New Camera Jitters

Did you just get a new camera?

If it’s an upgrade to a camera brand you’ve used before it won’t be hard to transition into the newer model.

But, if it’s a completely new system, like going from dSLR to mirrorlessyou’ve probably got the new camera jitters!

It’s time to get into the menus, buttons and dials. If you’re not sure of something on your new camera, just go to the index of the owner’s manual and find out how to set up that ONE thing you need at the time.

new camera picture size

No matter what situation you’re in, start with the basics

  • Picture size
  • Quality – best quality jpg, or raw, or raw + jpg
  • If you shoot raw, check that you can actually open your raw files before doing a big shoot. This is the #1 problem people have with new cameras.
  • ISO – do the ISO noise tolerance test
  • Aspect ratio – 1:1, 2:3, 4:3, 16:9 – great for hybrids when you combine photos and video clips
  • WB – and review how to set up custom WB while you’re at it.
  • Histogram – you can also set up highlight clipping warnings
  • Photo style – standard, portrait, black and white, vivid, etc. And within those menus you can fine tune the settings
  • Check the video recording format, frame rate, and resolution
  • If it’s a 4K Photo camera, learn how to set that up too.

new camera memory card

Extra tips before using your new camera:

  • Buy a fast new memory card and format it with the new camera before taking any photos.
  • Charge your battery fully before using the camera, and consider getting a spare battery right away too.

Now go out and practice using your new camera

Now that you have the basic settings located and set up, go on a photowalk. Just have fun with your new camera. You need to develop some muscle memory for where things are located in the menus and outside on the camera body. Going out and shooting for fun will help you with this.

Don’t use your brand new camera for the first time on a really important shoot or a paid shoot. Get some practice in first.

photo walk new camera

I suggest going on different photo walks with different themes.

Here are some ideas:

  • Shooting in Aperture priority
  • Shooting in Shutter priority
  • Hunting for specific shapes – what if every photo you took had a triangle shape in it?
  • Looking for specific colours – what if every photo had to have some yellow in it?
  • Looking for examples of typography – that’s a fun one if you’re in the city
  • Taking the same photo using all the different photo styles of your camera

Practice using your new camera in different lighting situations, indoors, window light, outdoors, night time and start to develop some specific recipes for it. That way when it comes to those important shoots, you’ve got a good starting point.

In this post I show you an example of a recipe.

It just takes practice to get over the new camera jitters.

Learn a couple new features of your new camera every week. Have some fun while you’re learning.

And most of all, don’t be afraid to experiment.