Why don't people like program mode?

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Senor Hound

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A lot of people on here put down program mode, and I don't get why. Its not an idiot setting, its just as capable as aperture or shutter. With the program shift, you can go to whatever aperture or shutter speed you want (without possibly over or under developing the photo), and its like having both shutter mode and aperture mode on at the same time. I think its a bad idea if you use its suggestion without taking into consideration your subject (and environment), but used in its correct way, I think its far from an idiot setting.

But I'm not a very technical photographer. I understand what the numbers mean, how they work, and from there, I just make the photo how I want it. I don't really contemplate f-stop settings while taking a photo, I just tell myself how shallow or deep I want the DOF, and tune to an approximate setting (I find a few tiny steps of f-stop USUALLY does not compromise the integrity of what I'm trying to convey).

So, can someone who is anti-program mode tell me why they are that way? Am I missing out on something, or what?
 

Battou

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Because I like taking pictures.


I don't like pushing a button and having a little black box do it all.


On a slightly less personal note.....

Program mode is an idiot setting. In experienced hands it's almost useless, but can be pushed to it's limits, However such a derogatory or otherwise term develops biased on it's application and not it's potential. So as long as dSLRs are being sold to novices who never try to learn how to use the camera and leave it in program mode, the sentiment will always remain that it is an idiot setting because the number of applications sways heavy to the inexperienced side in comparison to the number of those who know how use it to it's potential.
 

Bevel Heaven

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Hey Battou, if you are going to call people idiots, you might want to at least spell your words correctly while doing so.... There are at least a half dozen mis spelled words there friend.

I always though "P" was for "Professional" anyways


:sexywink:
 

Battou

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Hey Battou, if you are going to call people idiots, you might want to at least spell your words correctly while doing so.... There are at least a half dozen mis spelled words there friend.

I always though "P" was for "Professional" anyways


:sexywink:

I'm not calling people idiots, I am merely using the same terminology used in the previous post, and I suck at spelling...always have.
 

Dubious Drewski

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What does program mode do anyway? How is it different from green mode? Why would I use it instead of a priority mode? I've never looked into what it is, so I'm seriously asking.
 

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Wow... this doesn't need to be such a personal argument.

In my experience "P" mode and other such automation can be a very good feature on an SLR. Sure, SLRs are being marketed to a much wider audience now - but that's not so terrible. I work at a newspaper, and a lot of the reporters have SLRs. Some of them don't care much at all about learning the technicalities (they are of the writing tribe after all), and when a dedicated photographer can't make it to something they want coverage of, they have to do it themselves. It gets the job done when all they need is a printable image.
 

Josh66

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What does program mode do anyway? How is it different from green mode? Why would I use it instead of a priority mode? I've never looked into what it is, so I'm seriously asking.
I want to know too. The only difference I knew of was that you can shoot RAW in program, but not in Auto (green box).
 

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With P the camera will set the appeture and speed automatically - but you can change your ISO/whitebalance/exposure compensation/metering mode

With Auto - You cant alter any of those - everythings Auto - Also the flash will automatically operate if it thinks its too dark which can be annoying when you don't want it to :/

You can also change your user defined picture styles using P and you cant do that with auto also.
 

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I want to know too. The only difference I knew of was that you can shoot RAW in program, but not in Auto (green box).

That was my understanding as well...If it's incorrect I would very much like to know as well.

*EDIT*
With P the camera will set the appeture and speed automatically - but you can change your ISO/whitebalance and exposure compensation/metering mode

With Auto - You cant alter any of those - everythings Auto - Also the flash will automatically operate if it thinks its too dark which can be annoying when you don't want it to :/

You can also change your user defined picture styles using P and you cant do that with auto also.

In other words it operates just like my C-series Kodak at it's maximum manual adjustment, (with the exception of RAW ability).
 

Alex_B

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On canon SLRs the P mode in terms of automation is very similar to Av and Tv (aperture and shutter priority). I used to use it a lot and I don't think it is an idiot's mode. These days I use the aperture priority or shutter priority mode more often.

