Digital cameras are relatively easy to use. Most can be used in “automatic mode” to produce good quality images. Photography can be taken to a whole new level by utilizing the camera’s other features. Understanding some basics can make a huge difference.

Basic Menu Settings

On the back of a digital camera there is usually a “menu” button and when pressed a menu will be displayed on the screen. Date and time should be set correctly as this is stored with each image and may be used in the file name. This allows images to be searched by date after being downloaded to a computer. Other basic features that may be changed from the menu include auto shut-off, instant review, screen brightness, and sound effects may also be altered. Changing some settings may also help to preserve battery power.

Formatting Memory Cards on a Digital Camera

When a memory card is placed into a camera it may need to be formatted. If the card has not been used before, then no formatting may be required. Memory cards that have been used in other devices will need to be formatted. This will delete all data from the card and sets it ready for use with the camera. Most digital cameras will display a message when a card is inserted and the correct option may be chosen at that time.

Picture Size for Digital Photography

The main menu on a digital camera will usually have a setting for picture size. This setting is used to choose the pixel count for the image. The intended use of each image will help determine which setting to use. The automatic setting for megapixels is usually set to the camera’s specifications and may be sufficient for most purposes.

Lighting Control with White Balance for Digital Photography

White light balance control is generally a basic feature of digital cameras. The automatic setting will usually compensate correctly for different lighting. Light sources such as sunlight or indoor light bulbs have varying rates of color. This affects how a camera perceives the color of an object being photographed. This feature may be set manually to improve unwanted color casts if a scene is lit by multiple light sources, such as light through a window or sun reflection from the water.

Other Basic Menu Options for Digital Camera Settings

Digital cameras have several basic settings which are set at the factory. Some features may never need to be changed or are available for information purposes only. These menu options may include language, AF zone, video out, and camera model information.

Spending a little time reading through the manual provided with a digital camera is a good way to understand the features and use the camera to the best of its ability. Digital photography is very popular and a large variety of cameras are available consisting of many different features. Utilizing the features correctly will ensure the user can produce good results every time.

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