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Old Feb 21, 2010, 8:45 PM   #1
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Default aperture and shutter priority a must?

What is shutter and aperture priority and how important is that for a point and shoot camera? People on another forum were slamming a certain model because it did not have those features, but I was not sure that it is critical for a point and shoot. I did notice that many other ps models have these features, though, so it must be desirable. Does anyone have a photo sample showing what you can do with these features?
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 9:05 PM   #2
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Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority allow the operator to adjust either the aperture or the priroity, respectively, and the camera will automatically select the other. The probelm is that many P&S digicams only have two apertures, so there really isn't much choice. Cameras that have a range of apertures to select from can make greater use of an Aperture Priority or a Shutter Priority mode.

If you want to get a faster shutter speed, for instance, you can use Shutter priority to select a faster shutter speed and the camera will compensate for the choice by selecting a larger aperture to make up for the lost light. But if you only have two apertures to choose from, the mode isn't very useful.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 9:13 PM   #3
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Thanks. that makes sense. One of the cameras I am looking at has an aperture range of F/3.5-6., which I assume is a pretty small range.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 9:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by toddf74 View Post
Thanks. that makes sense. One of the cameras I am looking at has an aperture range of F/3.5-6., which I assume is a pretty small range.
The fact that there's a hyphen between the upper and lower limit may mean that the aperture is variable between those two extremes. The cameras that only have two apertures to choose from usually only list the two apertures, not the range of apertures.
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 3:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddf74 View Post
...One of the cameras I am looking at has an aperture range of F/3.5-6., which I assume is a pretty small range.
That terminology may well mean that the maximum (widest) aperture of the lens is f/3.5 at the wide end of its zoom, and f/6 at the fully zoomed end. It may therefore tell you nothing about how small the aperture will go at each end.

For example, the lens on my little Kodak superzoom is quoted as...

"12X optical zoom, f/2.8–4.8 (35 mm equivalent: 36–432 mm)"

This means it's an f/2.8 lens when fully open at its wide end, but only f/4.8 when fully zoomed. But at both ends its smallest aperture is f/8.

(The hole on the lens changes only a little, depending on lens construction, while the focal length changes by a factor of 12.) The f-number is the size of the hole expressed as a fraction of the focal length.

Last edited by Alan T; Feb 22, 2010 at 3:16 AM.
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 5:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
But at both ends its smallest aperture is f/8.
Where does it come from there is no information about f/8 on your example.
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 5:26 AM   #7
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What camera are we talking about?
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 5:50 AM   #8
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"12X optical zoom, f/2.8–4.8 (35 mm equivalent: 36–432 mm)"
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 6:34 AM   #9
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What camera are we talking about?
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 8:47 AM   #10
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The camera is the Sony TX7.
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