Learn Photography – Lesson 2 – Know your DSLR camera

DSLR cameraWelcome to Lesson 2 of a series of posts on Photography – Getting to know your DSLR camera (or not just DSLR, but also if you have an advanced compact or CSC camera).

This series of lessons is designed to explain to you all the controls, dials and options on your digital camera. And I will make my best to make it easy to understand, without using too much jargon.

Understanding your camera means more than just knowing what certain buttons and control wheels do, and that’s something I am going to cover as well, so keep reading.

In this lesson, I am going to explain the Control Mode Dial.

Here’s what it looks like:

 Control Mode Dial

Here’s what it does to start with. The Control Mode Dial offers you many shooting modes, there is something for amateurs and professionals here alike. There are some automatic modes and manual modes, so you can decide how much you want to control.

Here are the modes on the dial (from the bottom of the image):

Green square icon – Full Auto – no control on your side. In this shooting mode all you do is point and shoot. The camera sets everything automatically.

CA – Creative Auto – As above, but this mode allows you for some creativity. This mode allows you to change the picture’s brightness, depth of field and colour tone.

P – Program – In this mode, the camera automatically sets the Aperture and Shutter speed.

Note: You can “override” the Program Mode and change the Aperture/Shutter speed combination by pressing the shutter button halfway, and then turning the Aperture Dial.

TV – Shutter Priority – In this mode, you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically sets the aperture. Good if you want to control the shutter speed, i.e. when you shoot sports, cars, fast moving objects.

AV – Aperture Priority – In this mode, you set the aperture and the camera automatically sets the shutter speed. Great when you want to have control over the depth of field in your images, I use it most of the time. The higher aperture number the more foreground and background will be in focus.

M – Manual Mode – In this mode, you set both the aperture and the shutter speed, so you have full control. To get the exposure right, use the exposure level indicator in the viewfinder.

B – Bulb – In this mode, the shutter stays open as long as you keep the shutter button pressed down. Great for night shots, fireworks, and other scenes that require very long exposure.

I hope this gives you a clear overview of the controls on the control mode dial on your camera.

See you at the next session. Enjoy! 😉

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