When I bought my very first digital camera (Nikon L20 Coolpix), I had very little idea about photography. I never read the user manual (I’m a lazy boy) so I didn’t have much idea about the specifications. However, a user manual is nothing but a boring description of how to use the camera which is better learnt by practically using the camera.
There are a couple of things I’ve learnt over the period of time and I think I should share them with those who are going through a learning phase on how to use their basic digital camera for the best possible shots.
Not Setting ISO to The Lowest: ISO is a technical term in digital photography which critically determines the quality of the pictures you take. As a matter fact, a basic digital camera is essentially meant for outdoor photography when you have sufficient light to achieve better results. It is not technically capable of producing great results just any under in lighting ambience. Therefore, it is extremely vital for you to know how to alter the ISO settings in your digital camera and why. Here are some thumb rules and tips for ISO Settings:
- If you set your digital camera to a low ISO, for example 100, the resulting photograph will be better quality than one set at 1600.
- Use an ISO of 100 or 200 when taking photographs outside in sunny conditions.
- If the sky is overcast or it is evening time, then use an ISO within the range of 400 to 800.
- Night time or in cases of low light you might need to set your digital camera ISO to 1600. If you don’t then your photo will appear too dark if at all.
Selecting A Lower Resolution Setting: A digital camera lets you choose from a wide range of pixel capacities. Some people choose the lowest pixel capacity so that they can take maximum number of pictures without running short of the space in their memory card. This is a mistake as you are letting the memory card dictate the quality of your pictures. For the best quality pictures, you must select the highest resolution setting.
Using the Digital Zoom Feature: Never use the digital zoom feature in your camera. In other words, always use the optical zoom to improve the quality of the pictures. Ideally, you should try to keep the optical zoom in the mid-range for better results because because there will be less distortion caused by lens aberrations.
Not Filling The Frame: While shooting your subject, always remember to use the most amount image area of your subject. In other words, you should fill the frame as much as possible because it will give your picture more clarity with higher pixel quality. Therefore, if you mean to capture the subject horizontally, hold the cameral horizontally and if you want to shoot the subject vertically, hold your cameral vertically leaving just about enough room around the subject to crop it in a visually appealing way.
Not Buying A Tripod: If a basic digital camera with 8 mega pixel and 4X optical zoom costs you about 100-120 USD, a tripod will cost only 20-30 USD. You should always use a tripod while taking photographs of highest quality. A tripod basically steadies the camera position and helps you take the best quality pictures possible.