Wednesday, 10 February 2010

First things to do with a new camera..

(image of NIkon D5000 courtesy of

It is probably true to say that boys do not grow up, their toys just get more expensive. Cameras are toys really - albeit fairly expensive ones that you can end up playing with everyday and calling it 'work'.  Unpacking a new toy is still exciting, perhaps I have changed little from the six year old who eagerly opened and began assembling lego on his birthday. A new camera requires a few things done to it first, before it will work. The first is charging the battery, something that usually takes several hours, and adds to the anticipation. The keen can look inside at the camera at the mirror and shutter to keep themselves occupied.  Then, when the battery is charged, comes the moment of truth...

The first thing I do with any new camera is go into the menu and turn off two things: the focus 'beep' and the autofocus assist light.  The focus light is meant to help the camera find focus in the dark. In practice I find them a waste of time as all they do is let your subject know you're there, and the speed of focus depends so much on your lens that it hardly matters. I turn the beep off for similar reasons.  As the photographer you would eventually not notice it, but everyone else will.  In the veiwfinder is a light that confirms focus anyway.  Only after that do I put the camera to my eye and take a photo, and it's usually of myself in a mirror taking a picture of me taking a picture...

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