Maybe you just pulled the wrapping paper from a shiny new DSLR. Or perhaps you used that holiday bonus money to get an interchangeable-lens compact. Or hey, maybe it's summer and you just found this article through Google. Regardless, you just upped your camera gear game and for that, we'd like to congratulate you. But, before you can make the most of your new set-up, there are a few steps you'll want to follow.
Go out and shoot a little bit
I'm a gadget nerd too, so I understand how strong the call of a new piece of gear is. First and foremost, make sure the battery is charged all the way, snap it on in along with a memory card and go fire off some frames. Once that's out of your system, you'll have a much easier time fighting distraction when you follow the rest of the steps.
Read -- or at least skim -- the manual
OK, now it's time to buckle down for a bit. Your camera's manual has most of the answers to the technical questions you'd often end up wondering about later. Don't know the difference between One-shot AF and AI Servo AF? Wondering how to make sure the in-camera noise-reduction is set to your liking? Wish the thing would stop beeping everytime you get something in focus? The manual can help to straighten you out on all of that. Even if you already know your way around a camera, it never hurts to flip through the manual a couple times. Some people even suggest you keep it in the bathroom in order to promote, you know, actually reading it. Do this, and you just might find out something about your camera that you never knew.