Setting your digital camera using the icons

Choosing image size and quality: When you’re taking pictures, menu selections which increase the number of pictures on a card decrease the quality of the resulting print. For best results, use the setting that gives you the least number of photos. The best setting might be called “SHG” or “Fine” or “Super Fine.”

That setting is the one that has the most megapixels and the least amount of compression.

Camera icons that deal with flash: The default setting on most digital cameras is automatic; if it’s dark in front of the camera, the flash will fire. If it’s bright, the flash won’t fire.

The solid lightning bolt icon means the flash will fire even if it’s bright. That’s good to fill in shadows, or when the sun is behind the subject.

The “no flash” icon – like a cross between a lightning bolt and a no parking sign – means the flash will not fire no matter how dark it is. That’s good in museums, churches, or for photos of Christmas tree lights.

The red-eye reduction mode means that the flash will fire at least once before the photo is taken, or a bright light will shine to cause the pupils of the subject’s eyes to contract. There will be a significant delay – at least 2 seconds – between the time the shutter is pressed and the photo is taken. Warn your subjects not to move until after the final burst of light.

The “night flash” or "night scene" mode lets the shutter stay open for a time exposure, so the background is not too dark, while the flash illuminates the foreground. This only works if the camera is firmly mounted on a tripod and you warn the subjects in the foreground to stay completely still during the exposure.

We've also found that this mode, with a tripod or monopod, is the best way for realtors to take good interiors for listing.

Focusing Icons: The default setting on most digital cameras is automatic focus; the camera focuses on subjects near the center

Landscape setting disengages the automatic focus and sets the camera to take sharp photos of subjects at a great distance. Sometimes this also disengages the flash. It’s great for pictures from the window of a bus or airplane, also good for sunsets.

For Macro or Close-Up photos – often within 2 inches or less – the macro setting (icon is a flower) switches the camera to the appropriate mode. Be sure to frame your photo using the monitor, and turn of the flash for most photos.

Many digital cameras can take short QuickTime movies. This icon, like an old cinema camera, is for that. With many cameras you can’t zoom during the shot, so compose carefully before you shoot.

Viewing your pictures – press the triangle (sometimes it’s green) to review your photos. On many cameras you can return to the picture-taking mode just by gently pressing the shutter button.

The trashcan icon is for deleting photos. Be careful, review your instruction manual or talk it over with us the first time you do this.

It's very easy to erase photos you don't mean to erase, particularly when you're trying to do this in bright light and in a hurry. We can sometimes recover photos if you erase them by mistake. Image Recovery Services