Commom Icons and Settings

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Regardless of whether you shoot film or digitaly, point and shoot cameras have simplified features. In an effort to help you take better pictures and to stear folks away from only using the Auto mode, settings such as Portrait, Sports, and Landscape can be selected with the touch of a button or spin of the wheel.

You’ll also find some of the same settings on SLRs no matter if they’re digital or 35mm.

Features have grown immensely in digital cameras but the same thinking and design still appllies. Icons serve as the easy way to tell the camera what tyoe of photo you want to take without manually set the shutterspeed, aperature/f-stop or film speed. While not every camera on the market would allow you change the aperature and such, more and more do.

The most commonly found modes are:

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Portrait – When your subject such as your child has stopped moving and you want a head and shoulders shot. The camera may automatically turn on face detection to help it focus on his/her face. The camera adjusts the aperature so the background is out of focus and the person is sharp. It will also set the ISO (film speed) and shutterspeed according to the amount of light it reads.

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Sports – Outdoor, daylight sporting events benefit from this mode. The camera knows that your shooting something that’s moving quickly such as someone running bases or chasing a ball. Your camera will increase the shutterspeed in an attempt to freeze the action. The aperature and ISO selected will again depend upon the lighting situation.

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Landscape – General scenic images will come out better by using this setting. Here, the camera will after the aperature by closing it down to make the entire image focused. Once again, lighting dictates ISO and shutterspeed.

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Closeup/Macro – Use this setting when photographing things that are small and detailed such as flowers, jewelry, inscriptions, coins, etc… Each camera lens has a set distance it can be from what you’re photographing. It’s not necessary to memorize it as your camera simply won’t focus if it’s too close.

Next week I’ll go over the vast array of settings and icons found only on today’s digital cameras.

Icons © Nikon. Used for educational purposes.

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