Camera Basics Part 1: Getting Started with Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera | John Anderson | Skillshare

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Camera Basics Part 1: Getting Started with Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera

teacher avatar John Anderson, Filmmaker - Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Basic Camera Functions introduction

    • 2. Basic Camera Functions Class Overview

    • 3. Parts of the Camera

    • 4. Parts of the Lens

    • 5. Camera Set Up

    • 6. Getting Familiar with the Camera

    • 7. Exploring Shooting Modes

    • 8. Taking your first photo: Lighting, Framing, Focus

    • 9. Taking Your First Video

    • 10. Class Project: Photos You can Take

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About This Class

You've started with your phone and now it's time to upgrade or maybe you just found out about photography or you want to level up your videography skills by upgrading to a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

In this class you will learn everything from the parts of your camera and lens to what buttons and functions are on your camera to get you started taking photos and videos! Learning the basics of your camera and getting more familiar with how it operates and functions will make you more efficient when you’re out on a shoot or filming your next adventure.

Wether it’s taking photos for a client, filming a movie, creating your next Youtube video, or here on Skillshare, getting to know your camera will level up your skill when you’re on your next shoot.

In this class, we’ll cover:

  • Parts of the Camera
  • Parts of the Lens
  • Camera Set Up
  • Getting Familiar with your Camera
  • Shooting Modes
  • Taking Your First Photos

I’ll be using the Canon M50 for an example but many of the buttons and functions are similar with other cameras. So grab your camera and let’s get started!

If you liked this class be sure to check out these:
Camera Basics 1
Camera Basics 2
Camera Basics 3
Cinematic Settings to get better video

Check out the gear I use here:

Music, Deep Dive by Ikson

Meet Your Teacher

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John Anderson

Filmmaker - Creator


John is an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Since as long as he can remember he’s wanted to film and create. He enjoys making short films, capturing creative perspectives and making fun outdoor recreation videos on YouTube. When he’s not behind the camera he enjoys drawing and adventuring.

