Find yourself always using auto mode? Reluctant, apprehensive even scared to try manual modes? When you get a DSLR, it is time to explore! Read the short guide below to help clarify all the confusion.


Essentially the more experienced photographers auto. While shutter speed and aperture are automatic, you have control of the WB, ISO, flash etc.

S – Single

This mode takes a single picture. No matter how long you hold the shutter button down, it still only takes one picture. This mode may seem rather unnecessary, which is why most cameras do not have it, and instead refer to shutter speed priority as S mode.

S (Or Tv on Canon) Shutter speed priority

You choose the shutter speed, mostly ranging from 30 seconds to about 1/8000 of a second. The camera selects the aperture, to even things out and create a perfect exposure. Along with aperture priority, this is one of the semi auto modes. You have control over the WB, ISO etc, and of course, the shutter speed.

A ( Or Av on Canon)

Aperture priority. You select the aperture, and the camera balances it by changing the shutter speed. This is another semi auto mode, as explained above.

M – Manual

You select everything. WB, ISO, shutter speed, aperture. It is up to you to get the perfect exposure. This is very difficult, takes a lot of practice, and even experienced photographers get this wrong sometimes.

I hope this was helpful, I have many more articles and tutorials on my website, feel free to browse.