80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

It's very easy to buy a digital camera these days. But for users, will you really be using camera in your hand? Especially for beginners, there will be many problems in process of using an entry-level DSLR or an entry-level mirrorless camera, such as focusing first or composing first? Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority? How to make a camera energy-saving? Are you looking through viewfinder with your left or right eye? Today author is here to answer each one one at a time.

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

80% of people make mistakes. Are you using your camera correctly these years?

When taking a photo, focus first or compose first?

What is focus in first place? That is, when shooting, first press shutter button halfway, move camera to compose image after focus is locked, and then press shutter button fully to take picture. What is it like to compose a picture first, that is, to focus and take pictures after composition is completed. The dispute between these two methods never stopped.

The author himself has used both methods, but let me tell you about it here first. I recommend that you compose picture first and then focus. Why? look down.

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

When you take a picture, do you compose or focus first?

Why do you focus first and then compose shot, because number of focus points in early cameras is very small, usually less than 10 focus points, so you need to focus before you can compose shot, otherwise there is a high probability that focus point will no longer want to focus on things after framing shot. But things are different now. Today's cameras, especially mirrorless cameras, often have hundreds of focus points, so after composing, those focus points are enough to satisfy any of your "abnormal" focusing needs.

The author also used method of first focusing and then composing frame. This method can be used with normal kit lenses, but if you are using a large aperture prime lens such as F1.2 or F1.4 then this method is no longer applicable. With an ultra-large aperture, a slight shift after focusing can cause focal plane to change, resulting in blurring of subject you originally intended to focus on. This is experience of author.

How about composing first and then focusing? This method is absolutely error-free for modern cameras. Once you've composed your shot, move focus point to where you want to compose your shot and you'll be able to complete entire shooting process. Therefore, author recommends that you first compose picture, and then focus.

Should I use aperture priority or shutter priority?

Aperture priority is AV file in camera. The user basically controls aperture size and shutter speed is determined by camera. Shutter priority is camera's TV file. ). So, when we take pictures, should we use aperture priority or shutter priority?

The camera actually has many gears, main ones being: Auto (Full Auto), P (Program Priority), AV (Aperture Priority), TV (Shutter Priority), M (Manual). If you want to learn how to take photos, you must first get rid of Auto and P files, which are too "wacky"; M files require some preparation before using them and are not recommended for beginners. Then you need to choose from AV files and TV files.

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

The author recommends choosing aperture priority

According to author's experience, over 95% of scenes should use AV files, and remaining 5% will use TV and M files.

The author himself and many famous photography enthusiasts and photographers around him usually use AV files to capture most of scenes when they go out. In this way, degree of blurring of an image can be controlled so that various effects can be achieved on image. But if you come across scenes that require dynamic image capture, author will give priority to TV files, such as shooting athletes, racing cars, horse races, etc.

While author recommends using an AV device for most scenes, everyone's photography habits are different. If you always use television equipment, there will be no problems. Whether to use AV file first or TV file first, it is determined according to personal habits, there is no right or wrong.

How to use camera to save power?

Camera battery life has always been a disadvantage in use. Most DSLRs have an actual battery life of 800 frames or more, but compact cameras and mirrorless cameras can't reach that level. The author has tested many related products, mostly battery runs out after taking only 200-300 shots in one morning. It's still summer, and battery life is even worse in winter. Therefore, if you want to increase battery life, you need to perform power-saving operations when using.

1. Do not turn on and off frequently

Many people have this misconception that after shooting, turn off camera and turn it back on when you take pictures again. Turning camera on and off is actually a very energy-intensive process, turning it on and off often wastes a lot of energy, and it's not necessary. When you are not taking pictures, camera will soon go into standby mode, this time can be set in menu, and camera will not wake up from sleep mode until user starts working.

This standby state is similar to power off, and power on and power off will not perform any complicated shutdown and startup actions, saving more power. When I use it myself, camera will only turn off if I don't take pictures for a long time, otherwise camera will be in state of taking pictures or standby.

2. Don't delete photos from your camera, don't play them, and don't view too much

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

Do not frequently delete photos from your camera, play them back, or view them too much

Many people have habit of taking and deleting photos at any time, but this operation is actually a waste of electricity. After a photo is taken, viewing and deleting photos will use camera screen for a long time, and screen is one of most power-hungry parts of camera. Turning screen on for such a long time will waste a lot of electricity. Therefore, it is more appropriate to return to resting place at night to view and delete photos.

3. Reduce unnecessary operations

Many people have a habit of half-pressing shutter button, that is, holding camera and unconsciously half-pressing shutter button. The author himself has such a problem. If you frequently press shutter button halfway, camera may not enter standby mode, and focus system and exposure meter system will always work, which will waste a lot of power. If you have this problem, you should get rid of it.

4. Reduce your use of on-screen viewfinder

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

Minimize use of on-screen viewfinder (if there is no viewfinder, ignore it)

If your camera doesn't have a viewfinder, but only an onscreen viewfinder, ignore it. If your camera has a viewfinder, you might want to use viewfinder first. As mentioned earlier, camera screen is one of most power-hungry components, so use it as little as possible.

5. Limit your use of your camera's built-in flash

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

Reduce how often you use your camera's built-in flash

For example, some DSLRs, most mirrorless cameras, and most compact cameras have a built-in flash, and using flash is also very energy intensive. What's more, some beginners or general users like to use camera's automatic transmission, and often turn on and use flash automatically. If possible, try selecting flash off option in mode to avoid automatic popup.

Are you looking through viewfinder with your left or right eye?

I guess friends who try to use an SLR or a high quality mirrorless camera will have problems. How do I look into viewfinder with my left or right eye? Friends in author's environment use both left and right eyes, there is no single statement.

We see that almost all TV commercials and print photos are taken with right eye, so many people think that camera should be right eye sized. All cameras are designed for right-handers, but no manufacturer has said that camera is only for right eye.

80% of people make mistakes. Have you been using digital cameras correctly during these years?

The use of left or right eye depends on personal habit, there are no rules

Whether you use your left or right eye to view viewfinder is entirely up to personal habits and there is no difference or design difference. This way everyone can use which eye as their main visual at beginning of a photo and there is no need to worry about this issue. I myself alternately look into viewfinder with my left and right eyes.

Actually, above is mostly habits and misunderstandings of photographer, especially for beginners, no one can systematically explain these problems to you. To start your photography journey, most important thing to do is to lay a solid foundation, have good habits, and avoid misunderstandings, which is very important for future growth of photography. If you have other questions you want to ask, leave a message at end of article and author will present it to you in next article.

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