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D70(S) P vs A mode?

Chris Hughes , Jul 10, 2005; 03:29 a.m.

Okay, this may be a stupid question but what exactly is the difference between the P and A modes on the D70(S)? In P mode the user scrolls with the thumb wheel through f stops and the camera determines shutter speed. How is this any different from A mode? I suppose I should have run into this question with my F100 since the behavior of these modes seem to be the same but I always use it in full manual mode, never in P or A. Any clues? Thanks!

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Asaf Tzadok , Jul 10, 2005; 04:53 a.m.

IMHO, the main difference is that in P mode you can decide whether you want to use the build-in flash or not. In A mode it does so automatically.

Hashim Pudiyapura , Jul 10, 2005; 07:02 a.m.

In almost any camera these days, P is the Program mode where the camera determines both aperture and shutter speed initially, and lets you change the combination by rotating the wheel. At any setting the camera will try to ensure you get a proper exposure for the lighting available. When you rotate the wheel one way the aperture increases and shutter speed decreases, and vice versa.

A is aperture priority: The camera will only vary the shutter speed automatically. If you set a narrow aperture camera will not widen it for you if there is not enough light. Canon calls this setting "Av".

Simalrly S is shutter priority (Tv on Canon cameras), the camera will not alter the shutter speed you select, but will only try to vary the aperture to get a proper exposure.

Hope that helps.

-hash

Jay Blocksom , Jul 10, 2005; 07:38 a.m.

Chris Hughes, jul 10, 2005; 03:29 a.m.
Okay, this may be a stupid question but what exactly is the difference between the P and A modes on the D70(S)? In P mode the user scrolls with the thumb wheel through f stops and the camera determines shutter speed. How is this any different from A mode?
Yes, in that very limited context, both modes operate similarly (this also applies to the "S" shutter-priority mode, as well).  But there is more to it than that.

In either "A" or "S" mode, whatever value you currently have selected for the aperture or shutter, respectively, is effectively "carved in granite", and the camera will vary ONLY the complimentary parameter in response to changes in light-level. In "P" mode, the camera will vary *both* aperture and shutter speed in response to changes in light-level, in an attempt to maintain not only correct exposure, but also a "reasonable" combination for "typical" conditions.  See the chart on Page 78 of your D70 owners manual, for some samples of the curves it uses to juggle this trade-off, which also vary depending on what sort of lens is mounted (the manual is not completely clear on this last point, but I *think* it's taking focal length into account, in an effort to maintain "hand-holdability").  You can still override the camera's "suggested" values with the Command Dial, just as in the "A" and "S" modes; the difference is in where the "suggestion" *starts*.
Asaf Tzadok, jul 10, 2005; 04:53 a.m.
IMHO, the main difference is that in P mode you can decide whether you want to use the build-in flash or not. In A mode it does so automatically.
I do not believe that is correct.  Perhaps you're thinking of the "AUTO" mode (which is not the same thing as the "A" mode)?

Asaf Tzadok , Jul 10, 2005; 08:14 a.m.

Jay, you are right. I thought "A" is Auto mode.

Chris Hughes , Jul 10, 2005; 11:02 a.m.

Thanks Jay. That clears things up. Now I see why I never use the P mode. Sounds like a lame compromise between Automatic and Manual.

John Schroeder , Jul 10, 2005; 12:30 p.m.

Chris, I wouldn't call "Program mode" lame. When I was learing I used "P" mode alot. It gave me a starting point to work from. As I became better at visualizing the result I started using "A" and "M" more often. I still use "P" mode when shooting rapidly changing situations which don't give me time to visualize. As my skills grow I will most likly use "P" less in these situations also.

Chris Hughes , Jul 10, 2005; 01:04 p.m.

Lame might not have been the best choice of words. It just strikes me as a compromised version of A and or S modes that doesn't quite make it to P&S Auto. I mean, based on the replies here and my subsequent experimentation with P mode it seems to me that it's a way to achieve results that one might just as easily achieve with A mode and exposure compensation. So, yeah. I see the usefulness of it. I guess you could consider it "advanced auto" mode?

Errol Young - Toronto, ON, CA , Jul 10, 2005; 01:11 p.m.

I shoot A alomost 90% of the time. I like it because it geves me the flexability to chose a faster shutter speed or smaller f stop with just the turn of the wheel,without thinking of the consequences.

If there is not enough light the 70 just slows down or opens up. When I want to nail the shutter speed then it is S mode. Same for F stop.

Am I evil?

Errool

Chris Hughes , Jul 10, 2005; 01:26 p.m.

That's how I shoot too. A mode is what my camera is in almost all the time.


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