Couple years ago, I decided to get myself a good camera as my travel company. Without much knowledge on how to utilise any of the feature of a modern camera, I chose Canon Power Shot SX50HS. It is designed as a middle point between digital camera and DSLR. Not knowing different programs the camera has, I set my default setting on “Auto” and use only capture button, zoom in and zoom out. I honestly feel that I do no justice to my camera. Well, actually this is not the first time. I feel the same towards my Mac and Iphone. Perhaps I just do not have the knack for technology. Thank to my friends who are kindly teaching me how to use the features of the camera. Camera is a clever invention and certainly blows my mind!
I thought I will write a summary of the lesson here to remind myself if ever I forget (definitely will) them. The lesson is given in its simplest form so that a person like me can understand it, learn it and hopefully apply it. Do not expect fancy dictionary or wikipedia explanation; it will use the language that I (at the very least) can understand.
So, there are three components to consider when taking a photo with my camera
- Aperture (AV) : It determines the sharpness of the image. My camera aperture range from F3.5 to F8.0. The higher aperture (F3.5) is used to capture foreground focused image with blurred background (e.g. food photography or highlighting certain object) and the lower aperture (F8.0) is to get the whole image focused. This is used for scenery or event photograph.
- Shutter speed (TV) : This component determines the length of time the lens is open while capturing an image. The fast shutter freeze the action and the slower shutter speed is to create blurring motion. This feature is really cool. Check some example of images from the web on light drawing or waterfall!
- ISO (P) : This determines camera sensitivity to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is towards light and the higher the ISO increase its sensitivity. It is the main thing to consider when capturing photos in various light intensity.
There are separate program in the camera available to adjust individual component above when capturing image. For example, the AV program allows me to set the aperture manually and the camera will do the shutter speed and ISO adjustment for me. The M program allows me to set all the tree components manually and the auto will adjust everything for me. Different value adjustments on those three features will give different feel to a photo. Apart from those three components, my camera is equipped with amazing pictures such as 50x zoom in, 12.1 megapixels, movie program, sport and panoramic program and many others.
The lesson and the camera features will not guarantee that I will be a great photographer. But I believe with lots of practise and experiments, I will advance to the next level of my photography skill (more than just using auto setting and capture button). I really look forward to experimenting with different programs, capturing moments and producing beautiful pictures.