Camera Novices: What to Look for in your Camera Manual

If you don’t have your manual, these days they’re all online.

The basics that you need to know about your camera — what you want to look up in your manual first of all (beyond the REAL basics like how to turn it on and charge the battery!): most cameras have various dials and menus. You want to find the following settings or functions:

  • formatting your memory card
  • completely auto shooting (with most cameras, this is the one of the first topics in your manual)
  • focusing
  • zooming
  • controlling the flash: auto; always on; always off
  • setting the ISO
  • setting the file size (pixels) and compression
  • switching between still images and movies (if your camera does this)
  • reviewing your images in the camera
  • downloading images to your computer

Then the next functions you’ll need to find — not quite so basic:

  • Exposure compensation
  • setting the shutter speed
  • Auto focus selection — may be called AF Frame
  • Macro mode or close-up mode — usually indicated by a little flower icon
  • White balance ┬ácontrol– often your camera will say AWB (auto white balance)



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