How to hold your camera

Generally, it's best to hold your camera with two hands in order to stabilize the device and prevent
photo-blurring camera shake. If it's very windy or you're shooting at night, a tripod is a necessity. When standing, keep your feet at shoulder-width apart and your elbows pointing down. When shooting from a low angle, crouch, and put one knee on the ground for support. Remember that a camera like the Samsung NX300 has a tilt display that flips up 90 degrees and down 45 degrees, giving you extra flexibility when deciding on your shooting posture.

Understanding key camera settings

When you're just starting out, you'll generally want to use your camera's auto mode setting. Once you're comfortable with how standard shots turn out, you can start experimenting with more advanced settings to customize and enhance the appearance of your photos. Here are a few of the more important settings you'll want to master.

  • Aperture: The aperture setting determines how much light comes through your camera's lens. A higher aperture value, often called Exposure Value or EV on your camera, means less light gets in. Lower values let in more light. The more light you allow in, the brighter the photo will look. The easiest way to change aperture is to use Aperture Priority mode by setting the shooting mode to the “A” setting.
  • ISO sensitivity: In darker environments, the ISO setting can be used to enhance the sensitivity of the camera's sensor, so it picks up more detail. The downside of a higher ISO setting is the introduction of noise to your picture. Specks and graininess begin to appear on the image as ISO goes up, so it's best to use the lowest ISO setting you can.
  • Shutter speed: The faster your shutter, the less motion will be evident in your photo. Shutter speed is especially important when shooting action scenes or anything moving, such as a waterfall or a stream. With a fast shutter speed, you'll grab still photos with minimal blur, the image frozen in time. With a slow speed, your picture will have a sense of movement to it: running kids will have blurred legs, and water will look fluid. Change shutter speed by switching your camera's shooting mode to the Shutter Priority or “S” setting.

Framing your shot

When you're setting up a shot, you'll have a number of decisions to make about the way it is presented. Here are the big ones.

  • Composition: What's the most important thing in your shot: your daughter or the cat she's holding? Compose your shot to emphasize your subject by placing it near the center of the frame. The “rule of thirds” can help you place subjects appropriately. By turning the grid lines on your LCD (check the User settings menu), you'll see a 3x3 grid overlaid on your display. Place your subject at one of the corners of the inner rectangle of this grid for optimal composition.
  • Perspective: With an interchangeable lens camera like the Samsung NX300, your lens selection drives the perspective of your shot. With a telephoto lens, you'll capture a tight perspective and a narrow range of subjects (good for shooting a sporting event from a distance, for example). With a wide-angle lens, your perspective will open up, capturing a much wider image (great for landscapes).
  • Depth of field: Depth of field refers to how much of your foreground and background are in focus. With a low depth of field, your background is out of focus and your subject becomes clearer and more pronounced. With a high depth of field, your photo places equal weight on both foreground and background. Use the Aperture setting discussed above to control this: a high EV creates a high depth of field.

When to use the flash

In general, it's best to avoid the flash unless you're shooting in very low light due to reflections and other unwanted effects. Take a test shot without the flash, then try turning it on. If the flash is creating harsh shadows or glare, simply move away from the subject until your shots come out cleanly. (Zoom will help to compensate.)

Sharing your photos

Once you've mastered shooting, don't forget to share the photos. The Samsung NX300 and other
Wi-Fi-enabled cameras let you share shots directly from your camera whenever you're in range of a wireless network. With these cameras you can share pictures directly with friends on social networks like Facebook, send them to Microsoft SkyDrive for online archiving or transfer photos to a PC on your home network. You can even set up an impromptu slide show on your television with TV Link and Samsung AllShare Play, or send a photo to your Galaxy mobile device with the Samsung MobileLink app, available at the Google Play™ market.

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