Understanding your Digital camera
By Eugene Struthers
The Nine recommended settings.
ISO setting:- Set to 100
This is the International Standards Organization and it refers to the camera’s sensitivity setting. ISO is a way of controlling and measuring the camera sensor sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the less the amount of light required to make an exposure. A lower ISO the more light you will need. Lower ISO settings deliver finer quality results than high ISO settings. An ISO 100 will produce less noise and a far better image than an ISO 800.
As the ISO increases, the picture quality diminishes. Colour quality becomes muted and the picture becomes noisy. Increase the ISO for low light conditions or when you need a faster shutter speed or to avoid camera shake or to capture fast moving objects.
Exposure Mode:- Turn the dial to Av (aperture-priority)In program mode your camera will automatically select an aperture and shutter speed for you. The camera has a built in lightmeter sensor and will try to assess and set mid-range settings for the aperture and shutter speed.
To be more creative, the photographer will need to take control of the aperture dial to use a wide aperture (small f-number)for portraits and to make your model stand out from the background. A narrow (large f-number) so that the front and far background are clear and sharp. Set the aperture-priority mode (A or Av) to the required aperture such as f4 for shallow depth-of-field or a small aperture setting such as f16 for a greater depth-of-field and lots of front to back sharpness. Consider the aperture priority as a half way house between full auto and full manual. The camera will automatically calculate the shutter speed it needs to expose the scene correctly. By keeping an eye on the shutter speed the camera will automatically choose for you. You will be able to eliminate blurring in your pictures from occurring. To photograph fast moving objects. Choose the S or Tv Shutter-priority mode. This will allow you to select the camera speed, while the camera automatically sets a corresponding aperture based on the information it obtains from its internal light metering system. a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.
White balance:- Set to auto this is the setting that controls the way in which your camera will represent white objects under different lighting conditions ( Cloudy or indoor, Tungsten). Adjusting the white balance is the process of making sure that neutral colours are rendered without a colour cast, even under artificial light. Shoot in RAW file and you will be able to alter and change the white balance later on your computer.
Select the Auto white balance setting on your camera and you will be able to fine tune and alter them later. But then again if you know the light source you are using just change it to save time i.e. “Cloudy”.
Drive mode:- Use continuous This is a great mode as it will allow you to be ready for the unexpected. So when the action unfolds, you will be able to capture the image with ease. This is ideal for sports and chasing topless models “paparazzi” shots.
The Single Shot is ideal for shooting static subjects and landscapes.
Metering mode:- Set to multi-segment metering Set your camera to Multi-segment metering also known as “Evaluate or matrix mode”. This mode takes a number of readings from different parts of the frame. The dark and light areas, it then combines them to create a balanced exposure. This can be checked via your LCD screen by using the histogram, then by making a few exposure adjustments using the exposure compensation dial.
Spot metering mode takes a light reading from a very small area of the frame allowing you to obtain a very precise light reading. It is useful when trying to work out the contrast between the highlights and shadow areas of an image. This mode is used mostly for advanced level photography.
Centre-weighted metering mode reads the light in the centre of the frame. The frame will fade out towards the edges, it is useful when employing graduated filters.
Focus mode:- Make all active. The focus points are small bracketed points that can be seen in the camera’s viewfinder, which are used by its autofocus mode. This can be set manually or the photographer may allow the camera to choose the one which it has assessed as being the correct one for a particular subject. When the camera focus points are all active, the camera can detect which focus points are closest to the camera.It is best to manually select the AF point if you would like your subject off centre.
In portraiture place one of the focus points directly over the model's eye, to achieve super sharp images of the model's eye nearest to the camera.
Autofocus mode:- Set it to single shot This is the mode whereby the camera focuses for you - by just pressing the shutter button halfway.
The two autofocus modes are:-
Single shot used for static or slow moving subjects. The shutter will only release when your subject is in focus. Once the shutter button is pressed halfway, the focus will be locked. This will often be accompanied by an audible beep, the AF sensor in the viewfinder will also change colour. It is best to keep the distance between you and your subject constant. If this changes, you will need to press the shutter button again and re-lock the focus.
Continuous focus also known as“Servo mode”:- this will continually focus on moving subjects as you follow them with the shutter button pressed halfway. When the AF sensor struggles to lock onto a subject, either when you are taking landscape or portrait shots it would be more effective to change the autofocus mode to manual.
Jpeg or Raw:- Which to choose?The key to understanding these two formats is the means by which you will be able to alter them at a later date. By choosing the RAW format this will allow you to alter the white balance at a later date on your computer. Whereas if you shot in the Jpeg format, it will be imperative to get the shot right when in the given conditions, as there is less flexibility to correct mistakes later. A Jpeg takes the absorbed information from a shot and compresses it down into a manageable file size. The Raw format is similar to a “digital negative”. It is able to cope with more adjustments than a jpeg or a TIFF. This format requires specialist software as the camera does not apply any automatic processing.
The advantages of Jpeg:- file sizes are small so more shots can fit on a memory card, rapid writing to disk, minimal image processing needed, reduced time transferring files from your camera to computer.
Disadvantages:- Files contain far less information, setting are determined largely at the time of shooting, substantial quality loss if changed later, file compression reduces quality.
Advantages of RAW:- Files contain all the information with no compression, higher result and quality, digital negative can be stored for future manipulation, smoother tones and a wider range of colours, image contrast, exposure sharpness and white balance can be altered more effectively than Jpeg.
Disadvantages:- the files are larger and need more storage space, image processing takes far longer and needs specialised software.
Keep checking the graphical display. This is a graphical display that indicates an images brightness levels. Underexposed images can be identified by a shift towards the left of the histogram. This will indicate black and shadows values on the left of the graph classified as “clipped”. An Accurate exposure shot will usually have an equal tonal distribution combination of shadows and highlights. An Overexposed image will be characterised by a shift in tonal distribution towards the right of the histogram. The histogram image will appear pure white with no detail.