You just got your brand new dSLR camera, you canâ€™t wait to unpack it and start shooting with it.
Here are a few things you will most probably forget to do before you snap your first picture.
- Charge the battery overnight: If am guilty of one that would be it. I can never wait long enough, I usually charge the battery a few minutes (30 min or so) before I start playing around. But, seriously, with the new battery technology is it really still important to charge the battery for 6 hours+ the first time?
- Set the date and time: This is crucial info for you and your pictures and, still, I see many cameras with dates way off. I have to admit that it is much more common to adjust the time after daylight saving changes occur.
- Dioptric adjustments: You know that small knob next to your viewfinder? I have seen people owning they cameras for months/years not even knowing it was there. Hold the camera to your eyes and turn it up/down till you can see the text in the viewfinder clearly.
- Reset the numbering: I canâ€™t remember how many times I have read in forums people saying that their newly bought camera was not new because the first image number was xxx. Obviously they had just used a memory card from their old camera and the new one is just picking up with the numbering. I got used to format all my cards before inserting them in the new cam. This will not allow me to know if it is really new or not, not that I am worried about it, but rather to keep track of how many picture I am taking with my camera & assigning a unique reference number to each.
- Read the manual: Yea right! Now, honestly, who does? It doesnâ€™t matter if you are a first time dSLR user or youâ€™ve been shooting for a couple of years, if you bought a new camera chances are it is for its new features, so spend some time reading the manual and getting familiar with it while the battery is charging.
- Do not get obsessive testing it: I learned this the hard way. When I first got the Canon 30D I spent so many hours testing the focus that I sent it 3 times to canon for calibration and yet I was not happy with it. When I finally gave up testing and started shooting my pictures were getting better and sharper with time. Yea cameras have their own learning curve too so instead of doing useless tests enjoy it & take some pictures. Your warranty is for 1 year and it is plenty of time to discover all the defect your camera might have.
- Set the owner information: This should have been in the list from the start, I just forgot about adding it. Thanks to John he kindly reminded me in the comment. So yes do not forget to add your name in the camera so that it will also appear in the EXIF. In Canon this is done by the EOS Utility software. I have got the chance to use my 30D last week, that I sold more than 1 year ago to a friend, and noticed it still had my name registered.
Got anything to add to this list? Maybe a personal experience? Feel free to drop a comment.