Digital cameras that have lenses built-in allow you the flexibility and ease of taking a pretty good picture without having to spend much time tweaking and customizing the settings. But deciding not to get involved at all in the various settings and auto functions of the camera could mean you’re not utilizing the full potential of your camera and your photography skills.

Although there are tonnes of material out there on how you can make sure you get a great picture, here are three really important points for beginners:

  1. Most people who decide to go for a fully automatic digital camera often look for the convenience of selecting a standard automatic self-adjusting mode rather than work on the myriad menu options (many being exceptionally confusing) to customize the capture. Options such as flash adjustments and file quality levels are ignored or left to the camera to decide. You might want to spend a little time understanding what specifically your camera automates, how it makes those calls and what it expects you to look into.
  2.  Remember the good old days when you had to pay for film. I’m glad we no longer have to count the cost of film but something seems to change in the way we approach things the minute we get the virtually “unlimited” pictures option. Suddenly we aren't necessarily putting into each shot as much rigour and attention as we would have, had we been working through a limited roll of film. There is no major cost impact to taking the random shotgun approach but you end up having a lot of pictures that just don’t meet your expectations.
  3. Digital cameras have an LCD monitor that allows you to have a look at the picture being taken without having to peer through the little viewfinder. Although this makes for a more convenient and comfortable posture to take your photograph, it means that you hold the camera a few inches away from yourself allowing for a blurred image to be captured. Even though it might be a bit of a pain, try using the viewfinder more unless you need to reach for an image beyond eye level.

Contrary to what many people think, digital cameras do offer a great deal of versatility and the ability for you to customize and tweak exactly how you take that picture. It would require from you though, some level of effort to work through understanding how all these functions work, and how they can work together to get you that perfect picture. Spend a little time with the instructions manual and go through a few articles on photography for your specific digital camera model. There is no shortage of extremely useful information you can use to get the best out of your photography.

If you’re looking for more tips on digital photography and are looking to seriously improve your photography skills, there aren’t many courses out there better than Tony Northrup's “How to create stunning digital photography”. You should definitely take a look at the book and its great online training videos.

Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
Amazon Price: $24.99 $14.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 26, 2015)