So you’ve just bought your first DSLR… now what?

Our professional photographer's recommended gear: fast memory cards

So you’ve just bought your first DSLR / CSC... now what?

Drive mode

If you’re photographing a moving subject and you want to take a sequence of shots in quick succession, set your camera to continuous shooting mode.

Once this is selected the camera will continue to fire the shutter as long as the shutter release is pressed down (or until the buffer or card becomes full).

Alternatively, use Single-shot mode to capture one image every time you press home the shutter release.

Exposure mode

Setting your camera to Automatic (Auto) or Program exposure mode tells it to decide which shutter speed and aperture settings are required so you can concentrate on getting the composition right.

However, if you want to take a bit more control you could use one of the Scene mode options (Portrait, Landscape, Sport etc), which will tailor the exposure and colour settings to suit the subject.

Once you get a bit more experienced you might like to trying using aperture and shutter priority mode.

In aperture priority mode you set the aperture while the camera selects an appropriate shutter speed.

A small aperture (large f/number such as f/22) creates lots of depth of field so a lot of the image is in focus, but a large aperture (small f/number such as f/2.8) gives restricted depth of field so that only a small section of the images either side of the focus point is sharp.

Meanwhile in shutter priority mode you set the shutter speed, for example to freeze a fast moving subject, and the camera sets the aperture.

In Manual exposure mode you set both the shutter speed and aperture, using the camera’s meter indicator as a guide.

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