Let’s face it. Most of us don’t read the owner’s manual unless we get confused about something and can’t find the answer in a YouTube video or Google search. It’s a shame because there is a wealth of information that could be learned about your camera that can make you more productive.
Hidden within the menu are some features that you may not know exist, but could offer you an extra level of control that could make all the difference in the world.
AF Lens Tuning / Adjustment
More and more camera models give you the ability to fine-tune your lenses and produce sharper images. Many lenses will front focus or back focus, just a smidgen. Using this feature allows you to go through all of your lenses and tweak the focus so they can be as sharp as they can. The camera then remembers those tweaks for several lenses. Mount the lens after tweaking, and it recognizes and applies those tweaks from then on.
Reverse Meters and Dials
Again, more and more cameras are offering you the ability to reverse the control wheels that are spinning them in another direction, do the opposite thing. Maybe you have a habit of rotating left first on the dial. Perhaps doing so does the opposite of what you want. This feature allows you to reverse that option to customize it to your preference.
Auto Image Rotation
Many cameras have this on by default, but I am going to suggest trying it in the off position. The on position means that when you shoot an image in Portrait orientation, the camera then displays that by rotating the image on the screen. So it looks like it did when you shot it. But turning this off means the image continues to dominate the screen when viewing it on the back. It means to see it healthy, I have to rotate the camera. I like this because the image does dominate the screen, and then I can show my customer my result easier—just a thought.
Monitor On/Off Delay
This adjusts how long the camera displays an image. The idea is that by playing with the options, you can save battery life because, after so many seconds, the camera will turn the monitor off. I have a battery grip with two batteries. I have enough battery life to shoot two weddings without changing, not even kidding. So I choose to have this setting leaving the image on the screen forever and never turning it off. Instead, if I want the screen to go dark, I lightly squeeze on the shutter release, and the camera tries to autofocus. The screen goes off because you are fixing to shoot. However, just bumping the button kills the screen. Now I can look at that image or show it off to the client for as long as I want. I bump the shutter release when I am done.
Long Exposure Noise Reduction
I both love and hate this option. I generally turn it off. By default, it will likely be on. After you take a long exposure shot, say longer than 30 seconds, the camera then immediately takes a second photo of equal length with the shutter closed. The latter utterly black image is then merged with the first in-camera to help restrict noise that can be created by long exposures. Awesome, right? Except I have absolutely no patience and get bored quickly. So I have to sit there for double the length of time for the exposure? Oh, I don’t think so. But then not everyone has the attention span of a puppy.
Assign Function Button
This allows you to conveniently assign a function to a button on the back so that you can quickly get to that feature or function. The most common use is for people to assign the focus lock to a back button near your thumb and use the shutter release for image capture only. Instead of doing the halfway press for focus lock, then finish pressing for the image capture. Many people like this. Is there any advantage at all to do it? Nope. Not at all. None. It just seems to be more convenient for some people. Mainly if they use AI Servo mode a lot for tracking moving subjects. Always focus on your thumb, and hammer down with your forefinger when you want to capture the image. Handy mostly for sports or bird shooters. Do I use it? Nope. I guess I am old school that way. Again, this is all about choice.
This allows you to write your information into every captured image to help prove you took it—self-explanatory. It would help if you did this.
This allows you to create a custom file name for your photos. For me, I have placed my web address into the file name. Others may choose their name. Handy for if you have more than one shooter in your business.