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How To Use The DSLR Camera – Here’s what I Explain

Hi, my name is Edilberto Ortega Delos Reyes Jr. I’m going to share with you my experience with DSLR cameras. You can learn how to use the DSLR camera and learn how to take beautiful pictures.

Before we go to aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, first let me say to you the basic and the proper way using the dslr cameras.

The Proper Way of Using DSLR Cameras. 

Keep your both hands carrying on the camera. Your left-hand support in the base of a lens, on the right hand ready for shutter.

Hand Position

button using index finger, and your thumb for shutter speed parameters.

Others To Keep in Mind. 

  • Keep your dslr camera lens, with cover.
  • Keep the strap in your neck when using dslr cameras.
  • Back the lens position, after using your aperture parameters.
  • Keep your LCD screen with protector cover.
  • Protect from rain, cold and hot area. Cover immediately with Waterproof fabric.

Features of DSLR Cameras :

  • Modern DSLR camera are sharper and are higher quality than non-DSLR cameras.
  • DSLR cameras today have more advance setting than the early days of DSLR cameras.
  • More advance buttons for easy operation in the field.
  • Auto mode and Manual mode in a single camera.

The DSLR camera has an image clarity that you will love.

You might be tempted to take pictures before reading your guide book, but remember the DSLR camera is expensive and needs care.

To make sure, to avoid mistakes. Do not change setting the menu, if you are not sure. I recommend you have a guide book in your side.

Definition of DSLR

DSLR is the acronym for Digital Single Lens Reflex

Lets look inside the Camera

Below is the drawing in side view facing to the left.

Illustration and function when shutter button is press in the camera and motion of reflex mirror.

Single Reflex Mirror Side View Drawing
Screen shot of single reflex Mirror inside the camera.

Let’s say your Eye in view finder (drawing right ) what you can see is the reflection from the mirror outside view through the lens.

As you push down the Shutter button area, the reflex mirror will flip up or open, and in this time while open the image outside or we called it exposure or light will pass through the sensor image to receive it.

Again while the square mirror(fig. 2)is up or open, the light or exposure travels inside the lens is Going to straight through the sensor image to receive it the image (old camera is called negative film, in digital camera is called sensor image). That is now your photo is made.

I created a short video to show you how the Reflex Mirror (fig. 2) respond when you press the shutter button.

You can see that the square reflex mirror flip up and close very quickly. To understand this, you let the amount of light enter into the sensor image (behind the Reflex Mirror) as you press the shutter.

There is beyond this DSLR can have the ability and function that still hide of creativeness, and that we want to know more here below.

In DSLR you can find of performance both you control the Faster Shutter and Slow shutter or called Manually control delay of the Shutter button. Like for example in the:

  • Faster Shutter -is use for moving subject like Birds fly fast, you can freeze the bird in the image, you can freeze the wings 10 times faster other than the movement. Anything fast subject that you want to shoot like sports, All in DSLR have this power to create.
  • Slow Shutter – is use for dark places to shot but there are chances that your image become blur and avoid this you will use a tripod. Most photographers also use cable release attach to the camera to avoid movement.

You can use the importance of ISO in dark areas. You will learn how to limit your ISO.

The lens even more advance built in auto focus, and Vibration reduction (VR). Always on the VR as you start shooting.

Inside the camera has self cleaner for image sensor. You have GPS functions in the camera. After the shooting you can transfer directly to your phone.

You can use for video recording with soft scenes. Two SD cards slot and auto function when 1 card is full the 2nd SD card will work right away.

Let’s start to look the lens and be familiar.

The image in the right is one of the DSLR camera lens. It shows your zoom ring, focusing ring and control setting the lens, if you want to go Auto Focus (AF) or Manual Focus (MF) just slide the lock.

The DSLR camera has many functions but you can learn it with practice and soon you will be creating your own favorite settings for that subject.

Don’t be troubled if you see numbers in the lens. Those functions will bring you good results the picture and you will enjoy using it once you understand how to do with it.

That is use for focusing the subject by manually rotating the lens ring till you see it clear from blur. The numbers are the distance you want to adjust into closer or wider distance.

Most of the lens now has Auto Focus (AF). It means that if you half press the Shutter button the lens will self rotate to focus the subject of its own.

In the view finder, you will notice to see that digital numbers on the frame show information you’re metering, your Shutter speed, ISO and Aperture.

At (AF) while you half press you can see the image becoming sharp and it locks, means ready to shot, then you can now fully press the Shutter button your first final shot.

Re-Focus if not Clear to You

When are not satisfied with that focus you can start again, recenter the subject in the frame and release your finger for a while, then try half press again till you see the subject is in focus and again take the photograph.

