Setup Menu 2, shown in Figure 1-16, offers an additional batch of customization options. But you can take advantage of only the following options in all exposure modes (Full Auto, Manual, Portrait, and so on):
✓ LCD Brightness: This option enables you to make the camera monitor brighter or darker. After highlighting the option on the menu, as shown in Figure 1-16, press Set to display a screen similar to what you see in Figure 1-17. The camera displays a picture from your memory card in the main preview area; if the card is empty, you see a black box instead.
LCD brightness *
Date/Time 08/13/ 08 09:55 Language English
Video system NTSC Sensor cleaning Live View function settings Flash control
Figure 1-16: Most options on Setup Menu 2 can be used only in advanced exposure modes.
Press the right and left cross keys to adjust the brightness setting. Press Set again to return to the menu.
If you take this step, keep in mind that what you see on the display may not be an accurate rendition of the actual exposure of your image. Crank up the monitor brightness, for example, and an underexposed photo may look just fine. So I recommend that you keep the brightness at the default setting, which places the brightness marker at dead center on the little brightness scale, as shown in Figure 1-17. As an alternative, you can display the histogram, an exposure guide that I explain in Chapter 4, when reviewing your images.
✓ Date/Time: When you power up your camera for the very first time, it automatically displays this option and asks you to set the current date and time.
Keeping the date/time accurate is important because that information is recorded as part of the image file. In your photo browser, you can then see when you shot an image and, equally handy, search for images by the date they were taken. Chapter 8 shows you where to locate the date/time data when browsing your picture files.
✓ Language: This option determines the language of any text displayed on the camera monitor. Screens in this book display the English language, but I find it entertaining on occasion to hand my camera to a friend after changing the language to, say, Swedish. I'm a real yokester, yah?
✓ Video System: This option is related to viewing your images on a television, a topic I cover in Chapter 9. Select NTSC if you live in North America or other countries that adhere to the NTSC video standard; select PAL for playback in areas that follow that code of video conduct.
That leaves the following menu options, which you can't access (or access fully) unless you switch to one of the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP):
✓ Sensor Cleaning: By default, the camera's sensor-cleaning mechanism activates each time you turn the camera on and off. This process helps keep the image sensor — which is the part of the camera that captures the image — free of dust and other particles that can mar your photos.
In the fully automatic modes, you have the option of turning the feature off, but I can't imagine why you would choose to do so. You can also initiate a cleaning cycle via this menu option at any time.
In the advanced exposure modes, you can access a third option that prepares the camera for manual cleaning of the sensor. I don't recommend this practice; sensors are delicate, and you're really better off taking the camera to a good service center for cleaning.
✓ Live View Functions: This part of the menu enables you to enable Live View mode, in which you can preview your shots in the monitor, and to customize a couple of aspects of how the camera behaves in that mode. Chapter 4 explains your options. (By default, Live View shooting is disabled.)
✓ Flash Control: Here's where you customize certain aspects of how your flash behaves. Chapter 5 provides details on flash photography.
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Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.