It is true, that if you use Av, Tv, or P with the exposure correction, then you are basically setting two parameters, which allows the similar freedom in exposure as the manual mode.

I only use full manual (then combined with spot metering) in complicated light, or when shooting landscapes sometimes.
 

Alex_B

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What does program mode do anyway? How is it different from green mode? Why would I use it instead of a priority mode? I've never looked into what it is, so I'm seriously asking.

In full auto, can you still vary shutter and aperture? in P you can ...
 
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Senor Hound

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Because I like taking pictures.


I don't like pushing a button and having a little black box do it all.


On a slightly less personal note.....

Program mode is an idiot setting. In experienced hands it's almost useless, but can be pushed to it's limits, However such a derogatory or otherwise term develops biased on it's application and not it's potential. So as long as dSLRs are being sold to novices who never try to learn how to use the camera and leave it in program mode, the sentiment will always remain that it is an idiot setting because the number of applications sways heavy to the inexperienced side in comparison to the number of those who know how use it to it's potential.


It doesn't do it all for you, though. It only offers a suggested setting which you can either use, or program shift to your preference. Although you can only choose settings at the appropriate light level, it isn't restricting as much as its helpful in weeding out what might possibly be a mistake on the user's part.

The only reason I can see anyone wanting to use manual mode, is if you are wanting to use a hand-held light meter for more accuracy. Either that, or you don't trust your camera's system, in which case you should possibly purchase a camera you do feel confident in assisting you (its only trying to help you).

Do people think that manually coming up with the correct exposure settings (based on the camera's light meter as a guide) is more accurate than allowing the computer in the camera to do it for you? It shouldn't if you are using the same light meter data the computer is.

Once again, people should do whatever they want (that's what makes it fun), but I don't find program mode to be an idiot mode at all. 99% of the time its just as capable of producing great photos as any other setting. And for the other 1%, they can usually still be photographed in program if you know your computer, by using cool features like spot metering, altering contrast levels, and tuning your exposure a half step here or there.

Edited to add, that program mode is by no means auto mode. the two are VERY, VERY different. One uses autoflash and doesn't allow for altering of either f-stop or shutter speed, while the other one lets you customize exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed and everything else.
 

Alex_B

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I
The only reason I can see anyone wanting to use manual mode, is if you are wanting to use a hand-held light meter for more accuracy. Either that, or you don't trust your camera's system, in which case you should possibly purchase a camera you do feel confident in assisting you (its only trying to help you).

I have to disagree here though.

In particular if you want consistent exposures on several shots, then yo uwould go for manual, set it the way you want it and then shoot without bothering what actually is in front of the meter at the moment I pull the trigger.

As an example, manual is very useful in sports events with floodlight. you can just set the exposure correctly once and shoot and shoot and shoot without bothering anymore.


Also, in complicated light exposure is always a compromise, so one usually spot meters at several parts of the scene, and then decides for some compromise exposure. No camera can do that sort of brainwork for you. And doing this in any of the semi-auto modes is hard sometimes.
 
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Senor Hound

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I have to disagree here though.

In particular if you want consistent exposures on several shots, then yo uwould go for manual, set it the way you want it and then shoot without bothering what actually is in front of the meter at the moment I pull the trigger.

As an example, manual is very useful in sports events with floodlight. you can just set the exposure correctly once and shoot and shoot and shoot without bothering anymore.


Also, in complicated light exposure is always a compromise, so one usually spot meters at several parts of the scene, and then decides for some compromise exposure. No camera can do that sort of brainwork for you. And doing this in any of the semi-auto modes is hard sometimes.

I admit your first reasoning is something I hadn't thought about. I would be a bit freaked using manual all day without checking my light. It would make more sense to me to shoot with an aperture or shutter setting like this, so I could make sure I was properly exposed without having to think about the shot (wide receivers run too fast to think about shots).

With the contrasting scene, I usually spot meter a "neutral" spot (or one I feel is neutral, and then use exposure compensation and get shots at certain steps above and below. With instant visual feedback, program mode is better than before. Manual would work also, but my point is not that manual is bad, its that program mode is good, and isn't limiting like so many think it is.
 
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