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clocke Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Apr 2003Sat 28-Nov-09 02:42 AM
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"D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"


Hungerford, US
          

I advised a friend to shoot in Aperture Priority and F8 with a D40. Then someone advised that they should shoot with the dial set to the "flower" picture. They said the pictures (portrait, esentially) looked better shooting this way.

My question is this: What happens inside the camera when shooting on the "flower" setting versus Aperture Priority?

Coleman Locke

clocke

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Reply message RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes
aolander Silver Member
28th Nov 2009
1
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MEMcD Moderator
28th Nov 2009
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blw Moderator
28th Nov 2009
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MotoMannequin Moderator
01st Dec 2009
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Greg1952
03rd Dec 2009
5
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Scotty Silver Member
03rd Dec 2009
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blw Moderator
03rd Dec 2009
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MotoMannequin Moderator
03rd Dec 2009
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03rd Dec 2009
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03rd Dec 2009
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24th Dec 2009
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25th Dec 2009
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25th Dec 2009
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clocke Silver Member
28th Dec 2009
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17th Jan 2010
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11th Jan 2010
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aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Sat 28-Nov-09 12:30 PM
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#1. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 28-Nov-09 12:40 PM by aolander

Nevis, US
          

The "Flower" Vari-program mode produces out of focus backgrounds for close-ups. Apparently it uses the appropriate f/stops for doing this. I don't know what else the camera might do, but you have no control over the camera in any of these modes. Your advice was better.

Alan

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sat 28-Nov-09 04:36 PM
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#2. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Coleman,

In the Vari-Program modes the cameras computer adjusts the settings including shutter speed, aperture, AF mode, metering mode, and picture controls to the optimum settings typically used for the subject indicated.
In Aperture priority mode, the metering mode, AF mode, and picture controls remain at what ever your settings you have set in the camera menu. You choose the Aperture and the camera will choose the appropriate shutter speed for a correct exposure.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 28-Nov-09 08:46 PM
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#3. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Well, I don't have any idea what flower mode does, although I do know that it's a setting for macro. Now I do know what macro photography is like, and in general the things that one does in macro are to stop down to get maximum depth of field, and perhaps to use more vivid colors. Neither of those things are what I would do for portraits. Generally speaking, portraits look better when the background is de-emphasized - this is not what happens if you stop down to get maximum DOF; in fact, this is the opposite. And if flower mode does select vivid colors, you definitely don't want to do that for most portraits - skin tones will come out kind of ruddy, if not downright "Rudolph the Red Nose Subject."

I wouldn't have opted to shoot a portrait at f/8 most of the time - that's a fair amount of DOF. Given a choice I usually do this at f/4 or wider.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Tue 01-Dec-09 03:25 PM
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#4. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 01-Dec-09 03:26 PM by MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
          

The biggest problem people have moving from the auto modes to the semi-manual modes is in the details. You may have figured out what aperture to use, but other details like AF modes, white balance, color space, etc. are not handled for you in Aperture Priority so as you move to that mode, you get more control, but you need to be prepared to take control as well.

I agree with Brian, both in that f/4 or larger would be a better aperture setting than f/8 (f/8 is smaller than f/4), and in that the macro "vari-program" is not the best setting for portraits. I'd encourage you to learn to use aperture priority, but in the shorter term there is a Portrait mode in the D40 and that would be a better choice for portraits than the macro mode.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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Greg1952 Registered since 27th Nov 2009Thu 03-Dec-09 11:24 AM
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#5. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Why do people spend $500 or more for a dslr, and then use it like a pocket camera, one set f/stop, program mode. 95% of the time, I set the camera to "A", so I control the depth of field. If shutter speed is more important for you, set the camera to "S". For panorama work, I determine the correct exposure for the desired DOF in "A", then set them in "M" so the settings stay constant across the pan. I also switch the lens to manual focus. Also, shoot in RAW, so you can adjust the white balance afterwood. A lot of time auto is decent, but manual setting is better. I typically shoot in forests, so my default setting is "Cloudy", as I find auto to cool. You made the investment in a good camera, invest some time to learn to be a phographer, and not just a snap shot taker. There are plenty of good tutorials on line. In the end, your photos will be far superior.

  

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Scotty Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2002Thu 03-Dec-09 12:05 PM
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#6. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


Ely, Cambridgeshire, GB
          

Because it is a free country and if someone wants to spend £500 on a DSLR and use it as a snap-shot camera they are at liberty to do so.

I could agree more that it seems like a waste of money but maybe they will slowly learn how to use the camera and then NAS will kick in...

Actually if you read many of these fora (?) you will see some members who have spent thousands of pounds/dollars/whatever on gear they haven't a clue how to use. But that is why Nikonians is here to help them through the learning process and become better photographers...