The Lens has also Anti Vibration(AV), It means that the lens has a control to movement and vibration gives reduction while shooting to maintain clear image.

You have to take care of your lens, it is expensive. Clean regularly avoid dust and moisture. It is better to place at your bag and avoid falling.

The Basic of Manual Camera

I was a kid when I started to learn how to use Manual Camera (the old camera before DSLR spread in the market). My Father as a photographer taught me the simple steps how to use the camera at the same time how reload the film.

At that time we’re using manual camera year 1983, but let me tell you my father experience since childhood also that he learned from my grandfather as a photographer. You can imagine now how our generation goes like these ways no wonder why I also love to this as a hobby. 🙂

The good thing for the manual camera is when you set correctly with your ISO and plus correct Shutter speed for the right exposure(light) then you have the good results of the picture.

The bad thing is that if you forget to change the settings of ISO and Shutter speed in much exposure without noticing your lens then the result is not right or over exposure.

Not only that but you have wasted negative films of your created shots and loss of money or returned the 50% deposit payment from your customer.

A Manual Camera is totally manually and fully controlled only by you.

Like for example you are taking a photo outside the house under the sun capturing for tress and mountains and your settings at f/ 11 Apertures(narrow opening)which is correct, the result is normal with no problem.

But then later on, you come inside the house and take a photograph to your plate on the table, the result for that will be darker or under exposed image. Why?

It is because you didn’t change the Aperture, remember you change your place you forget your setting to set the Aperture into f/ 5.6 Aperture (wider opening) at 1/60 shutter speed.

That is the character of the Manual Mode you are only giving control to correct the Exposure. We will discuss it more here below.

The reason why I share these brief story of my experience of manual camera that I used before, is that the Manual settings are still part of DSLR camera today, the Manual modes are used most of all professional photographers and nothing change.

Mastering How To Use The Shooting Mode

These are part of group in letters and symbols that camera trying to tell you and understand where you are in, in what mode.

So before shooting look your Mode.

In DSLR camera you can find the abbreviations LETTERS and this are M, A, S, P and it shows in bracket 4 letters, it looks special and separate from the other label because of line boundary. You can select this by turning clockwise or back and forth.

Let’s give first the meaning of these Priority Modes Abbreviation.

M – Is your Manual mode. Lets you in full control (to make your own set up to ex. ISO, APERTURE, and SHUTTER SPEED. When set to manual mode you have to keep in mind those three no more no less. Always check this three before you go for shooting, and I always believe practice makes perfect for you in the future.

A or Av- Stands for Aperture priority, a semi-automatic shooting modes. This means that if you select your Aperture mode, the camera will automatically select the right Shutter speed for your Aperture. So don’t worry about your Aperture the camera will take care of that. But you check your ISO determine your surrounding light what you feel (need more or no need to apply).

S – is your Shutter  priority shooting modes is the same thing above of Aperture, semi-automatic this means that if you select your Shutter speed the camera will automatically Going to take care of the Aperture the correct exposure.

P – is your Program mode, this mode lets you program either you will use to set Aperture mode or Shutter mode priority. When set the Aperture mode priority the Shutter speed will automatically change the speed shutter and the camera will maintain the correct exposure. And When set for the Shutter speed mode priority the Aperture mode will change automatically also, and the camera will maintain the correct exposure (vise versa).

Triangle Exposure

The Most 3 Important and To Understand in DSLR camera

We have 3 most important in the camera to remember. In manual mode.

  • ISO

What are these and who are they?

These are with numbers you want to adjust, and that corresponding of its use, you want to control it and simply by changing it to another number setting till the good result of your picture(not under exposure or over exposure). Balance the taste, like you are making a coffee with 3 in 1 into a great taste.

To understand the Aperture lens and your eyes

Let’s say your Eyes and Let’s say your Lens.

I remember my father saying me that the camera lens should be same with our human eye when it comes to focusing adjustment.

Suppose when you come from inside the house for some period of time then suddenly you go to outside with bright light or sunny daylight, you will notice that your hand is at your forehead covering your eyes from bright light.

Pupils Eye change size
Pupils Eye change size
Pupil reduce to small size when there is bright light, and increase the pupil size when dark seeing area.

The pupil then slowly reduce its size because of so much bright and later it will adjust while you stay for that bright surrounding.

And when you return inside the house you will see dark around, you probably need to switch on the light, but actually the pupil not ready yet adjust itself to increase the size.

It is same thing with your lens do not force the lens to wider opening in bright light, you have to reduce to smaller opening. There are many kinds of light out there, lights from direct sun and lights with clouds covering the sun, lights from bulb or fluorescence or lights in the night.

Calculate the amount of light that enters into your lens, the more open the lens more light will be enters, below is the drawing you’ll see the size and numbers. The so called focal stops (f/number) size opening.

