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How to use a Digital SLR Camera

The range and quality of Digital DSLR cameras on the market has never been better, but understanding how to use them properly is harder than ever. Follow this guide on how to use one properly.

The DSLRs can look complicated at first, but they all have fully automatic modes for the less experienced, and the least expensive models are designed specifically for people moving away from compact.

There are many modes that allow you to take excellent quality pictures with your new digital SLR. Most cameras now come with a ‘live view’ mode in which you can frame your shots with the LCD display on the back on the back of your camera, just as you can with a compact, and this is a feature worth looking out for when looking to buy a new DSLR.

The autofocus tends to be slightly slower, but it makes it easier to shoot at different angles, and it’s a more familiar way of working if you’re used to a compact.

The important thing when you are figuring out the proper way to use your camera is that you should simply enjoy using it and get a good feel for it first of all when it is on fully automatic.

To start, look for a symbol on your camera’s mode dial that looks like a rectangle. When your camera is on automatic, all important settings such as ISO, Aperture and exposure are there for you, taking out the guess work.

When you have set your camera to the automatic mode, it’s also recommended that your lens is set on automatic focus.

That is if it has that option. If your lens has an option for automatic focus, you will notice on the side of it the letters AF.  Top tip to get started in fully automatic mode: Firstly press your shutter button half way down, then once it focuses correctly press it the rest of the way down.

Best Digital SLR Camera Tips

Six other automatic settings that are useful: Most brands of SLR cameras will have the following modes to help you take excellent pictures.

  • Portrait- Set your digital camera to portrait mode when you’re taking photographs of people. Portrait mode will set the image colour for skin tone perfectly.
  • Landscape- Set your camera to this mode when you’re taking photos of landscapes. For example if your photographing beach or mountain sceneries.

Using the automatic setting will get you started in using the manual settings later on, as well as any extra modes that your brand of camera might offer.

One of the most important skills for a beginner to learn from the start is how to focus properly. Using a digital SLR camera will become very frustrating if you don’t understand how to set the focus on the exact object you are trying to photograph.

By setting your camera to AF-area mode (autofocus) to one of the main focal points on your camera, on most brands it’s the ‘P’ dial that will help you focus.

Most cameras are easy to use so select a brand you are comfortable with as this could be a long term decision: many photographers only buy particular brands forever!


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