[...] It certainly can. But it can never know what the photographer intended, and it can never set the exposure and focus in advance of the photographer framing the shot and squeezing the button. Manual metering _in_advance_ and having known focus settings _in_advance_ can do that, resulting in no time at all between squeezing the button and the photo actually being taken - because the human involved has already set the exposure and got the focus close to what's needed before even framing the shot. If zone focussing is used, exploiting depth of field or hyperfocal distance, the first shot is in the bag before precise focussing is even tried. Don't just react to things you want to photograph, predict them. When you react without planning, you get snapshots. Fine if that's what you want, and better than nothing if an unexpected opportunity arises (such as moonrise over Hernandez) but if you've planned to be there and planned to take photos of [whatever it is] then why haven't you planned _how_ those photos will be taken?