Tips And Tricks For Your DSLR Camera You Need To Know

Tips And Tricks For Your DSLR Camera You Need To Know

A Canon DSLR on a tripod © Shashank Shukla Kotaha/Shutterstock Canon DSLR on tripod for recording

The camera and photo industry is changing rapidly. The same inventors who bring us the latest and greatest are the fastest and most tireless hands when it comes to figuring out the most unconventional cutting edge developments. Canon itself, perhaps the biggest manufacturer in the field, has released at least one new model every quarter this year, but it's not done yet. At the end of 2021, the brand even announced that it was bringing back DSLRs entirely, ending nearly two and a half decades of DSLR development (via Petapixel ).

However, if you've been in the photography business for more than two years, your arsenal should still be stocked with DSLR accessories. And indeed, just because new factory SLRs are far from sold out anytime in the near future, buying a SLR is not a very easy decision for new photographers. Many SLR models are ideal cameras that will give you many years of loyal service. If you've just opened your first camera kit or want to refresh your SLRs after using mirrorless models, here's a complete guide to everything you need. What you need to know about SLRs: Use them, change them, and stay relevant long after their creators thought they were dead.

Avoid third-party batteries

Various photo equipment © Ekfan Chimpali/Shutterstock Photography Equipment

In any crowd of photographers, you'll find at least a few who claim to have used third-party DSLR batteries for years without incident. While the lowest price can be tempting, we urge you not to fall for this confirmation bias – you have the ability to pay the price with your camera's performance. While some third-party brands don't want to break your camera and wallet, there are plenty of shameful scams out there to silence them. Just understand the many frustrations expressed in user reviews of cheap third-party batteries distributed on Amazon.

The fact is that you are not completely prohibited from using third-party batteries, and many photographers will call you naive if you pay for branded batteries. If you have the time and resources to shop around, there are reliable third-party brands (via Expert Photography). The best case for using a third-party battery is when your camera is working fine but can't charge it to save its life. Third-party batteries that don't match your manufacturer's charger can also drain, so you'll need to make completely different settings. The battery can be discharged only after several charging processes. On the other hand, you can bet on major improvements to your camera. Other brands of batteries have been reported to heat up and swell inside the camera, get stuck inside and won't pop out (via Reddit). The odds are slim, but why risk it?

Always shoot in RAW format

A man is holding a digital camera © Prostock-studio/Shutterstock A man is holding a digital camera

So let's first see what the difference is: A RAW image file is a file that stores all the data when the image is captured. Nothing is compressed or released. Although JPEG images are small and easy to work with, if you can't handle a lot of large files, compress and discard the image data. When your camera is set to record JPEG, you're essentially letting the camera's brain decide what information to keep and what to discard for you.

Especially if you're using an SLR camera that may not perform well in low light or other unsuitable shooting conditions, RAW image files are your best friend for preserving sharpness, highlights and shadows in your image. This is because 8-bit JPEGs only have 256 levels of RGB color, while 16-bit RAW images allow for an RGB spectrum of over 65,000 color levels (via Nikon). Not only do they capture brighter highlights, but they also edit better with smoother gradations between brightness settings.

Additionally, when a RAW file is imported into an editing program such as Adobe Lightroom, the image data is copied, modified, and saved as a new file. If the JPEG is not actively duplicated before saving the changes, you are wasting data and degrading the quality of the JPEG with each new version that is saved.

Don't sleep on semi-auto

The photographer is sitting in the field © dr.D/Shutterstock Photographer squatting in a field

If you are new to photography, you may be advised to use Autorun. In fully automatic mode, DSLRs are tasked with choosing the ideal shooting settings—shutter speed, aperture, and ISO—based on data from the camera's sensor and what determines what you're trying to focus on. . In general, the goal is to switch from automatic to fully manual, but not necessarily to jump right in.

Most SLR cameras offer two levels that you can use to switch to full manual mode: Aperture Priority Mode and Shutter Priority Mode. Aperture priority is indicated as A or Av on the front of a DSLR; In this mode, you can control the aperture while the camera automatically determines the shutter speed. In this case, the photographer has at his disposal one of the most advanced tools of photography: aperture is the difference between a sharp or blurred landscape and a beautifully blurred or depressed portrait. On the other hand, let's say you want to shoot a sports event, but you have trouble finding the right settings. Shutter priority mode may appear on your camera's dial as AE (ie, automatic exposure) or TV mode. In shutter priority mode, you set a shutter speed – long enough, for example, to freeze the current one when the camera is in standby mode.

