Program Mode Explained: how to creatively shift aperture and shutter speed

Program Mode Explained: how to shift aperture and shutter speed for more creative images

Program mode alternatives

Recognise when Program mode can get it wrong – and what you can do about it

Program mode alternatives: Bright or dark scenes

Bright or dark scenes
The exposure generated by Program mode is an automatic one, based on the metering mode selected on the camera. As a result, it can get things wrong: typically over-exposing dark subjects and under-exposing bright ones.

Using Program Shift to select a different combination of aperture and shutter speed will have no effect on the overall exposure, so use your camera’s exposure compensation feature.

SEE MORE: Raw format vs JPEG: how much can you REALLY recover in raw?

Program mode alternatives: Flash exposures

Flash exposures
Program mode is not a good choice for
flash photography, because your choice of aperture and shutter speed will be limited.

Program Shift won’t be available, and your camera will default to a shutter speed that’s between 1/60 sec and the maximum ‘sync speed’ (the fastest shutter speed that can be used with the flash). Consider using one of the other semi-automatic or manual shooting modes instead.

 

Program mode alternatives: Low light

Low light
Program mode is limited by the range of apertures offered on the lens, and the shutter speeds available as a result. In low light you may not be able to select an aperture that will give a fast enough shutter speed for sharp pictures.

If you’re already working at the lens’s largest aperture, select a higher ISO setting to increase the shutter speed. Alternatively, use Auto ISO and let the camera vary the ISO according to conditions.

PAGE 1: Program Mode Explained
PAGE 2: Working in Program Shift
PAGE 3: Using aperture and shutter speed in Program mode
PAGE 4: How to shift the exposure
PAGE 5: Program mode alternatives

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