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On DSLR cameras, there is Program mode and Automatic mode.. Could someone explain the difference?

asked Mar 08 '11 at 16:38

Giorgio94's gravatar image


edited Mar 08 '11 at 16:40

As a photographer, I have sent many people to this site; it explains perfectly what each mode does/doesn't do.


answered Mar 08 '11 at 16:58

Rizzy's gravatar image


thanks.. really helped..

(Mar 08 '11 at 17:07) Giorgio94 Giorgio94's gravatar image

Program mode allows you to make all of the adjustments to the camera for image capture such as f-stop, light balance, focus, etc. Automatic does all of that plus some for you.

answered Mar 08 '11 at 16:48

David's gravatar image


I have a Sony NEX 5 DSLR and the only feature difference I can notice between P and Auto is that on P, I can change exposure.. On neither of them can I change the f-stop and I can change the focus on both..

(Mar 08 '11 at 16:53) Giorgio94 Giorgio94's gravatar image

I have a Canon EOS 30D that I'm making my refernce from. Yours is defintely different. When you say you're changing the focus on automatic, are you actually changing the focus or the zoom range? In other words, when you press the capture button do you notice a slight image re-adjustment?

(Mar 08 '11 at 16:58) David David's gravatar image

Just for arguments sake, I use auto for everything because I've never had formal training to understand the different settings enough to make them work correctly.

(Mar 08 '11 at 17:02) David David's gravatar image

Well I can change the focus on any mode depending on if I have set Auto focus or Manual focus in the menu.. On auto, if I enable Manual focus, I can move the focus ring and adjust it manually..

(Mar 08 '11 at 17:07) Giorgio94 Giorgio94's gravatar image

You're right, I stand corrected. I looked up your camera and also went to the site Rizzy posted.

(Mar 08 '11 at 17:09) David David's gravatar image

Auto is "okay" in a quick pinch, but I never use it unless it's on there accidentally, or Idon't have time to "set" the shot up beforehand. I usually shoot in Aperture mode.

The problem with Auto is if you're trying to take some really great photos, some cameras (I know Olympus is notorious for this) revert any settings to "factory default" for Auto. Therefore if you're someone like me who hates a camera's "Noise/grain Reduction" settings and leaves them OFF all the time, "Auto" mode will bring it back on. However, if you're someone who really doesn't care, it won't matter anyway. Just saying, these are some issues with Auto mode.

(Mar 08 '11 at 17:10) Rizzy Rizzy's gravatar image
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Asked: Mar 08 '11 at 16:38

Seen: 11,282 times

Last updated: Mar 08 '11 at 17:10