Automatic: This is usually the default setting for most digital cameras. The icon on your
camera may read as "AUTO." This one automatically sets the camera's ﬂash and focus by
using the normal, average exposure settings. This can be used for normal picture taking, but if
you want some special effects added to your pictures, keep reading.
Close Up: This mode should be used for any pictures you're taking from approximately two
feet away or closer. If you really want to narrow in on a subject, use this one. Also, keep in
mind that the ﬂash probably won't automatically come on with this mode, so you'll have to
set it manually yourself.
Landscape: This one is used for any pictures you're taking of distant subjects. Also, the ﬂash
should not be on for these types of pictures. The landscape mode is also sometimes indicated
by an 8 symbol.
Sport Mode: If you take a lot of pictures of moving objects, this is the mode you'll want to
use. It sets the shutter speed on your camera to its fastest mark so you can catch the
subjects in motion. For these types of pictures, you should just use the ﬂash as needed.
Night Mode: This mode is obviously used for pictures you take at night or for any low-light
conditions. It uses a slow shutter speed and it may also use the ﬂash automatically. The icons
for this one may be a little different from camera to camera. Another one that is commonly
used is a backlight mode that has a ﬁll ﬂash picture. This mode also helps with shadowed
Portrait Mode: This one is used mostly for faces of people. It helps to blur out the
background so you can focus in more on a person's face. It is used well with the red eye
reduction mode, for a full effect, as well.
Video Mode: Want to make videos with your digital camera? Then set your dial on this one.
You can shoot short video clips with this mode.
Image Stabilization: If you're known to have shaky hands when you're taking pictures, use
this mode. It helps to stabilize your camera so the image won't come out all blurry.
Manual Mode: This is also a very common mode to use. It will give you complete control over
your camera's aperture and shutter speed, so it's very helpful.
Aperture-Priority Mode: With this one, you can manually set your camera's aperture setting
(which is the diameter of the lens), while your camera controls the shutter speed for you.
Shutter-Priority Mode: This one is just the opposite of the one above. With it, you can
manually determine the shutter speed, while your camera controls the aperture.
available light vs too much noise
What to think about when
choosing your camera’s
1. Light - Is the subject well lit?
2. Grain - Do I want a grainy shot or one without noise?
3. Tripod - Am I use a tripod?
4. Moving Subject - Is my subject moving or stationary?
Ultra compact digital cameras
Ultra compact digital cameras are capable of taking quality
images. They are very small, lightweight, easy to use and
convenient to carry.
Some models have fewer features than compact cameras, such as
manual controls and a viewﬁnder. Buttons and dials are small
though usually work well. Moderate to high priced.
Compact digital cameras
Consumer-level digital cameras are compact, lightweight and
great for point-and-shoot photo-taking. They have fully automatic
and scene modes; some have semi-automatic and manual
controls. All but the cheapest provide very good image quality.
Low to moderately priced, depending on features.
Advanced digital cameras
“Prosumer” digital cameras are geared to advanced amateurs with skill levels between
a professional and consumer. They sport high quality lenses and advanced features for
creative control. Some have long telephoto zooms lenses while others start at wide
A few have a zoom range from wide to super telephoto. Most advanced digital cameras
accept accessories and add-ons including converter lenses, ﬁlters, remote controls and
external ﬂashes. Moderate to high priced. All-in-one digital camera with professional
grade sensorAll-in-one digital still camera with a professional-grade, APS-class image
sensor. It provides a live preview while taking photos. High priced.
Micro Four Thirds cameras
Introduced in 2008, Micro Four Thirds are digital single lens reﬂex-like camera. Unlike
traditional SLRs and DSLRs, they have no reﬂex mirrors and optical viewﬁnders. Micro
Four Thirds cameras have large sensors like a DSLR and take interchangeable lenses.
They are smaller and thinner than most DSLRs.
Digital single lens reﬂex cameras
DSL R cameras, used by professionals and photo enthusiasts, are top-of-the-line. They
have outstanding optics, produce high resolution images and accept interchangeable
lenses and sophisticated accessories.
They perform much better in low light than consumer cameras that have small sensors.
DSLRs function automatically but also have a full range of manual controls. You can buy
only a DSLR body, and purchase lenses separately.
The price of professional level lenses can be jaw-dropping. Models include entry level,
semi-pro and pro. High priced to extremely expensive.
The world's deepest swimming pool (108 feet) resides in Brussels, Belgium and serves as
"multi-purpose diving instruction, recreational, and ﬁlm production facility."
24mm 50mm 100mm
200mm 400mm 800mm
400mm 200mm 100mm
50mm 28mm 17mm
Lenses from 400mm to 17mm were used. Gremlin size was kept the same by moving
closer to subject. F5.6 was used in every shot. Perspective changes dramaticaly.
the larger the f-stop number the more ‘depth’ will appear in your image
What is shutter speed ? The aperture diaphragm of a lens (bigger or
smaller values) AND timing (open and close) of the camera's shutter
curtain - BOTH perform the tasks of regulating the amount of light
entering the camera and expose onto the ﬁlm
A slow shutter speed was used to make the background
blurred panning along with the cyclist.
on the left a fast shutter speed freezing the water movement
on the right a slow shutter speed deliberately blurring the water
1/125 second 1/8 second
A slow shutter speed was used to make the
car headlights blur and the cars disappear
4 second exposure
A slow shutter speed and camera movement creates extra blur
A slow shutter speed and zooming your lens creates a more abstract image
A fast shutter speed captures action
A fast shutter speed captures action