Camera Modes

Main digital camera modes

Written by Gail Bjork

Most compact digital cameras have three basic modes: record, playback and video.

Camera modedialThere are two primary modes found on digital cameras, record mode and playback mode. Many digital cameras also have a movie (video) mode.

Generally there is a dedicated button or dial to switch between camera modes. When switching between modes, menu items will be different for each mode.

Shooting mode

Take photos in any number of shooting modes.

  • Select shooting or scene mode: full auto, semi-automatic or manual modes.
  • Use buttons or dials to change flash mode, use self-timer, select macro or landscape mode, etc.
  • Access menu selections for camera set-up and to adjust settings such as white balance, file size and and compression, and power saving features.
  • Adjust zoom lens.
  • AF/AE lock — shutter-release button, when depressed half-way down, locks in focus and exposure.

Playback mode

Playback mode is used in conjunction with LCD.

  • View images — use buttons to review photos and/or zoom into a specific one. Buttons function much the same as computer keys. The “OK,” or similarly named button, functions as an “enter key” causing a menu action to occur.
  • Format, erase, protect images – – you can delete a few or all of the shots stored on a memory card. You can “protect” ones you don’t want to delete when using the “erase” function, often by using the digital camera’s thumbnail index.
  • Adjust print settings – – camera must be PictBridge compatible.

Movie (video) mode

Most digital cameras record video with sound; some even record in stereo. While not as effective as a dedicated video cam, the quality of video produced by digital cameras is quite good. Some models record video in high definition .

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

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