You may be feeling overwhelmed if you’ve recently made the switch from your compact camera to a DSLR or mirrorless camera due to the sheer number of stuff on the new camera!
It is possible to set up your new camera in a straightforward manner for optimal photography and to make the camera more user-friendly by following a few easy steps. A brief refresher course never hurt anyone, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran. Continue reading for some fantastic hints and tips…
1. Make sure your battery is fully charged
Most cameras are shipped with their batteries only half charged; however, to ensure optimal performance throughout the course of their lifespan, make sure the battery is completely charged before you begin using your camera. Allowing the battery to completely discharge before recharging is also recommended since this will assist to increase the battery’s life as well.
2. Format your memory card
Ensure that any previous photographs on the memory card have been backed up to your computer before you begin, and then format the memory card in your new camera to get started. Typically, the format setting may be found by navigating through the menu system.
In addition to improving speed, formatting the card ensures that all pictures have been totally removed and that the card has been completely cleared of all data.
3. Image quality and size
You should be shooting in RAW and post-processing your photographs if you want to achieve the best possible image quality. JPEGs, on the other hand, maybe a preferable choice in some situations. As a result, you’ll need to configure your JPEG files as well.
Set them to the highest quality available (often referred to as Extra Fine) and select the Large file size option from the drop-down menu. It is also a good idea to utilize JPEGs as a starting point when you are learning how to use a new camera because you won’t be under the additional burden of having to process any files later.
The metering system in your camera is the means through which it determines the proper exposure settings for your image. I propose that you start with Evaluative metering (also known as Matrix or Multi-zone / segment metering mode), which is the most basic of the available options.
This mode collects data from many points across your environment and averages them to get the optimal settings. Following your first familiarization with your camera, you may play with the various metering modes.
5. White Balance
Simply said, the white balance option aids your camera in determining what is white in a photograph and then adjusts the other tones to match that white.
Fortunately, automatic white balance (AWB) is quite accurate with contemporary cameras and is an excellent place to start because it will work well in the majority of scenarios. In order to be able to establish the white balance in conjunction with a grey card if you plan on shooting in the studio on a regular basis, you will need to learn how to utilize Manual White Balance.
Cameras are equipped with at least two autofocus modes: single point and continuous autofocus. When it comes to stationary topics, single (or One-Shot) is preferable, but continuous (or AI Servo) is preferable for moving things.
Most DSLRs also have a third auto mode (sometimes known as AI Focus), which allows the camera to recognize when a subject begins to move and automatically transition between the two other auto settings in use. If your camera has this feature, make use of it; if it does not, single AF mode is the ideal setting to start with because the majority of your subjects will be immobile.
Varied cameras feature different numbers and designs of AF points, as well as different AF point locations. Setting your camera’s autofocus to the central AF point is a good place to start because the majority of photographs will require you to concentrate on the center of the image.
7. Drive Mode
The driving mode gives you the option of choosing between single and continuous shot shooting modes. In single drive mode, the camera will capture a single image each time the shutter is activated, however, in continuous mode, the camera will take a ‘burst’ of images for as long as the shutter button is held down on the camera’s back.
For moving things, this may be quite handy, but first and foremost, make sure your camera is set to single-mode so that you don’t mistakenly take a bunch of photos and fill up your memory card!
8. Exposure Settings
A DSLR or mirrorless camera might be intimidating if you’ve only ever used a tiny camera with no manual settings before.
Personally, I believe that the best approach to learn is to start with the manual mode, but if it sounds like too much work, you may try the Aperture Priority mode (where you control the aperture) or the Shutter Priority mode (where you select the shutter speed) instead (where you set the shutter speed). This helps you to concentrate on making one aspect of the project perfect at a time.
As a side note, start by setting your ISO to 100 to achieve the least amount of grain and noise in your photos, and then raise it if necessary after you’ve adjusted your other parameters.
Making things easy for yourself and alleviating some of the stress that comes with utilizing more sophisticated equipment should be your goal when setting up your camera before you begin to photograph.