Digital SLR Shooting Checklist

camera-checklistYour Digital Camera is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment, capable of producing fantastic results, but it’s only a piece of kit, and will only do what its setup to do. So, here’s a pre-shoot checklist to help you get the best out of your D-SLR. Try to get into the habit of running through this list before each shoot and you’ll avoid having great shots ruined by incorrect camera settings..

Is Your Battery charged?

Digital SLR cameras are totally battery power dependant, so if you find your battery is low or worse still, dead, you’ll find yourself heading home earlier than expected! Try to get into the habit of charging your battery’s after each time you use your camera. This way they’ll be ready at a moments notice. It’s always a great idea to have a spare in your camera bag, so if you do, be sure this one’s also charged fully.

Format Your Memory Card.

Unless you’ve purchased a memory card with a huge capacity, it’s a good idea to format your card every time before going out to shoot pictures. Formatting basically wipes clean your card, removing all old images so you have as much storage space as possible. BUT make sure you have safely transferred or printed any images you want to keep BEFORE formatting or you’ll lose everything on the card!

Check the ISO Setting.

The ISO speed plays a vital role in digital photography, it effectively allows you to take pictures of moving subjects, or take pictures in low light conditions, by altering the sensitivity of the cameras sensor. However it does have a down-side, the higher the ISO, the more ‘noise’ is visible on the final image. This is a grainy effect seen on the picture. So, it is best to use as low as ISO setting as possible, although higher ISO’s are needed to catch some photography types such as sports.

Select the Correct File type.

Digital SLR’s allow you to select different file types for saving your images. JPEG is the most popular setting and we suggest this file format for amateur and enthusiasts alike. Most digital cameras also give you a second setting option for the size of the image. This is normally small (S), medium (M), and large (L). This primarily affects the size at which the image can be printed at, whilst retaining its quality. Be aware that larger images take up more memory space on your card.

Choose the right White Balance

There’s a huge issue surrounding white balance and its artistic effects, but for now just be sure to select a white balance that isn’t completely inappropriate for your subject. It’s a good idea (and often reliable) to let the camera select the white balance, using the Auto white-balance setting.

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