The operation modes are at the beginning of this book because they are so crucial for the behavior of the D5100.
An „operation mode“ includes
- exposure control (=choosing a combination of aperture, exposure time and ISO sensitivity for a given brightness of your subject)
- the decision if it is you or the camera who rules over several other important settings.
I distinguish two groups of operation modes:
Automatic Mode and scene modes (AUTO, SCENE, EFFECTS, all icons): The D5100 allows you easy taking of pictures, almost like a compact camera.
The downside of the comfort is that you can‘t change the most important settings which are frequently adjusted by experienced photographers:
- white balance
- exposure control and compensation
- flash operation
P, S, A, M: Only in these modes you can change the aforementioned settings. For flash usage you have to take full control on your own.
My recommendations for the operation modes are:
- Programmed auto (P) should be the usual mode for experienced photographers, maybe S or A depending on your personal habits.
- Use the convenient fully automated AUTO if you are not yet familiar with the manual settings or if you just want to keep the handling as simple as possible.
- For the same reason use one of the SCENE modes if it fits with your shooting situation.
It increases your chances for good pictures but don‘t expect miracles!
- M is left for the rare cases when you want to switch off the automated exposure metering and control.