Must-know camera settings for new photographers.

Break into the world of better photography with these easy camera setting tips.

If you own a DSLR camera, you’ve probably noticed dials, notches, and menus filled with different setting options. To fully master each of these could take years, so here’s a list of must-know camera settings that can instantly up your photos’ quality.

Auto mode vs. scene mode.

Use “auto mode” to let your camera do most of the heavy lifting. This setting practically puts your camera on auto-pilot and adjusts elements like exposure and focus. Auto mode comes in handy if you’re in a pinch or just getting your feet wet.

Next, you can experiment with “scene mode” to pick and choose between camera settings for a specific purpose. Depending on your camera, you should be able to choose between setting presets like:

Your camera then dials up or down certain elements based on your selection. For example, if you choose the landscape preset, your camera will likely choose a narrow aperture to keep your foreground and background in focus automatically.

ISO camera settings.

Your camera also lets you adjust ISO — or how bright or dark a photo is. This is a great camera setting to play around with once you’ve gotten the hang of auto and scene mode.

ISO is measured in stops and each time you increase it, your light sensitivity doubles. A lower ISO, between 100 and 200 for example, is great when there’s already lots of natural light. This will produce a high-quality photo without much “noise” or graininess.

If you don’t have a ton of light available or you need to capture something without blurriness, try a high ISO value — start around 1,600 and move up or down by a stop to find a balance. Learn even more about photography to discover what your camera settings can do.

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