Set primary settings

  • Set your default auto focus mode to “One Shot” or “Single Shot.”
  • Set your metering mode to “Evaluative.”

Begin in Program (P) Mode

As a beginner, concentrate on composition (sharpening your eye). Just use Program (P) mode for now.

Set ISO first.

  • 100 for good outdoor light
  • 200 or 400 for lower lighting conditions
  • 800 or higher for dim conditions or action

Practice composition. Use exposure compensation if necessary.

Graduate to Aperture Priority (AV) Mode

Be in Aperture Priority mode.

Set ISO first.

  • 400 on overcast day
  • If darker, increase.

Set aperture depending on the need.

  • small f-number = small area of focus; big f-number = big area of focus.

Let the camera adjust shutter speed.

  • Dark = slow shutter speed
  • Bright = fast shutter speed
  • Slow shutter speed = blur
  • To freeze movement, choose 1/125 or faster


Carroll, H. (2014). Read This If You Want to take Great Photographs. Laurence King Publishing Ltd.