|When faced with difficult subjects or lighting, |
the last thing you need is to be fiddling around in the menu system
trying to find the right settings!
The menu system will inevitably prove the most challenging, here are a few tips to help you.
Look at the menu items and make a note of how many categories there are and then the order in which the main categories are arranged. This might take a day or two to fully remember, but again visualising the menu with your eyes close will help. Don't try to do it all at one time, it's just too difficult with most cameras.
Once you have the number of items and order sorted then move onto remembering where the most important items are located, for example, perhaps the option for adjusting the focus mode is on the second tab down and third item from the top. Tell your self this, try finding it blind and then open your eyes and see if you nailed it. visualise seeing the items located above and below this item.
Make a note of items where you actually have to press a set button or some other button to implement, this often traps people up, some Canon models for example need the set button pressed to enable the WB setting you have chosen, I can't tell you how many people in my classes have set out to test their WB settings on Canons only to find on returning to the classroom the images all look the same cause they remained fixed on AWB due to not pressing set!
Eventually given enough practice and active visualization you will remember the entire menu system and all its little idiosyncrasies and be amazed at how much quicker you will have become at adjusting your camera, but it's not just about speed. Most likely along the way you will find menu items you were not aware of previously, items that give you greater control or better options, items that might just improve your photographic results.
Even better if you really delve deep enough you will probably find items that can be set up in custom locations or assigned to other buttons on the camera, this is actually the secret to using most Sony E mount and RX cameras efficiently, but it equally applies to other brands.
Remember this, often when reviewers are bagging out a certain camera for bad control layouts or poor menu arrangements, what they are most often experiencing is unfamiliarity compared to what they are used to using rather than an inherently bad system of operation. Lots of reviewers for example think Canon systems are great, I beg to differ, they are familiar to most reviewers thats all, I have to show people how to use thousands of cameras a year, of all brands and models I can name several less than ideal aspects to Canons' operation compared to other brands, but if I only used Canon camera I would just accommodate them and probably assume that is the way things are supposed to be.
Familiarity does not breed contempt, I promise, but a lack of familiarity will definitely breed frustration.