PHOTOGRAPHY - Camera Settings


Most cameras give the user the option to automatically adjust the settings for each picture, or to allow the user to adjust some settings manually.
Understanding and adjusting these settings can allow your camera to take pictures faster, or in some cases better than using the AUTO settings.
ALWAYS check your settings when you use PROGRAMMED MODE, or you'll be stuck with the settings that were last used on the camera.

These are the most important settings to pay attention to:
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1. EXPOSURE MODE
Typically, you can choose between AUTO (where the camera makes all the decisions) and MANUAL or PROGRAMMED mode (where you can take control). Many cameras have additional settings for SPORTS, PORTRAIT, LOW LIGHT and even PRIORITY modes.

AUTO is the safest - until you understand the following adjustments, stick with it. When you're ready - try switching to MANUAL or PROGRAMMED mode and try controlling the following
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2. FLASH
ON, OFF, REDEYE, SLOW
On or off is typical, but you can also set a flash for SLOW (delayed flash) which mixes some ambient light with the flash light for a softer effect
Cameras_ISO.jpg
3. ISO
50, 100, 200, 400,
This trades LIGHT SENSITIVITY of your camera with GRAININESS
  • ISO 100 requires a strong light source (ie Outdoors) but yields fine "grain" or smoothness to the colours
  • ISO 400 requires lower light sources (ie Indoors, even without flash) but can yield course, "grainy" colours

Higher ISO can also "freeze" action with less blurring
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4. WHITE BALANCE
Proper settings of your White balance is essential to keeping your colour pictures from acquiring a bad "colour cast" or tint.

AUTO, FLASH, FLUORESCENT, TUNGSTEN, DAYLIGHT, MANUAL
Auto white balance is the most reliable, but can add delay to the shot as the camera has to preshoot, adjust, and reshoot in the blink of an eye.

IF you know what kind of light you're shooting in, you can set it in advance to get more consistent, faster shots.

Manually setting the white balance to a white sheet of paper in the environment is the most accurate way to ensure good, accurate colours with no cast.

5. Automatic vs Manual FOCUS
99% of the time, you'll want to use AUTOMATIC FOCUS, but IF someone has toggled the camera into MANUAL focus, your pictures will naturally turn out fuzzy.

Check that there is an A (and not an M) in the display. The display above is set to Manual focus, and that will be a problem!