Auto exposure mode

Auto exposure mode

Learning level:- Basic
Learning time:- 20 minutes

Most of people love photography and like to click camera. In different types of cameras there are so many functions, features and controls to produce different kinds of photographs. Among other function there are some exposure modes which are very important to understand before click.

Commonly there are three types of exposure modes.1) Manual exposure mode 2) Semi-auto exposure mode and 3) Auto exposure mode. All people might not have proper photographic knowledge. They cannot use Manual exposure mode because photographers should have good training of camera fundamentals and so many long time experience about Manual mode. Without proper knowledge of ‘Aperture’ and ‘Shutter speed’ function, no one can use Manual exposure.

I’ll describe ‘Manual’ and ‘Semi-auto’ exposure modes detail in other article. Here I’d like to explain only about ‘Auto’ (Automatic) exposure mode and how it works.  Camera manufacturers provide ‘Auto’ exposure mode in their all products for those who do not have proper photographic knowledge. Through the ‘Auto’ exposure mode all people can easily take necessary photographs without manual settings. In most of cameras there are two types Auto (Automatic) exposure modes.

Full Auto
Program Auto

Full auto mode

In ‘Full auto’ mode, camera automatically adjusts all exposure settings for optimal exposure, such as Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO, White balance and Flash etc. People who have recently bought new camera or very new beginner, they do not have an idea how to set those fundamental settings correctly in camera so ‘Auto’ mode is helpful for those kinds of people. Without proper knowledge of fundamental settings anyone can take a photographs using Auto exposure mode. In ‘Full auto’ mode, Photographer just need to point the camera where photo should be taken and compose the scene through viewfinder or LCD screen then lastly click. Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO and White balance, Camera automatically sets all these fundamental settings in optimum correct level. Inbuilt light-meter calculates the available light intensity and reads the colour of light through the lens then sets all exposure settings in balanced level for better image.

Not only for beginners, this mode also very useful for experienced and professional photographers too. Sometime this mode is very helpful when they need to take photographs in hurry moment. There are so many good and bad points of this mode but this is very useful for new starter of photographic journey.

Actually, ‘Full auto’ mode is denoted by different signs or icons. Different camera companies use their own sign (icon) to define ‘Full auto’ mode. Those icons are printed on ‘exposure mode dial’ at the top side of a camera. Here are some icons used by Canon, Nikon and Sony Camera Company. All those icons define same function as ‘Full auto’ exposure mode.

Program Auto mode

In ‘Program auto’ mode, camera doesn’t adjust all exposure settings automatically like in ‘Full auto’ mode. Only ‘Aperture’ and ‘Shutter speed’ are adjusted automatically but ISO, White balance and Flash settings remain manual. The camera automatically adjusts aperture and shutter speed for optimal exposure. Photographers can adjust ISO and white balance as their choice. Inbuilt flash also remains as per photographer’s choice.

Program mode is modified and better auto mode than full auto mode. Photographers can switch to program mode if they have proper knowledge about ISO and white balance. If there is enough time to consider and take a few test shot for better image, sometimes Program mode give pretty nicer image than full auto made.

Program mode is denoted by a capital letter ‘P’, which is an abbreviation form of ‘Program’. ‘P’ is commonly used by all camera companies. There are no different signs or icons to specify program mode like full auto mode.

Ruman Shrestha

Ruman Shrestha

Hello! Professionally I’m photographer, Photoshoper, Illustrator and graphic designer. I had taken photography training with Photojournalism in 1996. I’m self-learned Photoshoper and Illustrator. I'm fully freelancer. I love to learn new tools of Photoshop and Illustrator then create various kinds of artwork and vector graphics in my free time. On long days vacation, I would like to travel and trek high-altitude area to celebrate my leisure time. I’ve deep interest in Nature photography. Landscape and Wildlife are my favorite subjects. Moreover, I like also birding and bird’s photography. I'm general member of 'Bird Conservation Nepal' too. I am the founder of TutsGallery. I’ve founded this website to share my knowledge and experience to new generation in photography. I hope, you’ll like this. If you also like to contribute such kind of knowledge and experience, I request you, start from today and contact me. Let’s enjoy photographing!

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