TOP 8 things that you should do with a new DSLR camera


Have you finally got a new camera? Great! What should you do next? Maybe just start to take pictures? Here is a small list of things that you should before taking your first photos.

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1. Adjust the viewfinder for your own convenience

Usually next to the viewfinder there is a small wheel or a lever that allows you to make a dioptric adjustment. This will allow you to see a clear, high-quality picture that is just perfect for you. This setting will not affect the focus of your camera, will not improve your work, but will make your experience more convenient. Imagine that this function is like glasses that you do not need to wear. Even people with good eyesight should adjust this setting because nobody knows how it was done at the factory (in the store while selling).

Dioptric adjustment is very simple. If you wear glasses, you need to decide whether you take photos with them on you or will take them off every time you use the viewfinder. Place your camera, so it faces a bright surface and then starts to adjust an image in the viewfinder based on the information it displays. (In some cameras, the parameters appear only if you press the shutter button halfway). Try for some time to look through the viewfinder and while making adjustments. In about a minute it will be clear what position is the best and what image is the sharpest. This means that the process of adjustment is completed. But don't forget that sometimes it is necessary to verify the accuracy of this setting because it can be changed by accident without you noticing it. 

Portrait of beautiful young woman with colored glasses, автор — Oleg Gekman на


2. Make sure all your lenses are prepared for your new camera

Lenses are not perfect, even if they have just been unpacked. Every time you buy a new lens or camera, you need to make sure that the focus is working correctly. Probably, you have to adjust the work of the lens using a camera menu. Each manufacturer uses slightly different methods for this. At Nikon, it is called AF Fine Tune, Canon — Micro Adjustment Forces. Other manufacturers have their own names.

There are various methods to adjust a lens. They are very diverse, but it is worth to study them accurately and look for the instruction on the Internet that will explain how to adjust the lens you have bought. It makes no sense to buy new equipment if the quality of your photos is poor. Besides, this check is a good way to test your new camera. If you get strange results, that is a reason to think that something may be wrong with this new item.

If you buy two similar cameras and want to use the same adjustments for both cameras, then it is wrong. Each device should be configured individually.

And what is the most important: if you don't have a mirror in your camera and the focusing system is placed on the matrix, then you shouldn't adjust your camera to make it compatible with lenses. The auto focus system is placed on the matrix that forms an image, so this secures accuracy of your shots. 


3. Use a screen protector

Screen protection is important. If there is a scratch, it will constantly be distracting your attention. If your equipment is insured, then it will be almost impossible to receive compensation for such damage. Protection means can be presented by a thin film, or a rather impressive transparent plastic cover. It depends on your preferences and available solutions for the model of your camera. The easiest way is to buy a screen protector together with a new camera. 

The boxer crushing a glass, автор — Volodymyr Melnyk на


4. Test all the functions

Before taking your camera to any important photo session or put it in your bag when going on vacation, make sure that everything works well. The best way to check this is to go outside and take pictures in different modes, making sure that everything works as it should. The chances of noticing a problem are not very high, but it's better than having some troubles at your working place or during a long-distance trek. 


5. Check reviews on the Internet

Modern cameras have so many functions and hidden features that some of them can be found out by chance years later after the purchase. So you should spend a little bit more time reading the reviews from other people who have used this camera.

It is possible that you will find an article where the author describes his favorite camera settings, and you will also find them rather convenient. Subsequently, this can save your time. And if you begin this "research" before your purchase, and provided that it will be a little bit more careful, it may happen that some features of the camera don't satisfy you and this thing will be very annoying, or you won't be able to shoot as you like. This will help you to save your money and time. 

Minolta 85 1.4, автор — Alexander Sorokopud на

6. Adjust your camera settings

Having received information while fulfilling the above-mentioned paragraphs, you can move to profound adjustment of your new camera. In modern devices, there are so many of them that it may happen that you don't need the most of them. But having studied them accurately, you will know exactly what you want to know and what you can forget. In the process, you'll find out that you can configure the camera according to your shooting style. 


7. It's boring, but read the manual

If you have already had the cameras from the same manufacturer, and if you have studied the information about your new camera in detail on the Internet, if you know all the new features introduced in this model, it is likely, you do not need to read the manual. But still, from time to time, you just need to look through this book. It's not very interesting, but sometimes quite useful, especially if it's your first camera. You will have a better grasp of how your camera work and its features. 

crocus, автор — Tatiana Borisenko на


8. Find inspiration

And finally, after everything is adjusted and checked, you need to find something interesting, your favorite picture of another photographer. No matter whether you are a professional or an amateur, you should try to do something like that. Maybe it lacks the same entourage, plot, lighting, but the fact that you left the house to get a specific shot, is a very positive moment. Maybe unexpectedly you will get a completely different but interesting photo. 


The final advice

Once the camera is adjusted and ready for work, after realizing the goal you want to achieve, stop thinking about technique, and start thinking about photography. No matter how good your new camera is, it is not so important for the process of shooting. Photography is not the camera.

Purchasing of a new device is a pleasant moment, but we should remember that it is just a tool. This tool can and should be used to capture images, that you have never dreamed of and haven't imagined you can do this.