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Get to know your camera in 5 minutes

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Tips from Digital Photographer, by Mark White
February 9, 2016

Master your camera with this handy quick start guide from Digital Photographer!


Get to grips with common photographic terms


Affects the amount of your image that will be in focus – the depth of field. If you use a wide aperture of say f2, only parts of your image will be in focus, and if you use a narrow aperture of say f11 more of your image will be in focus.

White Balance

Affected by the ambient light, the white balance can be altered to ensure a natural colour result. Using the wrong white balance can give your image an unwanted colour cast.


Refers to how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light and affects the visible grain or ‘noise’ in a photo.

Shutter speed

Fast speeds freeze action while longer ones blur any motion.


A balanced exposure has detail in light and shadow areas alike.

Exposure compensation

Adjusts the tonal range of your photo, lighter or darker.

Drive mode

Continuous or Burst mode, single shot and self-timer.


Refers to the way the camera reads the light in the scene.


Number of pixels on the sensor, in millions.

Camera icons explained

If you are using a DSLR or Compact System Camera (CSC) then there will usually be a mode dial on the top. No matter what camera you are using the icons for setting the camera to shoot in different conditions and for basic operations are usually universal.



For more photography tips, tricks and techniques, head over to our sister magazine, Digital Photographer! You can also find the team posting on their Facebook and Twitter pages.