Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your Camera

The usual things we hear when it comes to camera features are aperture, ISO, white balance and other familiar terms. But there are a lot of other features you will also find useful in your DSLR camera. Here are a few of them:

Flash exposure compensation – a common question we ask is why do our images, whenever we use the flash, become under or overexposed? When we hear automatic flash, we always assume that this feature can calculate the precise amount of light needed for the shot. However, the camera’s ability to adjust to certain environmental lighting is not always as accurate as we want it to be. That is where the definition of a great photographer versus an amateur photographer is defined. To get excellent images, you have to help your digital camera to get the exposure perfect. When you compensate your flash exposure by selecting negative numbers, this will reduce the flash power and will allow you to keep highlight details. Positive numbers will allow you to add illumination to your subjects from further away. When using the built-in light meter, it can be fooled by placing something bright within the frame of your shot. 

Depth of field preview button – this feature will show you how an image will look, not just based on what you see in your viewfinder or LCD screen. When you use this button, you can see which parts of an image are in sharp focus and which parts are blurred. You can also determine what aperture settings you have to use to get the effect that you want. To use this, simply adjust the aperture to get the exact balance between the blurry and the sharp portions. 

Mirror lock-up – using a tripod doesn’t necessarily mean you will not get blurry shots. DSLRs are made with an interior mirror that flips upwards to reveal a digital image sensor whenever you press your shutter button. When you use heavier lenses, this shutter movement or ‘mirror slap’ can cause vibrations. By turning on the mirror lock-up setting, the shutter remains stationary which will give you sharper images. 

Rear curtain sync – this feature is a phase in your shutter speed. A conventional flash is always the first curtain. The second or rear curtain is usually used for a more dramatic effect to create a trail of subject movement. You can create patterns in the motions that cannot be seen by the naked eye and the effects can be magical. To get this effect, set your camera to manual exposure, usually at one second at f/5.6 and set it to the second curtain. Make sure the subject is moving before you take a photograph of your image.

Long exposure noise reduction – for exposures longer than ten seconds, this feature can eliminate some of the digital noise and effects caused by long exposure. If you plan to take consecutive shots of the same subject, this can hinder the speed because the image sensor has to reset and take a blank exposure after each and every shot. This is the same length of time as the actual shot so it is double the time. But the shots that you produce can be worth the wait. 

AI Servo AF – with the newer types of DSLR cameras out in the market today, you can set the perfect combination of exposure, aperture and lighting. Your main hurdle would now be your subject. Especially with sports photography, dance photography or other genres that involve movement, this smart feature allows the camera to detect the speed and direction of movement of the subject so that your lens can focus on the position to eliminate the chances of getting blurry shots. To attain the AI Servo AF, press the shutter release half-way and your viewfinder will show that you are tracking your subject with an in-focus indicator. 

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