Saturday, 29 June 2013

How to understand your new camera

Have you ever bought a new camera and then got it home and wonder where to start with it?  When I bought my Canon EOS 550D  I was overwhelmed with where to start.  There were so many buttons and dials I didn't quite know where to start.

This is my baby

It can be over whelming seeing the thickness of a manual and trying to figure out everything means.        I sometimes think the manuals are meant for highly evolved photographers who have been taking photos for years. 

So here are my tips when you buy a new camera.
  • When you are looking to purchase a camera ask the shop assistant as many questions as you can before you buy it.  Try and get a basic understanding of how it turns on and how you can take a photo.  
  • If you are looking for gadgets on a camera make sure you ask before you buy.  It is very disappointing to get home and find out it doesn't take black and white photos and that is just what you were after.  Take a list if you need to
  • Explain what you want the camera for.  If you tell the sales assistant the purpose of the camera you are more likely to get a camera that will work for you
So you have now bought your camera and you have it at home.  It is sitting there teasing you.  Where to now?  
  • The first thing I always do is figure out what I actually need in the box.  I get rid of any recyclable packaging and rubbish.  I read all the pamphlets to see what is advertising stuff and what is needed for the running of my camera.

This is my camera's manual.  Over 3/4 of it was in another language

  • I rip my manual apart throwing away anything which is in another language.  It doesn't seem quite so overwhelming to read a manual that is 1/4 of the size
  • I put everything in it's case. I always buy a case that can fit everything in it including cables and my manual.then I know where everything is and things are less likely to get lost.
  • Next read the manual.  Learn how to do the basics of turning on the camera and how to take an picture on the automatic setting.  This means you can start to take photos. BUT
  • Carry on reading the manual at the same time.  It is amazing how little we know about our cameras.  Most cameras have handy little features that we not ever know about unless we read our manuals.  
  • Re read you manual every few months 
  • As you are reading your manual try each new feature as you read about it so you understand the function fully. 
  • Experiment with your camera. Use the things you learn about in you camera manual.  
  • Try not to just use the same setting every time you take a photo.  They have different features for different types of photos and different conditions.  Use them
  • Look up on line your camera brand and model to see what else you can find out about it.  Chances are that someone has written a blog or done a you tube tutorial about your camera that could help you out.
  • Go to the library and see if there are any books than can help make using your camera easier.  I find children's books are the best if you are only just starting using a camera.
  • Check out all the software that comes with the camera.  Some of it can be quite basic but effective for a beginner to use.  
  • Have fun with your new camera.  Take a page from a child's book PLAY!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting Catherine. I just got the EOS 600D it is quite a good little camera. very similar to the 550. I use it for the shop photos. ( fashion )
    You are so right , I use my cameras mostly in Manual or Shutter priority. and sometimes they add features that I pay for , but never use. We ought to get together sometime to compare notes......
    Uncle John x


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