How to set up your camera correctly: 6 most common difficulties
How to set up your camera correctly: 6 most common difficulties

Do you want to avoid the mistakes common among many novice (and not only) photographers? Take a look at these six settings for your camera and follow these customization tips to enhance your photos and improve your professionalism.

How to set up your camera correctly: 6 most common difficulties
How to set up your camera correctly: 6 most common difficulties

1. White balance

The vast majority of photographs are taken in auto white balance mode. This is a simple choice that is reasonable in most cases. But it is not 100% reliable.

Basically, white balance systems tend to correct natural color deviations in the light area, so that images look too bland. For example, the warm sunlight in the early morning or evening can get too cold.

When shooting outdoors, in many cases the best results are obtained when using Daylight or Sunny modes. They can give even better results than the Auto setting in shady or cloudy conditions.

Most cameras also offer shady or cloudy white balance options to add a little warmth to your images.

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photo life hacks

In some situations, this color shift may be excessive. It is worth experimenting with your camera, however, to understand how each white balance setting works under different conditions.

For maximum control, use the Customs Manual for white balance and set the value manually.

Your camera manual will tell you exactly how to do this, but the method is based on photographing a white or neutral gray target (a piece of cardboard works well) in the same light as the subject and using that image to set the white balance. … When you take a photo of a white or gray card again after manually adjusting the white balance, you should see it turn neutral.

If you like, you can use your camera's white balance settings to "warm up" or "cool" your photos. You can try experimenting with a non-neutral calibration target.

2. Sharpness

Most digital cameras allow you to adjust the level of sharpness that is applied to JPEG images when they are processed.

Some photographers suggest that the maximum setting is the best option as it will produce the clearest images. Unfortunately, this does not always work. Highly contrasting edges, such as a clear horizon, can be cut off, becoming oversharpened and haloed.

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photo life hacks

By contrast, using the smallest value can cause small details to appear somewhat blurry. However, this usually looks better than overly pointed edges.

The best way to get good results is to apply the sharpening carefully, gradually sharpening from image to image until the perfect result is achieved. Or at least use the mid-range setting for most shots.

3. Autofocus

Many photographers allow their cameras to automatically set the focus point for faster, more convenient shooting. However, most cameras assume that the main target of the photograph is the nearest object and that it is close to the center of the frame.

While this will produce good results most of the time, if you are shooting someone who is off-center and with a lot of objects around, the camera may not emphasize the right accents.

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photo life hacks

The solution is to take control of the AF point selection. So you can place the hotspot in the right place.

Your camera manual will explain exactly which mode to select, but it is usually called either Single point AF or Select AF.

Once the correct mode is set, use the navigation controls of the camera to select the AF point that is on the target subject in the frame.

In some cases, you may find that the AF point is not in line with the desired subject. In such a situation, you should use the technique of focusing and recomposing the frame. To do this, simply select the center AF point (as it is usually the most sensitive) and move the camera so that it is on the subject. Then, lightly press the shutter button to have the camera focus the lens. Now keep your finger on the shutter and compose the shot. When you're happy with the composition, press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

4. Flash Synchronization

By default, cameras are set to fire the flash at the start of the exposure. This does not pose a problem at fast shutter speeds or when the subject and / or the camera is stationary. But with long exposures or in the case of moving objects, this can lead to strange results.

The problem is that the ghostly, blurry image of the subject is carried forward by the correctly exposed, sharp version. This gives the impression that the object is moving in the opposite direction.

You can easily get out of this situation if you delve into the camera (or flash) menu and enable the flash sync function on the second curtain (Rear Sync). This will cause the flash to light at the end of the exposure. Then the movement of any object will be recorded as a blur behind it, and not in front of it, which will make the image much more natural and can really emphasize the speed of movement.

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photo life hacks

5. Long exposure noise reduction

The Noise Reduction function compares the main image with the black frame and “subtracts” its noise to obtain the final photo. The black frame uses exactly the same exposure time as the main image, only the shutter does not open and the light does not reach the sensor. The idea is to record non-random noise caused by changes in pixel sensitivity and visible at slow shutter speeds.

As a result, when using the noise reduction function, it takes almost double the time to record a picture, which is especially annoying with long exposures. Therefore, many photographers are tempted to disable this feature.

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photo life hacks

However, the noise canceling results are worth the wait.

Of course, you can independently perform black frame extraction using image editing software, but it is still advisable to do at least a few black frames during the shooting, since the noise level tends to increase due to the sensor warming up during the shooting. intensive use.

The most reliable approach is to use the camera's built-in noise reduction system.

6. Long exposure

Many aspiring photographers overestimate their ability to hold the camera firmly and, consequently, shoot quality at relatively slow shutter speeds.

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photo life hacks

A general rule of thumb for sharp handheld shots with a full-frame camera is to use a shutter speed of at least one second divided by the focal length of the lens. This means that if you are shooting with a 100mm lens, the shutter speed must be at least 1/100 s.

This rule can be adapted to work with DX cameras, taking into account the crop factor (the factor of increasing the focal length). For example, a 100mm lens for SLR-type digital cameras (simply put, DSLRs) with an APS-C sensor (for example, Canon EOS 700D) has a crop factor of 1, 6. Therefore, a shutter speed of at least 1/160 s is required for a sharp shot.

Let me remind you that the shutters of modern cameras use a standard exposure scale in fractions of a second: for short exposures, the numerator is lowered, and the exposure is described by the denominator: 1/100 → 100; 1/250 → 250 and so on.

Many photographic lenses and some cameras now have built-in image stabilization systems. This allows for faster shutter speeds when shooting handheld.

Plus, some lenses provide exposure compensation up to 4eV, which allows you to further reduce the shutter speed - from 1/125 to 1/16.

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