Poll: Camera Shooting Modes

By | 2013-03-16T10:04:10+00:00 February 24th, 2010|16 Comments

[poll id=”2″]

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website, nicolesy.com.


  1. Anthony February 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Manual Mode and RAW ! Absolutely the best way to take good photos.

  2. Gary February 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    I responded Aperture priority, because that is always my default mode. However, I’ll use Manual in 2 situations.

    1 – When flash is the main light source. I might use ETTL (on or off camera) to automatically set the flash power, but the camera stays in manual.

    2 – In arenas, or other completely light-controlled environments.

  3. dav.d February 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Manual mode becomes so addicting once you figure it out. It is torture to go back to any other mode.

  4. Kevin Pepin February 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I voted Aperture Priority because I use it MOST, but in studio lighting situations with stobes it always Manual.

  5. Brendon February 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Yikes – I’m the first to vote for the Automatic…um, yeh, ok, newb alert. Guess by rights I shouldn’t be following your blog? ;-)
    Oh well, we all started somewhere right? And, when your first step into the photography world is a Canon 400D, well, you can;t be expected to know what all those options are straight away – can you?
    Its one of this years goals, to learn those other functions that you pros are accustomed to, to make them second nature so to speak. Now – to find some time…

  6. John B February 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    I usually start out with aperture priority, then end up switching to manual

  7. michelle February 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    manual. always.

  8. Torsten Bangerter February 24, 2010 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    If you have noticed the top high end cameras don’t come with a green square. That really shows us what we should be using. I mainly use Aperture priority mode and manual. Though times at weddings P is okay.

  9. Tracy M February 25, 2010 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I have been a manual mode person for a while but have recently started shooting more in aperture mode. It has been a good switch.

  10. Trent February 25, 2010 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Most often, aperture priority unless I’m photographing something where I am panning, then shutter priority. I actually rarely use manual, but sometimes it’s the best choice.

  11. Krystal February 25, 2010 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I use program mode, but now am curious if I’m being an idiot by doing so? Honestly I’m a beginner so I hope that makes it understood! I’m learning though.

  12. Stephen February 25, 2010 at 11:24 am - Reply

    You’re not an idiot Krystal. These camera companies spend a lot of development dollars getting these auto modes correct. I use program mode and if it’s not doing what I want I’ll change it to either aperture, shutter speed, or manual.

  13. Nicole February 25, 2010 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Krystal – There’s nothing wrong with using Auto or Program mode w/ your camera. If you are getting the images you’re happy with then that’s all that matters! I will say that you do have a lot more control over images when using the other modes, but you have to start somewhere!

    I’m sure I have a lot of crap photos from my early days (Pentax K100 – fully manual film camera) when I was first learning. I didn’t have an auto mode or instant feedback so it was a much bigger learning curve. :)

  14. Krystal February 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Appreciate it!! Unfortunately I do get a ton of crap photos still, but I’m trying to understand why each setting has it’s perks and what they’re good to use for. I still remember the good old days where there was no other settings – you just point and shoot and there you go! So much new information.

  15. Stephen February 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I can try and help.

    Aperture Priority lets you set the Aperture which controls depth of field. Depth of field is the distance away from the camera that is in focus. So when you set Aperture Priority to 2.8 only a small distance of the photo is in focus. If you set it to 22 the distance is bigger.

    Shutter Priority lets you set the shutter speed. That is handy for sports shooters. You can set a low speed to show motion blur or set it fast and freeze the motion.

    Manual lets you set both. The combination of the two is the exposure. This is for those who want total control.

    Program Mode sets Aperture and Shutter Speed for you based on the cameras algorithms.

  16. Brian March 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Though my default is Aperture I find myself going Manual more and more for the sheer creative side of control. With Manual I control how the camera exposes the image.

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