Tutorial: Master digital SLR photography

Step-by-step guide to taking the perfect image

Step 3: The LCD viewfinder on your camera is where you review images but also where you access options such as image quality. On the Canon 450D we're using, this is accessed by pressing the menu button and using the cross keys to navigate. Menu options will vary according to the mode you're using.

DSLR3360

Step 4: To alter the size of images, select the Quality option. As well as giving options for low, medium, high and best quality, many cameras let you choose the final image size. This governs the amount of compression that's used. When shooting in manual mode, you can capture images in RAW (uncompressed) format.

DSLR4360

Step 5: Other options on the main menu typically include settings for modifying your photos and general image management, such as protecting them from being erased or cleaning the sensor of your camera. You can also decide whether images should have time and date stamps.

DSLR5360

Step 6: If your camera comes with an image-stabilisation (IS) feature, use it. Find the stabiliser switch on your camera and set it to On. With your camera pointed at a subject, press the shutter button halfway to focus - this will also kick in the IS. When the picture looks steady, complete the shot.

Image note: The left half demonstrates a shot without IS; the right, with IS.

DSLR6360

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