The Flexible Program Mode

The Flexible Program Mode

In the Program Mode mode, the camera selects both an aperture and shutter speed. Although this reduces the burden of photographers, the selected (aperture, shutter speed) may not be the most suitable one. As a result, the flexible program mode, which is discussed on this page, comes to overcome this problem. Under the flexible program mode, you can pick the most appropriate combination of (aperture, shutter speed) for your need.

If the camera is in the Program (P) mode, turning the command dial will put the camera in the Flexible Program mode indicated by a P* in the lower-left corner of the monitor as shown in the screen shot below.

When the camera is in the flexible program mode, the lower-left corner of the monitor displays P* as mentioned earlier. On the monitor, next to the letter P* are the shutter speed and aperture selected by the camera. See the image above.

When you turn the command dial, different combinations of (aperture, shutter speed) appear on the monitor. When the appropriate pair appears, stop turning and take your shot. Note that if the selected shutter speed is longer than or equal to 1/4 second, it is shown in yellow on the monitor to indicate that noise may appear in the recorded image. Moreover, if the shutter speed is slower than 1/30 sec, the Camera Shake icon (i.e., a red palm ), will appear in the upper-right corner of the monitor. See the image below:

The Camera Shake Icon

You can use Exposure Compensation to increase or decrease exposure. Therefore, with this flexible program mode and exposure compensation, we have the advantage of the program mode and still can control aperture and/or shutter speed.

For Those Technical-Oriented Minds

As discussed in Exposure Value: EV, when the shutter release button is pressed, the camera meter measures the illumination and determines an EV (i.e., exposure value). All (aperture, shutter speed) combinations that can achieve the same EV value are on the same EV line. When you turn the command dial, the camera will go through and display these possible (aperture, shutter speed) combinations. When you stop turning the command dial, the current (aperture, shutter speed) is used. This concept is shown in the figure below.