Understanding Camera Menus


You may not pay much attention to the difference, but one nice advantage of digital cameras compared to film cameras is that you can have more control over the settings in digital models. You can control the menus on the LCD screen of a digital model which you have never experienced with a film model.

And the manufacturers nowadays focus a lot on the kinds of commands that are included in the different menus. There are many different screens and the ways of organizing these screens are diverse, so you may find it slightly confusing in learning how to use them. In addition, with some digital cameras, the ways of organizing the menus are not the same for all shooting modes that even get you more confused.

The below listed tips will be useful for helping you learn how to make of the camera menus better. Thoroughly find out this nice feature to have the photography results as you want.

  • To have the menu opened, just find the menu button on the camera back panel. You will see the word “MENU” to indicate a menu button on several cameras, while in some others, there will be an icon which is displayed in the similar shape as an outline of bullet points. If your camera is touch screen camera, the Menu button is often found on the touch screen LCD.
  • The menu can be structured in 2 ways. The first one is that you find all of the control settings of a camera are located under the Menu button and there is not any category. In second one, you may find different categories in the menus, and you will see the controlling settings of each particular category when this category is selected. The second way is more popular.
  • If the menu of a digital model is organized into categories, you can quickly get access to the feature that you want to use, which is very nice for saving plenty of time. For instance, when you need to clean the camera sensor or configure the date, you will want to get direct access to the Setup menu, not the Shooting or Playback menu.
  • Additionally, you may find the menu category displayed by icons. For instance, you may find the Setup category or the overall settings menu in the shape of a “wrench” icon. First, have the needed menu icon highlighted; later hold down the OK/Enter button or the button in the shape of the right arrow to start selecting the commands. Finding out the meaning of each category icon shall help you select the functions faster.
  • For several camera menus, you may find some commands not available or “grayed out,” based the shooting mode or the function that you have just selected. In case that you want to have an unavailable command operated, it requires that you change into another shooting mode in which that mode supports this command.
  • To stop using the menu features of a digital model, you can hold down the Menu button, or for some certain cameras, you may hold down the shutter halfway. There may be also a Back button in a camera that you press to get back out of the menu area.
  • With a digital camera that offers a touch screen, it is much easier to use the menus. You only need to touch the command that you want in the menu. There may be a Back button or you can find the Exit button in cases of returning to the Shooting mode. The way that you used a camera touch screen is pretty similar to the way you use a smart phone, in which you just need to drag the fingers over the screen to scroll over the options of the menus. This is more popular than using a button of four ways.
  • Several models – especially high-end DSLR cameras – enable you to have the customization capability on the options of the menus. For instance, you can set a shortcut for a commonly-used command through making use of the “customized menu” or “my menu” selection. At times, you a Custom button is also available.

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