When I got my camera, I can honestly say the I was baffled at the prospect of using it. I’d used small digital cameras before and had come across DLSRs but I have never used one. So with help from my Granddad and the internet, I gradually learnt to use it properly. I’m now pleased to say that I am able to use it to its full capabilities using manual mode and that I’m pleased with its results.
Whilst browsing the internet for photography blogs, I realised that the majority all said ‘use manual mode’ or some variation of that. There are plenty that explain that (and I may well do so at a later date), but the purpose of this post is to show and explain to you four features that you may not know existed but are very useful to use!
Back Button Focus
2. Many have a Program Mode
This is like auto mode but allows you to use some of the flexibility of some features of manual mode. Program mode, shutter priority and aperture priority modes are really good ways of learning some of the features of manual mode whilst having the camera do some of the work for you! For example, shutter priority allows you to set the shutter speed but the camera will select the best aperture and ISO for that speed. The same applies for aperture priority except you control the aperture. This will allow you to learn what shutter speeds work best with which apertures and ISO settings dependent on how much light etc. there is in the shot. It won’t be long before you will be comfortable using manual mode (which does have a way of showing you whether or not the camera wants you to alter the shutter speed).
In Program Mode, your camera controls ISO, aperture and shutter speed but your flash won’t engage without your permission, you can set your ISO if you don’t want an automatic choice and you can choose a custom white balance setting.
3. Depth of Field Preview
Many cameras have a small back button on the front of the camera to the left (camera left) of the lens. When you press this button and look through the viewfinder, you can see what your depth of field will look like when you take the picture. This is useful as the aperture often doesn’t change or adjust in the lens after you have changed it in the camera. Instead, the aperture will change just as you take the shot. So using this button can help you see what your depth of field will be like before the lens has changed the aperture on its own.
4. Flash Compensation
Flash compensation works similarly to exposure compensation. Your camera will determine how much flash output is needed but then YOU can set the camera to give more or less power to the flash. You will use this if you need to use the on camera flash and you can control how much flash is used.
I hope you found all of this useful and I would love to see any pictures you may take using these things!
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P.S. Camera image in the picture is courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net