All digital cameras have fully automatic modes to take photos by simply pointing and shooting. Intermediate and advanced cameras that have semi-automatic and manual modes allow for more creative and technical control.
Auto/Simple – fully automatic, point-and-shoot mode, which lets beginners easily take photos. The camera selects all settings.
Intelligent Auto – Intelligent Auto Mode analyzes the type of scene and shooting conditions you’re photographing and then automatically selects the best settings. The camera knows if you’re taking a close-up, landscape, portrait, backlit and other types of shots. It can be more effective than a simple auto mode.
Program AE – camera automatically sets the shutter speed and aperture based on the brightness of the scene. User can adjust some settings such as exposure compensation, white balance, ISO, focusing and metering modes. P Mode gives the photographer more control than automatic modes.
Shutter priority (Tv) – User selects shutter speed and the camera automatically selects the aperture. Selecting a faster shutter speed allows you to “freeze” the action of a moving subject. Slower shutter speeds capture movement and also let you shoot without a flash in dim lit scenes.
Aperture priority (Av) – User selects aperture and the camera automatically selects shutter speed. Opening up the aperture (smaller f-stop number) decreases depth of field. Closing down the aperture (higher f-stop number) increases depth of field.
User manually selects the shutter speed and aperture. An Exposure Display visible on the LCD or electronic viewfinder shows the amount a photo will be over- or underexposed. Very long exposures can be taken in manual mode.
Digital cameras have a variety of scene modes, pre-programmed to provide optimal exposure for a specific scene. Scene modes can be very effective and, like other automatic modes, are useful for those who prefer not to tweak camera settings.
Switch the camera to video mode to record movies, some in High Definition. Don’t forget to hold the camera horizontally when shooting video, or your videos will be the wrong orientation. If you do forget, the software that came with you camera may let you correct the orientation. So will video editing programs such as Apple QuickTime Pro.