Chapter 2

Choosing Basic Picture Settings


Spinning the Mode dial

Changing the shutter-release (Drive) mode

Understanding the Image Quality setting (resolution and file type)

Illuminating with flash

Every camera manufacturer strives to ensure that your first encounter with the camera is a happy one. To that end, the camera’s default (initial) settings are selected to make it easy to take a good picture the first time you press the shutter button. At the default settings, your camera works about the same way as any point-and-shoot camera you may have used in the past: You compose the shot, press the shutter button halfway to focus, and then press the button the rest of the way to take the picture.

Although you can get a good photo using the default settings in many cases, they’re not designed to give you optimal results in every situation. You may be able to take a decent portrait, for example, but probably need to tweak a few settings to capture action. Adjusting a few options can help turn that decent portrait into a stunning one, too.

So that you can start fine-tuning settings to match your subject, this chapter explains the most basic picture-taking options, such as the exposure mode, shutter-release mode (officially called Drive mode), the Image Quality option, and flash settings. They’re not the most exciting options (don’t think I didn’t notice you stifling a yawn), but they make a big difference in how easily you can capture the photo you have in mind.

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