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How to Determine Which Shooting Mode to Use

Some digital cameras now feature certain programs for different shooting scenarios. Point-and-shoot cameras often offer this because they lack the ability to go into complete manual mode or so they can provide user-friendly camera settings for any level photographers. Even if you can manually change your camera settings, an opportunity for a shot may suddenly arise. Shooting modes offer you an instant change in aperture, shutter speed and ISO so you always get the perfect shot.

Continuous shooting

Continuous shooting mode takes a number of shots within a short period with a fast shutter speed. It's particularly useful for capturing moving subjects like people or cars. Think of it as a photo booth where you'll receive a range of shots within a few moments' time.



This shooting mode is perfect for taking portraits of people or snapping shots of individual subjects. This mode will give you a large aperture, resulting in a blurred background and narrow depth of field. 



Landscape mode is nearly the exact opposite of portrait mode; instead of a narrow depth of field where only the subject is clear, you'll notice nearly everything is in focus. That's because you're using a small aperture. In some cases, a slow aperture may slow down your shutter speed. To get a crisp image make sure you use a tripod.



Get up close and personal with macro mode. Macro will help you focus on small subjects at very short distances. Make sure to turn off the automatic flash and take your time while you focus your camera. Any sudden movement can require you to refocus.



If you want to shoot at night or in dimly lit areas, simply switch to nighttime mode. Don't be alarmed if your camera quickly flashes, this is so it can see the subject and focus in on it before you snap a picture. Since it uses a slower shutter speed to let in more light, you may need a tripod to produce a clear image.


Sports mode

Sports mode, otherwise known as action mode, is meant for any moving subject. Some examples are sporting events, people, pets or any moment you want to freeze in time. Sports mode works by increasing the shutter speed.



Panoramas stitch together multiple pictures to create one long image. This is often used to capture wide landscapes and large groups of people. Check your camera manual on how to use your panorama mode.