Basic DSLR

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Blue and Grey

presents:

DSLR Basics

Your New DSLR!

Congratulations on the purchase of the most versatile camera you can buy!

You'll never need a better camera for portraits and everyday use. You have the best already!

Definition: DSLR = Digital Single Lens Reflex

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses a mechanical mirror system and pentaprism to direct light from the lens to an optical viewfinder on the back of the camera.

A digital camera in which the subject is viewed through the same lens as the picture is taken with. A mirror is raised when the shutter button is pressed, allowing light to reach the image sensor.

Features / advantages of owning a DSLR:

Instant shutter firing when shutter release button pushed

quick access to manual exposure triangle elements with knobs and buttons

interchangeable lenses for telescoping or wide angle and better low light (up to f/1.8)

quick readouts on LCDs inside and out

quick access to manual and auto focus

better quality CCD sensor

more versatile WB, ISO, Shutter and aperture settings

able to add accessories and hot shoe external flash

in camera processing and special effects (layering, panoramas)

RAW format, Quick change of JPG quality (Fine, Large, etc.)

Holding your DSLR

Use your right hand to grip the right hand end of the camera. Your forefinger should sit lightly above the shutter release, your other three fingers curling around the front of the camera. Your right thumb grips onto the back of the camera.

Most cameras have some sort of grip and even impressions for where fingers should go so this should feel natural. Use a strong grip with your right hand but dont grip it so tightly that you end up shaking the camera.

Holding your DSLR

The positioning of your left hand should support the weight of the camera and will either sit underneath the camera or under/around a lens.

Holding your DSLR

Add extra stability by leaning against a solid object like a wall or a tree or by sitting or kneeling down.

If you have to stand and dont have anything to lean on for extra support put your feet shoulder width apart to give yourself a steady stance. The stiller you can keep your body the stiller the camera will be.

Holding your DSLR

Before you take your shot take a gentle but deep breath, hold it, then take the shot (don't stab, hold down halfway and gently depress all the way when in focus) and exhale.

The other method people use is the exact opposite exhale and before inhaling again take the shot. Its amazing how much a body rises and falls simply by breathing being conscious of it can give you an edge.

DSLR Accessories:

External Hotshoe Flash

Many options available

More versatile and better lighting than built in flash

DSLR Accessories: External Flash

Flash can be your friend or enemy.

The small, pop up flashes are usually very harsh and will either blow out highlights if too close, or not be powerful enough in low / no light situations to fill the background with light.

Be sure to read your manual and find out the optimum distance you should be shooting to the subject

DSLR Accessories: External Flash

Trick! - de-harsh your on-camera flash by taping a cross with Scotch tape over your flash, or taping a piece of semi clear or white plastic (like a plastic milk carton) over your flash. You can also buy pop up diffusers for on camera flash that fit over your flash and diffuse the light for a more even tone.

Flash diffusers (Gary Fong, Stofen, Lumiquest)

Flash diffusers both deharsh and diffuse the light from your flash, bouncing it around the sides and into dark corners and crevasses.

Flash diffusers (Gary Fong, Stofen, Lumiquest)

DSLR Accessories: Tripods

Tripod with ball or grip head

Don't skimp on a cheap wobbly tripod!

Better ones are made of metal and have interchangable heads

DSLR Accessories: Other

battery grip / extra batteries

lens hood

Camera bags

Filters (UV, Polarizer, haze)

Lenses

DSLR Lenses

DSLRs allow interchangeable lenses

What lens do I use?

Consider your subject or shooting style

DSLR Lenses: Kit Lens

The lens that is offered as a package with the DSLR is generally called the kit lens.

Generally an entry level quality zoom lens. They are usually a fairly general purpose lens designed for everyday shooting.

18-55mm or equivalent

DSLR Lenses: Versatile Zoom

18-200mm, 70-300mm, etc.

you do not need to physically get closer to your subject to get a tighter framing of the image.

Most versatile all in one lens

DSLR Lenses: Primes

best for low light and tight focal area.

An f/1.8 or lower aperture lets in a lot of light for use in ultra low light situations without flash.

Does not zoom

DSLR Lenses: Macros

specifically designed for shooting objects up close.

tight focal area and ability to shoot inches away from small subjects (like a microscope).

Some have mirrors that bounce the image back and forth until it is large enough

DSLR Lenses: Macros

DSLR Lenses: Fisheyes

purposely distort your image in a curved way to get more into the shot.

6 -15mm produces an ultra wide angle of view

DSLR Lenses: Fisheyes

DSLR Lenses: Telephoto Primes

Start at 300mm up to 1000mm or higher...

Very expensive

Great for nature sports or reconnaissance photography

Bigger ones require more light, expensive ones handle low light better and have better vibration reduction technology.

DSLR Lenses: Telephoto Primes

DSLR Lenses: Specialties

Tilt-shift (Lensbaby), pinholes, bellows, Teleconverters

Creates specialty effects or enhances lenses

DSLR Lenses: Specialties

Digital Storage for DSLRs

storage is usually done on a digital media card (CF, SD, MicroSD, Memory Stick (SONY) or hard drive

Cards come in different memory capacities (512Meg, 1Gig, 8Gig, etc.) the higher capacity, the more photos can be stored.

Resolution / quality of your photos will determine the amount of photos that can be stored.

Photo Resolution / Quality

What is this Megapixel word that I hear so much about?

Photo Resolution / Quality

The Megapixel size of your sensor per picture determines the size print or digital file you can get.

Pixels are simply the total number of dots of color in a photo. The more dots, the more detailed and sharp a photo will be.

Mega = 1,000,000

DPI (or PPI) = Dots (Pixels) per inch

Photo Resolution / Quality

Photo Resolution / Quality

Photo Resolution / Quality

For good quality prints up to 5X7 inches: 1500 x 2100 pixels or 3.2 Mega Pixels will do.

For nice 8X10 prints: 2400 x 3000 or 7.2 Mega Pixels works just fine.

And for those big 11X14 prints: 3300 x 4200 or 14 Mega Pixels is best.

Most DSLRs are at least 10 - 16 MP as of this writing. So, unless you plan on printing posters over 11x14, 99% of cameras are safe. In other words, don't worry that much about MP.

Photo Resolution / Quality

You always want to use the biggest and highest resolution photo when you print them out on a printer for maximum quality.

Transfer and Storage

How do I get photos from my camera to my computer?

Most attach with a USB cable (plug and play, be sure to unmount!)

Media Card Reader

Use My Computer or Explorer to find your drive then Copy and Paste

Be organized! Create new folders that are descriptive or by date or event.

What do I do with the photos after I transfer them?

name them (batch or individual)

Crop and edit them (Photoshop or other photo editing software)

Cull them! Delete them if bad (DON'T SAVE EVERYTHING!)

color correct them (basic brightness, contrast, HSL)

Convert them to art! Use creative filters

make web versions (reduce file sizes, physical sizes or compress with JPG)

email them, share them on social media sites, print them out

don't forget to archive them or back them up on a CD, DVD or external drive!

Review and Conclusion

With greater knowledge (and power) comes greater responsibility! (You are in charge of your photos now! Choose your settings wisely!)

Always hold your camera correctly to prevent camera shake and promote good composition.

Use the right lens for the right job, make it easy on yourself.

Which accessories will make your life easier for the job or type of pictures that you need to take?

Know what kind of memory card your camera uses.

Know how to transfer and print out your photos.

Have fun!

Thank You!

We appreciate you coming!

Tell your friends!

Find some of the items mentioned in our Digital Imaging department!