P-mode not the same as I-auto??

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Steven, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I was always under the impression that the P-mode was the same as I-auto mode but with more options. But then I noticed that the P-mode is actually pretty dumb - such as shooting landscapes wide open with 1.8 or 2.0 aperture in daylight . I-auto mode would choose 4-4.5 instead.

    I don't quite get the point of the P-mode then :confused: :frown:
  2. rash_powder

    rash_powder Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    I-Auto does all the work for you. It guesses the shot type, the subject, and a mess of other stuff and takes the pic using those guesses.

    P-mode is Program Mode. You get to go into all the camera settings and set them up so that it does what you want it too. The camera does not guess anything (except maybe white balance and ISO if those are set to auto).

    I-Auto is a point and shoot mode.

    P-mode is for you to put your personal touch on the photo.

    Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think I got that right.
  3. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Real Name:
    P mode, or AE (auto exposure) seems to be like it's from film camera age. It measure the light and choose the optimal aperture and shutter speed (which in Panny, the logic seems to be the fastest shutter speed as possible or get the thinnest DoF which everyone seems to be so obsessed of. ^^;

    Focus, ISO, White balance, can be set to auto separately.
    But it has no image recognition to guess that landscape need thicker DoF.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    iAuto evaluates the scene first. If it sees a face, it goes into portrait mode and will keep a wide aperture. If it sees a scenic landscape it'll go into landscape mode and will keep a small aperture. If it notes a lot of movement, it'll go into action mode to ensure a motion-stopping shutter speed.

    Program Mode just goes by one standard preset path for all situations.
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  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I noticed with the GF1 that I once had that it would usually tend towards using a larger aperture in P mode, much more so than the GH1, E-P1, and E-PL1.
  6. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 17, 2012
    Just to expand on what the others have said, iA makes all the metering based calculations for you and gives the user very limited control. P mode is like a hybrid of aperture priority and Shutter priority. In aperture priority, the user can set the aperture and the camera controls exposure by setting the shutter speed based on metering data. In shutter priority, the user can set the shutter speed, and the camera controls the exposure by setting the aperture based on metering data. In Program mode, the user can chose to set either the aperture or shutter, and the camera will control the exposure by adjusting the other based on metering data. Its actually a good choice if your shooting conditions change frequently and you want to alternate between aperture and shutter speed priority without changing modes.
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    "i" stands for "idiot"! Well actually I think it stands for "intelligent" but it is for people who do know how or don't want to do any of the work. Program mode allows you to control the settings including the aperture and shutter speed{program shift}. Unless I know I want more specific control I shoot in Program!
  8. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Real Name:
    Robert (Rob)
    IAuto is also for use where you are going to be in situations where what is happening is spontaneous and perhaps unpredictable
    It enables you to obtain photos at a moments notice that have a very good chance of coming out well enough to use and retain
    IAuto (and IAuto plus on later Panasonic's which provides a little more control) should not be dismissed as something that only amateurs or those that are unskilled or lazy use
    Someone that is 'too proud' to be seen using IAuto may very well miss many photo opportunities due to not being able to prepare their ideal settings for something that happens in front of them which they would like to capture for prosperity
    I personally always have my camera set to IAuto whilst I am walking around with Aperture priority set on the dial
    If something spontaneous happens I want to capture I quickly point the camera at it and click away
    Should I wish to compose a shot a little better for depth of field etc all that is needed is to press the IAuto button to change the camera very quickly to Aperture priority (or any of the other PASM modes that I may have set on the dial)
    There is IMHO too much store set upon avoiding using IAuto unless you want to 'be seen to be totally inexperienced, unskilled or lazy' !
    If the camera can work out all of your settings for you and produce an acceptable or even a very good shot leaving you to concentrate on framing etc why on earth should it matter that you use IAuto ?
    Please note that there are two settings to switch IAuto on and off on Panasonic cameras
    You can choose whether a very short press of the IAuto button or a longer press engages or disengages the function - the longer press being to avoid accidental switching
    I always have mine on short press to switch as this makes switching between modes much easier and quicker and accidental switching is not a problem I encounter
    Certainly for newcomers I'd say that experimentation with the IAuto mode should not be 'frowned upon' as framing and recognising photo opportunities should come before the use of more advanced settings as some may otherwise find it all a bit confusing, overwhelming and perhaps off putting before they get much chance of obtaining some great photos
    Some of my best photos have been obtained using IAuto
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