Home LIFESTYLE Getting to Grips with Manual Mode – Viewfinder, Screen, and Continuous Shooting

Getting to Grips with Manual Mode – Viewfinder, Screen, and Continuous Shooting

by Katie Reed

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Continuing in our photography series, today we’re talking about other settings you’ll want to know when using your DSLR camera. These are very simple and helpful but can make a BIG difference in your photography!

One Shot vs Continuous

One Shot Versus Continuous

One Shot Versus Continuous

Most cameras come with this nifty setting that lets you choose if you want to just snap one picture when you hold down the button, or if you’d like to be able to hold the button down and take multiple photos. As you can see from the image, it will be a button that looks like it has multiple squares on it, and it will bring you to a menu similar to this one. The first option is just one square, that’s the one shot mode, one click, one photo. The next one is continuous shot that will take photos over and over when you have your finger held on the button. This is an excellent setting if you are photographing fast moving little ones! The next three options are timers, those are awesome if you are trying to take photos with yourself in them without a remote for your camera. (Side note, they have remotes for cameras SUPER cheap on Amazon, it’s worth a try!)

LED Screen Brightness

Unfortunately there is no photo for this one, and that’s because this will be hidden in the settings in your “menu” and its location can vary for each camera. Check your camera manual to find this setting. Setting your LED Screen Brightness to high or low will make your images look off Every. Single. Time. Be sure that this is set at a medium/middle level or you’ll drive yourself crazy thinking that every image is bad until you get it on the computer and it looks just fine.

Viewfinder vs Screen

Vewifinder Versus Screen

Vewifinder Versus Screen

You can choose to view your screen two ways, one is through the viewfinder up on top, the other is to see the image on the actual screen like most point and shoot digital cameras. It’s highly recommended to use the screen when shooting video, absolutely. However, for taking photos, using the screen option can actually cause issues. The lens will take FOREVER to focus while on autofocus, and it will take longer to take each photo, not ideal with kids. If you’d like to get those quick snapshots, stick to the viewfinder. You can see in the image, on this particular camera to switch to the screen there is a button with a camera on it, which is also the button to push to record when in video mode. (Please note that when you’re in this mode the viewfinder will not work on most cameras, it will be blacked out. It’s not broken! They are made to do that and you can switch back by just clicking that button again.)

Lens Focusing

This is a quick one. For those who want to both manually focus and auto focus, this is what the setting will look like on your lens on just about all modern cameras. If your camera isn’t focusing for some reason try manual mode (MF), and if you thought you were on auto mode (AF) but the camera lens isn’t moving, make sure your lens in on auto. 😉 (Please note, you do not have to use manual focus on your lens to use your camera in manual mode, the lens will adhere to the settings that you tell it to while in manual mode with the lens on auto focus.)

Manual Focus Lens

Manual Focus Lens

Auto Focus Lens

Auto Focus Lens

If you want to read the other articles in this series, check them out.

How to Choose the Best DSLR Camera For Your Needs

Shutter Speeds, Light Meters and White Balance

Aperture and ISO

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