Camera Parts: Mode Dial
In almost every camera you will find a Mode dial among the camera parts, located on the top left side. Also called the "Camera Dial" it helps you to choose a particular mode for your shot. Most of the markings and settings on the Mode dial are the same across different models and brands and here are some of the most common ones.
Auto and M
In some models you might find a green square instead of the word "Auto." In this mode the camera automatically decides all the settings for the shot and you just need to aim and press the shutter button. As opposed to this, there is M which signifies the Manual mode where you need to do all the settings from aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed, flash, focus and so on.
P, A and S
P signifies the Program mode and here you can override all the choices made by the camera except the exposure calculations which is done by the camera automatically. In the A mode you get the same mode as P with the added control to set the Aperture as well. S is also like the P mode but here you additionally get to set the Shutter speed.
Modes for Different Scenes
Some of the Mode dials now have special settings for shooting different objects or in different situations. For example, there is the Landscape mode for taking vivid shots of natural scenery and there is the Portrait mode for taking shots of people.