DSLR Cameras Explained



So... you’ve just purchased your very first digital SLR camera, but you don’t really know how to use it yet. Well don’t worry, as for those of you who are confused by the vast array of buttons, settings and modes on your new DSLR, we’ve got you covered with our super handy guide.

So... you've just purchased your very first digital SLR camera, but you don't really know how to use it yet. Well don't worry, as for those of you who are confused by the vast array of buttons, settings and modes on your new DSLR, we've got you covered with our super handy guide.

DSLR 2

The Basics

          1.       Megapixels

Just like a standard digital camera, DSLRs use sensors to capture each individual image. And being physically bigger than a standard point-and-shoot camera, it stands to reason that the sensors in a DSLR will be larger and more sophisticated, enabling them to produce images of a higher quality.

But to truly maximise image quality, you should attach a decent lens, as this will help make the colours, detail, and sharpness better. This is useful, particularly if you want to blow up these pictures.

          2.       Dust in your DSLR

But one risk of consistently swapping the lenses on your DSLR camera is that you can get dust in it, which will leave visible dots on your photos. If this happens, it's probably safest to hand it on to a camera shop or manufacturer for cleaning.

If you don't want to spend the cash on this, you could always clean the camera yourself using the manufacturer's instructions. But this can be a bit risky, so we wouldn't recommend it unless you really know what you're doing.

          3.       Shutter Delay and Speed on DSLRs

You may not think it, but shutter delay can be a minor issue on DSLRs too. Sure, the shutter delay on your new digital SLR camera will most likely be under 0.3 of a second, but it is still something to consider when taking a picture.

Another really good thing about DSLRs is that start-up time and shot-to-shot time are also quicker.

          4.       The 6 Functions that will (probably) be on your DSLR

We can't guarantee that each of these modes will be on every DSLR available, but you will most likely come in to contact with these settings:

  • Portrait- Yep... you guessed it. Use portrait mode if you want to take pictures of people.
  • Landscape- Ideal for capturing beautiful scenery.
  • Close up- Taking pictures of small objects has never been easier (or better) with close up mode.
  • Sports- If you need to take a picture of a moving person or object, use sports mode.
  • Night Portrait- For capturing photos of people in low-light situations.
  • Flash Off- Useful for those situations where using a flash is prohibited.

       5.       Use the Automatic Setting

If you're a beginner to SLR photography, you should simply enjoy using it and getting an appreciation for how it feels. And the best way to do this is to set your camera on the full automatic setting (look for the rectangle symbol). When your camera is in full automatic, all decisions regarding important settings, such as ISO, Aperture, and exposure, are made for you.

We also recommend setting your lens to automatic focus when using the automatic setting.

For more detail on choosing and using your camera, visit our interactive camera buyer's guide.

Are you new to DSLR photography? Do you have any more tips for your fellow newbies? Let us know in the comments below...