Scene modes will generally set up the camera for a specific type of photography.
Portrait will soften the image whilst maintaining the quality of an image (lower ISO and longer shutter speeds).
Fireworks will provide a slow shutter speed and vivid colour.
Landscape will use a small aperture, sharp detail and increased green and blue saturation.
If shooting in RAW, some scene modes will produce only a JPG image, whereas others will write the scene settings to the EXIF for processing software to read after.
Art Filters or Art Modes are placed in cameras to provide the photographer with either artistic or comical effects to an image. Some cameras will show you the effect on the screen, whilst others apply the effect after the image has been taken.
They are very closely associated with filters found on most mobile imaging applications.
Due to the nature of Art Filters, it is unlikely you will be able to shoot in RAW as the Art Filter is applied only to a processed JPG image.
P Mode – Program
It is likely that program mode will allow you to change settings like WB, Metering and Flash assessing and controlling the ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture for you.
This is generally used by the Paparazzi and similar professions who need quick shots in ever changing lighting conditions.
Another good use is for amateur photographers looking to learn from their camera, looking at the selected settings after the image has been taken.
S Mode (Tv) – Shutter Priority
This mode generally allows you to control everything except Aperture.
By setting the shutter speed yourself, you can guarantee that moving objects and captured as you like them, or that hand shake will not be an issue.
With Aperture remaining automated, you can continue shooting even if the light changes.
A lot of sports photographers will use this mode for their everyday shooting.
M Mode – Manual
This is a full control mode. Every aspect of the camera can be controlled by the photographer.
For a novice or someone still learning photographic techniques, manual mode can be quite scary. Understandably so, there are so many options and settings available, which ones do you use, which ones will give the best result?
If you remember the exposure triangle, and know what you want to achieve, it really won’t take long to get used to, just dive in and have a play.
As long as you’re not in a rush or shooting in situations where quick shooting is required, manual mode can be a lot of fun.
In addition to the scene modes and shooting modes, some cameras will have specialist settings like HDR, Burst, Macro, Bulb or Underwater.
In these modes even settings like focus and focal length can be adjusted by the camera.
Some modes allow fine tuning of images and saving of this information. It could be anything from saturation to colour, sharpness to grain and even highlights and shadows.
These could be labelled as ‘Picture Mode’ or ‘Style’.
There may also contain colour options that allow for Sepia, Black & White or Selective Colour options.