Manual mode is the pinnacle of shooting freedom, but if you haven't already, try an in-between mode.

Run the color swatches to optimize the white balance

A woman holds color samples on the wall © Ronstick/Shutterstock A woman with paint samples on a wall

Shooting indoors can be difficult with a DSLR because your settings aren't visible in real time in the viewfinder like they are on a mirrorless camera. For example, let's say you rent real estate. The photo of your living room looks perfect, but taking a photo of the kitchen with the same equipment doesn't seem right. Artificial light is almost always the cause of a drop in temperature (how "warm" or yellowish compared to how "cool" or blue your image is) as you move from room to room.

The term for this is white balance, and an incorrect white balance can make skin tones appear yellow or purple, and wash out whites and highlights in an image. If you're new to white balance and trying to adjust it manually, you can lower the temperature even further. A good way to calibrate white balance is to look through the lens at a white surface and gradually adjust the balance until the surface image looks pure white at a neutral temperature. With a mirrorless camera you can see these adjustments in real time, but with a DSLR you need to take a photo to see your adjustments. Walls are a great example of a finish to work with, but walls are usually off-white, off-white, or off-white. This is where pure white samples will come in handy. Simply slip it into your camera bag, fill the frame with swatches when you need to calibrate the white balance, and switch between test and custom images until you're happy.

Format the memory card regularly

A person inserting a memory card into a camera © Vitalii Stock/Shutterstock A man inserting a memory card into a camera

We photographers seem to forget how bad SD cards are until we suddenly have to face the consequences. Memory cards used in DSLR cameras can fail whenever you need them most, and while there are times when extreme measures (usually expensive recovery software) will recover these damaged files, there are also times when your video recording and work on the hard drive just disappear.

Reformatting your memory card is a good precaution so you don't fall victim to it. This will delete all existing data from the card. It's easy to reformat cards while they're in the camera, and this should be done if one of the following criteria is met: the existing files are safely stored elsewhere, and you're sure the card won't need anything when you make a new recording. , your camera card displays an error message, or you have other reasons to believe that it is not working properly, or you have been using the card for a while without formatting it. SD cards can withstand hundreds or even thousands of reformatting cycles, so don't be afraid to be generous. Always check the contents of the card in the camera preview to ensure that precious memories are not erased forever.

Save common shooting situations as a special feature

The model poses in the photo studio © Goodenkoff/Shutterstock A model poses in a photo studio

If you're a photographer who often shoots indoor portraits with studio lighting, the combination of settings you use most often will be different than someone who often shoots birds. It's also unlikely that the default shooting mode will have the exact shutter speed, ISO, and aperture you want to choose. Because of this, most SLRs (except perhaps the lower-end and older models of each brand) offer at least one or two dedicated shooting mode dials that you can use to keep the settings you want.

The exact name and location of the settings may vary depending on the make and model of your SLR, but custom functions may appear as C1, C2, C3, etc. on the shooting mode button. Instructions for setting up custom mode can be found in user manuals or online tutorials, but the process is usually very simple – often you just set the camera to what you want to shoot, then look for a tab called "." Custom picture" in the menu.

Use subject tracking and semi-depressed focus

A photographer travels with a backpack © lzf/Shutterstock Photographer on the street with a backpack

The first lesson in Photography 101 is to press the round button to take a picture, right? Some DSLR beginners may not know that pressing the shutter button halfway activates a useful focus tool. What is automatically programmed into the camera and what needs to be adjusted in the settings depends on your make and model, but most major SLR cameras have a focus lock feature. When the shutter release button is pressed halfway. This means that if you focus on your dog, for example, the dog will stay in focus even if it moves in the frame. Press the button all the way down to take the picture and release the focus lock when you release it.

This feature is useful for dynamic and unpredictable shooting conditions such as wildlife and sports. If you're at a basketball game and want to shoot a certain player, but another player is approaching you, the autofocus will assume that you want to focus on the nearest object. If your drive is enabled, you can record from the nearest non-sharp drive. dslr,


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SLR cameras? A study guide

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