Knowing your camera...

Here is a few tips I have put together for any brand camera user that may be helpful in knowing your camera a bit better...

No matter what mode you shoot in Auto, Manual, Aperture Priority, or a custom setting you may have set up yourself in your camera, these little bits of information will help you get to know and understand you camera a bit better.

Canon menu for most canons (may vary by model i.e.. 5D mark iii and 1Dx)

1. What file size do you shoot with and how can i change it?

Listed above is a canon menu showing where to find your file sizes, also how to control flash (external flash settings and how to sync with other flashes and pocket wizards)

- File size is important to the quality of your image, the larger the file the better the quality. This means that the larger file hold more information, more color, more detail which in end results gives a better image. Whether you shoot RAW (s,m,l for canon) or large JPG. you get more detail. In all Reality RAW files hold more information and more in a file than a large jpg, Yes it takes up more room but knowing you get a more detailed shot might be more important.

nikon menu (may vary by model)


Listed above is a nikon menu showing where you can find your file size (file naming is also great when finding files, topic will be brought up in the future for more info)

2. Format, white balance, and exposure compensation 

2. Where do I find my Format setting?

Listed above is the section of the menu that lets you find where to format your card ( Also in the menu is how to change your white balance and exposure compensation)

- Should i format my card? Yes, if you do not format your card you will indeed be able to hold less files on your card. Formatting your card also ensures that you have an emptied card and an updated storage space for files to go. When formatting, make sure you have taken all images off your card, formatting will erase all previously taken images from the card you placed in your camera. Another reason to format is to keep firmware up-to-date, you do use a card to update firmware, but keeping it updated is just as important, especially where our card work with computers that update more often than our cameras do.

3. What white balance should I be shooting at?

The difference between white balance and flourescent can be crucial to your overall image, but can be changed again in post processing with a little tweaking.

- This is something that is a common question, granted all cameras are different and white balance differently.

Image above shows auto white balance which is spot on and Fluorescent which the featured image
shows a blue/green tint (fluorescent does vary based on available light.

For those with Pro-Body cameras, you can manually adjust white balance with your Kelvin meter for a custom white balance or to tweek to get the proper white balance.

4. Which picture style/picture control should I use?

- Picture styles/picture control allow you to create the ideal image you like, you can choose from Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, Monochrome (with multiple filters) Standard, and for some cameras you can create your own picture style.

Customize for changing picture style to your own liking.

Standard Graphical interface for finding picture style (picture control for nikons) with options to customize below. Notice 1, 2, 3 are custom settings for all settings not just picture style.


Pictures above show what picture styles are and how you can customize even the presets, with these you can take great life like colored images or even be creative and take monochrome or high contrast images as well. Those aren't all the possibilities that can be done. As well as setting your style, some of the colors within the style also control the white balance as well.

For entry level or pro DSLRs, these can all be found in your quick menu or in the menu itself. Some cameras do have designated buttons on the camera bodies themselves. Any additional questions, comment below :) These are just a few things that i find are helpful for anyone, any level of photographer, any creative level that might help you better understand your camera or menu.

sara fredetteComment