School Cameras used by MANY students should be configured BEFORE they start a shoot.
IF your DON'T learn to set up a camera, you're at the mercy of the setup the LAST student used - which may or may not be useful.

The SKILLFUL student will pay particular attention to the following:

AUTO MODE is the safest mode for taking shots until you understand the following adjustments, stick with it.
  • Good - Exposure levels, White Balance, ISO - all the confusing stuff is taken care of for you
  • Bad - The response time of the camera can get laggy, and can make some POOR decisions in unusual circumstances (ie Greenscreen)

PROGRAMMED MODE (or MANUAL MODE) assumes the photographer knows what they're doing, and gives them control over
  • ISO, White Balance,

  • Every camera is different, and may have a host of "specialty" modes for specific occassions
  • Tv, Av are "Priority Modes" that allow a knowledgable user to control the shutter speed (timing) or aperature settings on their camera
  • SPORTS, PORTRAIT, LOW LIGHT, LANDSCAPE modes attempt to optimize various settings for those types of shoots
2. RESOLUTION (Image Size)
Photography Function.jpg
SELECT the FUNCTION/SET BUTTON to access resolution settings

No matter WHAT mode you are using, you MUST make a decision regarding the RESOLUTION (or Image Size) of your recorded image. LEARN TO CHECK THE RESOLUTION BEFORE you take a single picture!

Though there is a WIDE variety of cameras out there, YOUR PROJECT dictates which resolutions are appropriate.
  • L (Large) - best for posters ie. 6MP - 12MP
  • M (Medium) - great for 4"x6" photos ie. 3MP - 5MP
  • S (Small) - fine for most webpages, slideshows or video work ie. 1MP - 2MP

You could just leave your camera in LARGE resolution mode all the time, but larger images consume more memory and are slower to work with than smaller ones. The smart student uses just what they need.
Find the button on your camera that turns the flash ON and OFF
This is key to controlling the LIGHTING

A "Lightning Bolt" button will usually toggle the mode between
  • Automatic
  • Force Flash on
  • Turn Flash off
4. ISO
Typically there is a FUNCTION, or even a specific button that allows you to toggle the ISO

  • 80 (Outdoor lighting - low grain)
  • 100
  • 200
  • 400
  • 800
  • 1600 (Low lighting - high grain)
This is only for advanced students using "Program" Mode
6. Time & Date
Setting the time & Date need only be done once, but makes ORGANIZING your photos considerably easier later on.