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Old Feb 6, 2007, 1:20 AM   #1
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I set to myself a question-which is the best Auto/Scenes mode with my camera (A710) to shoot indoors in a party when mostly one doesn't have enough time to use the manual mode orproceed with the settings in P mode (what would not differ much from using manual mode). So I did a brief and simple test with shooting indoors under basic room lighting in all possible modes. I used a tripod and the camera with it's default settings in each mode. Although there aremostly only default settings available in most Autoand scene modes and that's logical- why should the scene modes be neededat all otherwise. The flash was in Auto too, so logically it fired in all shoots because there was no outdoor light, only ambient room lighting.

Afterwards I examined the EXIF data of each photo, and they were all the same as were the pictures- Shutter 1/60; Aperture 3.2; WB Auto; ISO Auto- that is unknown. Of coarse I am aware, that the camera did use different AFocusing and mostly Evaluative AE mode.

So I came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter at all which Auto or Scene mode one uses when shooting in low light with flash. The auto flash firing and low light forces the camera to set equal exposure settings. Sure, I understand that it would bedifferent if I would use PASM modes, where I could quickly change the ISO, or metering method, e.t.c.

Please understand me correctly- I have no aim to blame the camera at all. It's IQ is very good! I just wanted to know what is the best and quickest way to achieve good results.

So now I have the next question- may be someone can help me with an answer. If there are these Auto/Scene modes (Portrait, Kids&Pets, Indoor...and more for other tasks) then there must be some logical sense put in the software. I guess there should be different exposure settings if there would be plenty of light indoors or outdoors. Respectively the camera would proceed differently under different Auto/Scene modes if the lighting conditions would permit?

I will be thankfull for every response and ideas about the 2 related questions-my test of the best Auto/Scene mode for indoor shotsand logics put in Scene modes.

P.S. I can blame the camera only for not showing ISO rates when it is in AExposure and it is in this mode allways except for PASM.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 1:03 PM   #2
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Each mode simply took a different path to achieve the same result. Because you had low light, all modes ended up in the same place - 1/60 (slowest shutter speed any of the auto modes will give you) and widest aperture and whatever ISO limit auto-ISO allows in the camera. While I don't know that canon publishes the algorithms used, basically each mode has one aspect of either exposure, metering or focusing it is interested in.

For example, a scenic mode probably tries to keep the aperture as narrow as possible and still get a proper exposure and probably uses an evaluative metering mode. A portrait mode might try to keep a wide aperture and use a center-weighted or partial metering mode. An ACTION mode will probably try for keeping shutter speed above a certain threshold and will enable whatever servo focusing the camera is capable of. So if you tried all three of those mode outside with overcast light (i.e. not brightest light of the day) and a person as a subject you would likely get 3 different exposure settings. So depending on the mode the camera may adjust aperture to keep a high shutter speed or adjust shutter speed to keep a wide or narrow aperture.

Don't forget also the metering mode the camera selects is important - in that test above if the person is standing in shade but the majority of the picture frame is bright, the camera will set a different exposure if the mode uses evaluative (in which case it will expose to protect all the highlights) vs. center weighted or partial which will expose more for your main subject and probably blow some of the surrounding highlights.

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Old Feb 13, 2007, 2:01 PM   #3
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Thanks, JohnG! In fact that's what I expected to be the story. Most of us hobbyists would benefit from in depth info about processes in Auto/Scene modes covered in manuals. In some aspects the Manual mode is even more clear- you see what you are doing and why. But it demands more time, more knowledge and quicker response from user. All of this I covered in thread in Canon Talk in dpreview forum here:

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