Program mode vs. auto mode

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by julie32, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. julie32

    julie32 TPF Noob!

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    what's the difference between these two?


    as always, thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depends on the camera.

    With some (or maybe most) Canon DSLR cameras. Full auto (green box) mode gives you the least amount of control. The flash will pop up on it's own, I don't think you can choose to shoot in RAW while in that mode. I don't think you can set the highest ISO either.

    Canon calls the 4 primary modes 'Creative modes'...P, Av, Tv & M. P differs from green box in that you can adjust everything else, the camera just gives you the aperture and shutter speed.

    I can't remember the last time I used green box mode (if I ever have) and I don't think I've ever used any of the 'picture' modes either. You don't really need to...Av, TV & M can do everything.
     
  3. julie32

    julie32 TPF Noob!

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    thanks mike!! You're so good at explaining.
     
  4. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Good info from Big Mike, as usual.

    I actually use P quite a bit.

    Think of "P" as being Auto on Steroids!
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had a pro tell me that the quality of your images will increase by 30% by switching from Auto to Program. I have no idea where he came up with that, what it's based on or if it's factual. I do not use either of those modes.
     
  6. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    Wow, its Magic!!!!! :lol:
     
  7. skipper34

    skipper34 TPF Noob!

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    Like Mike said, the green mode is set in stone. No adjustments can be made. P mode is like green mode but adjustments can be made. But if adjustments are made, the camera does not automatically compensate for the adjustments. In other words, if I set the aperature in P mode, the shutter speed will not change accordingly. It gives you a little more flex in your exposures.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I didn't think you could change the aperture while in P mode...and if you could, the shutter speed would change to compensate.
    Sounds like you are thinking of M mode.
     
  9. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    P mode will set the aperture and shutter speed automatically for the best exposure. You cannot control exposure in P except for when using exposure compensation, where you can adjust using the button (the one with a little +/- on it) with the dial to set a bias for taking pictures on either side of the camera's ideal metered exposure. In Auto you can't use exposure compensation. You are stuck with what the camera wants.
     
  10. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And only thing I can change other than exposure bias in Program mode is the ISO. You can probably force the ISO to what you want or limit the auto ISO. In Auto mode, the ISO is full automatic, though I believe I can keep it to Auto 400 or Auto 800 max if I wanted.
     
  11. julie32

    julie32 TPF Noob!

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    these are extremely helpful responses, thank you.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some cameras have program shift too. It meters and determines an ideal aperture and shutter then allows you to shift through the different combinations of aperture and shutter at the same exposure. Auto will also determine the ideal aperture and shutter but doesn't allow you to shift... Canon's creative modes will determine whether the camera will tend towards wide apertures with faster shutter speeds or narrow apertures with slower shutter speeds.
     

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