03-29-2013 10:24 AM
I'm confused about the difference between Easy, Auto and P modes in the canon sx260 hs. It seems to me that all of these modes are in fact the same mode with the only difference being that easy and auto limit your options. In other words, when taking a photograph without changing any of the default options they would all do the same thing.
Am I correct?
If so, why would I use easy or auto if P can do the same just as easily and then has some other optional options?
I am the sort of person that doesn't like being limited, so I suppose that is where the question comes from. In a related note, is there a reason to the limitation of ISO 100 at long exposure times? Or for the 15sec exposure time limit (that would seem quite arbitrary to me)?
Overall I am very happy with my new camera
03-29-2013 10:33 AM
Funny you should notice that. See my thoughts here.
03-29-2013 10:55 AM
Why do you think the P mode is more worth trusting? Does it has different algorithms? (that would be quite strange) Or is it just because you can play with the exposure?
03-29-2013 11:45 AM
Yes they seem to have VERY different algorithms. I first ran into that when I got my 20D & tried using the auto mode while I learned the other modes. (I had used an Olympus P & S up till then but had used Canon A 1's for years & have taken photography courses). Auto mode just made bad decisions & gave poor results so I tried P & what a difference. I recently sold my 7D and the potential buyer immediately put it into Auto mode to do his tests & ran into problems right away because things weren't happening the same as on his Rebel starting with the flash not co operating. I switched it to P & his tests went well enough he bought it.
As with any digital it's very important to run it through it's paces in each mode & compare results. Unlike film you don't need to keep notes nor wait for processing to see the results so just go out & try each mode under different conditions. Learn exposure compensation & flash exposure compensation too, both are very useful tools. After that learn when to use Tv or Av etc. If you'd like a basic understanding of all of that I wrote this years ago but it's still valid.
03-29-2013 11:55 AM - edited 03-29-2013 12:16 PM
Auto takes you completely out of the equation. On my DSLR's anyway, P suggests aperture + shutter combos that would result in a correct exposure it thinks would work, but you can override it to achieve your artistic purpose for the exposure.
For example, if it is suggesting too slow a shutter for the moving subject you are trying to shoot, you can halve the shutter duration but double the f/stop (aperture), achieving an equivalent exposure, but avoiding subject blur, thus making a better image.
Or if you were out in strong light trying to achieve a narrow depth of field so your background blurs and your subject "pops", you could double or quadruple the the camera's suggested aperture (move 1 or 2 f/stops lower) while doubling or quadrupling the shutter speed to make up for it, and again achieve an equivalent exposure but a more pleasing image.
Or if you are shooting in an environment that will fool the camera into making a bad exposure (snow or a backlit subject) you can use Exposure Compensation to add a stop or two of exposure to fix the mistake you know the camera is about to make in guessing exposure.
Auto would simply make all these choices, reducing your role to just pointing and shooting.
FYI, it is very helpful to memorize the standard f/stops if you have not already. They are: 1, 1.4, 2.0, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. Each time you move from one to the next, it is one f/stop, and you have doubled the size of the aperture opening in your lens, thus doubling the amount of light getting in.
They measure these in 1/3 of a stop in most cameras, so you may not be starting from exactly one of the standard stops, so you need to allow for that.
Shutter speed "stops" are a little simpler than aperture stops. You add a stop of light by slowing the shutter speed by half. You drop a stop of light by doubling the shutter speed (halving the time the shutter is open).
Thanks to the concept of "equivalence" you can trade a stop of aperture with a stop of shutter speed and keep the same overall exposure. But this "trading" allows you to achieve the results you the photographer want. If you want a fast shutter to freeze fast action, you can widen the aperture to compensate. If you want a wide depth of field so a whole landscape is in focus, you can narrow the aperture but slow down the shutter by an equal number of stops to compensate. And so forth.
03-29-2013 03:28 PM
ScottyP: What you are writing is that the two modes have a different concept, but what I'm asking is if there is a difference in practice (aside from allowing you to take control, you don't have to change anything to take a photo in P mode).
cicopo: I will definitely experiment with it P vs. Auto modes now that you said the algorithms are different. Although I am new to photography, I did read some guides about manual (and the related Av and Tv) modes lately and being a scientist by education and profession then tested it rigorously.
03-29-2013 08:32 PM - edited 03-29-2013 08:34 PM
03-29-2013 08:52 PM
I do mean what I said based on my observations. In the same situation one mode may want to use the flash while the other won't. Also if I remember correctly when I got my 20D auto mode underexposed flash photos almost all the time. If a camera has more than 1 lazy mode (and I use lazy often) try each out in different situations & see how they do hear to head. Test test & re test until you know what works best when you need to get a shot off fast & don't have time to play with settings.
11-28-2014 08:13 AM
I'm going to try again, but in my comparison of P mode and Auto on the same subject, same distance, same time seemed like P mode was not as sharp as Auto (outside shot with SX280). I am going to go out again and shoot with both modes and see if this trial was correct. I'm not an expert camera person. Just love the art.