Many people shy away from DSLR cameras for just one reason. The vast amount of buttons on a DSLR camera can get confusing, and it takes a long time to get used to using them.
Every make and model of DSLR camera has a way to do a few control short cuts. For example: ISO is one of the things that needs to be changed constantly depending on your lighting situation. There are a few ways to make the changing process very easy.
Birds Photography – Control Shortcuts
Many cameras have some sort of Function button. Usually abbreviated as Fn or other similar symbols. There is a way to change this button to anything you want it to.
1. Changing ISO
So if you want a quick way to change your ISO, you set the function button to ISO. By doing this, you can change your ISO by simply holding down that button, and scrolling the command dial with your thumb.
This is much easier than it seems, the only thing you are doing is holding and scrolling to change your ISO quickly and easily.
There are many situations when I am photographing birds, that I have to change my ISO very quickly in order to get a good shot. Like when I was photographing this Black-Billed Nightingale Thrush, if I hadn’t been able to change my ISO so quickly, this shot would be blurry. Birds photography can be hard sometimes.
2. Shooting mode for birds photography
A second example of using your function button is to change your shooting mode. Sometimes people use devices called cable releases. This device is just a cable attached to the camera with a little remote at the end, this is used to take a picture without touching the camera, minimizing vibration. This technique is used often for landscape shots and portraits.
But to use the cable release you must change your shooting mode. To do so you have to dig through your cameras menu and find the shooting mode and change it there. I you change your function button to shooting mode you can change your shooting mode in one second! Just like the ISO, the function button allows you to change setting like this quickly and easily.
3. AE-AF-I button
Another shortcut button is the AE-AF-I button. Don’t get confused by these somewhat complicated names, it does not effect the job that it does in birds photography.
Here is an example of using the AE- AF-I button: You can change this button to auto focus. All cameras require you to hold your shutter button half-way down to auto focus. Sometime this is a little hard, and you might press a little to hard and take a picture when you don’t want to.
This problem is easily solved by changing the job your AE-AF-I button does. So when you want to auto focus while having birds photography session, you hold down this button to auto focus. By doing this you eliminate the possibility of taking pictures accidentally! Simple, easy, and you solved a potentially aggravating problem.
DSLR cameras are not as complicated as you may think. It just takes a little practice and some know-how. I hope this helped you to accomplish things on your camera a lot faster, and happy birds photography!