Improve your photography! 8 simple tips for a new camera

Did you get a bright and shiny new camera this holiday? Congratulations!  A new camera can really improve your photography.  Follow these 10 simple tips from SLR Lounge to set up your camera right and take great photographs.


Change the resolution setting.  Many new cameras with high resolution sensors are shipped out ready to shoot web resolution jpegs.  Make sure you change the setting to shoot RAW+Jpeg, or at least high resolution jpegs so your photography looks its best.


Change the diopter setting.  The dial next to the viewfinder isn’t for show.  It’s the diopter adjustment.  The diopter makes adjustments to the viewfinder like an eye doctor does during their exams.  Changing the diopter will help you see the images more clearly, especially if you wear contacts or glasses.


Buy extra batteries and memory cards.  We’ve all experienced having something run out of juice when we really need it.  Make sure you have an extra battery for your new camera so you can keep shooting even if your battery dies.  Also, have an extra memory card (or 5!) so you don’t have to delete images to keep taking photographs.  Pro tip- memory cards have different write speeds, like hard disks.  If you shoot sports or other fast paced photography, consider getting a fast card.


Migrate the camera settings.  If you have specialized settings in your camera, make sure to set your new camera up the same way so you get consistent results.  While you are at it, make sure to enter your name in the copyright section of the camera, so your images will be identified as yours.


Upgrade that strap.  Your new camera will probably have a strap included.  The free strap is fine, but if you shoot a lot, you may want to get a more ergonomic strap for comfort.  OP/TECH straps at B&H makes a very comfortable neoprene strap, and Domke straps at B&H makes a very lightweight strap that has great grip on your shoulder.  Both are made in the USA.  There are plenty of other options, so go to your local camera store and try some out.  There are even wrist straps if you don’t want a large shoulder strap.


Fill out the warranty card and insure that camera.  It’s free to fill out the warranty card, so why not?  Also, make sure to add your camera to your renter’s, homeowners, or business insurance policy.  Keep a record of the camera’s serial number and photograph it for insurance as well.


Get a bag that fits your needs.  A bag is only useful if it fits your lifestyle, so shop around and find a bag that protects your camera and is right for you.  There are a lot of great choices out there, like shoulder bags, backpacks, messenger style bags, and rolling bags.  Having the right bag will make it easier to have your camera with you when you need it.


Read the manual.  I admit that I don’t always read the manual before using a new camera, but it’s a great way to learn all of the capabilities your new camera.  Even if you don’t read it cover to cover before taking a photo, make sure to refer to it so you can up your photography game.