Has anyone tried the Program Mode yet? There isn't very much information in the manual. When set on Program Mode I'm not able to manually change my settings, if needed. I'm sure that I'm overlooking something! Thanks
#1. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 0DSW90049 Registered since 11th Feb 2012Thu 11-Oct-12 12:15 PM
I don't really understand why there even is a 'Program Mode,' if anybody would like to explain that . . .
How does it differ from Auto?
Frankly, anybody who has a D600 should get to the Manual, Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority stage, from the very beginning. If you set auto ISO and auto WB, or play with either a bit, the D600 seems to cover a very wide range of exposures and situations if you experiment, bracket a bit, and really think it through.
Amateurs (being a long-time one myself) should not fear Manual, and should avoid using the settings which are like training wheels on a bicycle, unless for testing purposes, to see in tough lighting how to make it better by comparison. IMHO, of course.
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#3. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 2SRFast Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2004Thu 11-Oct-12 05:00 PM
Program mode is Auto mode. When in Program mode, you can change the shutter speed and/or aperture to achieve the desired effect. This is the Flexible Program feature - refer to page 75 of the D600 users manual.
As for Program Mode, many people use it. I use "P" mode on my D3S when using my Speedlights outdoors for fill flash. I set the mode to "P" and the Speedlight to TTL-BL mode and it provides the proper amount of flash to balance the ambient light.
Hope this helps......JL
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#5. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 3Thu 11-Oct-12 05:40 PM
This is true, because that's how it worked on my D300.
When the D600 is in Program mode, I'm unable to change the shutter or aperature with command/sub-command dials. The dials move with no change at all.
Hope someone can shed some light?
#10. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 6Thu 11-Oct-12 08:30 PM | edited Thu 11-Oct-12 08:42 PM by jpFoto
>This is because you have activated auto ISO. When auto ISO is on then spinning the dial changes the iso.
That is not correct. Turning the Command dial will only change the EV's allowed by your preferred/selected ISO. It will not change the ISO.
If you want to change the ISO in P mode, you must rotate the front (sub-command) dial to your desired ISO. Then, you can use the Command dial to select the new set of available EV's.
#19. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 10Fri 12-Oct-12 07:23 AM
>>This is because you have activated auto ISO. When auto
>ISO is on then spinning the dial changes the iso.
>That is not correct. Turning the Command dial will only
>change the EV's allowed by your preferred/selected ISO. It
>will not change the ISO.
>If you want to change the ISO in P mode, you must rotate the
>front (sub-command) dial to your desired ISO. Then, you can
>use the Command dial to select the new set of available EV's.
Yup you're right. Sorry.
Auto ISO makes no difference.
Command dial alters S and A in relation to each other.
Sub Command dial alters S, A and ISO in relation to each other
#11. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 3Thu 11-Oct-12 08:39 PM
>Program mode is Auto mode.
Jim - not on this camera. On our D3s', P is like automatic to us, but on cameras like this it is a whole different animal. It takes over absolutely everything.
#4. "Program mode" | In response to Reply # 2
Pretty sure you use the command wheel to change. You can "dial" faster or slower shutter speeds and the aperture will change to match (& vice versa). The camera "program" will select the correct settings for a given ISO, but you can raise or lower them a bit.
When you rotate the dial to the left or the right, this will create a different combination of aperture and shutter speed, but will give you the same brightness in the final shot. Let's say the "program" gives you f5.6 and 1/250 sec, you can rotate the command dial to achieve f2.8 and 1/1000 sec. This results in the same brightness, but different shutter speed/aperture.
For instance, in landscape photography where the camera might suggest f4 and you would rather have f16 for more depth of field. So, rotate command wheel until you see f16. Your shutter speed will change too. You're effectively doing the same thing as you would in Aperture Priority Mode. Basically, you are using Program mode to get to your preferred aperture setting. Pretty sure the D600 will "program" based on which lens you are using, as well as the light metering. EC works in this mode too.
Program tends to keep aperture open until the light gets bright enough to use smaller apertures. The exposure calculation is designed to let lots of light through the lens so your shutter speeds remain higher. This is good for hand held shots, not so much for tripod.
