopefully I will be purchasing my camera soon (Em-10). I have decided that I want to go beyond the program/automatic mode for shooting to be more creative.

    Do you use different settings for different shooting situations? Are the majority of your shots on manual? What decides what setting to shoot the picture?
  2. marcr1230

    marcr1230 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2013
    this is a very open-ended question

    you use a mode/setting until you have a reason not to.

    Program works great for general purposes.

    you have to articulate what is not ideal about the photos you are taking now and then people can chip in on what to do

    Simple examples- if you are shooting sports, you may want to bias things towards a fast shutter speed to stop the action.
    For portraits, you may want a wide aperture to blur the background. Today's cameras almost always support these modes and more.

    you might use Manual to keep the exposure constant over a range of shots (like one of those night sky sequences)

    the possibilities are endless, and the cameras have so many features.

    Best thing to do is to read up a little on the basics of exposure. look at some of your own pictures and pictures on the web, decide what you like and don't like and investigate how to end up with the results you want.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Program mode is full automatic, you don't get to make any choices.

    I either use A or S mode most of the time depending on what is most important to me. I use A mode if I'm interested in controlling my depth of field and shutter speed isn't an issue because the subject isn't moving. I use S mode if shutter speed is an issue because the subject is moving. I adjust what the camera sets for the other parameter by using exposure compensation if there's a need to do so. I could use Manual mode and set both aperture and shutter speed if I wanted to but I'm happy to set one, let the camera set the other, and adjust what the camera sets with exposure compensation if I think it's necessary.
  5. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    For a relative beginner, you might want to explore the preset scene modes the camera has built in. For example, there is a good "Portrait" mode, one for "Landscapes," another for "Nighttime" and several others. Those will give you a good start by setting the camera for those conditions. After you are more comfortable, as many here are, you will probably want to do that customization yourself, starting with one of the semi-auto modes like A - aperture controlled or S - shutter controlled. Full manual requires a lot of decisions be made on every shot. It gives the most control but requires the most knowledge and input. Those of us who started with full-manual film cameras have a bit of a leg up there.
  6. yendikeno

    yendikeno Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2015
    I use A mode about 98% of the time, but that doesn't mean you should. Once you are comfortable with all of the camera functions, then you might want to experiment with the different modes to see which best fit your photographic goals. For example, if taking portraits, you might use A, so you can control depth-of-field with your aperture setting. If shooting action, you probably would be more concerned with controlling shutter speed.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    There is nothing wrong with using P mode.
    You still have access to the two dials which you can and probably should assign to program shift and exposure compensation.
    The former keeps the exposure the same but trades off aperture and shutter speeds from what the program recommends and the latter alters exposure up and down, which you would use mostly to help with back lit situations or where the average scene is either darker or lighter than a mid grey.
    Since the camera tells you the values for the shutter speed and aperture, you actually still have the same control as with any of the other modes.
    There is one benefit though in that the camera will not allow clipping, i.e. f/1.4 at a 1/4000s on a bright sunny day while A mode would happily allow you to take that shot and thereby not get that shot.
    There are of course good reasons for the other modes, but don't discount P mode as being only for beginners.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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