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Functions on cameras that can be selected to offer a rage of features such as metering pattern, exposure setting or focus type.

Related Terms

A picture file format that some of the more advanced cameras have the option of using when taking photographs. In this mode the photograph is captured in a "raw"state direct from the camera's CCD so no automated processing is done by the camera. You then use RAW processing software such as Capture One to view and process the file on your computer giving you complete control of properties such as exposure, colour and sharpness. This mode is preferred by enthusiast and professional photographers who tailor settings to there liking. The downside is the file is not compressed by the camera, like it is in normal jpg shooting mode so you can only shoot a small number of photos before the memory card fills up.
An automatic exposure mode which is specifically designed for the correct exposure of bright scenes. On cameras without an automatic mode for this, but with a manual mode, correct exposure can be achieved by overexposing by about two stops
A digital camera mode that has an interval timer built in to the image review mode so you can watch all the images recorded by the camera as they play back at pre-selected intervals. More advanced models may have fade between each shot.
A mode on many compact cameras and some SLRs that masks the film so that a narrow strip is recorded. The result is then printed on elongated paper to give an impressive 10x4in widescreen style photo. This works better when the camera's lens is a wider angle. You don't have to have a panoramic mode to obtain this style photo. Cropping an existing negative that was printed on 10x8in paper would give the same results, but is obviously more expensive. Alternatively, if you ensure the subject is in the middle of the frame you could ask your lab to make panoramic pictures from your film when processed.
An automatic exposure mode which chooses a small aperture to increase the distance in focus and a long shutter speed to help capture detail in dim lighting conditions. Using some form of camera support is normally recommended when using this scene mode, as the longer exposure duration can cause images to be blurred through camera movement.
On compact cameras, this mode allows the camera to focus closer than normal. On SLR cameras this mode will select a large aperture to blur the background to help isolate your subject.
Program mode on some Canon cameras that sets the optimum aperture to ensure enough depth of field to make the whole of the subject sharp.
Short for Time Value thats more commonly known as shutter priority mode.
An automatic exposure mode which chooses a large aperture to help blur distant objects, which is considered pleasing for portraiture.
An automatic exposure mode which selects a small aperture to increase the amount in focus, which is generally desirable for landscape photography
An automatic exposure mode which selects a faster shutter speed than normal to help freeze fast moving subjects.
An automatic exposure mode which chooses a high ISO sensitivity to help balance dark backgrounds with your subject in flash pictures.
An automatic exposure mode which sets the camera white balance to emphasize the red colour of the sky at sunset.
Found on Nikon Coolpix digital cameras, this mode takes a series of shots but will only save the sharpest one to the memory card, which can help to achieve a sharp shot in low light where flash photography is prohibited.
An automatic exposure mode which selects a high ISO sensitivity and shutter speed of about half a second, which is perfect for capturing the colours of a fireworks display.
A high contrast black & white mode designed specifically for photographing text.
A display for modes and features in the viewfinder or top-plate of many cameras. Most display the number of photos you have left along with the battery condition and exposure mode. More advanced cameras also have the metering mode, exposure mode and flash mode displayed.
This is how the camera adjusts the shutter speed and aperture to ensure the right amount of light reaches the film or CCD. Early cameras only had a manual mode (M) where the user had to select the aperture and shutter speed manually to ensure the correct exposure. Over the years cameras have become more sophisticated and now offer several automated modes including Program (P) - a fully automatic exposure mode that sets the aperture and shutter speed; Aperture priority mode (AP) where the user selects the aperture and the camera sets the necessary shutter speed; and shutter priority (SP, or Tv on some cameras) where the user selects the shutter speed and the camera sets the necessary aperture. Auto bracketing (AB) takes a pre-selected number of photographs, one at the suggested exposure and one to either side, so you can be sure of one accurate result. There are also several subject-based program modes that we haven't listed here that tailor the camera for particular subjects such as sports (action), landscapes, portraits, or flowers (close-ups). Some digital cameras have black & white and sepia modes. Buying advice A full auto program mode is ideal for point-and-shoot photography, but it's also useful to have some control over the exposure. The beauty with digital is that you can see whether the camera has got the shot right by previewing the image on the LCD. If not, you try again. If there is no manual control you can often preset the exposure using an auto-exposure lock or exposure compensation. The subject based program modes are often a waste of time and don't really bring much to the package. Special effects modes on digital cameras are also throw-away because all these can be created using the computer later.
An organisation that created a universal colour mode that describes colour in a 3D axis which they called Lab mode. This mode allows all visible colour to be specified and has a luminance (L) channel and an A and B channel that represent colour values.
An auto-exposure mode where you select the required lens aperture and the camera sets the necessary shutter speed, to give the correct exposure based on the auto meter reading. This mode is ideal for landscape and still-life photography where maximum depth-of-field is required. It's either indicated on the camera as AP (aperture priority) or AV (aperture value).
An automatic exposure mode that sets the camera's aperture and shutter speed often referred to on camera dials and panels as P. What sets it apart from Auto mode, is that all the other functions, including exposure compensation, can still be adjusted.
A program mode thats used to adjust the shutter and aperture combinations that were set automatically by the camera in its program mode.
A mode to lock the focus to a predetermined point. Useful when the subject is moving fast because you can take the photo as it reaches a certain point or when other influences could affect the focusing such as shooting through glass or in crowded locations.
A camera mode, also known as Bulb or Brief, that keeps the shutter open for as long as the shutter release is pressed. This is useful for recording night scenes, fireworks and light or star trails.
Override of the camera's auto-exposure setting that increases the exposure by between one and two stops. Use this mode to prevent a silhouette when taking photos while the light is behind the subject.