introduction to dslrs learn the basic components of dslr cameras
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Introduction to DSLRs
Introduction to DSLRsLearn the basic components of DSLR cameras
Camera BasicsSome things to consider when using a digital cameraMegapixelsMemoryMenusModes
MegapixelsWhats a Pixel?The pixel is the smallest addressable screen element; it is the smallest unit of picture that can be controlled
MegapixelsWhats a Mega-pixel?One Million pixels but its a bit more complicated than thatDigital images are made up of thousands of these tiny, tile-like picture elements. The more pixels, the higher the image resolution.
Megapixels & Image QualityBesides the sensor and lens, other elements determine the quality of photos and prints. They include:Good lighting of a subjectProper focusImage clarity (lack of blur due to camera shake or incorrect shutter speed)Shooting at the highest resolution and quality camera setting
Image ResolutionBefore purchasing, keep the following in mind:The maximum print size you plan to make, and whether or not you do a significant amount of cropping when editing.Minimum megapixels for quality prints:*Max Print Size Minimum MP Resolution 4 x 6 2 megapixels 1600 x 1200 5 x 7 3 megapixels 2048 x 15368 x1 0 5 megapixels 2560 x 1920 11 x 14 6 megapixels 2816 x 2112 16 x 20 8+ megapixels 3264 x 2468Memory & Memory CardsGigabytes, Megabytes, Kilobytes, and Bytes?The byte is a unit of digital information in computing. It is an ordered collection of bits, in which each bit denotes the binary value of 1 or 0.1 Kilobyte is equal to 1000 bytes (approx)1 Megabyte is equal to 1000 kilobytes1 Gigabyte is equal to 1000 megabytes1 Terabyte is equal to 1000 gigabytes
Menus & Image Resolution
Menus & Image ResolutionDifferent cameras will have different ways of assessing quality, but most DSLRs will allow you to choose between a raw image and different amounts of compression.JPEG Basic = Maximum Compression (Quantity over Quality)JPEG Normal= Middle of the road QualityJPEG Fine= Best Quality (recommended)RAW= No Compression, Maximum Quality (need special software to edit and use)Raw + JPEG= Takes two photographs!Modes
ModesAuto (Automatic): In this mode that camera does basically everything for you. You point the camera and press the button. This might be an easy mode to use, but you lose significant control over your image P (Program): In this mode you control what aperture & shutter combination you are using (equivalent exposures), but the camera is doing most everything else.
ModesS or Tv (Shutter Priority): In this mode you select a shutter and your camera automatically selects an appropriate aperture. Caution: watch for blinking apertures or hi or lo in your LCD screen, this could indicate that your subject is either too light or too dark.
ModesA or Av (Aperture Priority): In this mode you select an aperture and your camera automatically selects an appropriate shutter. Caution: Watch that your shutter speed! To give you your desired aperture your camera may drop your shutter speed below 60th of a second.
ModesM (Manual): In this mode you select both the aperture and the shutter (this is also the only mode that you can access bulb setting). Caution: be sure to look through your viewfinder or LCD screen to read your light meter.
Other Important SettingsSetting ISO:Just like in traditional cameras you can set you can adjust your ISO in digital cameras.Remember: Slower ISOs (like 200) give you higher quality, but require more light, and faster ISOs (like 1600) allow you take photographs in dimmer light but result in a lower quality image.
*This reduction in quality when using faster ISOs can cause your images to look more pixilated, and can also result in pixel anomalies called Noise.Other Important SettingsSelf-Timer: Allows you to setyour camera to automatically take a photograph aftera set amount of time.EV (+/-) Exposure Compensation: Allows you to pre-set your light meter to under or overexpose in P, S, & A modes.
Other Important SettingsAF LockAuto Focus Lock:This allows youto lock your auto-Focus, to preventYour camera fromRefocusing.AE Lock Auto Exposure Lock: This is allows youto lock your exposure setting, to prevent your cameraFrom changing settings.
Other Important SettingsFlash: Allows you to turn on and off your flash.
AF / MF: Allows you to turn on and off your auto-focus.
Tip #1Check your settings often...There is nothing worse than taking a series of photographs, only to realize that you had your camera set to the wrong setting the entire time.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Tip #2Be aware of color, and color schemes.Think about different color schemes when working on your photographs (Complimentary & Monochromatic)
Caution: Never set your camera to black & white or Sepia modes. You can always change your photographs later using photo-editing software, but you cannot restore the color in a photograph that you shot in black & white.Monochromatic
Tip #3Achieving Tack Sharpness.Tack Sharpness means taking photographs that are focused to your cameras maximum potential.TripodUse a remote or cable releaseFlip mirror to open position (only certain cameras can do this)
Tip #4Never attempt to manually focus your camera when set to auto-focus. Caution: You can easily break the small gears and motor that make your auto-focus possible.Also you should think about getting a UV Filter to help protect your eye, and your lens.Tip #5Dont let your LCD screen fool youHave you ever tried to use your computer outside in the sunlight? Its very difficult to see Dont rely on your cameras viewing screen to determine exposure, because you are not seeing things correctly.
Also try Bracketing your exposures to insure a correctly exposed photograph.
Tip #6Digital Zoom isnt really Zoom at all.Optical Zoom vs. Digital Zoom: Optical zoom uses lenses to get closer to a subject, where digital zoom just makes a portion of the image larger (which degrades the quality of the image).
Tip #7Always keep an unaltered digital negative.Meaning that you should always keep a version of your photograph that has been completely unaltered. This allows you to always return to the original photograph, in case something happens in editing.Caution: Image resolution is a one-way street. There is no going back after you have reduced the resolution / size of an image.
Tip #8Remember to turn off your camera to save battery life. To preserve you battery you can also lower the brightness of your screen or turn your screen off.
Tip #9Back-up OftenBad things happen SD cards get corrupted, damaged, lost, computers crash (especially the classroom computers). Keep your work backed up.
Flash DriveIt will greatly help if you get a flashdrive to back up your classroom photographs and projects.
Tip #10Get Organized!!!When you have 1,000s and 1,000s of photos, you start to lose track of where they all are Get Organized!!! Develop a system that helps you categorize your photos by name, date, editing etcAlso: There are programs like Lightroom and Aperture that can help you create a visual database of your work.