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Standard User John_ON
(knowledge is power) Fri 26-Apr-13 13:49:30
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Nikon D3100 P, A & S


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Hi Folks,

I recently treated myself to a Nikon D3100 and it's time to turn the Mode dial from Auto to something more constructive!

Could someone explain to me the difference between P and A, please.

I understand that, in S mode I get to choose the shutter speed, the camera adjusts the Aperture to suit.

In A mode, I get to choose the Aperture and the camera adjusts the shutter to suit. In P mode, initially, the camera gets to choose both but I can adjust the Aperture and again the camera will adjust the shutter to suit.

So how does P differ from A?

John.

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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 26-Apr-13 15:14:46
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Re: Nikon D3100 P, A & S


[re: John_ON] [link to this post]
 
Aperture controls lets you do the out of focus backgrounds, thus drawing attention to the main subject of a photo.
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/setting-the-ri...

I am tending to use the smart/automatic modes if just out and about, but dropping to A and M now. Manual means a little more checking of what is actually set.

Your P mode sounds like a half way house, i.e. you can leave it to the job, but override it if you want. My tendency is to forget what I had set, so tend to jump between several modes to get hopefully one picture I am happy with.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User John_ON
(knowledge is power) Fri 26-Apr-13 17:30:51
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Re: Nikon D3100 P, A & S


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Must admit, I'm amazed at how well it does the exposure even in full auto. My other cameras would just have given me a silhouette here:
http://blog.vwlowen.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04... so it's hard to force myself into the "proper" modes!

John.

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Standard User andygegg
(regular) Fri 26-Apr-13 17:44:01
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Re: Nikon D3100 P, A & S


[re: John_ON] [link to this post]
 
You've spent some money and got yourself a nice camera so it's really a bit of a waste to use it like a point and shoot! (Nothing wrong with a point and shoot but they are very limited.) I tend to shoot on A so that I can control the depth of field, always keeping an eye on shutter speed and ISO, of course. Using the S (shutter speed priority) is important for shooting moving subjects, e.g. sports. There is a vast amount of helpful (and less so, I guess) info on the web, in books and the good old photo mag. Get out of A and play! - the great joy of digital is that the pictures are free, shoot loads and see what happens, the EXIF data records what you set (or was set for you...) and is easily seen in Windows Explorer or your favourite image processing package.
Next step - start shooting RAW (RAW and JPEG is a good starting point).

For what it's worth, I have a Canon 600D so I can't help with Nikon specific queries.

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Standard User Alex1M6
(regular) Fri 26-Apr-13 18:18:44
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Re: Nikon D3100 P, A & S


[re: John_ON] [link to this post]
 
I too have this camera and its an amazing piece of kit.

P mode (programmable auto) is like auto mode but it gives you some extra control over the exposure and various other things, for example if you use the dial you can choose from a number of shutter speed and aperture combinations (depending on how much light there is).

A (aperture priority) and S (shutter priority) will let you choose one on their own and the camera will try and compensate the other to get a good exposure.

M (manual) is full manual mode and the camera will not change any exposure settings automatically, although I think you can still choose if you want to turn auto ISO on or off in this mode. Personally I think auto ISO is a good thing for most photography situations and it does a good job, just keep the max ISO to 1600 or below as noise will start to become visible in the photos at higher ISO's.

Take a look on youtube as there as lots of good tutorial videos on how and when to use these modes.

Edited by Alex1M6 (Fri 26-Apr-13 18:19:05)

Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Mon 29-Apr-13 13:53:19
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Re: Nikon D3100 P, A & S


[re: Alex1M6] [link to this post]
 
Just to add a bit more to Alex's response. If I remember correctly P mode still locks in a number of settings such as white balance. In A/S modes these get unlocked so that you can make adjustments to all the camera settings.

Have used various Nikon DSLRs (currently on a D5100) and they are great cameras and like many others I spend most of my time in aperture priority to control DoF.
Standard User John_ON
(knowledge is power) Thu 02-May-13 20:16:07
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Re: Nikon D3100 P, A & S


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Ah, thanks! That makes sense smile

John.

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