Camera Tips

Basic DSLR/Bridge Checklist

Before you start

Dials and other settings may not be as you expect so always spend a few minutes with the camera’s manual and checking out the basic settings and control features and check how to do the following.

  • Set the image stabiliser to on [if available, might be on the side of the lens or in a menu] – this avoids blurred images from camera shake at slow shutter speeds.
  • Select ‘auto’ or ‘manual’ focus as desired [if available this may be on the lens as well as the camera itself] – manual focus can be usefule in ceratin circumstances that will otherwise confuse the auto focus eg; birds against a moving background of a tree.
  • Switch the flash on and off. Usually this is best kept switched off to avoid harsh lighting and inadvertently using flash in prohibitted areas/locations.
  • Set the shooting mode selection as desired (eg; auto, manual, aperture priority, shutter priority or selected ‘scene’ modes)
  • Adjust ISO sensitivity. [generally as low as practical]
  • Select ‘focus points’ to the most suitable [generally select just the central focus point]
  • Set ‘light’ metering options to most suitable.

To take a photo

  • set zoom (if available) to suit subject [wide angle – good depth of field; telephoto – narrower depth of field]
  • [Depth of field = distance between the nearest and farthest objects in sharp focus]
  • if shutter speed is 1/60 second or slower, find a way of steadying the camera [touch/half press shutter release button to check speed]
  • focus camera [point at main subject, touch/half press shutter release button to focus]
  • compose photo [keep shutter release button half down to maintain focus and other settings, don’t alter zoom]
  • take photo [fully press shutter release button]