Yesterday I asked the Twitterverse about their opinion on using the “Full Auto” mode on a camera. The question I asked was:“When would a photographer want to use the ‘Full Auto’ mode (green square – not ‘Program’ mode)?” I got quite a lot of responses … here are some of the replies:
@ekopsala – when they give up trying.
@bkolodzaike – When you’re handing the camera to someone else to take a picture of you.
@klosfoto – green square only when all other functions are broken ;)
@designerdaze – a bit scary, but when handing the camera to a novice.
@RyanRomeike – Use full auto green for fail-safe photography while under the influence. It works great for easy ETTL bounce flash too.
@duncan – for me, never is the answer. I’m always happy to get cameras that don’t have green square modes.
I think that those answers pretty much sum up the majority of the responses. Seems like most people only use the “Full Auto” mode when handing the camera to someone else who doesn’t know how to use a camera, or when they need a quick image made without having to think about it. My opinion is that when you turn your camera to the “green square” (or your camera’s equivalent) then you are just turning it into a very expensive point-and-shoot. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to use it, but if you have an SLR and aren’t using any of the other modes then you aren’t getting your money’s worth!
So for those of you who don’t touch the other modes here’s my challenge: read up on the basic photography concepts of exposure (here’s a good site to get you started) and once you have a good grasp on how they work then start trying out the other modes (I usually use the “Av – Aperture Priority” mode on my cameras since I like to have full control of my depth-of-field). BTW, here’s a link to an article that gives a pretty decent explanation of many of the different camera shooting modes.
What you use is up to you, but if you ultimately want to have more creative control of your images then it’s my recommendation to say “no” to the green square. :)