It’s so exciting to get a new camera that many photographers can’t resist pulling it out of the box, setting the manual aside, leaving the default settings as they are, and heading out for a day of shooting. If that sounds familiar pay close attention to the video below, in which an accomplished explains what to do first so the new camera performs as intended.
Florida-based pro Booray Perry makes his living shooting portraits, weddings and a variety of events, and his tutorials are popular with Shutterbug readers for their straightforward style targeted mostly at beginners. Today’s episode is for novices and pros alike, as he demonstrates “the 10 things I do whenever I get a new camera.”
Much of what you’ll learn involves configuring the camera to suit your specific needs. That way you’ll avoid the common set-it-and-for-get-it mentality and neglect to customize the default settings later. You’ll also be able to download Perry’s popular eBook on this topic so that you can refer back to it in written form whenever you want.
Perry doesn’t spend much time with simple stuff like setting the time and date, rather focusing on other important options that affect the type of photography you do most. His advice applies to whatever camera you own, but you may have to dig through the menus a bit to find what you’re looking for because every brand is set up a bit differently.
Perry walks you through the various image-quality options available. These are important depending upon how you intend to edit, display, share, or print your work. Perry says “the two big options” are Raw vs. Jpeg, and you’ll learn the strengths and weaknesses of both. You can also set the camera to capture images in both file formats at once. Another consideration is choosing the right file size; in other works, how big you want the images to be.
Perry continues with a discussion of the various metering modes from which to choose, and again, the choice you make has to with the subject matter at hand as well as the conditions you confront. This area is a good example how some brands use different nomenclature to describe the same thing. Fujifilm for example, refers to metering modes as “Photometry.”
Among the other key variables are the variety of focusing modes offered by modern cameras, and when one works better than the others. In this regard Perry also explains how and why to move focus points for optimum results in different situations. You’ll also see why Perry insists that you turn off the setting that enables the camera to shoot when there’s no memory card installed—calling this tip “huge.”
Be sure to download’s Perry’s free eBook after watching the video. And pay a visit to his popular YouTube channel when you have time.
We also encourage you to watch the tutorial we posted from another accomplished pro, explaining how to break three common “rules of photography” when you run out of fresh ideas and need a jolt of inspiration.