If you own any Nikon DSLR starting from the D3300 series upto the D750, there are many automated modes that will help you take good images, even if you have no concept of the basics of photography. Let’s learn about a few of the most useful automated modes.

Auto mode:

This mode allows anyone who can hold the camera and aim it at a subject to shoot and get a good exposure. This mode controls all aspects of shooting, and if the camera detects low light, pop goes the flash, giving you correctly exposed images under any circumstances. It’s symbol is a green camera and you can spot it instantly.

Portrait mode

This mode uses a wide aperture and focuses on the portrait subject, to make the portrait stand out against a blurred background. To intensify the defocused background, zoom in and ensure the background is far away from the subject. In low light, this mode will switch on the built-in-flash and ensure the flash fires in the red eye reduction mode to prevent red eye effect.  Focus modes are selected to ensure focus is on the main subject.

Landscape mode

The camera uses small apertures as per the available light, to give you wide depth of field. Select a short focal length like 18mm or 24mm to get maximum depth-of-field. The flash is not fired, and all the other settings are adjusted to give you a great landscape image.

Flash off mode

Denoted with a flash with a hash across, the flash off mode is an auto mode that will never fire the built-in-flash, even if it is popped up. This is very useful while shooting quickly inside a museum, theatres or when you’re trying to preserve the ambience of interiors.

Sports mode

Use this mode to shoot anything moving fast. Sports, pets, children, birds, wildlife, etc. are some examples. The camera will select fast shutter speeds and continuous shooting to freeze action. As per the light, ISO will be increased too.

Low key

This creative mode allows you to shoot images in low light while maintaining the low light ambience. The image is usually underexposed, so that only the brightest portions are exposed correctly.

High key

Use this mode to shoot washed out portraits, and still life images. Bright areas are overexposed while retaining correct exposure for the main subject, creating a dreamy, artistic effect.


Create artistic silhouettes by placing your subject against a bright sky or light source. Camera exposes for the background and renders the subject under-exposed as a silhouette.

Colour sketch

This fun mode take images and converts them into lovely sketches with coloured outlines. The kids would love to paint over them or you can create interesting artwork with this mode.


Life size things like buildings, vehicles and people look like miniature toys when shot in this mode.

Super Vivid

Get highly saturated and sharp images straight out of the camera. Perfect for bright Sunlit days, flowers, and anything colourful.

Selective colour

Create eye catching images with the camera converting the scene into black&white, while up to three colours are shown.

Other modes worth mention are ‘easy panorama’, night vision, Pop, photo illustration, and modes often put under ‘scene mode’ like dusk/dawn, pet portrait, candlelight, night portrait and night landscape. Check your camera for these modes, and for best results, read the user manual for detailed instructions on them.