Camera Settings & Equipment: 7 Things Beginners Should Know

You’ve picked up your first camera, whether that’s a Pentax, Canon, or Fujifilm, and are ready to start shooting, but there’s a lot you still don’t know about photography. Choosing the right camera settings and equipment for photography and videography is essential in achieving a high-quality result. If you’re completely new, it can feel overwhelming when confronted with all the options.

It’s not uncommon to have 3–4 different photo shoots with the same exact equipment and come away with completely different-looking images depending on the camera settings for each shoot. You might also be using different lenses, lighting setups, tripods, etc., with the same settings, and one tiny change in the initial setup can make a huge difference in the final product. In this article, we’ll talk about seven things you should know as a beginner photographer.

Remove the camera battery when not in use.

The best practice is to remove the battery if you’re not going to be using the camera. A tiny amount of power is still getting discharged if the battery is kept in the camera for an extended period of time, leading to an excess drain and lower battery life.

In general, battery life varies by brand and model of camera, but most batteries will last for at least five years if they are regularly charged and removed from the device when not in use. If you choose to remove your battery, be sure to keep the battery’s protective cover on and store it somewhere safe where it won’t be damaged or exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures.

You can use an ND filter indoors for video

Using a camera ND filter indoors is not always necessary. It should mainly be used when recording video. If you’re shooting with a wide aperture lens and 1/50 shutter speed in bright lighting conditions, then an ND filter will actually improve your image quality by retaining more details in the highlights.

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However, if you are shooting in low light, or if you are working with a high shutter speed, then an ND filter is pretty much useless. Leaving the ND on has virtually no benefit when it comes to photography. Other than offering the lens a bare minimum of protection, the filter won’t achieve anything. Maybe in extremely rare circumstances when you would genuinely want to take long-exposure interior photos.

Increasing the ISO lowers the sharpness of your image

Your camera’s ISO setting is an excellent tool for capturing a decent photo in challenging lighting conditions. However, the more sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light(higher ISO), the more digital noise there will be in your shot, and the sharpness will generally decline as a result.

Changing the ISO does not affect the depth of field

The camera’s sensitivity to light does not affect the depth of field whatsoever. The aperture value is the only camera setting that affects it. Generally speaking, the depth of field is inversely proportional to the aperture opening size and increases with shorter focal lengths.

What is the highest ISO without noise?

The maximum camera ISO you may use under normal circumstances without significantly increasing the amount of digital noise in a photo is normally between 400 and 800, however, this varies depending on the amount of light present. When shooting in low light, 200 ISO can still produce choppy video, yet 1600 ISO in well-lit conditions can provide crystal-clear pictures.

Shotgun microphones can work on PC

The best way to use a shotgun microphone on your PC is to connect it directly via a USB cable or 3.5mm jack. This allows for high-quality audio recording and gives you the most freedom in how you use your microphone(e.g. for streaming).

Some shotgun microphones may not work on a PC straight out of the box as they could utilize a different interface. In order to use such microphones with your PC, you need to have a USB sound card.

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For more information check the following video!

Shatter speed affects the quality of your image

These images by Adobe.com clearly show the difference between high and low shutter speed values.

For photography: To produce a clear and crisp outcome, use a shutter speed of between 1/60 and 1/80. You may lower it much further if you have a tripod with you. As a rule of thumb, don’t get the shutter speed lower than a fraction of your focal length. For instance, 50mm and 30mm lenses should go as low as 1/50 and 1/30 shutter speed respectively.

For videography: The main guideline for video is that shutter speed should be double what the framerates are. For instance, if you record at 30 frames per second, you need a shutter speed of at least 1/60 to achieve the most realistic and cinematic motion blur.

What happens if the camera shutter speed is too low?

When you lower the shutter speed of your camera, the shutter stays open for a longer period of time. This not only enables the recording of more light but also causes any moving objects to seem blurry. When taking pictures in poor lighting conditions or when you wish to intentionally capture motion blur, slow shutter speeds are commonly utilized.

What happens if the camera shutter speed is too high?

The image gets darker when the shutter speed is increased because less light gets to the sensor. When it comes to motion capture, you can get still, crystal-clear pictures of moving objects. This is commonly used in sports and wildlife photography where there is fast motion.

Aperture affects the sharpness of your image

The aperture setting affects sharpness in two separate ways. Increasing the f-stops (for example, to f11) expands the depth of field, making previously blurry things crisp. Additionally, you run the danger of having blurred objects in your focus region if you drop the number too low (for example, to f1.2).

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To get a sharp look at your landscape photography, it’s preferable to use an aperture value of f8 to f11. If you use a lens with a wider field of view, you might have to increase it to f16.

When to use low aperture(f1.2, f1.4, f1.8, etc…)

The aperture of your lens determines how much light can enter the camera. There are a number of factors that may cause you to prefer using a lower aperture (f1.4, f1.8) over a greater one (f8). These are mostly used in portrait photography.

  1. Use a smaller aperture when you want to get a shallow depth of field. By doing so, you will be able to isolate and focus on a certain area of the image while blurring out the remainder.
  2. If you’re shooting in poor light, using a lower aperture will permit more light into your camera. As a result, you’ll have more options for shutter speed and ISO.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in taking better photos, the best way to learn is to keep shooting. The tips suggested above should be just enough to get you started with your camera and its settings. Keep in mind that there are a lot more factors at play than simply what your camera offers. For example, lenses (Tamron has some great options) and ND filters are an important extra consideration you’ll need to focus on as well.

So if you follow these suggestions and buy the right gear you should be well on your way to great photos rather than an empty memory card. If you are just starting out, the best thing to do is to invest in a good DSLR or mirrorless camera for beginners. That will allow you to take some amazing photos, which will eventually help you build up a portfolio. If you have further questions, let me know in the comments below.

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