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1. Basic Camera Functions introduction: Hello. In this video, you're going to learn how to get started with your DSLR or mirrorless camera. We're going to get familiar with our camera. So it can be faster and more efficient when we're out there taking photos and videos will go through all the parts of the camera, well as the buttons and the functions to get you shooting photos and videos. If you already know the functions of your camera, will begin in into shooting in manual mode and composition. Lots of other photography and videography tips. My other classes, we'll be using the Canon emphasis for our example. But you will find that the basic operation is similar to many other DSLR and mirrorless cameras. By the end of this class, you'll be more familiar with your camera, knowing where the buttons are, what they do. So you can take better photos and videos. 2. Basic Camera Functions Class Overview: In this class we're learning all things camera, all the parts, all the buttons, functions. So you can be faster and better at knowing where things are. To level up your photography and videography, you've probably upgraded from using your phone or point-and-shoot camera for something better. Or maybe you went to learn something new, or you found out about photography or videography. And you want to learn whatever the reason. Let's find out about this camera here. 3. Parts of the Camera: In this section, we'll be exploring the functions of this Canon 5D is a crop sensor mirrorless camera. This is an entry-level camera and many of the functions are similar to other mirrorless DSLRs. So you can take what you learn here and apply it to your camera as well. So let's get familiar with our camera here, right out of the box. We have the camera body and you have the Lynn's room here where the lens attaches to. Now one of the things about getting a mirrorless or DSLR is upgrading to having an external lens. You can have multiple different lenses for your different shooting types. Now we have the grip over here on this side. Down here on the bottom, we have a tripod mount. Up here on the top is the flash. Not all cameras have these, but a lot of them do. And we have the cold shoe mount up here on the top for a flash or an external microphone. Up here we have the viewfinder. This is where you will look through to see your images and what you are shooting. This canon him 50 also has a flip out touch LCD screen and it's rotatable so you can see what shot you're taking. You can also log or take a selfie shot with that. So that is a nice handy feature. We have the strap mounts here on either side of the top of the camera. Over here on the side we have a microphone jack. And over here on this side we have the HDMI port and a micro USB for viewing it on your computer monitor. If you do video live feed is basically what the camera is seen as well as image playback. So what you have taken, you can see on your computer down here on the bottom of the camera is the battery door as how you will access your battery. So it will slip in our battery here, it is already charged and you also have your SD slot here. So for taking pictures and videos, you're going to want an SD card. So that is where you access that. Now that we've gone over some of the basics of the camera body, Let's move on to the lens. 4. Parts of the Lens: All right, this is the lens of the camera. This is a 15 to 45 millimeters zoom lens. This is the barrel of the lens here. Now with the infant has this lock here. So when you're not using the camera, you will just lock the lens closed and we will unlock the lens here. When you stick it on the camera, okay, now that we have our lens open, this is the zoom ring here. This gets you from 15 millimeters up to 45 millimeters on this particular lens. Up here at the front of the lens is the focus ring. Now on this camera you can choose between autofocus or manual focus. That stirring up here is for the manual focus of this lens. And of course you have the lens cap up here for when you're not using it. These little tabs here on the front of the ring are where the hood would mount if you had a lens hood. Now they're stringing here is threaded so you can attach UV filters and ND filters. And then back here on the back, we have the context that allows this to have stabilization and auto focusing and that connects there with those contacts to the camera. So that is the lens of the camera. So those are the basics of a camera lens. 5. Camera Set Up: So let's go ahead and set up this camera. Once you've gotten that new camera and put it out of the box, you will normally have a body and a lens. So you want to attach the lens by lining up these two white dots here. There is one on the lens and one on the body. And then you'll just turn it and it will snap in place right here. And the camera is the button to release the lens, to remove it or swapped lenses. But if something else. So line up these white dots here and install our lens next, you can take off the front cap. Now for this canon in 50, it has this lens lot great here. So you're going to want to open the lens so we can start shooting photo and video. 6. Getting Familiar with the Camera: Let's go over some buttons of this camera so we can start filming with it. Up here on the top we have an on-off switch, and it has the mode dial here, as well as the main dial right here. In this main, now we have the shutter button and there's a movie record button here. Now all cameras will have the movie record button. Some of them it is integrated with the shutter button. These two spots up here in the front are the microphone's of the camera. So when you're recording video, these will pick up the audio. There might be wondering what this little symbol here is. You can see our sensor in the camera here. That is that mark right there that shows where the sensor is. And it's used more in filmmaking to measure the exact distance from the sensor to the subject to get the sharpest focus possible. Up here into the viewfinder is the diopter adjustment. This is to adjust the viewfinder focus to your eye, much like you would adjust binoculars speaker for audio playback when you're viewing the videos is right back here under the LCD screen and over here on the side of the camera, we have a Wi-Fi button. So you can just press this button here on the side, and that turns on the WiFi connect to your phone and transfer photos and videos that way. Now back here in the middle of this joystick is that quick control or Select button, chooses different functions on the camera menu. And then over here you have the auto and manual focus button. And of course you have your playback button for viewing the photos and videos you've taken on the side of the joystick, we have a flash button, this turns on and off the flash up here is the exposure control button and this changes the brightness of your photo or video. All right, now to get to the photos you have taken with your camera, you will press this playback button down here that is shown down here with the little play arrow. Now this varies between cameras as well, but they are generally used across all the platforms with the same symbol. So that is how you get back to your photos and videos. 