MODA Blog

Camera Basics

Camera Basics

DSLRs are getting cheaper every year and with the introduction of mirrorless cameras, more people are starting to buy prosumer level cameras. And nothing annoys me more than when I see someone with a really nice camera but they're shooting in Automatic mode. Now if you're planning on buying a camera, I would suggest splurging on the lens and getting a cheaper body. Glass is key. Through this post, understand and worship the trifecta of photography: Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed.

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Image via

Shutter speed is the easiest and most straightforward to understand. It's the duration of how long a camera's shutter will be open for. If you have a fast shutter speed, you'll freeze a subject in motion. With a slower shutter speed, the moving subject will come out blurred.

ISO refers to the sensitivity of the sensor. The smaller the ISO number (the lower the ISO), the less sensitive to light the sensor is, and the less grain there will be in the final result.

Aperture refers to how much light is let through the lens. The greater the aperture, the wider the hole will be, and the lower the number and the more light will be let in. In the diagram above, f1.4 is the maximum aperture and f32 is the minimum aperture. Aperture also affects depth of field of the photograph. To get a shallow depth of field, use a wider aperture, and to get a deep depth of field, use a narrow aperture.

Of course, before taking a photography, you're going to combine all three. Keep ISO as low as possible and adjust shutter speed and aperture as needed. Most, if not all, DSLRs and mirrorless SLRs have an Aperture priority mode. Set the aperture and the ISO and the camera will select the appropriate shutter speed.

If you're shooting sports, wildlife, moving cars, or anything with motion, set the camera to Shutter Speed Priority, and the camera will select the appropriate aperture. (You can always set ISO to auto too; generally try avoiding going over 2000).

We hope these tips have helped you understand the different functions of your DLSR. Enjoy the summer, and get ready to capture those memories!

Kai is a freelance photographer at Gallery K1.

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