How do you feel with your first 360 camera?

Get ready to meet your brand new  360 camera! You’ve just taken it out of the box and might be afraid to touch it – don’t be!

Pick it up and get to know it, because you are about to take some amazing photographs. The first step is turning it on and taking a look at the LCD screen.

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There is a lot of information staring back at you, but once you understand what it all means, you’ll know exactly how and where to adjust your settings for each individual photo shoot if necessary.

Starting from the top left corner, take note of the fraction. It should read 1/4000. This is your shutter speed, which controls how fast or slow the picture is taken. The bottom number is the speed. The higher it is, the faster the picture is taken. The 1/4000 is the default setting and is commonly used in most amateur and professional photography, but adjusting the speed can create some artistic effects or give you the chance to capture blazing fast images.

Moving left you’ll notice the aperture setting. It should read F4.0. Aperture controls how much light is getting into the lens, and the lower you set that number the more light you’ll let into the photo. While 4.0 is default, opening it wider to a 1.0 or 2.0 setting will give you blurry pictures, which can sometimes be desired. We will be learning more about the aperture in Chapter 1. The third item on this top row of your screen is your ISO setting. It should read ISO100, which is default, meaning you will get great photos in normal indoor and outdoor lighting.

If you are taking photos in the evening or early morning hours, you will have to adjust this to a higher number in order to accommodate for the darkness. Lower numbers will help you when it’s exceptionally bright outside or you’re using a lot of indoor lights to create a specific ambiance for your photo.

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The first item in the second row on your screen is the letter P. This is the program mode for your Canon 360 camera. As you use it to take different types of photos, you can adjust the program to better accommodate the people, places, or items you are photographing. The program mode is controlled by the dial on the top right of your camera. Moving the dial down to the flower or the human face will automatically tell the camera to focus on the faces or specific objects in the shot, but moving the P to M will give send you into Full Manual Mode.

Manual Mode gives you complete control over the photograph, and you will be responsible for setting everything from shutter speed to ISO yourself. Next to the P is a range of numbers that should go from -2 to +2. This controls the exposure settings when you are in AV or TV modes. The closer you are to the negative side of things, the darker your picture will be. Positive numbers mean brighter photos. AV and TV mode are for advanced photographers, but in Manual mode you will easily control the exposure by adjusting the lens and viewfinder. These numbers will change as you move the viewfinder, so make note of settings you like so you can be prepared when you finally enter the AV and TV modes.

Below that you will notice an “AWB” box. This means “Automatic White Balance”. In this mode, the camera is automatically setting your colors by balancing them against the whitest thing in the shot. If you move this into “RAW” mode, you will be in charge of white balance. You can set white balance against anything, be it a white t-shirt or a professional white balance card.

But you can also set it against things that aren’t white in order to create some interesting effects with color. More about white balance will be discussed in Chapter 3. The eye symbol next to the “AWB” refers to your metering. Controlling the metering means you control how your camera reads and utilizes the available light. You can make this automatic, or you can control it manually.

There are three different options you can choose – evaluative mode means the camera applies the light equally, partial mode means the camera will focus light on the focal point of your photo, and in center-weighted mode the camera will focus the light on the center of the photo.
Finally, the “ONE SHOT” you see next to the eye symbol controls your focus. The collection of diamond-shaped dots below it shows you where and what to focus on, and you can adjust your focus as necessary.
If you’re in one shot mode, you should be taking portraits or pictures of other still items. Adjust the settings to the AI Focus if you’re taking pictures of things that might move, like children or animals.

The continuous or AI Servo setting is for photos of things that are moving, such as cars. If you’re in manual mode, you can also accommodate for moving objects with your shutter speed as well as your focus, and you will learn more about this in the next post.

The remaining items on your LCD screen refer to how your files are being saved. The “L” means large files, which is preferred because it gives you as many pixels as possible. This will give you more wiggle room when it comes to editing and printing pictures. Nearby, you’ll notice the battery symbol regarding your battery life and your shot number regarding how much room you have on your memory card. If you ever forget what each symbol means, you can refer to this chapter or your camera’s manual for a quick refresher. The more you use your camera, the more these symbols will become second nature. So let’s get started!