Basic digital camera settings

If you bought a camera more serious thanordinary soap dish, then most likely you want to learn the manual settings (although they also happen on soap cases). And I would even advise you to do this as soon as possible, so that even if you shoot in automatic mode, understand what is happening.

The main parameters on the camera that youyou will control a little, but they are all closely interconnected: shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance. There is also such a parameter as GRIP (depth of field), which itself is not exposed in any way, but it turns out, at the expense of other parameters. I'm afraid for the first reading it all seems too complicated and scary, but here I can only advise you, try as much as possible at first. Shoot the same frame with different settings and then see what happens, look for relationships, analyze. And do not forget about the instructions to the camera, it is almost a reference book at first.

The content of the article

All parts of my FAQ for beginner photographers

1. Which camera to choose a novice photographer
2. What lens is needed for and what to choose
3. Basic digital camera settings
4. How to take pictures while traveling
5. How to process photos in Lightroom and how to store them
6. Sample photo bag and fotoryukzaka for traveler
7. How to photograph the starry sky
0. What I photograph in travels

Basic digital camera settings areshutter speed and aperture; their ratio is called exposure. Therefore, when they say you need to choose the exposure, they mean, you need to set these two values.

Basic digital camera settings

Basic digital camera settings


Changes in seconds (1/4000, 1/125, 1/13, 1, 10and so on) and means the time for which the shutter opens the camera during the shutter release. It is logical that the longer it is open, the more light will fall on the matrix. Therefore, depending on the time of day, the sun, and the level of illumination there will be its own exposure parameter. If you use the automatic mode, the camera itself will measure the level of illumination and choose the value.

But not only illumination is affected by exposure, butand lubrication of a moving object. The faster he moves, the shorter the shutter speed should be. Although in some cases, it can be the other way around to make it more authentic in order to get an “artistic” lubricant. Likewise, the lubrication can come from the trembling of your hands (shake), so you should always choose such a value as to level this problem, well, and train so that the shaking is smaller. This can still help you a good stabilizer on the lens, it allows you to use longer shutter speeds and prevents the shake.

Exposure selection rules:

  • To prevent lubrication from shaking hands, alwaysTry to set the shutter speed no longer than 1 / mm, where mm is millimeters of your current focal length. Because the more focal, the greater the likelihood of blurring, and the more you need to shorten the shutter speed. For example, the boundary value for 50 mm will be 1/50 shutter speed, and it would be even better to set it even shorter around 1/80, to be sure.
  • If you are shooting a walking person, that the shutter speed should be no longer than 1/100.
  • For moving children it is better to set the shutter speed no longer than 1/200.
  • Very fast objects (for example, when shooting from a bus window) require very short shutter speeds of 1/500 and less.
  • At night, for shooting static objects, it is better not to pick up the ISO too much (especially above the working value), but to use long exposures (1s, 2s, etc.) and a tripod.
  • In case you want to remove beautifully flowing water (with lubrication), then you need extracts for 2-3 seconds (longer I do not like what happens). And if you need splash and sharpness, then 1/500 - 1/1000.

Values ​​are all taken from the head and do not pretend to axioms, it is best to independently select them on personal experience, so this is just a guide.

The 1/80 shutter speed is too long for such movements.

Shutter speed 1/80 is too long for such movements, it turns out blurred

Exposure 3 seconds - water, like milk

Exposure 3 seconds - water, like milk


It is denoted as f22, f10, f5.6, f1.4 also means how much the lens aperture is open during the shutter release. Moreover, the smaller the number, the larger the diameter of the hole, that is, the opposite. It is logical that the larger this hole, the more light falls on the matrix. In the automatic mode, the camera itself selects this value according to the program sewn into it.

