Settings for the XA2 – P mode

P Mode for general shooting

If you have come from a point & shoot type camera or one of the superzooms you will be familiar with the P Mode setting for your camera.

For this mode I have decided to use a setup that has its roots in the 35mm film SLR world.

I use a fixed ISO ( although you could use auto ISO ), but I prefer fixed. With a sensor as noise free as the XA2’s Bayer sensor using higher ISO’s isn’t an issue. In the days of film cameras you had fixed ISO’s depending upon the speed of the film you were using. ISO 100 black & white film was common with ISO 200 or 400 color film the norm, with the more expensive ISO 800 & 1600 films for low light and specialist photography.

With the ISO speed fixed you need only worry about aperture, shutter speed and light levels. Most of the cameras usually had a relatively accurate light meter visible in the viewfinder, which would give you visual feedback as to the amount of light the exposure you would get. A lot of us also carried an external light meter to better judge the conditions and set aperture appropriately.

So whats all this got to do with P Mode?

With the ISO fixed you have one less element to worry about, and you know that for most shooting environments ISO 400 will be more than sufficient.  Auto ISO 800 is a good option if conditions are variable. This leaves you free to consider other elements with the camera now automatically taking care of Aperture and shutter speeds. This leaves you to focus on the following:

  • Correct eV levels
  • Auto focus setup
  • Photometry ( metering )
  • Composition

I use this particular setup as my general purpose shooting mode. I’m in a rush, gotta capture the moment,  setup for the everyday out and about photography.

These two images are an example of this style of shooting, ( although I dont recommend driving and shooting at the same time ) but I made an exception in this case.

30 to 40 knot cross wind with the tank sitting on a boat trailer … I wonder if it made it to its destination. P mode, ISO 800

lightroom export-7.jpg

Taken by the Te Rore Hall, Waikato, New Zealand. Storm showers moving in from the west. P mode, ISO 800

This setup works for me, you may well use something different. It is fun to try different things, and the results may vary widely.



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