Digital Single Lens Reflex system have become widely popular among photographers of any level of expertise and are also recognized as the “professional” camera systems. From basic entry level cameras to the powerful flagships from popular camera brands, all DSLR joy from the fact that they work pretty much the same way due to their moving mirror reflection scheme. Since all these cameras work the same way, there are several tricks that apply to all of them.
ISO Noise Reduction
It is really important for you to learn how to use this heavily popular feature from DSLR cameras. Almost any DSLR has an option known as a “noise reduction” feature which applies an algorithm to the image that basically destroys it a little bit. In harsh light situations it might be useful for immediate purposes, but if you could manage to make your gear steady with a tripod or something else, it could result into a more pleasant and rich image due to the possibility of shooting at normal ISO settings instead of cranking it up.
Many photographers learned to handle a camera on their early days by watching through the lens thanks to the miraculous pentaprism and the small yet great viewfinder (which offers real life view of the scenes in front of our cameras). We also learned to focus the camera’s (lent or recently owned) lens by pressing the shutter button halfway and then pressing it down completely to take the picture. This offers an extremely inefficient way of doing things. By working out with Lock Focus instead of halfway button pressings, you’ll be able to actually lock your lens focusing mechanism and you can shoot as quickly as possible (and with all the imaginable recompositions) without losing time as the traditional focusing technique with its slow halfway button pressing way of doing things.
LCD settings for longer battery span
The purpose of any battery is to give power to your loved gadgets for the longest time possible. Therefore helping these tiny creatures into having a longer life span is always a smart move. Many DSLR cameras have different LCD styles you can choose from. Try to stick with the one that requires less light to work (ergo, any high contrast black screen with clear color numbers and letters should work just fine). Also, many DSLR cameras (entry level cameras no) have a built in top screen that gives you all the required information to make any desired exposure. Turning off your LCD and just using that little fella could help you save a lot of energy from your batteries. Doing this will also help you into building an anti-chimping mindset, which will enhance your experience as a photographer without a doubt.
This one is pretty straight forward. DSLR Cameras are very noisy, so search down at your camera’s setting for any option that could make it quitter and activate it or them. As a street photographer myself, I must tell you that being able to be silent is fundamental for capturing inconspicuous candid photographs.
Get control with Bulb
With the BULB shutter speed your camera would be capturing light for the amount of time your finger presses down the shutter button. Obviously, using your real finger is an outrageous action to perform. The smart way to go is with an “artificial finger” that won’t shake at all.
Have you ever wondered why DSLR cameras have that peculiar noise every single time you take a picture with them? Well, it is because the mirror that allows you to see through the lens actually dodges light when pressing the shutter button and slams directly into the top of the light chamber of your camera. This produces slight shakes, and if you are super picky about sharpness when using your camera at slow speeds from 1/15s to even 1s, you should use the mirror lock feature. With this you’ll be able to move the mirror to the top of the light chamber first with an initial shutter button pressing action, and after that, you’ll be able to take the picture.
This is handy for controlled situations, not street or action photography, because you literally block your viewfinder and stop seeing through the lens when locking the camera’s mirror.
Remember, all DSLR cameras work the same way, which make them fantastically versatile tool. The main difference among each model, are the technological capabilities they have. Now get your camera and have some fun practicing any or all of these tricks.