First steps in setting up your DSLR

If you were one of the fortunate people that received a new camera for Christmas I would like to remind you that the time for playing is over, and that the time for picture taking has now started. As you start to explore the new features and functions, even read the manual, it’s great to be able to press the shutter and take pictures without filling your memory cards with lots of ‘test’ pictures. However, every now and then,  I can hear the screams of photographers who have taken their best shot ever, only to find that the memory card is not in their camera and the picture they took only lasts for a fleeting few seconds on their new camera’s LCD screen.

Canon DSLR cameras ship from the factory preconfigured for instore demonstation, and that means they take pictures and fire the shutter with no memory card in the slot. As a photographer who has shot film in the dim and distant past, I have a second sense for the fortieth frame on a roll of film, it should never have happened but you misloaded the film or didn’t put one in at all. For DSLR users the endless nature of todays memory cards means that you are more likely to shoot and only find out when you try to review the pictures. Still even one missed shot, is gone for ever. So switch on your camera, go in to the red part of the menu and find the entry that reads something like release shutter without card, and set it to disable or off. Now when there’s no card in the camera it won’t shoot at all, but you won’t have that sinking feeling that you’ve lost a shot that should’ve been safely stored.

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag