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Zero Out Your Camera Settings

One common mistake that we have all made, and I will continue to make, is forgetting to reset our camera settings between shoots or even in between different shooting conditions of the same shoot.  One recent example for me was on a photo trip with fellow Shutterhog Alex.  We had been shooting late, and I had turned the autofocus off on my superior Canon camera.  The next morning we started early at Oxbow Bend, and I was half way into the morning before I realized I had not switched back to autofocus.

How do we prevent this mistake?  By zeroing out the camera settings.  This involves going through the most used settings and resetting them back to the start settings before the shoot.  This is also known as returning to base settings or to the starting point.

Here are some settings to zero out before using your camera:

  • Shooting mode (P,M,A,S)
  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • Lens Autofocus
  • White Balance
  • EV Exposure Compensation
  • Image Quality
  • File Format (JPEG or RAW)
  • Flash mode
  • etc., etc., etc.

You might have more or less settings depending on your camera and what you consider important.  Another thing to be aware of is if you use a Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilized) lens to be sure to set it back to your default (off for tripod use-on for hand held).

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