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Beginner’s Guide to Working a DSLR

Beginner’s Guide to Working a DSLR

While there are many point-and-shoot cameras out there these days which photo quality are good enough to rival that of traditional DSLRs, there’s still just something to photos produced by Single Lens Reflex cameras. Images look more organic, colours more natural and for those who are accustomed to using a DSLR, nothing can compare to the amount of control you have over your shots with a DSLR. They allow you to determine every aspect of the photo taken to your liking, from how dark or bright, if your photos will be crisp and clear or have blurry backgrounds, to which part of the photo you want to stand out from everything else. A point-and-shoot is great for convenience, but for really taking shots that stand out, a traditional DSLR is the way to go.

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One big reason why many are reluctant to carry a DSLR these days (aside from its weight and size) is how the many control buttons jargons might seem more than just a little intimidating. Believe it or not, aperture setting, shutter speed and ISO are all very simple things that are even simpler to master and grasp once you get the hang of it. It is not as foreign as you think. Here’s a quick guide to what these terms mean, and how you can alter them to take beautiful photos at the touch of a button.

1. Shutter Speed

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Shutter speed determines how fast the shutter takes the photo, in turn determining how sharp the images on your photos are. For example, 1/125 as in the photo would take you a much sharper shot as compared to a 1/5 speed. The faster the shutter speed also however means less light is allowed into the aperture so you’ll get darker shots. Fast shutter speeds are great for freezing movement whereas low shutter speeds illustrates the opposite.

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2. Aperture Value

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Aperture is what decides how much light gets into the camera sensors. The smaller the f-value, the bigger the dilation of the aperture, which means the more light that will be entering the camera. A lower f-value is also what gives you that blurred background most photographers covet so your subject stands out. Conversely, a higher f-value will give you clearer and sharper images, background and everything.

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3. ISO Sensitivity

ISO is what determines your camera’s sensitivity to light. The darker a condition, the higher an ISO you will need to illuminate your shot to get a clearer photo. Take special care when tinkling with the ISO settings however because the higher the ISO, while it will help illuminate a dark shot better, it would also create more noise in your photos, namely the grainy dotted bits you find in most dark conditions.

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ISO to control light sensitivity

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The higher the ISO, the noisier your image produced will be.

These are the three main things to master when using a DSLR. Of course, photography is all about creativity and having the eye to spot opportunities. Mastering the technicality of a camera will only help give you decent images but paired with a little creativity and clever angling, you’ll be on your way to taking breathtaking photos in no time.

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