Last week I showed you 5 tricks to get more out of your camera . If you had not read the article I recommend you take a look and make sure you know the first 5 tricks we talked about.
Today I bring you another batch of functions that most SLR cameras today allow to use, but that many users do not know. They are small tricks that make photography much easier and more exciting, and that will allow you most of the time to get a better picture than you would get without them.
You don’t have to use them either, but know them and know their usefulness. From there you will be testing them and using more frequently surely those functions that interest you most.
This article has a very practical character. I recommend that you go for your favorite drink, settle in an armchair, and accompany the reading of the article with checks on your own camera, on the go.
HOW TO LOCATE THESE FUNCTIONS ON YOUR OWN SLR CAMERA
Before you start, you have to be realistic. Not all SLR cameras offer the same features. However, manufacturers are increasingly working to bring the amateur photographer on foot to functions previously limited to a reduced selection of very expensive cameras, reserved only for an elite. If your SLR camera is current or belongs to the list of SLR cameras that I usually recommend , it is very likely to have more than one of these functions.
You have two ways to locate each of these functions on your own camera:
- You can simply navigate through the menu and see if you find each of these options intuitively, or …
- You can consult the user manual of your own camera model in PDF format . If you open the PDF, use the Ctrl + F key on your computer ( Cmd + F for the maqueros). In the search field, enter a keyword related to the concept you are looking for. You should thus be able to locate, within the user manual, the specific chapter where they explain how to configure the option in question on your own camera.
Ready? Camera in hand ..? Let’s mess up.
5 EXTREMELY USEFUL FEATURES OF YOUR SLR CAMERA
1) Save / restore user settings: There was a time when, for reasons not relevant, I had to lend my SLR camera to a friend quite frequently. The friend every time returned it to me unconfigured This I will deny having written it but, I confess to having abandoned the idea of going out with the camera some afternoon to take pictures only because of the laziness it gave me to set myself to reconfigure the camera again as I like it. You understand me, the typical settings that you configure at the beginning of the whole when you just bought it and you don’t touch it again, type the quality of the photograph, if it’s JPG or RAW, size, megapixels, remote trigger behavior, things like that.
Until I discovered this function. Saving user settings is a revolutionary invention because it allows you to save your custom settings to the camera and restore them whenever you want. Some cameras allow you to save settings for more than one user, ideal if you share the camera with your partner for example: you save your settings under the name User 1 , and the other person under User 2 , and voila. From there, depending on who will use it you use a set of settings or another.
Believe me, if you usually share the camera with more people, this feature will save you a lot of time and frustration. Or discussion
2) Save configuration to memory card: This is going one step further. What happens if your colleague bundles the blanket at the head and changes the entire configuration, even the one carefully stored by you under the “User 1” profile . I don’t think anyone wants to annoy your life like that intentionally, but what if you happen?
If you want to heal in health, use the option that some SLR cameras offer to save user settings on an external memory card . This is how you keep the card, lend the camera, and once the camera is restored you restore your configuration from the card itself and point.
3) Mirror, mirror …: This function or trick is very popular among photographers, but I include it because I know that many readers of the blog do not know it or do not have it entirely clear in terms of operation.
When you shoot a photo with an SLR camera, do you hear a click? I mean the sound of the shot (sound that drives me crazy by the way, call me geek …). Unlike in mobile phones, iPhones or compact digital cameras, where that sound is recorded, in SLR cameras the sound is an authentic noise of small components inside the camera. For a SLR camera to shoot a photo, a whole series of physical elements have to be moved, allowing the photo to be captured. Pure mechanical movement.
I call this trick “Mirror, mirror” for a very predictable reason: one of these pieces that move inside the camera every time you shoot a photo is a mirror. We will not go into what a mirror paints inside your camera but yes, there is a mirror. If you remove the lens and look inside your SLR camera, right now, you can observe it.
It happens that, the mirror, when moving during shooting (falling down normally), produces a small tap on the inner walls of the chamber, which translates into a slight vibration.
