How to use a Canon camera: Tips and tricks for beginners

How to use a Canon camera: Tips and tricks for beginners

While in recent years, smartphones and mirrorless cameras have exploded in terms of image quality and usability, the digital SLR remains a highly respected and popular tool in the hands of enthusiasts and professional photographers.

However, as with many products, there is a learning curve and you can’t run before you walk.

Many of us will spend months or even years perfecting our photography game,

Canon through the ages
Founded in 1937, Canon has developed a wide range of cameras over the decades. Canon’s predecessor started working on Japan’s first 35mm focal plane shutter camera, the Kwanon, in 1934, and since then Canon has moved from shutter cameras and movie cameras to compact,

Cinema has gone digital, while fixed and basic lenses have evolved into interchangeable lenses. Connectivity is king. While mirrorless cameras are on their way to overtake DSLRs and could one day send them to the heirloom pile, they remain a favorite for professional photographers.

The Canon range now includes entry-level models suitable for beginners, such as the Rebel series, and more advanced devices for professionals, including the Mark range. The company also manufactures highly respected lenses, such as the L Series.

How to use a Canon camera: the basics

When choosing a Canon DSLR or another model for the first time, you should keep in mind that the settings, controls and overlays differ slightly depending on your product. We will show examples using a Mark III, but the basic principle of most Canon cameras is the same.

We will see how to change a lens on a Canon camera, the crucial parameters that you need to familiarize yourself with, and what shutter speed, exposure, aperture and ISO ranges mean for your photographic activities.

Pro tip: You should consider buying a camera harness if you are going to work at events. It only takes a single swipe for your beloved camera to touch the bridge and disturb the delicate components inside. At the very least, get a suitable camera bag with padding to protect your device.

How to change the lens of a Canon camera

Close-up of the side of a Cannon with a hand pressing a button.
Aspiring photographers need to be able to handle their lenses well to protect them from damage and ensure that their housing is able to connect properly.

The lenses will be delivered with a front and back cover to protect them from dust and accidental scratches. Keep the front cover in place for the time being and gently loosen the back.

On your camera, there will be a button near the lens slot. You will need to press and hold this button while slowly moving the current lens away from the button.

You might feel resistance when you have turned it enough. Remove the lens, release the camera button, screw on the back cover of the lens and set it aside.

Canon lenses are usually equipped with a white or red dot. Insert the lens and turn it to the knob. You should hear a click when the lens is properly installed.

Pro tip: Never use wet clothes, towels or wipes to clean your camera lens. You can cause permanent damage to the delicate glass, resulting in scratches and distortion of the image. Instead, use a microfiber cloth or cleaning wipes designed for cameras or a lens pen.

Parameters to know

When someone chooses a camera for the first time, whether it is a compact, DSLR or mirrorless camera or not, many beginners will start with an “automatic” function for taking photos.

The automatic functions allow the camera to adapt its settings and decide how a shot should be taken, rather than the user taking creative control.

There is nothing wrong with this, because first of all you need to enjoy taking photos. However, as you progress, learning how to make the most of your camera’s capabilities by switching to manual options can improve your skills and the images you take.

On most modern Guns, you will find the settings below.

Manual, automatic and more on the main Gun wheel
Close-up of the main Gun wheel.

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