If you happen to find yourself at grandma’s house for Christmas dinner or if you’re going out to paint the town red on New Year’s Eve, you may have your digital camera in tow. Unfortunately, many people don’t really know how to get the most of their cameras, relying solely on all of those automatic settings and simply hoping for the best. The result, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is pretty mediocre at best.
Mark Wilson has put together a simple guide for how to use your digital camera. It’s mostly geared toward the point-and-shoot cameras on the market that most consumers would have, but there are also some camera tips and tricks for the SLR owners in the audience as well.
One of the camera hints that Mark provides is to not rely solely on the Auto White Balance (AWB) setting on the camera. Instead, simply going through and choosing the right white balance manually (incandescent light, outdoor cloudy lighting, etc.) can result in much more accurate color settings. If you find that your pictures are getting too warm (orange) or too cool (blue), a simple switch of the white balance can make a world of difference.
While some people like to dial up the ISO to capture faster-moving objects or pictures in low light conditions, this can oftentimes cause a lot of graininess and a lack of detail. Keep ISO under 400 for most point-and-shooters. Other tips include carrying a pocket tripod, minimizing (or diffusing) the use of flash, exhaling before shooting, and to shoot in RAW if at all possible.