When I first started taking pictures almost a year ago the very first thing that I learned was the different settings on the camera. They differ among different cameras and brands but for the most part they are pretty universal. So for this post I would just like to share the functions of the different settings. Every camera has a Mode Dial. On that dial you can choose what setting you want to shoot in.
Auto- Auto mode, "the point and shoot mode" the majority of the setting are controlled by the camera in response to shooting conditions. This means that you have limited control over the outcome of the picture.
Auto Flash Off- the built in flash turns off. Use where flash photography is prohibited. For example, you can use this setting to photography infants or in low light settings. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject.
Portrait- This setting is used for portraits with soft, natural looking skin tones. the camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject, the built in flash and AF illuminator turn of automatically. Focuses on the closest subject.
Child- Clothing and background details are vividly rendered. Great depth of field. Camera focuses on the closest subject.
Sports- Fast Shutter speeds to freeze the motion. The camera is continuously refocusing while the shutter release button is pushed 1/2 way. Camera will focus on whatever is in the center of the frame. The camera will focus on the center of the frame and this uses a great depth of field.
Close Up- Usually a picture of a flower. Used for close up shots of flowers, insects, and other small objects. Camera automatically focuses on the center of the subject. Tripod recommended.
Night Portrait- Used for a natural balance between the main subject and the background in portraits taken in low light. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject. Tripod is recommended to reduce blur. Slow shutter speed.
P- Programmed auto. The camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed and aperture for optimal exposure in most situations.
S- Shutter Priority- You select the shutter speed and the camera will automatically select the aperture that will produce the optimal exposure.
A- Aperture Priority- You select the aperture and the camera will automatically select the shutter speed.
*M-Manual- You control the shutter speed and the aperture. You also have the option of BULB in this setting. I mostly shoot in Manual mode. Some would call it control issues :)
I hope this helps you get started. The best advice that I can give is to refer to your camera manual and read everything!