In my last blog post, “Time For Some Manual Labor “, I strongly recommended you download the user’s manual for your camera to your computer or laptop. I included links to download these manuals, for 4 top brands of cameras. In studying for this blog post, I downloaded the manuals for 4 comparable entry level cameras; my Canon T6i, a Nikon D5500, a Sony A 68, and a Pentax K-S2. Your camera might not be one of these brands/models but you can usually find a manual online by doing a Google search.
The first thing I noted while looking thru these manuals is that they all started with pictures/diagrams showing labels for all the function buttons, and often, a page number that led to a complete explanation of this button. There were usually pictures of the front, back, and top of the camera.
What I have done when I get a new camera and what I suggest you do, is to take some time, sit down with your laptop/computer, your camera, and go thru the buttons starting with the one labeled “1 “. Work your way thru all the buttons til you know their location and function. You may have to do this on several times over a period of days or a week; don’t quit doing it until you can pick up your camera by itself without your computer images, and can go over every button/dial telling yourself what it does.
The second suggestion is that you print off the 2-3 pages of these pictures/diagrams of the buttons. This enables you to write notes on the pages, notes that help you remember the button’s function. You can place these pages in your backpack/fanny pack, for when you are out in the field. I had a medium-sized notebook, approximately 6 inches by 10, that I would tape notes and articles on the inside pages. These pages of the button images when folded in half fit nicely inside that notebook. And the notebook is always in my camera backpack.
Each new camera comes with its own user manual, a small book you can also take with you. The small print is too difficult for me to read so I don’t use it. But that might not be the case with you. If you can read the print and can figure out how to navigate your way thru it, put it in your backpack/fanny pack for your field trips.