So, you just opened your presents, and you received that amazing camera you've been staying up late reading reviews about for the last six months. Rad! Now what? Here are the first 10 things you should do with that new camera.
If you've upgraded from another camera, you likely customized it in a bunch of ways, ranging from crucial shooting behavior such as autofocus settings and auto ISO limitations to stuff like not beeping every single time it acquires focus. The first thing you should do is sit the two cameras side by side and go through the menus of the old one to duplicate any custom settings in the new one. It'll feel more like your camera instantly.
Photography is very much a game of parameters, the improper setting of any of which can destroy your shots. For example, many cameras come set to shoot small JPEGs, likely a setting that was designed to save space when memory cards were smaller in capacity and more expensive. There's no reason for that nowadays, so make sure you change it to raw or at the very least, full-size JPEGs (though you should really be shooting in raw unless you have a specific reason not to). Be sure to check all the other settings too; the last thing you want is the camera surprising you in the middle of a shoot. Check out the autofocus, the metering, the white balance — anything and everything. Personally, I take a half-hour to go through every single menu item to ensure I understand both what they do and where they're located as well as making sure they're all set the way I desire. For example, I never let my camera take a shot without a memory card in it, because as soon as I do, I will take some (several hundred) shots without a memory card in it.
Do you see a little geared wheel on the side of the viewfinder? If you wear glasses or the viewfinder just doesn't seem sharp to you, look at the numbers or focus points in the viewfinder (or pull up a menu if you're on a mirrorless camera) and turn it until the image in the viewfinder looks sharpest, then leave it set there. You likely won't have to change it again.
Do you have gear insurance? Don't forget to add your new camera to your policy before you drop it, because the one time you forget will be the one time your camera dive-bombs an entire staircase at the Cavs game (ask me about that one time with my new iPhone).Read More...
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