Essential guides to getting more from your photography

Our range of guides are written so you can read them without any prior knowledge of photography. Choose the one’s you are most interested in, or read them all for a good grounding in what to do with your camera.


Custom setting menuSetting up

Before you being to take images with your camera you should choose the settings to meet your requirements. Our guide includes setting the video mode, image settings, colour space and screen settings. 

See our guide to setting up your camera


Live view


There are a number of ways that you can view the scene you’re about to take, we guide you though the various options, including using LCD screens, electronic viewfinders, optical viewfinders, live view and selecting viewing options.

See our guide to a camera’s viewing options

Shallow depth of fieldFocusing

There are many different focusing options that can be set to fit a particular situation, including different focusing moves, focusing points, face detection features, AF assist lamp and separate focus and shutter buttons.

See our advice on focusing your camera


Focal length

Different lenses cover different angles of view. The angle they can cover is determined by its focal length. We discuss focal length and look at standard lenses, wideangle lenses and telephotos.

See focal length explained

Drive modeShutter release modes

Your camera offers different shutter release modes which affect the timing of the image being taken. We look at single mode, self timer, continuous mode, intervalometers (to take time lapse photographs) and remote releases.

See our guide to shutter release modes

White balanceWhite balance

Setting the white balance ensures that colours are recorded accurately, taking the lighting into consideration. We guide you through measuring white balance, manual temperature selection, mixed lighting, white balance pre-sets and shooting RAW.

See our white balance advice

ISO 1600ISO settings

The ISO setting controls the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. High settings can cause image quality issues. Find out more about sensor sensitivity, High ISOs and the issues attached, the ISO scale and when to use higher ISOs.

More information on ISO


‘Aperture’ refers to the hole in the lens and, together with shutter speed, controls the amount of light reaching the sensor. It can make a dramatic difference to the zone of focus of your image. We explain the affects of adjusting aperture, the aperture scale, depth of field and what is meant by ‘fast’ lenses.

See our apertures guide

JetskiShutter speed

The shutter speed controls the length of your exposure. The shutter speed affects the way that motion is recorded by your camera. See how to control exposure, avoid camera shake, freeze motion, blur motion and pan. 

See our shutter speed advice

Exposure Exposure and metering

Get the amount of light entering your camera wrong and your picture could be too dark or too light. Use your cameras metering system to make sure you get it right. We explain subject brightness, metering moves, and how to override the meter. 

See our guide to exposure and metering

HistogramAdvanced exposure

There are a number of tools built into your camera that are designed to assist and complement the built-in exposure meter. We look at the histogram, bracketing, dynamic range adjustment, and High Dynamic Range photography.

See advanced exposure tips

Scene ModesAuto modes

Most cameras offer a range of shooting modes that you can set depending on your circumstances. These include intelligent auto and a number of scene modes such as action, landscapes, portrait and close up.

Auto modes explained

Creative exposure modesCreative modes

Creative exposure modes, such as program, aperture priority and shutter priority, allow you to take more control of how your pictures will look. We explain how to use these modes.

Find out about creative modes

FlashFlash modes

In some conditions flash can save your shot, at other times it can spoil it. See how to use auto flash, redeye reduction, rear curtain sync, fill in flash and flash exposure compensation.

See our guide to flash modes

Movie modeMovie mode

If you follow a few simple rules you can get fantastic results from a camera’s movie mode. See our shooting and editing tips and information on the limitations of shooting movies on your still camera.

See our movie mode tips

Playback menuImage review

There are a number of ways you can review a picture that you have taken, such as using EXIF data, histogram, shadow/highlight, auto rotate, image magnification and by viewing externally.

Image review options

Dynamic range enhancementIn camera processing

Many cameras let you to adjust and enhance to your shots afterwards, whilst still in the camera. We look at redeye correction, D-Lighting, cropping, straightening, resizing, perspective control, beauty mode, colour effect and RAW processing. 

In camera processing explained

Custom setting menuAdvanced menu options

There are lots of advanced options that can be of help once you’ve mastered the basic options. These include file management, noise reduction, custom functions, interval timer, multiple exposure and flash settings. Find out more about how these work.

Advanced menu options

Lens typesExtra lenses

The kit lens that comes with your camera had its limitations. You might want to consider adding other lenses to your collection. We look at the other lenses available and discuss what to look out for when choosing, such as focal length, maximum aperture, minimum focus etc. 

See our guide to lenses

Camera bagAccessories

There are lots of accessories to choose from to add to your camera, we look at a few of the most essential, such as flashgun, tripod, remote release, filters and bags.  

More info on camera accessories

Still hungry for more? Now that you’ve mastered the basics of your camera take a look at our technique tips on how to take certain types of shots.