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12-10-2016, 06:51 AM   #1
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Pentax p30 "PROGRAM" on Shutter Dial

Recently, I just purchased a Pentax p30 35 camera second hand from Ebay. I also downloaded the manual for the camera. Looking at the manual, there is no mention of "PROGRAM" ? on the shutter dial. There are shutter speeds, Flash and "B" which I understand, but in green capitalized lettering is "PROGRAM". Could some photo buff please explain what "PROGRAM" is used for and how to access it. Thanks to all who answer this question.

12-10-2016, 08:02 AM   #2
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Typically program is a fully auto mode where the camera picks all aspects of exposure. You point and shoot.
12-10-2016, 08:30 AM   #3
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UncleVanya is correct.

According to the manual as long as you have an "A" type lens set in the "A" mode it will shoot using Program AE (Auto Exposure). Confirm this by turning the camera and half-pressing the shutter button. You should see the letter "P" and a shutter speed in the view finder. Shutter speed can be set to any speed. See page 22 in the manual.

To shoot in manual mode take the lens off the "A" mode. The letter "M" should now show in the view finder and you can adjust the exposure by turning the aperture ring or the shutter speed dial. See page 24.

Non-"A" type lenses will only shoot in Manual mode.
12-10-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
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Sadly, "Program" on the P30 is no more than advertising - all it means is that you get program mode when you put a Pentax A lens or similar third-party onto the A setting. You cannot turn the dial to this point, and you will break it if you try.

On the P30T things are different; there is a selectable A mode, which gives aperture priority when apertures are manually selected on the ring and program mode when the lens is on A or when a lens without an aperture ring is fitted. It would have been great if A on the ring and shutter speeds on the dial had given shutter priority, but they saw fit not to do that - perhaps it might have taken too many sales away from the Program Plus or even the Super Program, or perhaps it was because there was no really good way to tell the user what aperture they would be selecting without major (expensive) modifications to the camera - which would have made it something other than a reasonably-priced update of the P3/30 using most of the same parts (including the viewfinder display).

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