Basic Camera Settings

By beginnerphotography | Camera Settings

Feb 09

The mode dial is the mechanism used to change the camera’s settings and access different shooting modes.

Camera setting in Shutter Priority Mode on the Mode Dial.

EXAMPLE: The Mode Dial.


Basic camera Settings – change the settings by using the mode dial on the top (or the back) of your camera.

Here is a brief description to help you understand what the most common mode dial symbols stand for:



Common settings:

A – may be green coloured and stands for auto. This means the camera “makes the decisions” while your job is to aim the camera at your subject, decide on the composition and press the shutter release button.

Av – is aperture priority mode. You can use it to make adjustments for depth-of-field, in other words how much of your subject is in focus. In this mode, the camera will make adjustments to the shutter speed to deliver, as best as it can, the correct exposure and “effect” in your photo.

Tv – is shutter speed priority mode. This helps create different “moods” such as the blurred feathery effect of water with a slower shutter speed. In contrast is the crisp clear suspended water drops or the athlete as you “freeze the action” with a faster shutter speed. The camera will automatically adjust the aperture to balance the exposure.

M – is the manual mode. In this mode, it is up to you to choose and make adjustments to the aperture and shutter speed settings for what you want the result to be.

B – is the bulb mode. In this mode, you decide on the length of time it will take the camera to record the exposure, or take the photo. In bulb, the camera will continue “taking the photo” for if the shutter remains open; either with your finger holding the shutter release down for the amount of time, or locking the button down by way of shutter release accessory.

Xflash X sync speed. This is used when using an external flash that does not automatically change the shutter speed.

Pis the program mode.  The program mode will automatically adjust the shutter speed and aperture exposure according Program line. Using the front and rear e-dials in this mode allows for easy switching between shutter priority and aperture priority.

Sv – automatically sets the shutter speed and aperture to the proper exposure according to the set sensitivity.

TAv – automatically sets the sensitivity so that the selected shutter speed and aperture will give the proper exposure according to the brightness of the subject.



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