Must-Know DSLR Basics for Beginners


For a person making the switch from using a regular point and shoot camera to a DSLR camera, the transition can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience. This leads to some users to just give up and be content using the auto function of the DSLR, not realizing the full potential these cameras bring if these users knew what DSLRs can do.

That is why we have come up with this handy guide to help users like you make the most of your DSLR and help you discover what you can do with it in ways you never thought about with a camera and hone your skills as a photographer in the process.


Learning and Setting Apertures and Shutter Speeds

One of the most important concepts in DSLR photography is learning the concept of apertures and shutter speeds. First, let’s learn what they are and each of them can do.

Aperture refers to the size of the opening in the camera lens which determines how much light can pass through. For instance, an aperture of f/2.8 means it is a large aperture that entails much light can pass through it, while an f/16 aperture is smaller in size, with little light can pass through it.

Aperture size indicates how much depth of field an image will have. This means that a small aperture allows the image to show objects located at a great distance to be captured clearly and in focus as in landscape photos. A large aperture on the other hand puts distant objects out of focus while the object located closest to the camera is captured more vividly and in greater detail, as is employed in close up shots.

Shutter speed on the other hand refers to the length of time the shutter stays open to capture a photo. This is something to take in consideration especially if your subject is a fast moving object. For instance, a faster shutter speed value of 1/250 sec allows you to vividly capture a running dog without any blur caused by the movement. Conversely, a slow shutter speed value of 1/15 sec captured blurred movements of the water which can create some artistic shots as well.

Learning about ISO

ISO measures how sensitive to light your camera’s sensor is, especially in relation to how much light is available in the area where you will be taking photos. For instance, outdoor shoots on a sunny day require less sensitivity to light of the sensor, thus needing only low ISO settings. However, low light conditions require greater sensitivity to light. Thus high ISO settings are preferred in this case.

You can either set the ISO settings to auto or you can select which ISO level to use. But as a beginner, it is recommended you leave the ISO settings at auto or choose the settings at 400-800 for outdoors and 1600 and above for indoors. Take note though that higher ISO settings may cause graininess on the photo.

Controlling Metering Settings (If Needed)

Metering refers to the calculation your camera makes for the average exposure, making sure that the photo is properly exposed which means it’s neither too dark nor too bright. Under normal lighting situations, the camera does the work so nothing else is needed to be done on your end, which also makes this control an overlooked one. However, in low light areas, the camera may not be able to do the metering properly. That is why the DSLR has an “exposure composition” control which is the +/- button near the camera shutter, allowing you to increase or decrease the lighting exposure that would be applied on to the image.

Changing the White Balance Settings


White balance refers to how the colors appear in your photos, not just the white. Normally, the camera sets the white balance to auto and while it does the job in some cases, in other situations, it causes unrealistic color tones to appear in your photo. Thus, it is important to adjust your DSLR’s white balance settings beforehand for better results. Fortunately, the white balance settings provide different presets available to suit the lighting condition in the area where you will shoot, ranging from daylight to shade, to fluorescent (for areas mainly lighted by fluorescent lights) and flash, (for instances you will use flash, especially in minimal light) among other settings.

Final Tips

Lastly, always make it a point to read your DSLR’s manual to get you more acquainted with your camera and the controls it offers. Many DSLRs today offer more advanced features than before; discover what features they offer that would help you shoot better photographs.

As you learn more about your DSLR, try to experiment with different settings and setting combinations to get a better grasp of how each element works in achieving overall quality of your photos.


Things to Consider While Choosing DSLR Camera


DSLR camera can e considered as the one which has got capability for capturing the images with great clarity and quality that the picture looks much awesome than the scenes in reality. This is an era everybody loves to do something with photography. Digital SLR is an awesome kind of camera that makes it possible for anyone to be a great photographer. These SLRs can be available in much cheaper cost these days and which makes them much easier to be available to those who are really interested in photography. Here are some of the major things that you need to consider so that you can get hold of the finest camera.

Think About the Subjects & Projects


The camera that you choose should be based on the purpose that you have. You should know for what you are going to use the camera mainly for. Some of the major manufacturers come with cameras which are awesome for capturing colourful images and are fine for shooting people as well as objects that are lush while others can be used for shooting fashion and sports. Understand what each brand has there to offer and you and pick the one which exactly serves your purpose.

Long Term


Buying a Digital SLR camera is indeed a great kind of investment that you make. You should know about the camera in such a way that you should have the understanding of the compatible lenses for it and also the genres of photography for which the lenses may be much suitable.

Do Not Spend Much Over Camera’s Body


There is no point of spending much on the body of the camera, the thing that actually matters are lenses. Get the camera with an average price from the market and get the lenses which can enhance the overall photography skills that you have. It is always good for you to focus on getting better and great pictures and this can be possible only when you actually use some good lenses.

Understand Your Requirement


When you are buying digital SLR, understand what actually you need. There is no point of thinking that you actually want one such camera that has got both the video as well as stills option while you may actually not be interested in both. If you are a still photographer then video may be an option that you may not or rarely use. Do not spend money for things that you do not need.

Know the Camera


Before buying the camera, you should know it well. It is always good for you to try the camera so that you can check with the way pictures are clicked, the menu and also the grip. The overall camera may not be cool for you even when it looks good. It is always good if you are trying the camera in all the possible ways before you actually buy them. There are quite a lot of things that you need to know about them rather than just the looks.