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Digital camera modes... What they mean!

If most digital camera owners are honest, the only mode they use is the automatic one. Even more experienced amateur photographers will admit to using this one easy mode!

Below are listed the most common modes available on digital cameras and a simplified guide explaining what these modes actually do.

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Portrait mode

This is ideal when you are photographing a single object or person. It adjusts the camera so that it focuses on the object in question and not on the background. When using this mode get as close to the object as possible or use the zoom. It is advisable to use the flash when using portrait mode.

Landscape mode

Think of this mode as the opposite to Portrait mode. Using the landscape mode will set your camera up to focus on as much of the scene you are trying to photograph as possible. So if you take your camera with you on a skiing holiday remember to try the landscape mode when taking mountainous shots. For an even higher quality photograph slow down the shutter speed when using this mode and use a tripod.

Night mode

No surprises here as this mode is for use when the light is very poor, in nightclubs, parties and evening scenes. This mode will keep the shutter open for longer so that the background is included in the image. Then the flash fires off so that the foreground is illuminated and included. Ideally a tripod should also be used as the shutter is open for a longer time. However some really interesting effects can be obtained if the camera is hand held using this mode.

Sports mode

This is sometimes called the action mode and is used to photograph quickly moving objects, for example, moving cars, flying birds, running wildlife, sporting activities of all kinds and aircraft displays. If any of you are lucky enough to have acquired tickets for the Olympic Games remember to use this setting!

Macro mode

This will allow you take close up pictures of very small objects such as insects, flowers and patterns and textures on fabrics. Be careful when using this mode as it can be more difficult to focus your camera. However, with care, great quality close up shots can be obtained.

Movie Mode

This mode changes your digital camera into a video camcorder. The quality of the film may not be as good as an actual video camera, and you will need a large memory on your camera if you use this mode frequently.

Manual Mode

If you decide to use this setting on your camera you will need to adjust all other setting before taking any pictures. For example, shutter speed and flash. Nothing sets up automatically.

Automatic Mode

This is the mode this article is trying to get you away from. In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts all other settings to try and produce the optimum shot.

There are other modes to try but experiment with these first!

Hopefully now you will be able to gain far greater use from your digital camera. Please do not forget to always have camera insurance to protect against theft and accidental damage.

Why not get a camera insurance quote from one of the companies available through our website and see just how little it may cost to insure your camera and photographic equipment?

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