Also, the diaphragm affects the depth of field (DOF):

  • If you are shooting a landscape in the afternoon, feel free tocover the aperture to f8-f13 (no longer worth it) so that everything is sharp. At night, in the absence of a tripod, you will have to open it and overstate the ISO.
  • If you shoot a portrait and want the most blurrybackground, you can open the aperture to maximum, but note that if your lens is fast, then the values ​​of f1.2-f1.8 may be too much and only the person’s nose will be in focus, and the rest of the face is blurred.
  • There is a dependence of the depth of field on the diaphragm and focaldistance, so that the main object was sharp, it makes sense to use the values ​​of f3-f7, ​​increasing it depending on the increase in focal length.
Aperture f9 - everything is sharp

Aperture f9 - everything is sharp

105 mm, f5.6 - the background is very blurred

105 mm, f5.6 - the background is very blurred

ISO sensitivity

Denoted by ISO 100, ISO 400, ISO 1200 and so on. If you were shooting on film, then remember that films with different photosensitivity were sold, which meant that the film was susceptible to light. The same for a digital camera, you can set the sensitivity of the matrix. In fact, this means that your frame will be brighter with increasing ISO at the same shutter speed and aperture settings (with the same exposure).

Feature of good and expensive camerasis a higher working ISO reaching up to 12800. Now this figure tells you nothing, but it's really cool. Because at ISO 100 you can only shoot in daylight, and setting 1200 or higher already and twilight is not a hindrance. In budget DSLRs, the maximum working ISO is somewhere around 400-800. Further color noise appears. Raise the ISO to the maximum and take a frame at dusk, and you will understand what it is about. Socks with this parameter are really bad.

ISO 12800 - noticeable noise, but it can be partially removed during processing

ISO 12800 - noticeable noise, but it can be partially removed during processing

ISO 800 with the same settings

ISO 800 at the same settings, the photo is much darker

White balance

Surely you've seen photos where too muchyellow or blue? This one is just due to the wrong white balance. The fact is that depending on the light source (sun, incandescent bulb, white light lamp, etc.) depends on the color scheme of the photo. Roughly speaking, imagine that we will shine on a chair with a special blue lamp and then the whole photo of this chair will be bluish. If this is a special artistic effect, then everything is fine, but if we need normal shades, then white balance will save us. All cameras have presets (automatic, sun, cloudy, incandescent, manual, etc.).

To my shame I have to admit that I always take pictures.on the machine. It is easier for me to correct everything in the program later than to set the white balance. Perhaps, someone will consider this a blasphemy, but everything suits me, and I think the majority will also, therefore I will not tell about the manual setting of white balance.

Focus point selection

As a rule, all good cameras havethe ability to select the focus point, as well as their automatic selection (when the camera itself selects objects and decides on what to focus on and how). I rarely use the automatic mode, mainly when there is little time and objects move, for example, in a crowd of people, when there is no time to think. In all other cases, I use the center point. He pressed the button, focused, not releasing the button, pulled aside, and shaken to the end, making a frame.

The choice of focusing on one point (central)

The choice of focusing on one point (central)

The center point is usually the most accuratetherefore, it should be used. But it is necessary to look at a specific model of the camera, for example, now on my current camera all points are working. I also wanted to say that if your camera is blunt and does not focus well (twilight, backlight), then you need to look for the border of light and dark and focus on it.

In backlight, the easiest way to focus on the border of the hair

In backlight, the easiest way to focus on the border of the hair

Depth of Field DOF

Depth of field is the range of distances inwhich all objects will be sharp. Imagine that you are photographing a person and there is a straight line: a camera — a person — the background. The focus point is on the person, then everything will sharply range from this person to you for a certain number of meters and from this person towards the background also for a certain number of meters. This range is the depth of field. In each case, it will have its own, because it depends on several parameters: aperture, focal length, distance to the object, and from the model of your camera. There are special calculators of the FLIP, where you can enter your values ​​and find out what distance it will turn out. For landscapes, you need a large depth of field for everything to be sharp, and for portraits or highlighting objects by blurring the background - a small depth of field.

You can play with the calculator so thatunderstand the relationship of these parameters. But in the field you will not have it at hand, therefore, if you are not a professional photographer, then it will be enough to remember some convenient values ​​for you, and also to look at the display each time (approaching the photo), what did you do and whether perefotkat

Focusing on the number 5, cutting only the band 4-5-6

Focusing on the number 5, cutting only the band 4-5-6

First of all, you need to remember that:

- The larger the aperture is, the shallower the depth of field is.
- The greater the focal length, the smaller the depth of field.
- The closer the object, the smaller the depth of field.

That is, by shooting at close range, for example, a person’s face at 100 mm and a diaphragm of 2.8, you risk getting only a sharp nose, while the rest is blurry.

