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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Set Up Your Camera For Best Field Use

Get the most from your camera by having it dialed in for nature photography

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Get your money’s worth out of your camera! Allow your images to use the entire LCD when they display, whether they’re horizontal or vertical. This setting is usually in the playback or setup menu on your camera. On most of today’s cameras, you can tell the camera not to auto-rotate verticals in the LCD, yet still keep vertical information with the files so that they do rotate when the images are opened in the computer.

4-Minute Auto Power Off
I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed when the camera shuts down just as I’m ready to take a picture. That happens all too often with most cameras at their default Auto Power Off setting. Again, these short times were originally chosen because, when the camera was on, it used too much battery power. That’s no longer true at all, but the manufacturers still have kept rather short default settings.

For me, a setting of about four minutes seems to be fine. The setting is usually in the setup menu of your camera. If you’re doing a type of photography that requires you to sit and wait for action to occur, such as wildlife photography, you may want to set this to an even longer time. It’s incredibly frustrating to have a bird landing on a nest as you push the shutter release, for example, and have nothing happen because the camera went to sleep.

 8-Second LCD Review Time
The LCD is one of the great innovations of digital photography. It allows us to see what our photographs look like without having to take them to a lab for processing. This is a huge benefit, giving us instant results to review. And those results give us immediate feedback on what’s working or not working. LCD review can help photographers at every level.

Which is why I can’t imagine using the camera the way most are set up for LCD review. The timing is way too short to be able to do anything. The default settings for how long the LCD displays images after a shot are designed for very casual shooters. I’m not talking about beginning nature photographers either—these shooters are those who simply use any camera to point-and-shoot record shots of family and friends.

The short default LCD Review Time is a throwback to the design of earlier digital cameras. The LCD used to be a big power drain for the camera’s batteries. Because of this, manufacturers set the LCD Review Time—the time an image is displayed right after you take a picture—rather short.


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