Used to use this early on for my D80, but switched to aperture or manual a long while ago and haven't used program on the D600 yet at all.
On the DX mode D80 my 16-85mm 3/5/4.5 VR and 70-300mm 3.5/4.5 VR had "sweet spots" around f8, so I used aperture mode a LOT.
Does anyone know if the 70-300mm retains this "sweet spot" around f8 in FX mode?
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#7. "RE: Program mode" | In response to Reply # 4BGD600 Registered since 19th Sep 2012Thu 11-Oct-12 06:47 PM
Afaik program mode is designed to give an automatic balance of aperture and shutter speed to give a decent image for general snapshots. Moving the command dial one way or the other will favour depth of field or shutter speed at the expense of the other.
If auto iso is enabled, then it seems likely that it will remain at it's original setting for both a and s until a predefined (and probably undocumented) iso level is reached.
IMO it is an introduction to a or s mode for beginners that have moved beyond auto mode
#16. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 2
>I couldn't agree with you more. I was just testing out the
>camera and that's the one mode that isn't making sense.
It makes sense if you understand EV (Exposure Value) and the chart on page 315 of the manual.
See "Exposure Value" in Wikipedia for an explanation of EV. I like to think of EV as one way of objectively describing the amount of light illuminating a scene.
Program mode is an automatic *exposure* mode that sets an aperture and shutter speed to give a technically correct exposure for a given amount of light based on a predetermined "program." That program is described on page 315 of the manual.
For example, one of the charts in the Wiki article describes the EV of a "heavy overcast" daylight condition as EV 12 (@ ISO 100). The chart on page 315 shows that P mode would set the camera for an aperture of 5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/125 in that lighting situation. This assumes the meter is reading average subject and not one that is at the extremes of light or dark reflectance.
As the lighting conditions become darker, the program adjusts both aperture and shutter speed to attempt to keep a correct exposure, i.e., the aperture opens up and the shutter slows down. The opposite applies if the lighting conditions get brighter.
A nice feature of P mode is that you can vary the program if you don't like the aperture or shutter that has been selected. In the example above, if you would rather have an f/stop of f/4 to get a little more background blur, just turn the command dial while the meter is active until f/4 is selected. As you adjust the aperture, the camera automatically set the shutter speed to maintain a correct exposure.
In general, P mode is most appropriate if you want the camera to set a correct exposure when you are not too concerned about needing a specific aperture or shutter for a desired effect. When those become more important, you should probably be using A, S, or M mode.
P mode differs from Auto mode in that it automates only the exposure. Auto takes over focus modes and focus points and flash firing, even to the extent of popping up the flash automatically if it is needed.
#24. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 16Pallas Nikonian since 17th May 2004Mon 03-Feb-14 12:41 PM
Thanks for this extremely clear and helpful explanation of the differences between Auto and P modes, and when they might be appropriate to use.
Have just taken the plunge from film (FM3A) and bought a D610, my very first DSLR, and was wondering what the difference is; the user manual is not very illuminating on this. Probably overthinking, but it's a steep learning curve for a newbie!
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#9. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 1
>Frankly, anybody who has a D600 should get to the Manual, Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority stage, from the very beginning.
I must respectfully disagree. There is nothing wrong with using P or as it is called "Flexible program." All you have done by selecting P is to accept the meter settings and the suggested combination thereof. From there, you are free to rotate the command dial to pick your preferred shutter speed or F stop. It is not going to change your ISO, even with auto ISO. During a fast moving shoot, I wouldn't hesitate to use P, but if you decide on M, Manual, you had better be watching your meter, especially if you don't have Auto ISO turned on.
I also must respectfully disagree with your '"training wheels" analogy. Although I seldom use P, there have been many times that I was happy to have my flotation device handy so that I didn't drown.
So, my message to the OP is, "don't let your ego get in the way of your photographic aspirations."
#17. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 1
I guess I have to somewhat take issue with your characterization of using Program Mode. Not everyone who gets into DSLR photography has mastery of the fundamentals of the exposure triad of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. *While* they are learning those fundamentals, the more automated modes (Auto, P, possibly auto ISO) allow them to make successful images to get results and keep the enthusiasm going.
