1) Program Priority. Aperture is better
---Thou shalt not use "Auto"
2) Auto ISO = bad.
-- why? It will screw with you in Manual, and you never know what sort of noise you are going to get.
3) Metering. You choose depending on what you shoot. I usually use matrix or centerweighted.
4) Review Image = OFF! Shoot now and chimp later. (chimping: looking at the screen after every shot and exclaiming "ooh ooh, aah ah!")
5) When chimping, zoom to intended focus point. If you got it, good. If not, shoot again and use rear dial to move through pictures, zoomed to the same place
a. which type? Slow, rear, only light source, redeye?
b. slow and redeye=crap. use Rear sync or normal. (dances = rear)
c. Intensity. hold flash button and the +/- and rotate rear dial to adjust.
7) Rotate tall = crap. Rotate your camera and use the big freakin screen!
8) Color Settings
a. Normal = people (low saturation, normal contrast)
b. Vivid = stuff, backgrounds. (high saturation, high contrast)
c. Custom. set it yourself
9) IIIa sRBG (the default) is the place to be
10) Image Quality. Shoot the biggest you can. JPG Fine and Large. This will allow you and your editors to crop the hell out of your pictures as needed, occasionally eliminating the need to swap for a bigger lens. focus on getting the picture on the camera. If you're far away, crop later without fear.
SD cards are cheap, and hard drives are getting there. shoot lots and backup lots. you will thank yourself.
11) WHITE BALANCE
a. Your camera should do this well most of the time in AUTO.
b. Failing auto the list below translates what each mode really does.
1. Tungsten (lightbulb) goes really blue
2. Flourescent (glowing tube) brings it a little warmer
3. Sunlight (sun) use only in direct sunlight.
4. Flash (lightning) very similar to sunlight, it makes things more yellow
5. Cloudy (cloud) warms between yellow and orange
6. Shade (house with shadow) Turns everything very orange.
7. PRE (PRE). Use when shooting indoor sports. Carry something white.
Aim camera at white or grey card (does not need to focus) and fire
"data acquired" or "gd" is good and you can shoot.
12) ISO = Use the lowest possible, but keep your shutter speed where you can make sharp pictures. for me, that's 1/25 sec. The higher ISO you have, the more light you get and the faster your shutter speed can be. However, just like film, the higher your ISO is, the more grain (called "Noise" in the digital world) you have.
a. ISO 200 is outside in the sun, stuff that is not moving
b. Up to ISO 800 is outdoor sports in the sun or shade
c. ISO 1,600 is acceptable, and likely used a lot indoors. lots of noise, but little blur. Blowing up an image shot at ISO 1,600 will look.... icky
d. ISO 3,200 is last resort. Ewwww Use your on-camera (or preferably an off-camera) flash before using above ISO 1,600.
E. Noise Reduction: leave it off. It does not do much, and doubles the amount of processing time before writing pictures to your memory card
13) Thou shalt not use "beep"!!! People hate photographers who beep, and you are making your job harder if people are looking at you
14) Auto-Focus = constant.
15) LOCK camera when there is no memory card. You will find that you shoot away and your card is still in the card readers in the J-Lab, or worse, at home!
16) AF ASS-ist = nono. you do not want people to notice you taking their pictures, and having a bright light shine in their face will not help you or the camera.
17) Formatting your memory cards. Do it. it is faster and more efficient than deleting your pictures. just make sure they are offloaded onto your personal computer, and the Lance server.
18) File number sequence. Leave it on so you do not have a gazillion of the same filenames. you will shoot THOUSANDS of images, and when you are searching for 1 picture, 20 minutes before deadline, you need to be able to type DSC_3244 and get just 1 or 2 pictures.