73mm, f5.6, shot as close as possible, and therefore only the finger is in focus

73 mm, f5.6, shot as close as possible, and therefore only the finger is in focus

You will need to experience this “triple” dependence of the depth of field on the focal length, aperture and distance for an object. For example:

  • When photographing a landscape or other objectson a wide angle, you can always use f8-f13, and everything will be sharp. In fact, the calculator says that you can open the aperture much wider, but I like these values. As a rule, I always put f10 (in the afternoon).
  • For a beautiful blurred background, you do not need to haveexpensive high-aperture lens, which can greatly open the aperture, a normal zoom is enough with a standard aperture; you just need to go far and zoom in on a person (for example, 100 mm) and then even f5.6 is enough to blur the background.
  • Plays a role distance from objectphotographing before the background. If they are very close, then normally blur the background may not work, you will have to use a long focal length and a very open aperture. But if the background is very far away, then it will almost always be blurry.
  • If you are photographing a flower from closedistance, and for some reason you need to make sharp mountains on the horizon, you have to clamp the diaphragm to a maximum of f22 or more. True in this case there is a chance to get all the same no sharp image due to other features.

Alternatively, you can memorize just a couple of things. Landscapes and similar plans are removed at f10, people and the selection of objects do at f2.5 (50 mm) or f5.6 (105 mm).

Interconnection of shutter speeds, apertures, ISO and semi-automatic modes

Reached the most difficult, to the relationship of allthese parameters. I'll try to explain what's what, but still you won't do without samples. First of all, I want to advise using at the very beginning not a full manual mode (called M), but semi-automatic (Av and Tv for Canon, or A and S for Nikon), because it is much easier to think about one parameter, rather than two .

So, I have already brought some interrelationshipsabove. And if it is rather difficult to figure out the depth of field at the beginning, then it will be easier to choose the shutter speed and aperture without reference to the depth of field. It all comes down to the fact that your frame was moderately light / dark, because even if you shoot in RAW, it’s not a fact that you will be able to draw a photo with too erroneous values. And that is why I am for semi-automatic modes.

Aperture Priority (Av or A)

Suppose you are photographing a landscape in Av mode andfocal you have 24 mm. Set f10, and the camera selects the shutter speed for you. And it only remains for you to track that it is no longer than the critical value of 1 / mm (I wrote about this above in the Exposure paragraph). What to do next?

  • If the shutter speed is shorter than 1/24, for example, 1/30 or 1/50, then everything is fine.
  • If the shutter speed is longer than 1/24, then you have to put more ISO.
  • Further, if the ISO is not enough, then you can begin to open the diaphragm. In principle, you can initially open it immediately on f5.6-f8, and then raise the ISO.
  • If the maximum operating ISO is already set andthere is no place to open the diaphragm, then either “put your hands on the sides” to somehow reduce the tremor, or look for a surface where you can place or press the carcass, or reach for a tripod. Alternatively, you can raise even higher ISO, but then the photo will be very noisy.

Shutter priority (Tv or S)

Moving objects or people are best shot inTv mode, so as not to blur the object. Naturally, the shorter the shutter speed, the better, but if there is little light, you can focus on the values ​​that I quoted in the paragraph on shutter speed. That is, we expose the shutter speed and control which aperture the camera chooses. It is better that it is not fully open, especially on high-aperture lenses. If there is not enough light, then we also increase the ISO, if it is still not enough, then we try to lengthen the shutter speed.

ISO 1600 f2.8 1/50 sec - parameters at the limit, because it is dark and we move

ISO 1600 f2.8 1/50 sec - parameters at the limit, because it is dark and we move

Exposure Correction

Also Av and Tv are comfortable with this. Since the camera measures the exposure at the focal point, and it may be in the shade, or vice versa too lighted, the aperture values ​​or shutter speeds chosen by it may not correspond to the required ones. And the easiest way to correct them is with exposure compensation, simply turn the wheel 1-3 steps in the right direction and everything, that is, if you want to make the whole frame darker, then minus, if lighter, then plus. In case of insufficient light, I always immediately take off at -2/3 in the minus, in order to have a greater margin on the settings.

P.S. I hope the article was not too complicated and readable. There are many nuances, but it is difficult to place them here, given that I myself do not know many things. If you find an error, write in the comments.

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