Tips & Tutorials

[Lesson 4] Start with Some Trial Shots

Photography with Digital SLRs is not as difficult as you think once you have mastered the basics. By focusing correctly and releasing the shutter, a whole new world unfolds. (Reported by: Ryosuke Takahashi)

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Shooting in Auto Mode

1: Set the mode to Auto

Turn the Mode Dial and align it with the Auto mode index mark. In this mode, all the functions needed in photo taking are automatically set to their optimal settings.

2: Set the focus mode switch on the lens to "AF"

Check the focus mode switch on the lens, and align it with the AF index mark to enable the autofocus function.

3: Remove the lens cap

Remove the lens cap and get ready to photograph. Remove the spring-type lens cap by pinching the release switch on both sides.

4: Point the camera at the subject

Look into the viewfinder with your right eye, and aim at the subject you wish to photograph. Instead of positioning your face at a distance away, make sure to look through the viewfinder with your forehead in close contact with it.

5: Focus by pressing the shutter button halfway down

Roughly frame the intended subject within the viewfinder. Next, gently press the shutter button halfway down. AF is activated in this state.

6: Establish focus on the subject

When the subject comes into focus, the AF point on the focused spot inside the viewfinder will light up in red, and you will hear a "beep" sound.

7: Press the shutter button down fully to release the shutter

With the shutter button pressed halfway down, compose the shot, followed by pressing the button down fully. The image is recorded at the release of the shutter. With this, shooting is complete.

8: A shot is taken

Immediately after a shot is taken, the captured image will appear on the LCD monitor. Though this image disappears after a moment, rest assured that it has been recorded.

Trivia

The flash fires automatically in low-light scenes

When the subject to photograph is dark, the built-in flash will pop up and fire automatically. Even when you are shooting outdoors, note that the flash may also be fired when there is insufficient lighting or in a backlit scene.

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Shooting with the Live View Function

1: Start up the Live View function

Press the Live View shooting Start/Stop button at the back of the camera.

2: Start Live View shooting

The image appears in real-time on the LCD monitor, and the camera is ready to capture a shot. Nothing can be seen in the viewfinder in this case as the mirror inside the camera is flipped up.

3: Point the camera at the subject

Set the focus while looking at the LCD monitor. Adjust the composition while checking the monitor, as you can capture an image according to what you see.

4: Start up AF by pressing the shutter button halfway down

Press the shutter button halfway down after you have positioned the subject in the composition. Doing so activates the AF function.

5: Establish focus on the subject

The point in focus in the image is indicated by a green AF frame, and a "beep" sound is emitted.

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6: Press the shutter button down fully to release the shutter

When the shutter button is pressed and held down halfway, focus will be temporarily locked. While maintaining this state, change the orientation of the camera and fine-tune the composition. When you are ready, press the shutter button down fully. The shutter is released, and the image is recorded. Shooting is complete.

7: A shot is captured

Immediately after a shot is taken, the captured image will appear on the LCD monitor. Though this image disappears after a moment, rest assured that it has been recorded.

8: End Live View shooting

After shooting has ended, press the Live View shooting Start/Stop button at the back of the camera again to turn it off.

9: The camera returns to the ready-to-shoot state

Upon exiting the Live View function, a menu is displayed on the LCD monitor. After a short while, display of the menu screen disappears automatically.

Trivia

Tracking the faces of portrait subjects using Face+Tracking AF

There are a few AF modes that can be selected during Live View shooting. For example, Face+Tracking AF, which is the default setting on most camera models, automatically detects human faces in the image, and tracks them as they move around. If there is no portrait subject in the composition, focus will be set automatically on a nearby subject. For cameras equipped with a touch sensor, the focus can be established on the point that you have tapped.

Face+Tracking AF is a system that recognizes human faces automatically. Focus can also be set by tapping on the LCD monitor.

Ryosuke Takahashi

Born in Aichi in 1960, Takahashi started his freelance career in 1987 after working with an advertising photo studio and a publishing house. Photographing for major magazines, he has travelled to many parts of the world from his bases in Japan and China. Takahashi is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).

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