How to Use DSLR camera – Beginner’s Guide

DSLR has set up a milestone in the world of digital cameras. But for good photography, it is not sufficient to buy a DSLR camera. You need to know the function of each and every feature of the camera. You must know how to use them well. Here a complete guide for the beginners is given below, assuming that you know nothing about a DSLR camera.

What is a DSLR camera?

This is the most important question for someone planning to buy a DSLR camera. A digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera works on the internal mirror and prism system. In all digital cameras, the light rays are accumulated first and focused by the lens. A digital sensor is present there. It captures the light. In DSLR cameras, an additional mirror and a prism are present there. The light reaches the viewfinder after being reflected by them.

Understand the key controls of your DSLR camera

silhouette photo of man holding camera

To be an expert in photography with a DSLR camera, you need to understand the key functions. Auto mode does a decent job most of the time. But to get the exact output that you want, you need to understand the tools that a DSLR camera offers.

Mode Dial

The mode dial is the key by which you will control the camera. You can change the mode by rotating the dial. The “Auto” mode indicates that the sensor of the camera will decide the subject and ambiance automatically. “M” mode indicates that the user has to set everything manually. “P” mode, also known as programmed automatic mode, is basically a kind of automatic mode, with control over some specific tools like exposure, ISO, and white balance.

Using “A” mode or “Av” mode you can control the aperture. Using “S”, “T” or “Tv” mode, you can control the shutter speed.

Exposure Compensation

Nowadays, this feature is available in mobile phone cameras also. This feature lets you decide how much bright or dark your photo will be.

Aperture and Shutter Control Wheel

person holding Canon DSLR camera

This feature gives you control over aperture and shutter speed. In aperture priority or shutter priority mode, you need to change aperture and shutter speed. Rotating this wheel, you will adjust your priority settings. If your camera is in aperture control wheel, then this wheel will act as an aperture control wheel.

If it is in shutter priority mode, it will work as shutter control wheel. If you are working in manual mode, you need to set both aperture and shutter speed with this wheel.

ISO Button

Using the ISO key, you can take control over the light sensitivity of a DSLR camera. You have to control this key according to the aperture of your camera. But too much increase in ISO brings grain over the photo. This is known as digital noise. So, you should know how much ISO you need.

Focus Mode

Almost everyone dealing with a camera knows the function of focus. It is used to ensure the sharpness of the subject of the photograph. A DSLR camera has a range of focus modes. In autofocus mode, the camera decides the point of focus with the help of a sensor.

In the case of a moving body, continuous autofocus mode works well. Apart from that, manual focus is also available in DSLR cameras. In that case, you have to adjust the focus by rotating the focus ring.

Metering Mode

By this feature, the camera measures the exposure of the light coming up to the camera. But this feature is subjective. You can change the meter according to your subject. It depends upon how much light you want in your photo. Sometimes this tool technically balances the light also.

Focal length ring

This ring is found on the lenses with variable focal length. By rotating this ring, the focal length of the camera is adjusted. It results in a change in zoom of the frame.

Before you start using your camera

Before you start clicking spectacular frames, you must know some basic tricks which will help you polish your craftsmanship.

The proper way to hold a DSLR camera

It is really important to know how to hold a camera properly. Due to a lack of this knowledge, many new photographers with very good photographic sense, fail to flourish. Make your hands stable as much as possible. As DSLR cameras are heavy in weight, you should hold with both hands.

It stabilizes your camera and prevents you from taking blurry photos. If you still face problems making your hands stable, then you may try monopod or tripod.

Finding the Horizon Level

Understanding the horizon level is a very important thing in photography. Most of the cameras have options for the grid on the display or pointer on the viewfinder. It will help you to set and align the horizon.

Understanding the Exposure Triangle

This is the most important feature that determines the aesthetics of photography. It is the combination of three important keys to photography. These three keys are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Aperture is basically a hole that decides how much light will enter into the camera.

The shutter acts like a curtain that whisks aside while capturing a frame. As a result, it allows the light to fall on the sensor. ISO decides how sensitive your camera will be towards the incoming light rays. These three keys actually control how the final image will look.

Rules of Composition

The composition is the most important thing in photography. To be a good photographer, you have to master it first. Primarily, there are four pillars of composition in photography – the rule of third, use of light, leading lines, and framing.  It will always be better if you can master the photo editing also. A good photo editing always enhances the quality of photography.

So, enjoy your new DSLR camera mastering all the technical features mentioned above. Capture the aesthetics of your mind with your lens.

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