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Nikon D3200 Program Mode – Photography Tips

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Nikon D3200 Tutorial – Photography Tips

P: Program Mode


There is a reason that Program mode is click away through the automatic modes: With respect to apertures and shutter speeds, the digital camera is doing a lot of the thinking for you. So, you might need the case, why even make use of Program mode? First, let me say that it is rather rare that I use Program mode, since it just doesn’t give just as much control in the image-making process since the other professional modes. There are occasions, however, when considering in handy, like when I am shooting in widely changing lighting conditions and don’t contain the time to consider all of my options, or when I’m not so concerned with having ultimate charge of the scene. Think of a picnic outdoors in a partial shade/sun environment. I want great-looking pictures, but I’m not trying to find anything to hang in a very museum. If that’s the scenario, why choose Program over one with the scene modes? Because it gives me choices and control that none in the scene modes can deliver.

Manual Callout

  • To view a comparison of every one of the different modes, look into the table onpage 187 of your owner’s manual.
  • When to use Program (P) mode instead of the automatic scene modes
  • When shooting in a casual environment where quick adjustments are needed
  • When you need more treatments for the ISO
  • If you want to make corrections for the white balance
  • When you need to change shutter speeds or aperture to realize a specific result

Let’s return to our picnic scenario. As I said, the light is moving from deep shadow to bright sunlight, which means that the camera is trying to balance our three photo factors (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) to produce a good exposure. From Chapter 1, we all know that Auto ISO is simply not a consideration, and we all have already turned that come with off (you probably did turn it off, didn’t you?). Well, in Program mode, you are able to choose which ISO you would like the digital camera to base its exposure on. The lower the ISO number, better the quality of our photographs, nevertheless the less light sensitive the camera becomes. It’s a balancing act, with all the main goal always being to keep the ISO as low as possible-too low an ISO, and we will get camera shake in your images from the long shutter speed; and too much an ISO means we’ll have an unacceptable volume of digital noise. For our purposes, let’s just select ISO 400 to ensure that we provide enough sensitivity for all those shadows while allowing the digital camera to use shutter speeds which are fast enough to avoid motion.

Starting points for ISO selection

There is a lot of discussion concerning ISO in this and other chapters, however it might be helpful knowing where your starting points should be for your ISO settings. The first thing you should always try to do is utilize the lowest possible ISO setting. That being said, here are good starting points for your ISO settings:

  • 100: Bright sunny day
  • 200: Hazy or outdoor shade on the sunny day
  • 400: Indoor lighting in the evening or cloudy conditions outside
  • 800: Late night, low-light conditions or sporting arenas at night

These are only suggestions, along with your ISO selection will depend on a number of factors that’ll be discussed later within the book. You might have to push your ISO even higher if required, but a minimum of now you know where to start.

With the ISO selected, we can easily now make use from the other controls constructed into Program mode. By rotating the Command dial, we now have the ability to shift this system settings (Nikon calls this “flexible program”). Remember, you guessed it-your camera is using the inner meter to pick what it believes are suitable exposure values, but often it doesn’t know just what it’s looking at and how you desire those values applied.

This is my first click, using Program mode.

I decreased the size of the aperture by rotating the Command dial left to get a greater depth of field, and also the shutter speed delayed to maintain the identical exposure value.

With this program shift, you can influence what are the shot will look like. Do you need faster shutter speeds to be able to stop the action? Just turn the Command dial right. Do you want an inferior aperture so that you get a greater depth of field? Then turn the dial left until you have the desired aperture. The camera shifts the shutter speed and aperture accordingly in order to get a proper exposure, and you will have the benefit of your option as a result.

You will even notice that in case you rotate the Command dial, a smaller star will show up above the letter P in the viewfinder and the rear display. This star is surely an indication that you just modified the exposure from the one the camera chose. To go time for the default Program exposure, simply turn the dial prior to the star goes away or switch to a different mode then back to Program mode again.

Let’s set up the camera for Program mode and find out how we could make all of this add up.

Setting up and shooting in Program mode:

  • Turn you got it on after which turn the Mode dial to align the P using the indicator line.
  • Select your ISO by pressing the i button for the lower-left portion of the back of the digital camera (if the camera’s info screen just isn’t visible, press the Info button or i button).
  • Press up or down for the Multi-selector to highlight the ISO option, then select OK.
  • Press down for the Multi-selector to choose the desired ISO setting, after which press OK to lock inside change.
  • Point your camera at your subject after which activate your camera meter by depressing the shutter button halfway.
  • View the exposure information in the bottom from the viewfinder or by studying the display panel on the back of your camera.

While the meter is activated, make use of thumb to roll the Command dial right and left to see the changed exposure values.

Select the exposure that is right for you and begin clicking. (Don’t worry in the event you aren’t sure exactly what the right exposure is. We will start working on making the proper choices for those great shots beginning while using next chapter.)

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What Do You Wanna Read Next:

1. Program mode 
2. Shutter Priority mode 
3. Aperture Priority mode 
4. Manual mode
5. Examination

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