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 03-Dec-09 12:15 PM
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#7. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond, US
          

> Why do people spend $500 or more for a dslr, and then use it like a pocket camera

It's a matter of perspective. Someone could read your post and think "why does someone spend $500 on a DSLR, just to use it in auto exposure mode? There are so many times when full manual allows far better control, like when ..." etc.

I agree that your methods are likely to yield better results, given that the component behind the viewfinder is fully operational.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Thu 03-Dec-09 01:49 PM
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#8. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


Livermore, CA, US
          

Greg,

In general you are right. There's a reason the pro cameras don't come with "vari-program" modes.

For a beginner though, there is a learning curve associated with using these cameras, and the auto modes make a decent crutch that allows someone to take good pictures while he or she is learning this stuff.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 03-Dec-09 03:11 PM
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#9. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


US
          

Hi Greg,

Welcome to Nikonians!

>Why do people spend $500 or more for a dslr, and then use it like a pocket camera, .....

A DSLR used in Program or Vari-Program mode will capture an image with much better Quality than a P & S camera.
To learn how to use all of the controls well takes time, practice, and a desire to learn. There are people that want to capture good images without caring about the technical aspects of photography.
To each; his or her own. There is no right or wrong way. Just the way that works best for each individual based on their needs, wants, and desires.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Floridian Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007Thu 03-Dec-09 03:38 PM
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#10. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


Tallahassee, Florida, US
          

>Why do people spend $500 or more for a dslr, and then use it
>like a pocket camera...

My sister-in-law does this... almost. Her answer is, she wants the DSLR so she can change lenses. She shoots it like a pocket camera, but she has three lenses and uses them all.

Looking through her photos, they look very good. She has a good eye for composition, and the camera does a good job of choosing its settings for her. Occasionally in difficult situations her results aren't what she was hoping for, but overall, her results in AUTO are good, and she has little desire to go beyond that.

Randy

  

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rectangularimage Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Oct 2009Thu 03-Dec-09 06:01 PM
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#11. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


San Diego, US
          

>Why do people spend $500 or more for a dslr, and then use it
>like a pocket camera

An inexpensive DSLR set to be automatic has many advantages over a pocket camera: it's much more responsive (quicker to frame, zoom and click) and better at capturing action, (arguably) better IQ than small sensor cameras, interchangeable lenses, etc.

Not everyone wants to be student of photography, no crime in that.

...Mike

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Dozer217 Registered since 18th Apr 2009Thu 24-Dec-09 06:09 PM
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#12. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 11


US
          

For most people the camera will know more about photography than they ever will. I purchased my DSLR initially to capture my overactive 2yr old since by the time our P&S camera snapped the picture he'd moved. I am also learning how to drive my camera but the auto-modes allow me to take superior photos while doing this.

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dougp26364 Registered since 03rd Aug 2009Fri 25-Dec-09 10:35 PM
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#14. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 5


Wichita, US
          

>Why do people spend $500 or more for a dslr, and then use it
>like a pocket camera, one set f/stop, program mode. 95% of the
>time, I set the camera to "A", so I control the
>depth of field. If shutter speed is more important for you,
>set the camera to "S". For panorama work, I
>determine the correct exposure for the desired DOF in
>"A", then set them in "M" so the settings
>stay constant across the pan. I also switch the lens to manual
>focus. Also, shoot in RAW, so you can adjust the white balance
>afterwood. A lot of time auto is decent, but manual setting is
>better. I typically shoot in forests, so my default setting is
>"Cloudy", as I find auto to cool. You made the
>investment in a good camera, invest some time to learn to be a
>phographer, and not just a snap shot taker. There are plenty
>of good tutorials on line. In the end, your photos will be far
>superior.

Because when I first started (I'm still very much a beginner), I could look at the settings the vari-mode choose to see if I was on the right track while learning to shoot in arpeture mode.

The first months were a little frustrating with this camera. It's easy to buy a DSLR but, it can be a challenge to learn how to use it. New terms, more settings and much more to think about. For the first six months I was overwhelmed by all the choices, settings, math et..... For that matter I still am much of the time but, I'm learning.

Now why someone would buy a DSLR and never learn to use the manual modes I can't say for sure. Maybe it's just good marketing by the company making it look like a DSLR camera will do it all, do it automatically and do it better than a point and shoot camera. I've learned that, just because I see someone shooting with a more expensive camera body doesn't mean they know what they're doing with it. I've asked a couple of photographers some basic questions only to find out they were holding more than $1,000 of equipement in their hands but shooting in auto mode.

On our last vacation, I was around a man shooting a D80 body. We got to talking and I asked him what camera store he used in Kansas City and if they were any good (The two stores in Wichita are Cannon stores and not a lot of help to me). His answer was Best Buy. Opps!

