No matter how long you have your digital camera , there is always something to learn.And if you just bought your first camera, the learning curve might seem a bit steep.
In this tutorial, originally posted on the Digital Camera World website, we will help you get the most out of your DSLR camera by explaining some of the key features of the camera that are found in almost all models. Learning these camera features early on in their development will avoid some of the common mistakes and help make better photos.
- Red-eye reduction
To prevent the flash from reflecting on people’s retina, causing red eyes, this lamp will emit a small glow of light to make the person’s pupils shrink before the main flash. The lamp also doubles as a timer countdown indicator.
- Focus ring
In AF (Auto Focus) mode, this ring rotates until the camera has focused on the subject. In manual focus mode, you can rotate the focus ring by hand to focus on a specific subject by looking through the viewfinder to achieve the desired focus.
- Zoom ring
Rotate this ring clockwise to zoom out in a wide-angle view. Rotate it counter-clockwise to zoom in for a close-up on your subject (zoom lens only, obviously).
- Flash Button
When shooting using Creative Zone or manual modes, you can use the built-in flash that opens by pressing here.
- Focus mode change
Leave in AF (Auto Focus) if you want the camera to focus automatically with a light pressure on the shutter release button. Set the MF ( Manual Focus) switch when you want to control the focus. In MF mode, you can still use the AF points on the display to inform you when the subject is in focus.
- Image Stabilizer
IS (Image Stabilizer) lenses are designed to stop the blur caused by camera shake (which is especially noticeable when zooming in on a distant subject). Nikon lenses have a similar switch called VR (Vibration Reduction).
- Built-in microphone
Most cameras like the Canon 500D (from the photo above) can record video. The sound is recorded through a microphone like this (although it will also record camera-handling noises, like the zoom ring being rotated).
- Depth of Field Preview
By pressing here, you can reduce the current aperture of the lens. You can then see how much of the image will be in focus by looking through the viewfinder or by checking the Live View mode .
- Aperture / Exposure Compensation Button
In Manual mode, hold this button down and turn the main dial to open or close the aperture ( aperture ). In some other modes (such as Aperture Value), you can set the camera to open or close a stop using this button and the main display.
- AF point selection
Press this button, then rotate the main dial to select which autofocus points the camera will use. It also allows you to zoom in on an image when you play it on the camera’s LCD .
- AE lock
This button allows you to lock the camera exposure once you have read the scene lighting. You can also use it to zoom out an image when it is viewed on the LCD in playback mode. It also allows you to focus when using Live View .
- Live view
Press here to view what the camera will capture on the LCD screen. Most new cameras have a live LCD function, which prevents you from having to look through the viewfinder.
- Cross Keys
These cross-key buttons allow you to navigate the camera menus and sub-menus. You can then press the “Set” button to select a specific setting in the menu. Nikon calls these multi-selector buttons. Each button also functions as a shortcut to popular functions such as WB ( White Balance ) or AF (autofocus).
This button allows you to change from single shot to continuous shooting mode (or change the self-timer settings).
- Playback button
The Playback button lets you review the photos you’ve captured that are on the camera’s memory card.
The garbage can symbol is universal; It allows you to delete the file you are currently viewing on the camera’s LCD screen.
- Menu Button
Click here to access a wide range of menus and sub-menus, so you can change the settings according to your needs. This button allows you to access and change the image quality settings, for example.
- Built-in flash
When there is not enough light available to capture decent exposure, the DSLR Camera lets you open a built-in pop-up flash to brighten up some situations. If there is not enough light for auto focus, the flash unit can also make a light shot to help, called the AF assist light.
- Shutter button
Press this button all the way to take the picture. Press it lightly, midway, to focus and illuminate the scene. Also press here to take the camera out of standby mode.
- Main Dial
Rotating this dial allows you to manually set the aperture or shutter speed of the camera. It is called a command selector on a Nikon.
- ISO button
Click here to choose an ISO speed. You can, for example, use the main dial to select a more sensitive ISO speed in low light. You can also set the ISO speed manually by going through the menu system on most digital SLRs and compact cameras.
- Power button
Turn the camera off when it is not in use (although it automatically goes into sleep mode to save power after 30 seconds).
Turn this dial to choose a shooting mode. The camera will set the appropriate aperture and shutter speed setting (as well as processing color in different manners, depending on the mode). There are basic shooting modes for each type of subject (such as portrait and landscape).
- Flash Shoe
You can mount a dedicated flash at the top of the camera to brighten objects a little farther away – and make flash shots more creative and effective.