One of the hardest parts of being a new photographer is mastering the camera settings. There is no single camera setting for every situation. If you’ve been doing guess-work when you’re using your camera settings, these tips will help you to learn the best way to avoid mistakes and take your photography to the next level.
Using a Slow Shutter Speed
This is one of the most common camera setting mistakes. You need to offset your camera shake by ensuring that your camera shutter speed is faster than the focal length of your lens. For instance, you need to have a 1/50th shutter speed or faster when you’re shooting with a 50mm lens. A 300mm zoom lens requires a 1/300th of a second shutter speed. This ensures that your image is sharp. You’ll also need to use a faster shutter speed such as 1/2500th of a second to freeze an object in motion such as bikes and cars.
Using a Very Low ISO
Modern cameras like the Nikon D3500 from Beachcamera.com make it possible to shoot with incredible quality at ISO 800, 1600, 3200 and even 6400. Using a high enough ISO will make your shot much more pleasant-looking. However, the rule of the thumb is to lower your ISO as much as possible when it is stable on a tripod and increase it when you’re shooting handheld.
Using the Wrong Focus Point
Don’t leave the focusing completely up to the camera. Doing this will result on the camera focusing on the wrong point. This will ruin your images. Don't be afraid to take control and put the focus on the subject. Another situation similar to this one is thinking that you can easily shoot everything at f/1.4 when you have a new 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 lens. You may be lucky enough to get pretty good images at f/1.4. But in most cases, your depth-of-field will be shallow at that aperture.
Not Making Use of Exposure Compensation (+/-)
Exposure condensation is your best friend when you’re making use of Aperture or Shutter Priority mode. The fact is that your camera's light meter is not creative and would want to make everything in the scene look neutral gray in tricky lighting. The only way you can achieve a desirable result in this situation is to make use of Exposure Condensation (+/-). The trick here is to master how to use all three metering modes. In most cases, you’ll find Evaluative to be too broad and Spot to be too focused, leaving you with the Center-Weighted metering mode to make good of the situation.
Using Image Stabilization When You’re Using a Tripod
When you’re holding your Nikon D3500 from Beachcamera.com with your hand, the image stabilization is designed to make your shot sharper. However, you may get an opposite result when you have already stabilized your camera on a tripod and still leave image stabilization mode on. Keep in mind that your image stabilization should be off when you’re using a tripod.
With determination and a desire to learn, you will soon master these settings.