One of the biggest advantages of modern digital cameras is also one of it’s drawbacks. I am talking about the sheer number of shooting options that we can control.
The advantages are obvious, we have the ability to fine tune every aspect of our image’s exposure, however, that level of control requires an often complex and to some, confusing layer of menus, buttons and dials. That's where this article should hopefully come in useful, illustrating how you can use custom settings to improve your photography.
Many of us shoot with different styles or techniques according to the subjects we are shooting. Sometimes we might need to keep the shutter speed high for action or wildlife, sometimes we might be wandering in and out of shadowy light and need the dynamic ranges extended.
Problem is, we have to keep delving into that complex menu system to make some of these changes.
Fortunately, camera manufacturers have this covered with the use of custom settings and today we are going to take a look at how to use them.
If you're relatively new to photography, we have the perfect video series “Essential Photography Skills” by Brent Mail Photography to really give you a headstart! Just something to bear in mind…
Virtually all modern cameras allow for custom settings. By Jhong Dizon
What Are These Custom Settings?
Most modern DSLR and compact system cameras have the ability to create one or more custom shooting modes, often called C modes. These custom modes allow you to predefine numerous different exposure, color, focus and file settings into one easy to access preset.
Depending on your camera manufacturer, these will be found in the shooting or tools menu. Check your camera manual for the exact menu sequence.
Creating a custom profile is an easy task. Simply set up the camera for the type of shooting that you wish to do, then through the menu system save that profile to one of the “banks” of C modes. On most cameras, you can also give that profile an easy to remember name.
Once set, when you need to quickly configure the camera you can do so using the custom setting that you created.
On some cameras the C modes can be quickly accessed through the Q Menu system, on others there may be a dedicated button or easy access from the menu system. There are many different types of profiles that you can use depending on what and how you shoot but let’s take a look at some of the more common ones that you might set up.
Landscape Photography Settings
High quality, good depth of field are things that we are looking for in a landscape image. Typically a custom setting for landscape might put your exposure mode in aperture priority or manual, file type to RAW, ISO to it’s lowest setting and focus mode to single point, single shot.