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Do you know your Camera?

JJGEE Avatar
JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
25 Sep 2019 10:04AM
How well do you know the features / settings & techniques in setting up and using your camera ?

Reading an article online recently I thought " this looks great " so this morning i have given it a limited try out but definitely something for an extended trial.

Originally I did browse through the manual when I bought it but only really checked the obvious features etc.

So, what is this new technique for non-action photography ( landscapes, architecture, still life, ....)

1) set the camera to Manual Focus.
2) Customise a button to AF/MF Control Hold
For me the joystick type button, which also allows moving the autofocus area

As the camera is in manual focus the shutter release button does not activate autofocus but when the joystick button is pressed autofocus kicks in and locks into manual when released

Of course, you all knew that Wink but after 2.5 years I am pleased to discover it
mmm .... I wonder what FEL Lock Hold does ?

Have you discovered any super tips long after buying / using your camera ?
DaveRyder Avatar
DaveRyder Plus
9 7.4k 23 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2019 10:51AM
I use very little of the setting capability/variations on either my OM10ii or Lumix LX15

I set them up for stability, sharpening etc etc. when I got them and then really only switch between M/A/S/P alter ISO and very occasionally an on board filter (but only dramatic tone really).

Tianshi_angie Avatar
25 Sep 2019 12:23PM
Should I admit this?! I bought a Sony A7 earlier in the year. There are so many 'auto' modes and buttons to customise that I am having great difficulty in getting my hear round it all. I have watched the 'Northrup' video many times and slowly, but slowly light is beginning to dawn but it is so different to any other camera I have ever owned that it is an uphill journey - but when it works the results are very satisfactory!
Dave_Canon Avatar
Dave_Canon 17 2.2k United Kingdom
25 Sep 2019 12:41PM
I was well on top of my EOS 5D2 but since upgrading to the 5D4 there is a lot more to consider. This includes a sophisticated focussing system, customising buttons, WiFi control, GPS, touch screen etc. I was on top of most of those the focussing system is a real challenge. One could change focusing mode, number of points and select a point on the fly. This is not really helpful as I want to concentrate on the subject. Initially, I also found many of my shots incorrectly focused as it chooses the closest point with multi-spot. I had been used to single centre spot only and reverted to this initially. I then found an excellent uTube about setting up the 5D4 and now use back button focussing. One button is set to single centre spot but does include A1 Servo. The other uses multiple spots and the full tracking system. So I use the first for most of my static photography and the second for things like birds in flight.

This is not optimising the camera for every situation but gives me a practical compromise.

Big Bri Avatar
Big Bri 22 16.7k United Kingdom
25 Sep 2019 8:12PM
I was doing a workshop last year and showing some of my students how to do auto bracketing, and a friend from the camera club was helping me.
When I mentioned that although you can auto bracket, you have to remember to take 3 photos, he said "set it to 2 second self timer and take a shot". I did, and it fired off all 3.

I'd had my camera about 6 years at that point Blush
WestCamera Avatar
WestCamera 4 121 United States
25 Sep 2019 9:48PM
When I bought my first digital camera I read the manual end to end and studied the camera's many settings and modes thinking that I had to know it all to get my best from the camera. Just the process alone was exhausting when applying all the settings and modes to best effect for a variety of situations. I eventually realized that what people do most often is choose the easiest mode to use and just stick with that. I was so pleased and relieved when I realized this. And, just think, the camera I was dealing w with was just a point and shoot variety. For this reason I have steered far away from ever considering owning a DSLR. Over the years I have since come to learn that most DSLR owners often shoot only on Auto mode. From the comments above, I am not surprised that they do.
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.3k 30 England
25 Sep 2019 10:08PM
I read the manuals but in the end just learn how to use the things i like most often. If i want to try something out of my ordinary i will check up on it. A bit like any computer program - we never use most of it, but stuff is there if you want it, and you learn as you go along when required.
JJGEE Avatar
JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
26 Sep 2019 7:19AM

Quote: A bit like any computer program - we never use most of it .....

I can also relate to that.
Many features in Capture One Pro that I do not use and of course every year there is an update with something new, to tempt us to buy it, of course !
Dave_Canon Avatar
Dave_Canon 17 2.2k United Kingdom
26 Sep 2019 10:08AM
As I teach image editing at my Club, I have always recognised that most (probably all ) of us will only use a limited range of features in complex packages such as LR and PS. In particular PS is designed for professional Illustrators not amateur photographers though LR is designed for photographers. I would think I am very familiar with 80-90% of LR but only about 30% of PS. There are usually at least 6 ways of achieving any process in this Adobe S/W so there is no single right way to do most things. If you have a set of processes which work for you, that is fine. Once you have established various processes you might then experiment further. I guess the same must apply to using these complex cameras.

thewilliam2 Avatar
thewilliam2 6 1.7k United Kingdom
26 Sep 2019 11:06AM
As a member of the school photographic society, we were taught to get to know our camera thoroughly so we didn't need to think about driving it. Then at a workshop with a Magnum photographer many decades later, our tutor stressed that we couldn't be creative until we can operate our cameras with "unconscious competence".

This has always been a good reason for not changing my cameras unless I really need to, but then I have mild neophobia.
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 24.1k United Kingdom
26 Sep 2019 11:56AM
I read in various places that photographers change settings with the controls on the back of their DSLR whilst looking through the viewfinder!
I am 76 years old, I know what the buttons do and when to do it Smile but could never do it in action, I set up what I think I need, then look at the info. to confirm, unless I am in a streetly situation!
I don't get too many over or under exposed or out of focus results, nor miss too many shots, alt least the camera doesn't but my brain sometimes does!
thewilliam2 Avatar
thewilliam2 6 1.7k United Kingdom
26 Sep 2019 12:38PM
Modern Nikons are capable of excellent results when used as a point & shoot with the Matrix Metering and the "P for professional" exposure mode, with the occasional tweak using the rear control wheel. Don't many professional photographers do just that when things are changing rapidly?

Do users actually need to know the workings of their camera these days?
Dave_Canon Avatar
Dave_Canon 17 2.2k United Kingdom
28 Sep 2019 10:03AM
My photography tends to be based on specific photoshoots probably about 30-40 a year. To really be on top of all details in your camera without thinking, you probably need to be using it almost daily.

"Do users actually need to know the workings of their camera these days?" Yes I believe to some extent. As soon as I have tried fully automated settings, I get many exposure and focussing errors. I much prefer to use manual exposure in difficult situations where I have experience but my camera does not. I am particularly wary of multipoint focussing which focusses on the nearest object it can see whereas I can see that the Squirrel (or other main object) is beyond these peripheral items so using spot focussing seems to be more effective. However, I am told that some of the latest mirrorless camera have excellent face recognition and can focus on eyes and ignore everything else. So this type of automatic would help. The new skill is to decide when and when not to use automatic features.

JJGEE Avatar
JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
28 Sep 2019 11:45AM

Quote:I am told that some of the latest mirrorless camera have excellent face recognition and can focus on eyes

Not only that, but some now have eye autofocus for animals as well !


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