Specifications advice please


Standard Member
Hi! I'm trying to pick a new camera for myself and got a bit confused with the terminology. What does ' different scene modes' mean?
I know that my last camera had this function where I could choose to set it to 'in motion', 'sunset', 'darkness' etc. Is that scene modes or is it called manual exposure?
And if I want the manual white balance function (daylight/tungsten/ etc.), is it called just that or something else?
Many thanks!


Well-known Member
Yep - you've got it spot on. Scene modes are where you select say "sport" or "landscape" or whatever, and the camera sets up all the settings for you e.g. fast shutter speed for sport and small aperture for long depth of field for landscapes.

Most cameras including compacts will give you the ability to manually set the white balance. They may not call it white balance (though my Panasonic TZ3 does) - it might be called "lighting" or something like that.

This is what I picked up a while ago regarding scene modes: Someone has set a few settings based on various outcomes the settings never change but your view will. So each mode will set your camera into various pre defined settings. This is pointless as not each landscape, sport or other mode will have the same lighting time after time.

But it does come in handy when learning, as it did teach me that these settings are average and if you switch to manual you can still set them the same way but have far more control over them. They also teach you what settings fit what scene.

If you look out your window you will see a framed picture that picture will never be the same every day. :D


Distinguished Member
An initially laborous but very helpful way to learn settings is to actually look at the exif data of images you feel were well exposed ( in the context of when the image was taken)
This can be a non-academic ( or boring) way of knowing how best to use your own camera within its limitations
I find that when settings are suggested.. you can often get different results from the same camera with different lenses. or different cameras with a similar lens setting shooting the same scene

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