Has it never happened to you that, having a very well prepared approach, with the subject completely still, stable tripod, etc., you have finished with a slightly blurry photograph? On some of those occasions, the reason could be the sudden blow of the mirror into the camera at the time of the shot.
Many SLR camera manufacturers, aware of this problem, offer an option within the menu through which you can lock the mirror . Locking the mirror what it does is prevent the mirror from moving back and forth every time you go to shoot a photo. You save that little movement that could cause moving pictures.
Another option you have is the delay shot / mirror . What it does is that you frame a photo, focus, leave everything ready, and then press the shutter button to take the photo. From that moment on, the camera moves the mirror upwards (as it normally would). HOWEVER, it does not take the picture. Not yet. This allows the mirror to move, produce that vibration as usual, but the photo would not be taken yet. After a moment (extremely brief, this happens in what it takes to blink) the camera starts to record the photograph.
I do not know if it is very complicated to imagine it, but the idea is that: the camera separates the moment of the mirror movement on the one hand, which is when all that unwanted vibration can happen, and the moment of taking the photograph on the other hand, Once that vibration has passed. You don’t notice this, but the camera manages it very well.
Listen to me, it’s not something you have to worry too much about, don’t let the “Mirror mirror” take your sleep away either. What I said before, this is something that you should know and experience. Sometimes it may be useful, but you don’t have to throw your life blocking the mirror or delaying the photo every time you want to portray a beautiful moment. Understand me.
In short: blocking the mirror or delaying the picture with respect to the movement of the mirror you will get sharper pictures.
4) Automatic Bracketing: Soon Alexa will explain in a magnificent article what Braketing is. For now we will say that it is taking several photographs of the same but with a different exposure in each of the images taken. This allows us to obtain the same underexposed photograph, with normal and overexposed exposure, and thus be able to decide, later, which of the 3 to keep or which one we prefer.
There are times when you have it very clear, you adjust the exposure, you know what you do, you shoot, and outside.
Others, well because you are traveling, in a context and environment different from what you normally have, you are on the street, a strange day ago, at times the sun rises and at times the sky becomes overcast, in the end the same exposure setting will give you produces some good and others not so much, that if it came out too underexposed, that if the other came out too overexposed … Braketing allows you to go home with some peace of mind knowing that you carry different versions of each photograph so you can choose at ease .
Search the options of your SLR camera in case it offers you automatic Braketing . If you have it, you are in luck: you will only have to configure the camera only once, and with those same parameters you can always obtain the number you have indicated of photographs, with the exposure settings that you have configured yourself.
5) Extra button, extra function: My favorite trick, maybe it is the function I use most, on a daily basis, in my photographs. I recognize that not all SLR cameras offer it, but the Nikon D7000 for example does. This option allows you to assign functions x, the ones you want, to certain “extra” buttons that are built into the camera. Obviously, the essential and typical buttons are each in their place, each assigned to a function, they come this way from the factory and must be used as they are, however some SLRs bring one, two or three extra buttons, or without function still or pre-configured with one. If you get into the camera menu you find an option where you can assign a function to those buttons.
In my SLR I do not like where the video recording button is placed, I find it difficult to use it, so I chose a button that was much more comfortable and accessible to me and I assigned the video recording function. I have another button dedicated to blocking focus and exposure (without having to go through the shutter). They are just ideas. Locate the option in the menu and check what functions the camera allows you to assign to the extra buttons it has.
This allows you to save a lot of time and above all feel much more comfortable when using your camera.
The last and most important function: My dear reader, you are the most important function. Never get obsessed with these details. Know them as much as possible, explore them, try them, but remember that the function of these options is to help you be a better photographer and get a specific goal: a great photograph. And not just any one, but “your own great photograph . ” Nothing written is more valid than what you feel and experience behind the viewfinder of your camera, finger over the shutter. Use these tips as a means, but don’t confuse them in order. In your own photos nobody knows better than you. You have the last word.
Take pictures Enjoy it with passion.
So far my humble contribution. I hope you will find it useful. If you know someone with a SLR camera, invite them to read this article, who knows, you might find it interesting.
Did you like these tricks? Did you know them before? Do you find them useful?