Article ID : 00275746 / Last Modified : 14/02/2022

What do the shooting mode and scene icons on my camera mean?

    Camera icons: an overview

    Modern cameras have a lot of settings and icons. New users can easily get lost, or some icons might not be as straightforward to recognise. Furthermore, depending on your photography experience and skill level, you might dive deeper into all the settings or choose to remain on the surface and let the camera do most of the work. This article will give you a quick explanation of commonly used scene selection and shooting mode icons

    On this support website, each product has a product page on which you will find a manual or help guide. Consult the manual or help guide of your camera to find an overview of all the icons and indicators of your camera. Luckily, many icons are similar and interchangeable. And if you're a beginner, it's good to remember that you can't go wrong with Auto, but selecting the appropriate scene might mean the difference between taking nice pictures and great pictures. 

    Shooting mode icons

    Shooting modes

    From left to right

    • Camera + I (Intelligent Auto) allows you to shoot still images with the settings adjusted automatically.
    • Camera + I plus (Superior Auto): this allows you to shoot still images in higher quality than Intelligent Auto mode.
    • Bended rectangle (Sweep Panorama) allows you to shoot a panoramic image by compositing the images.
    • P (Program Auto): allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and the aperture value (F value)). Also, you can select various settings using the menu.
    • A (Aperture Priority): allows you to adjust the aperture and shoot when you want to blur the background, etc.
    • S (Shutter Priority): allows you to shoot fast-moving subjects etc., by manually adjusting the shutter speed.
    • M (Manual Exposure): allows you to shoot still images with the desired exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and the aperture value.
    • Movie icon + i: (Intelligent Auto): allows you to film with the settings adjusted automatically. P, A, S and M have the same meaning as regular photography mode (Program auto, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual exposure) 

     

    Scene recognition and selection icons

    From left to right - first rowFrom left to right - second row
    • Moon: Night-time photography
    • Mountains: landscape photography
    • Person and sunrays: photographing backlit subjects (which will turn on the flash to counter) 
    • People: portrait shooting 
    • Sunlight: very bright, midday shooting (which will turn on the flash to counter)
    • Flower: macro shooting, which means appropriate for close-up photography
    • Person and moon: portrait shooting in poorly lighted dark environments or at night
    • Person in a circle: appropriate to photograph a subject in a spotlight
    • Candle: low light environment with one source of light
    • Infant: appropriate for baby and child photography 
    • Tripod (accompanied by moon symbol sometimes): when using a tripod (at night if moon symbol is present)
    • Walking person: photographing walking or moving people (but not as fast as sports)
    • Person two stripes: walking and moving 
    • Person two stripes sun: walking and moving in a bright environment
    • Person two stripes moon: walking and moving in a bright environment 
    • Face: portrait photography 
    • Running person: sports photography
    • Flower: macro shooting, which means appropriate for close-up photography
    • Mountains: landscape photography
    • Sun with stripes/clouds: cloudy day
    • Moon: Night-time photography
    • Moon with hand: handheld night-time photography (in contrast with using a tripod)
    • Person and moon: portrait shooting in poorly lighted dark environments or at night
    • Vibrating lines around person: meant to reduce subject blur by creating a composite picture (e.g. someone holding a candle) 
    • Cat icon: animals
    • Fork & knife: food photography (more saturated, popping colours) 
    • Dotted circles:  fireworks 
    • ISO up arrow:  allows you to shoot in dark locations without using the flash