05 Try Picture Styles
Most recent cameras have preset Picture Styles (or Picture Controls) that can be useful for applying basic adjustments to your images in-camera, such as Portrait or Landscape. What’s more, many cameras also allow you to edit the saturation, sharpness and contrast settings to fine-tune the effect to suit your taste or style (for more, see Canon Picture Styles: how to use the in-camera effects on your EOS camera).
06 Minimise lens distortion
On Nikon cameras you have the option of automatically correcting lens distortion in-camera, while with Canon models you can correct for lens vignetting. These correction features are normally switched on in the set-up menu, although this will only be available if the lens on the camera is compatible with the automatic correction feature of your camera. Minimise distortions as you shoot, and you won’t have to fix your images post-shoot (learn more about distortion with our infographic explaining chromatic aberration).
07 Auto-rotate your shots
In the set-up menu of most cameras you’ll find an option that enables you to automatically rotate images according to whether they are taken in horizontal or upright format. Turning this function on can save you loads of time rotating images once you’ve downloaded them to your computer later.
08 Check file format and size
For the best quality, you’d normally shoot most images at the highest resolution available, and save them in raw format or the highest quality JPEG setting. But remember that you don’t always need to use these settings for shots that you only want to use on-screen or print at small sizes. By choosing a smaller image size you can save space on your memory card, and time resizing your shots later.
09 Assign buttons
The function of most of the buttons on your camera will be set from the factory, but did you know that you can often customise the function of individual buttons, giving quick access to frequently-used settings and saving time wading through menus.
On Canon EOS cameras, like the 1100D, you can assign different functions to the SET button, such as image quality, ISO or flash Exposure Compensation. A similar range of options is available for the function (Fn) button on many Nikon DSLRs. Button customisation may seem a faff, but can save bags of time.
10 My Menu settings
Many cameras allow you to customise the menu so that the most used or useful adjustments are quickly available in their own menu page. So if there are particular features, such as Picture Styles or in-camera effects, that you use regularly, load them all into the My Menu page. Some lower-end models, such as the Nikon D3100, have a recent settings page. This shows the 20 most recently used settings, but you can’t fully customise this menu.