Programmed Auto P

Nikon D5100 operation mode dial, PExplanation: „Programmed auto“ means that the D5100 chooses automatically aperture and exposure time.
The difference between P and AUTO / SCENE is that no other settings are automatically adjusted by the camera.

The most important differences in Nikon‘s default settings for modes AUTO and P are that

  • P does not use Auto ISO sensitivity control and
  • You have to switch the flash on and off yourself.

Aperture and exposure time can be shifted with the command dial at the back without altering the total exposure, i.e. the brightness of your picture. On the monitor you will then see a * next to P.

To reset this „program shift“ you have to turn the command dial the opposite direction until the * disappears, to switch the camera off & on or to do a reset (see page 100).

Recommendation: P is my preferred mode of the D5100 because it allows full control over all camera settings and it is more convenient than S and A.