Lens sizes control your Aperture

To apply in manual camera you will control and do your settings before you take a shot for good results. Simply look those three above important for the correct use of your settings. This also called the Triangle procedures timely cycle.

As a beginner you need to know that the:

ISO calculate the sensitivity of the image sensor. You can find this number in ISO 100200, 400, 640, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 or more.

  • The ISO 100 is use mostly in outdoors up to ISO 800.
  • The ISO 1600 is the starting point at least when you perform use in indoor or thick clouds anything that cover or out from the sun.

As a professional photographer they can manipulate these settings even at lowest ISO and use their shots at low exposure meaning even indoor can make great pictures image result. Also in high ISO numbers they can produce great results of images in outdoors or sunny bright light area.

We will discuss it one by one Its function.

The more important here is that you will understand the exposure the light that comes to entering your lens how it will affect. The smaller Aperture you set, the small quantity of light will enter into your lens. Larger of the Aperture you set, the more quantity of light will penetrate into your lens.

First step know your surroundings feel what you see and be judged the surrounding light. Now, know if it is needed more light or have less light you want to enter in the lens of your camera before performing your shots.

Again, When take a picture inside a house or room and your ISO is 100, the result is dark or black image. But if you go outside the house and take a photo of a flower in your garden in the same 100 ISO the image is clear, it is because the light’s or exposure outside are much precise light entering into your lens of all the four corners of your camera lens.

When is the Aperture use for?

In the camera there is called balance. The balance what I called is the correct result of image you shot. It means that the result picture is not too bright and not too dark. Meaning the exactly result and the eye would love to see that image and it feels cool to the eyes.

So the Aperture can adjust to a small opening if you know that the expose is much bright, high expose, or outside specifically sunny day taking pictures. Most of these is set into opening of f/11 for outdoor with sun.

In DSLR you can see this and control the setting even more high number for if you know that much exposure occurs, need to apply to f/16 or more.

SHUTTER SPEED when you press the Shutter button on your camera how fast you hear that sounds performed. You will notice that as you change the number to another, the Shutter sounds change, the higher the number the faster sounds you will hear. Try to experiment it!

In the SLR and DSLR camera, you can find this figures below. Try to find the number and set the camera, go out your house practice shooting look the condition outside.


Shutter Speed Guide
If you click the shutter that would be the result depend by the opening of your Aperture size of lens.








The 1/125 has to performed faster Shutter when you click the camera button or press you will hear faster sound shot. It is also means that you allow the light to enter the lens of your camera in a very short period. So the shutter is faster.

The uses for faster speed is when you take the shot of moving subjects like running man, birds fly. Because of faster shutter it freezes the subject and to enter quickly the image into the lens that you captured.

Here’s the video I created for faster shutter. Press the shutter button and hold. The reflex Mirror will flip up rapidly as you hold the shutter button. This is the result of multiple images you will create.

This setting is for sports, or any high speed subjects you wish to shoot. Let’s say your can set up your shutter speed from 1/1000s, as you set to 1/1000s you should increase also your ISO from ISO 800 to ISO 1250.

The lower speed shutter below or under of 1/125 are mostly use in lower light condition of surrounding, inside the house including with light bulb or you want to go outside that no sun. (You will definitely use the tripod to avoid blur. )

It means that you allow more light to enter the lens as what it takes. This means delay of closing the screen inside and enters the light to produce image exposure of your camera that you capture.

In the Aperture always remember that you have to know to control the light’s that comes in – into the lens.

The Aperture is the opening of your lens can be seen when you closely look upon the inside of the lens. A bigger opening or small opening.

You can rotate your lens by clockwise or counterclockwise and you will notice the opening change the size, see in front of the glass lens while you rotate move back and forth.

Determining these three – ISOAPERTURESHUTTER SPEED settings and if you understand already the play of Exposure whatever brightness will be, you can well control to right settings of ISO, right APERTURE and right SHUTTER SPEED your picture results are great.

Good results because you controlled the light’s comes in, with right ISO, Aperture, and shutter speed settings. Below is the drawing you can see how will affect in your one shot of the camera. Notice that:

When you are in the Aperture, the opening remind.

When you are Going to shoot how much speed of shutter you want? Make a decision for shutter speed for the subject.

Don’t forget to look your ISO, notice the light outside simply as that ask yourself, ex. “Is this need more light I want to add? Or you will say no need.”the sensor image is sensitive enough to detect the light inside your camera. So you can blend it and feel it.

For instance, you are in the Beach, you are Going to shoot a boat. The condition is sunny. So here more light could enter into your lens. What you need is to reduce the aperture (see drawing above) in small opening. The f/11 is the right for sun shooting (from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM).