Once I got to talking with him I realized that all he had done was buy an expensive camera. He hadn't taken the time to learn how to use it past setting it in auto mode. We talked a little and I made a few suggestions for things to try and web sites to visit. Hopefully I opened a door and he's having more fun with his D80 now than when it was a point and shoot camera.

Sometimes, people just don't know any better. We're in a world where most things are automated and we just expect things to work right out of the box. Sometimes people don't look at photography as an art form. They just feel that it's all about taking good snap shots and leaving it at that.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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dclarhorn Moderator In depth knowledge and high level skills in a variety of areas including landscape Nikonian since 31st Mar 2002Fri 25-Dec-09 03:31 AM
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#13. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0


Berwyn Heights, US
          

For someone who doesn't want to spend a lot of time learning everything a DSLR can do, the automatic settings and modes can make things easy for them. In that respect, their pictures probably will look better shooting this way.

However, there are limits to technology and there are many shooting situations and lighting conditions that may require adjustments for better results. This is when someone interested in improved results will want to learn how to take a measure of control.

When you advise friends to shoot at f8 do you know why? Shooting at f8 can be a good thing/bad thing situation. F8 is the sweet spot regarding sharpness for many lenses so that is good. It also provides a pretty good depth of field for many shooting situations where everything in the scene will be in focus. However, if light is dim, f8 can be restricting in the amount of light being let in resulting in too low a shutter speed. Also, if you want to be creative at all with selective focus and smooth, out of focus backgrounds, f8 is too small an aperture. You'll want open the aperture to f5.6, f4 or even wider for those situations.

So, beware of using the same settings when shooting because it's a good way to fall into a rut with creativity. Then again, not everyone has the desire to learn the ins and outs of photography and programmed shooting is perfectly adequate for them.

It comes down to your level of interest and involvement in the photographic process.

Dan L.
http://www.danlarussophotography.com/

  

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clocke Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Apr 2003Mon 28-Dec-09 02:30 AM
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#15. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 13


Hungerford, US
          

Thanks for all the input. But I do know exactly why I told them to use F8. In my opinion aperture priority and F8 is a good middle of the road setting and is much better than just setting the camera on automatic and letting it make all the decisions. I also told that party that they could open up the F-stop to throw the background out of focus, and they that they could change the ISO to fit many different situations. Or use a smaller F-stop in very bright situations to increase the depth of field.

I guess the point I make is that I was encouraging them to learn to use the camera. If they'd just left the setting on automatic they'd never have learned any different. I advised them to set it up on F8 and aperture priority as a starting place and then experiment in both directions.

Then one of their friends advised them that they could take better pictures on "automatic". I knew the answer but asked the forum so as to let the friend see that I was giving pretty good advice.

So thanks for all your input and advice!! I think we made our point.

Coleman Locke
Wharton, Texas

clocke

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Pestanikon Registered since 02nd Aug 2004Sun 17-Jan-10 11:09 AM
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#18. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 13


Porto, PT
          

My opinion is that you must use whatever you want since you feel well with that. For instance, if you are a beginner, try different programs of the camera. If you have some experience, try to use sometimes manual, compare your regulations with those of your camera do with automatic and compare results, try to use flash with backlight, f stops to get better exposition results.

It’s better to do small steps than a step longer than your leg!

Eyelash
(nikonmaniac)

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brianbmw Registered since 30th Dec 2009Mon 11-Jan-10 08:17 PM
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#16. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 0


Ashland, US
          

As a beginner just starting to use the program, shutter priority and aperture priority settings sometimes i will take a pic in the auto mode, then check to see what the camera set everything to. At that point i know "about" what my settings should be and then I make adjustments from there using the P, S, or A settings.

Brian

  

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dclarhorn Moderator In depth knowledge and high level skills in a variety of areas including landscape Nikonian since 31st Mar 2002Tue 12-Jan-10 06:41 PM
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#17. "RE: D40 Aperture Priority vs Program Modes"
In response to Reply # 16


Berwyn Heights, US
          

I think most of the auto or programmed settings work well in average situations. More difficult lighting or a difficult subject sometimes cause less than satisfactory results when leaving it up to the camera. You'll eventually get to the point where you'll recognize those situations and have specific settings you like to use to adjust for it to achieve the effect you want.

For example, while the camera might set a certain aperture and achieve a good exposure, it may not coincide with what I want with depth of field. I may want the surroundings out of focus for artistic purposes and need a wider aperture. So, I set the aperture and a new shutter speed is chosen to get the good exposure. There are a lot of little artistic factors that make up a good image that may require more intervention by the user.

Another consideration is subject movement and if the camera knows what setting is needed. I think the user has a better idea of what they want and may need to take control of that setting.

With these examples, it shows that there are good reasons and situation to use either shutter or aperture priority, or even manual to achieve desired effects.

This simply comes with experience and what your personal preferences are.

Dan L.
http://www.danlarussophotography.com/

  

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