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Have You Read Your Digital Camera Manual?
by: Liz Beresford
Have you read the manual that came with your digital camera? If not you are in good company, the majority of digital camera owners never get past the *Basic Operations* section.
If you didn*t read the manual why not? Was it the obscure photographic terms? The numerous cross references ? The complicated diagrams? The myriad uses for each dial and button? The convoluted English? Maybe all of the above. The fact is that most digital camera manuals are neither user friendly nor written with beginners in mind. If you aren*t already familiar with photographic terms then White Balance, AE Lock, AF Illuminator, and so on, aren*t much help and it can seem like very hard work to figure it all out.
But if you haven*t read the manual you aren*t getting the most from your digital camera. Digital cameras are loaded with options that let you do really cool things. If all you do is point and shoot you are missing out on a whole lot of fun and some great photos.
We are visual learners, and we like our information in manageable chunks. When we are learning a new skill we learn more by seeing and doing than by reading. Don*t you find that you remember a name more easily if the owner is wearing a name badge when you are introduced? Isn*t a map easier to follow than listed directions? Did you learn to drive by reading about it? Figuring out a digital camera is no different- we need to practice. Let*s go back to the manual and pick up from where you got stuck. In the first few pages of the manual there will be diagrams identifying each function. Don*t start there. It*s too much to learn all at once, and if you don*t know what it all means you won*t remember it. It*s much easier to learn each function as you need it. Try this: get your camera and the manual out. Choose a topic that you are unfamiliar with and learn about that one feature. It might be the basic operation or it may be something more advanced, such as white balance or aperture priority mode. The manual may not be very clear about what each feature does but you can check all the terms out here: http://www.digital-cameras-and-accessories.com/glossary.html
As you read the instructions in the manual explore the settings on your camera and try them out. Then stop and practice using this setting. Go and take some pictures around your home or neighbourhood. You don*t have to worry about wasting film any more, so you can snap happily away and then delete the duds. Only go on to the next topic when you feel that you have thoroughly absorbed the first.
This way you will get through all the features in a month at most. In good time to take some fabulous photos at Thanksgiving and Christmas!
That*s it! You are on your way to becoming an expert.