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10-15-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
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Program Mode, when and why?

Guys and Gals,

I have read the manual and of course i can press the buttons to make it happen but i don't get it.

I have no idea why or when you would use program mode. And what is this Program Line that they refer to?

"Automatically sets shutter speed and aperture to the proper exposure
according to Program Line when taking pictures."


I usually shoot in AV or M mode. Sometimes in TV and SV mode. I hear reviewers go on about P mode but i gust don't get it.... I mean i don't get what it does and why? and when you would use.

If you can spare a few mins to explain it... please do.

mike

10-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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P mode selects shutter speed and aperture for you, and ISO if set on auto. The program lines are different ways the camera can set parameters.

I always use P mode on my K20D because the two jog dials mean I can switch to Av or Tv whenever I want.
10-15-2009, 04:37 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I always use P mode on my K20D because the two jog dials mean I can switch to Av or Tv whenever I want.
yep (K10D for me). Mine stays in P mode 95% of the time. Exceptions are flash (M mode), night stuff (M usually).
10-15-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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I undrestand the part where the Av or Tv is set by the camera if you turn one of the dials and I can see how that is useful but what about the program line, how does it relate to that?

mike

10-15-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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Check the 'Program Line' menu settings on your camera - it gives you options as to how it determines the best settings for your shot. This is the Program Line.

I don't use it all that often as the majority of the time I'm more interested in controlling Av and letting the camera decide the rest. But hyper-P is the other benefit of using P mode...
10-15-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Is program line like all the scene modes on more entry level cameras? sports, scenery, portrait etc
10-15-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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No. The camera prioritises its settings for either faster shutter speeds, smaller apertures, or the lens' optimal aperture (MTF), according to what you select in that menu item.

See more here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/11301-selectable-program-line.html
10-15-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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You say you shoot in Av mode. So certainly you understand that Av mode is "semi-automatic", where you set the parameter you care about--aperture--and the camera calculates the other--shutter. (Let's ignore ISO for the purposes of this explanation.) You also know that M mode is not automatic at all. You have to set both parameters in that mode.

So think of P mode as more automatic than Av. Instead of having you choose one of the exposure inputs, the camera calculates the best values of both aperture and shutter. "Best" in this case is dependent on what you tell the camera to prioritize using the custom menu (sharpness, depth of field, etc). With that guidance in mind, the camera will decide what combination of shutter and aperture to use so you don't have to choose either one.

So if M mode is no-auto, Av mode is semi-auto, then P mode is fully-auto.

10-15-2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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I would always use program mode if it was hyper-program, but I doubt K-x's will be like that with 1 e-dial.

I used to use it and program shift (where you change the dial and it drops down in shutter or aperture and compensates) when I started out.
10-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
Is program line like all the scene modes on more entry level cameras? sports, scenery, portrait etc
Its more basic than scene modes because it provides a certain bias to just the Exposure, while scene modes in the K-M, for example, can also affect Focus mode, Exposure compensation, White Balance, Sharpness, Contrast etc. depending on what scene mode you select.

I sometimes use the Program line for convenience in fast shooting situations, where I hardly have time to think about changing the camera settings.
The Sports Program Line, for example, will always set the highest possible shutter speed for that exposure, by opening the aperture wide and boosting the ISO (if in AutoISO)
The MTF program line always sets the Aperture to "best sharpness" for that lens, and adjusts the Shutter /ISO accordingly.
10-15-2009, 08:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
No. The camera prioritises its settings for either faster shutter speeds, smaller apertures, or the lens' optimal aperture (MTF), according to what you select in that menu item.

See more here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/11301-selectable-program-line.html
Refresh my memory Ash, what is MTF?
10-21-2009, 08:28 AM   #12
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MTF : modulation transfer function. It is a measure (not THE measure) of sharpness. Basically each lens includes its own sharpness performances in its electronics, and can tell the camera what these are. MTF priority makes the camera select the sharpest aperture whenever possible.

One of the most underrated, but useful, feature of Pentax cameras.
10-21-2009, 05:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
I would always use program mode if it was hyper-program, but I doubt K-x's will be like that with 1 e-dial.

I used to use it and program shift (where you change the dial and it drops down in shutter or aperture and compensates) when I started out.
I don't have a K-x, but I just pulled out my K2000, which has only one dial, because I could not remember if it worked that way. If you put it on Progam, the e-dial shifts the aperture, so that pretty much does it. That's how I use mine most of the time.

I almost always use Program (and shift as needed) on the K20D. In my opinion, shiftable Program is a great tool, I've been using it since I had a Minolta Maxxum back in the 80's followed by a Nikon F100 in the 90's. If I want over or under exposure I use the Exposure Compensation feature. The only thing missing on the K2000 is a Green type button to reset quickly to the camera (unshifted) program. Shiftable Program works brillantly on the K10D and K20D.
10-21-2009, 06:22 PM   #14
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I always use P mode. Of course one can select Mode Av when depth of field is key or Tv mode when shooting sports, and a fast shutter speed is critical. In P mode, the camera responds to both and more! Change front e-dial, camera selects Tv mode - Change the rear edial, camera selects Av mode. Want the default exposure settings? press the green button. It will set the camera to your choice of default settings in set in Menu Custom settings/1. Program line - where you can choose your most favorite mode... Normal, Hi speed shutter, Max Depth of field or best apperture setting for the lens you have on (MTF). What could be easier? I think Pentax is unique in supplying this hyper programming option. I first saw it described when the Dpreview assessment of the K10d came out:

Pentax K10D Review: 5. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review

Dick
10-21-2009, 08:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HGMonaro Quote
yep (K10D for me). Mine stays in P mode 95% of the time. Exceptions are flash (M mode), night stuff (M usually).
Same for me on both K200 and now K20 for all the above reasons. It just makes sense to me considering the buttons and dials available.

Camera shake seems to be my biggest issue, so I set the Program Line to High Speed and adjust the aperture as necessary initially. If I have time, of course I'll adjust all the settings to the ideal, check the results, adjust, etc.

hth
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