Do you know what features your camera has? Do you know what button to push or nob to twist to get the photo you want? It is important that before going on your wonderful Disney park trip you should get to know your camera. If you take some time to learn what those nobs and buttons do now you will be able to get the shots you want when you’re in the park without a panic attack.
First step is to RTM or read the manual. I know it isn’t the Harry Potter or Kingdom Keepers series, but to really find out the functions of your camera it’s the best place to start.
Even though every camera is different, the settings are pretty much the same. The automatic settings on most digital cameras are pretty similar.
- Full Auto Mode (green Icon): this is full auto mode or what some may call point and shoot. The camera will decide everything based on its sensors. This can be ok but sometimes the sensors get confused and you may not get the photo you wanted.
- Portrait Mode (persons head): This mode uses a wide aperture to make the background out of focus and your subject in focus. This is good for photos of people posing with characters.
- Landscape Mode (mountains): This mode uses a smaller aperture to keep both foreground and distant images in sharp focus. Great for taking shots of Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth.
- Macro (Flower): This mode allows you to take photos of things close up. Great for getting close up shots of flowers.
- Sports Mode (runner): this mode will tell the camera to use the fastest shutter speed possible with the existing light. Great for taking photos of shows with lots of action like “Lights, Motors, Action” or “The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular”.
- Night Mode (person with star in black box): This mode raises the ISO and uses a wide aperture to allow more light to hit the sensor of your camera. Remember my lesson on ISO, the larger the ISO the more noisy your photo will be. Great for getting the Sorcerer Hat at Night.
- Flash Off Mode (flash arrow crossed off): This mode turns off the flash, and adjusts the exposure for low light situations. Great for dark attractions like Peter Pan's Flight!
*Note the photos above were not taken with these modes, I take my photos in full manual mode. The photos above are just for example purposes
*Not all cameras have program modes, all “DSLR” or Digital Single Lens Reflex do but your “Compact Digital” cameras may not.
- Program Mode (P): This mode is similar to Auto Mode. The difference is it offers partial control over your shutter speed and aperture. The camera will choose what it thinks is best but you can over-ride it.
- Shutter Priority Mode (Tv or S): This mode controls the shutter speed and allows you to change it. It will automatically set the aperture according to what the sensor thinks will give you a correct exposure. On certain cameras it is Tv or what they call “Time Value”
- Aperture Priority Mode (Av or A): This mode controls the aperture (f/stop) and allows you to change it. The shutter speed will automatically be calculated. In this mode when changing the aperture pay attention to the shutter speed, remember a longer shutter speed may cause motion blurr or camera shake.
- Manual Mode (M): in this mode you can set the shutter speed and the aperture.
Auto or Manual
Many people Ask what is a better mode to shoot in – auto or manual? Newer digital cameras take nice photos in auto mode. If you are not confortable taking photos in manual modes, go ahead and use the auto modes. Just remember, there will always be positive and negatives for auto modes. I always use Manual mode. I like to be in control of what my image says.