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Old Mar 23, 2005, 4:30 PM   #1
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I have had my camera over a month now. I like it a lot and have had great fun playing with it - it is truly amazing how many more (and nice!) shots I have taken by just having it with me.

But my question is to do with the settings. What is the difference between P and full auto (the green camera symbol)? When and why would you choose between these two modes? From the manual I see that you can change more settings with P than full auto, but then what differentiates P from M? I know that I see a difference on the screen when I flick between these three modes, so have been choosing which one looks best, but I would like to be able to understand so I can choose quicker.

Thanks for any help!
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 10:03 PM   #2
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 10:36 PM   #3
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The P200 is full ofcramped in features.

So let me start to explain what Auto/CAMERA onlydoes, focuswise. It focuses in 5 regions. Not the best but simple so it has a chance to focus on anything the camera can.

So in P or M, you can narrow the focus to the CENTER or just to one SPOT in the center. Also, the flat 8 symbol is infinity. That focuses on everything but not as accurate than AF. And 0.5m 1.0m 3.0m and 7.0m is a fixed focus distance for when you have a wire fence in the way or a window.

In P, you can set the EV brighter or darker under good light.

For METERING,ifyou set it to MULTI, the camera will automatically balance EVbased on49 regions of the screen, so theexposure is automaticly balanced. With CENTER, It's narrowed to a smaller # of regions. Good to geta balanced exposurein the center only and make the outsides of the frame rely on another source of light, like flash oranout of cameralight source.

AndSPOT is for 1 region only. Works the same way as CENTER, but nowitonly takesthat one region and balances the exposure for it. This would be the most sensitive option, if under a good light source.So using MULTI is the safest to use.

The white balance is for a preference of choices between auto, sunny, cloudy, flourescent, light bult, flash balance (for when you use flash), the next selection I'm unsure of its function, and then lastly: the one-press-correction white balance. The latter is another good choice for whenyou're composing a picture. You can try auto or up to 3 other choices, if you can compose your picture. Autowhite balanceis simple and the camera will try to select a white balance for you.

ISO is AUTO 100 200 and 400. ISO is light sensitivity and when in AUTO, the camera selects how much light is needed for an image. The range of ISO is 100-320 in auto.

ISO 100 will need more light in the environment. And if the camera picks up enough light all across the image, then it can pick an ISO as low as ISO 100.It gives less noise on a pictures. It's like if you picture picking up a very good local reception received by tv station.

ISO 320 will give you light sensitivityat a high levelandit would be likea degraded reception from an out of area tv station. On a camera,noise canaffect the clarity of a picture.

So when you need added light into your pictures you can raise ISO. Lower ISO=less noise. More ISO=more noise. (There are numbers of software to download or to purchase that can remove a big percentage of noise all around a picture. I use something called noise ninja.) If you can get light availiblity, you can get low noise shots.

For P. Quality, always useFINE. If you have a lower number of shots left on your memory you can opt to use it all or save the space and use STANDARD. Also by choosing STANDARD, you can continue BURST for more number of shots compared to using FINE.

BURST is an option for continuous pictures. From 5 in 7mp/FINE to 100 in VGA/STD. As long as you hold the button down after you press on it.

Multi burst is for when you want to see 16 pictures, small size, as a slow motion show. The INTERVAL is next door, so you can choose the fraction of a second interval, the camera will take record 16 frames with the set interval in between. In a computer you will not see a 16 frames, slow motion. But it will be as a 1mp image with 16 little images in it. It is possible to put them in back in slow motion in the computer with other kinds of software. (I never done it, but I use Videowave Pro 7 and hope this software works when I do that stuff.)

FLASH POWER : You can choose high or low, but on the safe side, normal is good.

Saturation contrast and sharpness is better changed with environment experience or by composing the picture. Normal is safer. And also, you can change those stuff with software too.

M modeis manual exposure. (First. One advantage of this mode. If you are trying to capture moving subjects, it helps to raise the shutter speed from a little amount to a very high amount so you can get a moving object look still in a picture. You would have to guess how much shuter sppedyou would need inindividual situations. BUT THIS IS ONLY GOOD FOR LOW LIGHT OR DARK ROOMWITH FLASH.)

Manual exposure WITHOUT FLASH:
For night time shots with a tripod, M is good for letting in light for up to 30 seconds. If you compose right, you should take a picture with the right shutter speed and aperture set for closeor distant exposures. FLASH, if used,will only be effective in it flash range,andwithit,will successfully give a different resultcompared to not usingflash. (ISO on AUTO will always be ISO 100 in M mode, so you have to set it manually)

Aperture is the depth of view of an image. The lowest F-stop, like F2.8, will give your image a clear view just within the center area. A high F-stop, like F8.0, will give your picture more depth and be clearer on the outsides of the frame, compared to the center area. If you zoom in you increase the F-stop.

M is a simpler way to get a prefered exposure, ONLY when you compose an image with changing shutter speed or aperture.

Good luck srbk. Make it simple or compose. :G

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Old Mar 24, 2005, 3:14 AM   #4
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Excellent post qball .Most of which applies to P150 etc as well
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 10:59 AM   #5
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In short:

Manual Mode: You can change everything

Image Size

Metering Mode
White Balance (when flash is switched off)
Picture Quality
Recording Mode (Burst, Multi Burst, Normal)
Black & White or Sepia

Shutter Speed
Arperture Settings

Program Mode:

You can do all the above, except for the Shutter Speed and Arperture settings

Auto: You can only change the flash, the picture size in pixels and the burst modes, the camera does the rest.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 7:17 PM   #6
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Thanks, these replies have been really helpful. So when would you decide to use each of the modes? Especially the full auto one? This is my first digital camera, so I am not familiar with settings like this, but have been playing a lot with the focus settings and the meter mode. I just don't understand why there are the two settings to do almost the same things.

Thanks again for any help.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 8:03 PM   #7
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I'll try to help with my experience. I own a P150 andhave tested aP200.

When I take pictures, using Pis theeasiest, from Auto,when I want get a more precise focus, when you opt for center or spot. I rarely or never use automatic, because thedefault multi AF is notalways accurate when focusing. The only time automaticcan give great results is with AF illuminator on auto, or having a subject cover the entiremulti AF bracket.

If AF Illuminator is on auto, and ifthere is anobject, or objects,that fill-inthe multi AF bracket, thenauto, to the least,is safe to use. :G

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Old Mar 25, 2005, 12:25 AM   #8
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Thanks. I realised that I was mostly using the scene modes (for snow or landscapes) or P (for most other shots), but wanted to make sure that I was making good use of the settings. I too didn't feel that full auto gave good results. I would be interested to hear how other people use their settings for various shots as well.
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Old Mar 25, 2005, 8:13 AM   #9
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I rarely use the auto mode either. Most shots are taken in the "P" mode. I use the manual mode with the shutter speed set to 60 or 100 for indoor flash shots. This all but eliminates blurry pictures. I also found the custom white balance to work very well when I took snow pictures. It worked much better than the preset white balance settings.

My biggest problem when using the full auto mode was the lack of sharp focus for the subject of the picture. It seems to try and put too much of the picture in focus and in the process makes none of the picture in sharp focus.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 7:41 AM   #10
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So M mode gives better results inside? I'm not so excited with the photos I have taken inside at a party. Maybe I'll experience myself more the M mode.
It would be nice if everyone will post here the settings wich obtains the best results in various contidtions.
Here is a photo from inside in Auto mode. It is croped from original and resized a bit. Notice the funny sweat drops on the guys head
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