There’s a good reason for spending time with your camera’s instruction manual, because that’s where all the interesting tidbits of camera operation hide. A good 90% of people new to digital photography never take their cameras off the auto mode. Those people are missing out on a lot of interesting features.
Professional photographers are sometimes similarly unaware of features in their own cameras. Manufacturers get requests for features from users all over the world and accommodate those requests as often as they can.
Many 7D users don’t realize their 7D has some interesting tricks buried in menu options and behind buttons.
If you push the Info button on the back three times, you’ll find a digital level with both pitch and yaw readings. You never need a spirit level with a 7D, it’s already built in.
While most people know the digital zoom button on the back zooms the LCD screen when focusing video, many don’t know the same button allows you to digitally zoom still pictures in playback mode and then use the menu control button to pan around still images in the camera.
The 5D has a Camera Settings menu option that will record all your camera’s current settings and link those to the “C” mode on the menu dial. So, if you have a detailed camera setup for a specific type of shot, you can record all those options and call them back in an instant.
The D7000 has several interesting menu options. There’s the “Q” for quiet release mode that flips to the mirror up to get the shot, but leaves the mirror up until you release the shutter button to minimize noise.
Under the remote control settings there’s an option to raise the mirror before taking the shot for use with ultra-long zoom lenses where shutter mirror vibration might be an issue. In this setting the first step allows the mirror to flip up first, gives the camera time to stabilize, then fires the shutter.
The D7000 also has a 2nd IR receiver on the back when operating with the IR remote control.
Several models of the Nex have a featured called Smile Shutter, which triggers the shutter when the face detection feature sees everyone smiling. While it sounds hokey, more often than not people have more fun aping for the camera, trying to get the smile shutter to work.
Those gems and more await in your camera’s user manual. Find it, read it, enjoy, and share the tricks that you find with us.