The operation modes of the D5100 are explained in a separate chapter because they are a crucial setting. Here a summary in a nutshell:
AUTO: A fully automated mode to take photos as easily as possible.
: The same automated mode but flash is suppressed.
SCENE & symbols: More fully automated modes for convenience as in AUTO but camera settings are optimized for a number of typical shooting situations.
The type of scene is indicated with pictograms and in the setting SCENE it can be chosen with the command dial at the back while the shooting information is displayed (possibly you need to tap the info button).
P, S, A, M: Modes for advanced photographers because only here you have full control about all camera settings.
EFFECTS: Different from the scene modes your image will get more artistic effects rather than just capturing a shooting situation as „real“ as possible. Some modes use image processing from the retouch menu.
Recommendation: This wheel is the most important setting as it determines the behaviour of many other settings and which settings you can – or have to! – choose on your own.
Please see the detailed recommendations in the chapter operation modes of the D5100, the essence is:
- The three modes for fully automated shooting are suitable if you are not so familiar with the many settings of the D5100 or just want to shoot conveniently.
- To make best use of the D5100 capabilities you have to use the other modes and among them P is the best choice.
Reason: It is easier to handle as S, A and M because you do not have to decide actively about aperture and exposure time for each photo. But if needed you can intervene any time with the command dial to take influence.
- EFFECTS is more a gimmick but you can have fun with it if you like to play around.