Tips for reviewing your images on camera

Reviewing pictures on camera is just press the playback button isn’t it? Yes it is, but there are additional settings that help you check focus, exposure and move through large numbers of images.

I almost hesitated to share this set of tips, thinking they would be so obvious but every time I get to watch other photographers I realise that not everything is as well known as I thought.

AF point display

Activate this and you’ll see where the AF point was when you took the photo, well some of the time at least. If you shoot in one-shot AF and do the focus, lock and recompose trick then the AF point display shows you which AF point you focused with before recomposing. With servo AF then this display is much more realistic as yo which AF point was used for the shot.

AF point display can be turned on by pressing the Q button in playback, or from the playback menus, though it is turned off by default on all cameras.

Back button focus people – If you are not actually pressing a focus button while simultaneously pressing the shutter then no AF point is registered. So if you see no illuminated AF points over your shot then it’s a n indication that you weren’t actually pressing the focus button when the shot was taken.

Highlight alert, “the blinkies”

When you want to check if you have really blown the highlights in your shot enable the highlight alert to have a visual representation of which parts of the scene are at the limit of overexposure.  In the screen capture above the white car in the background has a black overlay to indicate the highlights, this blinks on/off. Don’t fear too much if you shoot in RAW as there is usually a bit of recovery to get detail back when it comes to the edit.

AF point display can be turned on by pressing the Q button in playback, or from the playback menus, though it is turned off by default on all cameras. Some cameras that don’t have the options in the menu or with a Q button show the highlight alert after pressing the INFO or DISP button a few times while in playback mode.

Rapidly move through many images on a memory card


Once you have an image on the display, ignore the cross keys or dial on the back of the camera, but turn the main dial next to the shutter button to jump between groups of images. Most cameras allow this to jump in either groups of 10 or 100, but some cameras offer a lot more choices. Checking an EOS R6 Mark II as one of the latest models there are an extensive set of possibilities, your camera may not have all these below:-

  • Single image
  • Customisable number of images – I set mine to 30
  • By date
  • By folder on the card
  • Movies
  • Stills
  • Protected images
  • Rated images
  • Jump to the first frame in a burst captured with continuous shooting

Advent Calendar of Tips

This year I’m writing a quick tip each day up until the 25th of December, here’s some of the others I have already posted.


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