Use Tripod

You can use tripod to avoid blur. Most professional Photographer use remote Shutter release or cable Shutter. Carrying the camera by hand for hours can be tired. You need to rest your hand for a while to reserve energy for another work later.

VR that even set to auto is not always good when taking photos like fireworks in the night because you will set up your Shutter speed to slower shut for dark background and right Aperture and ISO.

You will need to steady the camera should not move even how you careful your index finger in the Shutter button the very little move cause to blur the image.

The Blurred Images

This will happen when you set the shutter speed to 1/60, 1/30, 1/15 and other lower numbers.

The slower speed Shutter, the longer light comes in, and the film sensor receive the exposure. A blur image happens when you start press the Shutter and at the same time your hand moves or someone pushes you accidentally the image will become blur.

Remember the slower the shutter the more penetrate of light comes in, the exposure result will be, for instance if we will reenactment this into slow motion inside the camera.

When you press the Shutter it open and close. So when you set your number shutter speed into lowest the sensor read or receive that amount of light.

Either you accidentally move the camera from your hand or the subject is at moving or Busy something his side then at a lower shutter speed your image results will become blurred. To avoid this do not move your hand while performing taking the shots.

Likewise, you will tell your friends do not move when Going to start to take the picture. Today’s lenses has VR vibration reduction it is available in the market or online. These VR is designed to reduce blur photo even you accidentally move your hand or your camera touch by other objects while shooting.

Lens part

Lens for dslr camera sometimes high price than the body camera. It’s more expensive depending on the features. Some lenses upgrade and It might difficult to make because of sensitive procedures and it takes more time of process other than to make the camera body.

Now, you may ask to your self what are these numbers for? Those numbers intervals are uses of length of the lens actually that you can manually rotate for your right wider size in the screen. It will come closer or forward the subject to take the other background you want to include in the frame.

In manual camera lens, a row of numbers in the camera lens are more numbers you can see other than for the dslr lens. That numbers are for the distance which indicate at the surface of the lens more you can see this from old cameras and at the end of the numbers you can see “ft” (feet) for short distance, meaning from where you stand handling your camera and to the object which the target that you want to take a shot.

So by looking at your lens and the distance of your target object you can manage to set up your lens to right distance of how many feet from you.

And for farther distance you can see in the lens the numbers in a row and at the end you can see “m” as meters, you can set of your lens how many meters from you of the subject that you want to take the shot.

I am mentioning here the manual camera in the same process before the world of dslr production spread in the market and to be able you to understand from manual use of camera to dslr camera.

You will notice that manual camera settings are included in the automatic dslr camera when you buy it. In the feature of dslr camera on the top whether right or left shoulder you can find it and it is written a letter of “M” (as manual) and there is “A” (for auto) simply twist on it and align the white dot .

Professional photographer’s buying automatic dslr camera but their favorite setting in the camera is set into manual mode, because they want better looking image for their own choice which is more creative, artistic.

We want to know why? The auto mode has fix and auto select of three settings ISOAperture and Shutter speed which sometimes very simple result of picture.

While in manual mode you can adjust your settings to make more impressive results in the image color.

There is no problem if you use your DSLR camera and set into auto mode. You have still good picture result because you have the camera that superior to any mirror less camera.

However, you have the option to create more impressive images from the manual mode so you have to practice the use of Aperture, Shutter and ISO.

Back to lens

Let me show you the lens and the numbers were located.

Numbers in the lens

Whether you twist the lens ring to right or left to make your own settings but keep steady the red aligned.

The picture above is the shorter lens and most professional photographer use as the simplest and easiest yet very useful both indoor and outdoor.

Capabilities :

  • Close up
  • Weddings
  • ID photo
  • Graduation
  • Baptismal
  • Portrait

When take a shot, most you are closer to the subject.

There are types of lenses

1. Standard lens – is use for mid-range a 50 mm lens. The uses of this lens is to take like ID picture and normal landscape photos.

2. Macro lens – is use for close-up taking photos most used it is about 70-300 mm. The uses of this lens is for close-up flowers, butterfly, all you need for close-up photo can be adjusted.

3. Telephoto Lens – is use for far distance this is long built lenses inside the tube to magnify the subject for more other than 500 meters. It is used to take picture mountains, wildlife, sports, it is good for fast moving subjects.

It can freeze the flying birds in a closer look and clear. From 1/2500 shutter speed better.

Camera Battery

The old manual camera Battery and the new DSLR camera Battery.



The old manual camera battery is round and thin made from metal or stainless. The battery location at the bottom or base of the camera body. It lasts only a months and disposable.

When have any questions about how to use DSLR camera please comment below I will be more other than happy to help you out.

Your Friend,



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