The "flexible program" feature of P mode, used correctly, can give just about as much control over exposure as Manual mode when one has a particular aperture or shutter need. The program gets you in the exposure ballpark, and a few clicks of the command dial gets you where you need to be. When the little green men step out of their saucer in my back yard, the camera is going in P mode.
I agree that these modes should not be relied on as a long term alternative to learning the fundamentals of exposure. There are less complicated and less expensive cameras that can do that job for someone who doesn't want to go to that level of control.
#22. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 17TakeTwo Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Fri 12-Oct-12 03:21 PM
>the little green men step out of their saucer in my back yard,
>the camera is going in P mode.
Thats funny!!! I help a wedding photographer (which I am not) at times and 95% of here shots are shot in "P" mode while using flash. Aperture as close to 7.1 as she can get.
What I see "P" mode doing is allowing you to adjust either for aperture or shutter within its program without have to move to the dedicated Shutter mode or apature mode.
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#8. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 0
Program mode can be adjusted to find an equivalent exposure resulting by rotating either the main or sub command dials. This puts the camera into Flexible Program mode denoted by P*. (Page 75,Nikon D600 User Manual. Make sure your exposure meter is active (if it shuts off, it may not shift the exposure; also make sure you did not lock exposure or have movie live view active. (Page 319, D600 User manual)
Auto mode will do the same as Program without the ability to shift exposure; AND will pop up the flash if the camera algorithms determine it is needed.
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#12. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 0
Read some of the later replies to your post. The reply structure here is a little bit different, and I don't want you to leave thinking that there is anything wrong with the way that you are using your camera, because there is not. Some of the advice that you have received is wrong, so read the interim posts.
#14. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 13sjcampbl Registered since 10th Oct 2012Fri 12-Oct-12 12:20 AM
This lack of adjustment to aperture/shutter values via command dial in P mode has perplexed me as well. It appears that in a relatively low light situation (interior lighting in evening) both 1) auto ISO and 2) low ISO (100) adjustment is not possible. By shutting off auto ISO and raising ISO (2000+) adjustment becomes possible.
#15. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 14dm1dave Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Fri 12-Oct-12 12:33 AM
The reason for that is that in low light there are no other possible combinations of shutter speed and aperture that will give correct exposure.
P mode will only allow you to change settings when proper exposure can be achieved.
I hope this helps.
#20. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 15sjcampbl Registered since 10th Oct 2012Fri 12-Oct-12 11:40 AM
With ISO set to a low value I would agree. However, in auto ISO I would like to be allowed to change A/S values and have ISO increased automatically. When I force ISO to a higher value A/S become adjustable.
#18. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 13
>Thanks Nikonians for all of the information. I've gotten the
>jP: Thanks so much for the information and your
>encouragement. I really appreciate it!
Can you let us know what the solution was?
I thought that I had it nailed when I toggled auto-iso. Maybe I was wrong. I'm going to have another look in better light. Yesterday I only experimented under a 60w bulb!
#23. "RE: Using Program Mode" | In response to Reply # 21DSW90049 Registered since 11th Feb 2012Mon 15-Oct-12 06:49 PM
Interesting thread, and I did learn something that I didn't know.
In the old film days, each shot had to count.
In this, the now well developed digital era, where you have a delete bottom and nobody is keeping score, I do find it fun to play around with settings to see what I get.
That was my 'training wheels' comment point, that it's really OK to play around and experiment. Nobody gets hurt, no animals are harmed, no film is wasted and sometimes you get most interesting results.
I do particularly enjoy playing around on the D600, and it's not like back in school - there's no one, right answer. Thanks for the education on what P does, though. This Nikonians Forum continues to amaze me with the depth of knowledge and generosity with that knowledge here. The D600 was announced, and bam, a bit over a week later we had it to play with - no How To books, no cheat sheets, just one Owner Manual, which few ever read and never a model of clarity anyway. This D600 came ready for experimentation. Long ago, in my F3 days, I asked an old photographer what all the settings (far fewer than now!) did and whether there was some kind of carry along cheat sheet, and he just laughed and said, 'keep playing around with it, and you'll get it!'
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