Program Mode in DSLR Cameras


If you just begin to use a DSLR camera, perhaps the easiest mode to control the camera is the Auto mode which helps set all the configurations automatically for the camera. The images created with this mode are nice for the majority of time, but sometimes you may also get confused with your scene.

Therefore, when you become more used to the camera and want to shoot nice images, it’s time to learn other modes beside the Auto mode. The Program mode is a good option.

What Does the Program Mode Help You?

In this mode, you will have the exposure set by the camera in which you’ll have photos of the good exposure with the precise aperture and the proper shutter speed. When using this Program mode, you cannot make use of other functions, so your control can be more creative to make the images more interesting.

Below, I’d like to list several important aspects that you can find it useful with the Program mode:

  • Flash. While in the Auto mode, the flash is automatically turned on when needed, you can control this aspect in the Program mode. You can decide to open the pop-up flash or not. With this feature, the camera helps reduce the over lighting exposure of images which are shot in very short distances or disturbing shadows.
  • Exposure Compensation. Obviously, when you turn off the flash, your images may be not well exposed because of the lack of light. This feature is nice for compensating the light in this case. The exposure compensation will be very useful for complex lighting situations (in which you get confused about the camera settings sometimes)
  • ISO. For less expensive DSLR models, you may encounter the noise problem with your images (also called grainy images) when you set the ISO to a high level. If you select the Auto mode, the ISO has been often set higher, not the shuttering speed or the aperture. Therefore, with the Program mode, you can manually set this function which helps you prevent the noise by lowering the ISO and using the exposure compensation to bring more light to your photos.
  • White Balance. Different types of light result in various colors for your photos. While it is common to find the pretty precise Auto White Balance with modern DSLR models, the light is strongly artificial. The Program Mode allows you to manually control the white balance, so you can bring the most precise lighting information to your camera.

The nice point of the Program mode is that you don’t have to concern about making the exposure perfect and you can find out about other features of a DSLR. Beside the Auto mode, this is another one that you should learn as soon as possible for the better photography.


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