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The Camera Dial Explained.

The Camera Dial Explained.

Probably we all moved our first steps in photography using the Auto Mode in our digital camera dial. In the same way, as a child, we all started biking with training wheels. The purpose of this post is take out those training wheels to discover your camera and enjoy taking photographs.

Getting out of the Auto Mode you will achieve the first step in your creative journey into photography. So let’s see all the functions of your digital camera dial.

The Auto Mode

As just said with this function the digital camera does everything, as the same name suggests. The camera will choose all the settings for the photographer. This is possible thanks to the internal light meter that will measure the light in milliseconds and you won’t notice anything of this process.

Program mode

This mode is the “P” in most of the camera dial. The camera will still chose the exposure for the photographer (shutter speed and aperture) so the photo will result well exposed. However this mode will allow you to have more creative control over the camera. With Program mode you can set the ISO, the white balance and the exposure compensation.

Aperture priority

In the camera mode dial the Aperture Priority is usually named “A” or “Av” (for aperture value). Here things become to be more interesting. The photographer adjusts the aperture while the camera will choose the shutter speed to have the proper exposure. It is a really helpful mode for beginner in any genre of photography. At the same time a lot of professional portrait and landscape photographers use aperture priority while working.
In fact aperture priority allows you to take the photographs faster, without missing any shoot. In this way you can be more involved in the creative process and it will be easier to achieve the depth of field you want in the image.

Shutter priority

This dial mode allows you to control the shutter speed and the camera will think about the aperture. In this way you can choose to freeze the action, to capture motion blur or even try to catch the effect of a long exposure.


With manual mode you completely control the camera and the creative process of the image. It means that you will control aperture, shutter speed and ISO to have the exposure you want. On the other hand if your settings are wrong the same is the image.