5 Camera Settings Every New Photographer Needs to Know

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The first time you pick up a camera it can be pretty confusing. With all the bells and whistles crammed inside even entry-level DSLRs nowadays, knowing where to start is anyone’s guess. Teaching yourself, through trial and error, is one of the best means-tested ways to come to grips with your camera and learn how to use it. But sometimes that takes a while, so here are some of the camera settings that I think every photographer needs to know about when they get their hands on a DSLR.

1. Live View Stops Mirror Slap

That satisfying, reassuring “clunk” sound you hear when you press the shutter button isn’t actually the shutter firing on the camera. In fact, that is the mirror moving up and down to expose the sensor to the world. But that relatively aggressive motion of the mirror can introduce camera shake into your images.

It’s something you might notice if you’re shooting a long exposure, but there’s an easy way around it. Switch the camera into Live View mode, forcing the mirror to raise permanently (until you turn off that mode) so that you can see the image on the LCD screen. This means that when you do actually press the button, only the shutter itself is moving – no need to worry about that mirror thudding up and down anymore.

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