In automatic modes the camera determines all aspects of exposure, choosing exposure parameters according to the application within the constraints of correct exposure, including exposure, aperture, focusing, light metering, white balance, and equivalent sensitivity. For example in portrait mode the camera would use a wider aperture to render the background out of focus, and would seek out and focus on a human face rather than other image content. In the same light conditions a smaller aperture would be used for a landscape, and recognition of faces would not be enabled for focusing.
Some cameras have tens of modes. Many cameras do not document exactly what their many modes do; for full mastery of the camera one must experiment with them.
- Action or sports modes increase ISO and uses a faster shutter speed to capture action.
- Landscape modes use a small aperture to gain depth of field.
- Portrait mode widens the aperture to throw the background out of focus. The camera may recognize and focus on a human face.
- Night portrait modes uses an exposure long enough to capture background detail, with fill-in flash to illuminate a nearby subject.
- Fireworks modes, for use on a tripod, use an extended exposure (around four seconds) which results in showing several fireworks as well as their paths.
- Water modes, depending on what the mode is designed to do, will either widen the aperture and increase the shutter speed for an action shot or shrink the aperture and slow down the shutter speed to show the motion of the water.
- Snow modes compensate for the misinformation the white snow gives the light meter and increases exposure in order to properly photograph subjects.
- Natural light or night snapshot modes attempt to raise the ISO and use a very wide aperture in order to take a photograph using the limited natural light, rather than a flash.
- Macro or close-up modes tend to direct the camera's focus to be nearer the camera. It may shrink the aperture and restrict the camera to wide-angle in an attempt to broaden the depth-of-field (to include closer objects).
- Movie mode allows a still camera to take moving pictures.
- 'Scene' or Smart Shutter (SCN) mode (on Canons) which uses face detection to take a picture either when a subject smiles, winks or when a new subject enters the scene.
- This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Read more about this topic: List Of Digital Camera Modes
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