ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to setup your new DSLR in 3 simple steps!

Updated on February 26, 2016

So it begins...

You have your DSLR and now you are ready to go and take you prize winning shots. But, before that you may need to get some basic accessories to make those prize winning images.

Carrying options:
The usual option for carrying your DSLR has been the standard neck strap that came with the camera. For better or worse it will have the brand and model number of your camera on the strap in bright yellow/golden lettering.

For me there are 3 things wrong with the standard in the box neck strap. 1) It it usually too thin and being so thin it means that after 30 minutes or so it starts to cut into your neck with any decent sized lens attached to the camera. 2) It's a neck strap and if you have used one of these the camera is bouncing against your chest as you walk. And 3) the BIG brand and model numbers in yellow/gold lettering!

One option is to get a wider or padded neck strap but a better solution is to get a cross-should strap that attaches to a special fastener to the camera's tripod socket. Once adjusted and attached, the camera hangs to you side and within hands reach. The camera attachment allows the camera to glide along the strap as you bring it up to eye level and glides back down when you are done. Best option out there if you have a need to carry you camera for any length of time.

Bags: Over the years I have tended to go with bags that does not scream out "camera gear here" especially when travelling. I tended to have a standard backpack and/or - my current option - a messenger back of non-descript design and placed inside it a Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Insert. This insert has space for the DSLR plus standard lens and two more slots for extra lenses or accessories. It allows you to have good protection for your gear and in a bag of your choice which does not draw any attention.

Lens options:
This is the $64,000 question and depends on so many things! For example, I wanted to get back into going street photography and needed a fast lens and great low light imaging performance as well as being gentle on the wallet - I chose the Nikkor 50mm F1.8. My daughter is new to photography and wanted an all rounder lens to kick things off and decided on a Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM zoom. It's a great lens with built-in OS (optical stabilization) and gives her an opportunity to try different focal lengths and experiment. BTW, this is also a great travel lens if you just want to take one lens for that vacation to Europe or anywhere for that matter.

Kit lenses are lenses that - well - come with the "kit" and are usually fairly good from the well known camera brands. If you already have ideas what type of photography you are interesting in pursuing and the lenses you want/need by all means rent them or try out eBay and Amazon Used section to get a good condition lens to try it out. As most things with photography the learning is in the "journey" and you learn by doing, be it macro - macro lens; nature - telephoto & macro lenses; landscape - wide-angle; fashion - wide-angle, prime, portrait lenses; or architectural - wide-angle for interiors and perspective control lenses for buildings.

At some point in your advancement you will be looking at the different support options for you photographic needs. But this time it is a little easier to figure out the support you will need whether a standard tripod, mono-pod or a clamp. Though my own start in this space started with a small bean bag cushion I had made because I couldn't afford a tripod at that time and also i didn't want to carry one during my shoots in the city.

Simple way to decide on which support you need will be dependent on what you are shooting and how you shoot. In the past I was stuck with heavy metal tripods which I didn't like to carry but nowadays you have many options with carbon graphite/fibre made mono-, and tri-pods. So here's a few options and who/when you may want to use this option:

1. Bean bag: Pro:- Small, lite in weight, conforms to all types of surfaces and you can safely place you camera on it to get low angle views or quick setup. Con:- Depends on the type of surface you have available, mostly will be low angles and mostly in landscape orientation.

2. Mono-pod: Pro:- Lighter then tri-pod in most cases. Great/must when using telephoto lenses for following fast moving subject(s). Con:- Heavy - before carbon fibre versions - you need to learn how to use it for maximum usability. Not something you can leave standing.

3. Tri-pod: Pro:- Many choices to choose from. Depending on your need there are numerous sizes for different requirements. Most well known branded tripods are solid and as I have learned always get something that will take the weight of your camera AS WELL AS the ability to hook your camera bag to the tripod to stabilize it and keep standing. These will be used for landscapes, still-life, macro, and anything else where you need the camera in one spot and you are moving around to "set the scene." Con: Usually big and heavy - as said carbon fibre versions are around and these are good options to reduce weight, ideal for travel, nature photographers.

4. Grips and clamps: Pro:- like the bean bag, it is something small and can help as a last option to be able to set you camera somewhere for shoots requiring longer exposure. When using clamps and grips be mindful where you are clamping the camera to for balance, security, and also for vibrations, e.g. if you clamp a camera to you car window, you will get the engine vibrations unless you turn off the engine. Con: Not secure/safe and always plan that your camera will slip or fall over and plan accordingly.


There you have it, some basics to get you out and start taking better pictures and learning what your interest and focus will be. There are a few other areas to "develop" - no pun intended - further along, with the basic equipment such as lenses, flash equipment, memory cards types, lens filters and many many more areas to discuss - which I will in future Hubs!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)