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How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera

Lesson 12 of 16

Handling Your Camera

John Greengo

How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

12. Handling Your Camera

Lesson Info

Handling Your Camera

All right, so let's talk about the handling of the camera and our first example is going to be the nikon d thirty three hundred, which is their entry level camera versus the seventy two hundred, which is their mohr midline level camera. If you are manually setting your exposure, you're going to need to change your shutter speed and there's a dial in the back of the camera on both cameras to do this nice and easy there equal. If you want to change the aperture, the seventy two hundred has a dial in the front. The thirty three hundred does not have a dial, you have a button and you have to press that button while you returning the back dial. So now, rather than using one finger, you got to use two fingers, which makes the whole system ah, little bit more complicated. And as you look at this, you might just say, how much does a plastic dialled cost? Why don't they just put this plastic dial on the camera? And this is something that people refer to as camera crippling? What they're doing i...

s they're taking something off of this camera. They're not putting it on there to differentiate and give you a reason to step up to the next level. They know that this person isn't going to utilize it a lot. It granted it would only take literally five dollars to change. They're not going to put it on there so that there's a reason to upgrade and so yes it's a five dollars, part they could put it on there without a problem. They're doing that to differentiate their their their markets. What about all the controls on the back of the camera? So you have all these nice big buttons? I talked about these big buttons for before for controlling those features that you would most commonly get too one press button in your you have access to them the back of this camera it's not as big. You want a smaller camera that means you don't have this much room for buttons. Well, how do you get to those features? Well, you gotta press the information screen, and then you got to navigate with the multi controller so that you can go find the image quality and the white balance and the ice elf. So if you want to change the isil rather than doing it in one or two finger presses, you now need to press like six or seven or eight button presses in order to make that happen. Now, the fact of the matter is, is that it's still there? You can still make the change you just gotta work a little bit harder and take a little bit more time to do it. And so it depends on is that something you're going to change? Because if it's something you don't want to change, the thirty three hundred would be the better camera. Because then it's just it's hiding all that stuff away. All right, let's, take a look at the cannon. T six I versus the seventy d same situation. We have a shutter speed dial in this case, on the top of the camera on both cameras. If you want to change the aperture, the canon has this very cool dial on the back of the camera that you can rotate, but on the rebel siri's, they have no dial there. So how do you change it? Well, you have to press the aperture button and you have to turn the dial on the top of the camera. So, it's. Exactly. The same thing is then icons it's, a two finger affair. You don't have separate dials on the top of the seventy d. We have buttons that control some of the major features of our camera on the rebel. We do have a nice, so button on the top. Which is very convenient and we do have a number of the buttons that are direct access in the back of the camera so I think this is slightly better than the d thirty three hundred when it comes to directly controlling your camera you do have to dive in to find your meeting system but to be fair they do have a button for white balance and if you want white balance on the seventy d you gotta dive into their menu system there so I think canada has done a slightly better job for somebody who wants to control manual so looking at our primary controls the first one is going to be exposure want to get our exposure correct which means we're going to need to adjust our shutter speeds which will often come up his ss for shutter speed five hundred means one five hundredth of a second the f stop for the aperture five point six is of this example you want to be able to change your eyes so very quickly this something that we do a lot so any place that has a hidden or hard to find aya so feature I find it's a bit of a detriment to anyone shooting in manual your exposure compensation is usually pretty easy to get to on most cameras it's a common feature we want to be able to make our pictures a little lighter or a little darker from time to time the focusing system a lot of cameras and lenses will have a good old switch on him so that you can switch from auto focus to manual focus you want to be able to change those focusing moz from single to continuous pretty easily most of the good cameras will have one or two button presses in order to make these changes you want to be able to change the focusing area, which is which points we've activated aa lot of cameras you'll be able to do this in one or two touches if you need to dive into a menu system and you've got a press a lot of buttons that's, that's a disadvantage definitely when you're trying to switch areas, the other types of controls that you're going to want to get in and change on a regular basis the white balance this should be something that you can get to very quickly you're going probably want to change your drive mode when you go shoot sports and action, you're going to want to switch it from single to continuous melt so this should be pretty quick access you might want to get in and set the self timer maybe to get in the picture yourself or simply because you have the camera on a tripod and you're using a remote there's going to be a number of display and viewing options which is going to turn on and off various viewfinder information. Bits for you to see. Being able to turn them all off so that you have just the pure image for compositional reason is important. But sometimes you need to see data because you're trying to figure out shutter speeds and apertures and all that other information, and then there's a variety of other information, depending on what you do with your photography as to what you want to have access to. Some people are changing their metering system. What? Some people are adjusting their flash unit. And so, depending on what you use with your camera, that's, what you want to have access for. I love having lots of buttons on my camera because I can directly change things, so long as you know what those buttons do. That's a good thing.

Class Description

It’s nearly impossible for any beginner to sort through all of the functions, features, and price points of DSLR and mirrorless cameras and make an informed choice. In How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera, John Greengo will simplify the buying process and help you find the camera that fits your needs and your budget.

The key to finding a great DSLR camera for beginners is knowing the market and which questions to ask. In this class, you’ll learn about all the different types and brands of cameras and which one is right for you. 

You'll learn:

  • Which features are beneficial to your style of photography
  • The importance of having the right lens
  • The differences between Digital SLRs and mirrorless
  • How a camera’s sensor size impacts image quality

John will look closely at all the latest DSLRs from Nikon and Canon, and the mirrorless cameras from Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus, and others.

The current crop of photographic equipment is more diverse than ever before and finding the right DSLR camera for a beginner can be a challenge. There is a huge range of variables between cameras, even when they come from the same manufacturer. How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera will help you know what to look for and which questions to ask when it’s time to buy your first camera.



I have to thank John Greengo and the CreativeLive staff for another wonderful class. Mr. Greengo is a very good instructor (he has a nice Bob Ross ambiance), very knowledgeable and very technical with the camera and the terminologies. I am very grateful that he has material to download so I can continue to review and learn. I own a DSLR but I never truly understood the baseline technology. I am in the process of purchasing a new camera system and lens for some photography but mostly for filmmaking. With the knowledge I gain by watching this course, I can better choose and identify the features of the future cameras in my upcoming new passion. Thank you CreativeLive and Thank you Mr. Greengo. I am looking forward to attending future classes.


This was a great class. I already had an idea of the direction I wanted to go as I start my new business, but this class really helped me focus on the most important upgrades I need to make to my current system. I was particularly impressed with the visual graphics used to explain the technical functions of cameras and how those functions affect image quality and camera use. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to up their camera system and I am looking forward to taking the classes that are specific to the camera systems I am using. I would love to see a class on image processing and getting the most out of editing software. Great Job! Glad I signed up for CreativeLive.

Bev Anne

Excellent course. I was happy to find out that I made a good choice when purchasing my entry level DSLR camera -- it does everything I need at the moment. I was also interested to find out that mirrorless is the wave of the future -- I really like the idea of the light weight because I am developing some arthritis in my wrists and when I am ready to move up in the future I will have great options. Meanwhile I also learned that there is an inexpensive lens that I can get that will upgrade my system enough for the immediate future. Thank you John Greengo for this informative class it was well worth the purchase price.