So you’ve got a new DSLR. Welcome to a wonderful world of creative control over your images! If you’re wondering how to get started with your new DSLR camera, you’re in the right place.
When you first crack open the box on a new DSLR, it can be overwhelming how much control you’ve suddenly got in your hands. Buttons and dials that you’ve never had to deal with on a compact camera: What do they all mean? Let’s dive in!
Understanding your new DSLR camera
A disclaimer before we begin: I shoot with Canon cameras, so some of the settings we’ll discuss here may have different names on other brands. I assure you, though, they all have the same basic functions. You might need to check your manual if you can’t find the setting I’m talking about on your particular camera model.
Also, you can get all the info in this article (and more!) on a handy one-page printable PDF cheat sheet in my Ko-Fi shop. Tuck it into your camera bag and you’ll have the information you need to get out of auto and into manual.
First of all, like a compact camera, DSLRs come with a range of built-in modes.
The built-in modes differ from brand to brand but will generally include a range from fully manual to fully automatic
There are automatic modes (the Basic Zone), semi-auto modes and full manual (the Creative Zone). The Basic Zone usually has a range of preset conditions, such as prioritizing wide aperture for portraits or fast shutter speed for action. The camera chooses the settings for you in the Basic Zone.
That’s about all I’ll say about the Basic Zone. We’re here to learn how to control the camera ourselves, not let it decide for us!
Crash course: Get started with DSLR exposure
Before we proceed, there’s one (or maybe it’s three?) things you need to know: Correct exposure is a balance between the camera’s shutter speed, aperture and ISO. These three things form what’s commonly known as the Exposure Triangle.
Balance these three settings to correctly expose the image
To read the full article and learn how to understand your camera and its settings. Follow the link below the Jemma Pollari’s article on photofocus.