7. Exploring Shooting Modes: All right, let's go through some shooting modes. You can find them here on the mode dial right here we have the auto mode. This is going to fully be in camera. The camera is going to figure out all the settings that needs to take the picture. This one also has a hybrid auto mode, which is shown right here next to the auto mode. This next one here is a special Scene mode. You can choose optimal settings for a specific scenes. Here with this special Scene mode, you can go in the screen, in the back, and you have various types of modes you can do. The next one here on this mode dial is the creative filters. So this camera allows you to add some a special effects to your photos. So if your camera has this, they can be fun to mess around with this next one here is the movie recording mode. So if you are filming movies, you will switch over to the movie mode, just push the record button, and it will shoot a video in the auto settings. When you set it over here to video mode, you will have frame rate here, your aperture and your ISO, all those settings you can change when you're in that video mode. The next setting here on your mode dial is the manual mode. Now, using manual mode gives you full control over your shutter speed, your aperture, your ISO, and you have full control over all of the settings of the camera. The next one here is the aperture priority. We'll set the aperture and the camera will set the rest of the settings like the shutter speed and ISO. Now this symbol here is TV. On other cameras it may be an S, but with this, you can set the shutter speed and the camera will set the other functions. Our last one here is the program mode. Our camera is going to set the aperture and shutter speed and you can still change the ISO settings as well as the brightness scale with this slider shown right here. So that is the modes on our camera right here. Normally I would just go with the manual mode. But if you're starting out, start with that auto function until you get familiar with the camera. And I wanted to learn more settings of the camera. You can go through those modes and try each one out. 8. Taking your first photo: Lighting, Framing, Focus: All right, Let's take some photos for taking your first pictures, I recommend starting in automotive. Since camera technology these days has come so far from what it used to be, the auto function is pretty good. So just get out there and practice shooting to get familiar with your camera. Let's set up the camera here. We're going to turn it on. We're going to take off our lens cap. One of the unique things about this camera is this lens lock, which makes it more compact when you're traveling around, you just throw it in your bag. That makes it a lot smaller to carry around with. All right, then we're going to adjust our focal length, which is right here on the lens, is our 15 to 45 millimeters we have on this lens. So we're going to start taking a photo in the 24 millimeters. So rotate that around to the 24 millimeter here on the back of the LCD screen. When it is switched on, you will see what the camera sees. So this is how you will preview your shot. Next, we're going to frame up our subject here, or in this case it's an object. And then we're going to focus on that object to get your focus, press the shutter button halfway. So to focus, you can either tap on the screen, on the back here, and that will set the focus on the object you are taking the picture, as well as for portraits and stuff. You just tap where you want it to focus. Here you can see we have some pretty good photos on just the auto setting. Once you've done a few auto shots, you can go on and try new shooting modes and tweaking the settings and seeing what results you get. There are three things you need to take a good photo. Number one is good light for the scene. You don't want to darker Philistines, so your subject is too dark. We want to get even light, not too bright, like in full sunlight, you may be two right there. So find somewhere in the shade or on a cloudy day is perfect for that. The second one is the subject or object to be in-frame. So you may need to move to get a better angle on your object to get a better shot. And the third thing is to just make sure that your subject is in focus. So you want to tap that on the screen there to adjust it or use the manual focused for crisp image. 9. Taking Your First Video: All right, For taking video, we're going to switch the mode here to video. And we're going to start recording by pressing this record button here. To make things easier on this camera, I would recommend setting the shutter button to start recording as well. All right, so just go here to the menu and change the button function right here to fully press Start, Stop movie recording. So that way whenever we press the shutter button, it's going to start recording video for us. Again, I would start with the auto setting. Here has an auto and a manual setting. We'll go over more settings you want to change for better quality video later on when we get into my other classes. For now, let's just make a video with our camera here. You'll want to hold the camera level and try to reduce as much shake as possible in your camera. Now this camera does have image stabilization. So if you have a little bit of wiggles and stuff, it will take a lot of that out and try to reduce the shake in your camera by holding it firmly. Now this can MP does have a swivel out screen here for vlogging, if you would do that or if you want to frame something, like if someone was standing next to you, you can see all that and frame yourself in the shot. And that is a nice handy feature of this camera as well. Now when I got my first DSLR, Canon ADD, I took a few days to figure out all the parts, buttons, and functions like we went over it in this class. And I would try different shooting modes to see what outcome they produce. Then when I was more familiar with the camera, I went undershooting mostly in manual mode. I did the same with my next few cameras like this we used in today's class. Just seeing how the buttons are laid out, how operates can speed up your workflow when you're out there on your next shoot or adventure. So now that we've learned taking photos and videos on this camera, go out and practice was your camera. And one of the buttons at functions are going to be really similar. So just get familiar with your camera and that's going to help level up your shooting ability and make you more efficient when you're on your next shoot. 10. Class Project: Photos You can Take: For the class project, go out and practice shooting with your camera. I have five different styles of shots for you to practice with them. Or one is an object, two is an animal. A3 is a sunrise or sunset for water, and five is a creative perspective. An object could be a household item or something you find in nature and with the animal, that could be your own furry friend, or birds or bugs. Capturing the sunrise or sunset and the landscape style photo is great photography practice as it's always changing the lighting and everything. It's different in each moment. Fourth is a photo of water. This can be anything from a nearby body of water or spray from a garden hooks. Lastly, a creative perspective. Find a new angle that you wouldn't normally shoot that horizon from, get down in the grass and shoot up or get higher and take your photo from above. This is up to you and your creativity. And I'm excited to see what you create. Be sure to share your pictures from the project here in the discussion below. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you guys in the next class.