Digital photography basics and digital camera settings go hand in hand. You’re using a new piece of equipment and need to learn the ‘how-to’ basics of ‘getting ready’ to take a good shot.
Camera Set Up
Follow the User’s Guide or Owner’s Manual instructions on your CD which many in beginners photography or first timers tend to ignore. Perhaps you don’t have a laptop or desktop computer to play the CD; most manufacturers do not include a paper copy manual any more.
To help you, I’ve provided some basic steps below, including some do’s and don’ts that will get you going in digital photography.
Beginners photography and digital photography basics are inseparable. Like most new hobbies, with basic good tools and solid techniques, you’ll enjoy your new direction. You’re using a new piece of equipment and need to acquire some essential skills for taking a good shot.
Digital camera settings involve getting a feel for the camera you’ll be using.
Familiarize yourself with the various controls of your camera by following the instructions of your User Manual or the short cuts given below.
- Where is the camera ON-OFF switch.
- Check the camera battery compartment.
- There’s a right and wrong way to insert the battery or battery pack. Line the battery terminals up with the contacts inside the compartment cavity. Insert the battery gently DO NOT FORCE IT. Kids may need help with this. This is why Digital Photography Basics are so important!
- Insert the SD storage card. Again there’s a right and wrong way for insertion. Check the beveled angle on the card, DO NOT FORCE IT. Kids may need help with this.
- Unless you drop your camera, and keep it out of sand and water, it’s essentially indestructible. And don’t let it bake in direct sunlight.
Digital Camera MENU Settings
When you’ve taken a few camera shots, explore the various options of the MENU function to make ‘beginning photography’ more enjoyable .
A list of typical available settings is given below, again; names on your camera may be different, and more extensive :
- RED EYE – to remove the typical red-eye colour of face shots
- AF-assist – Auto Focus feature which sends out a red beam allowing the camera to focus
- DIGITAL ZOOM – extends the optical zoom range electronically
- REVIEW – allows you to look at your shot for a preset time value that you select
- MUTE – silences the volume camera feature when in movie mode
- VOLUME – adjusts the audio level on movie playback
- GRID LINES – (as shown on right) produces a 3×3 grid layout in your viewfinder to help you to compose your shot
- POWER SAVINGS – a battery saving feature that shuts off camera power after an given idle period
- DATE/TIME – essential to track the date and time of your shots
- FILE NUMBERS – these are identification numbers the camera assigns to each snapshot taken, like giving each of your children a name
- THEME – optional if you like a jazzy screen when your camera powers up
- OPERATION SOUND – some users like a CHIRP sound when the shutter is pressed
- SELF TIMER SOUND – handy to hear when the self timer is active
- SHUTTER SOUND – some users like an SLR camera sound when they trip the shutter
- AUTO ROTATE – adjusts a vertical picture position to horizontal to reduce having to tilt your head when looking at the pictures
- DISTANCE UNITS – select Metric or English units, ok, mm or feet
- LANGUAGE – use English as default unless you like a different language. CAUTION: if you have to reset your camera and it’s in non-English, it can be a problem!
- VIDEO SYSTEM – all North American video modes are in NTSC while Europeans use PAL. CAUTION: when playing back videos on your computer in Canada or USA and you have PAL videos, your computer will default to PAL and may prevent you playing NTSC in future – check this out for your computer before you do it. There is free file conversion software available, which if it’s installed will safeguard your computer from this possible problem.
Your camera may have more or fewer options from those listed here. Again, you can’t destroy your camera by trying various menu options – if you can’t backtrack, do a RESET! If you’re an adult, give the camera to a kid, they’ll figure it out.