Ever wish you could customize your DSLR (or ILC, or advanced compact) to make it work exactly the way you wanted? Or to make it better somehow—to make operation faster, to boost stamina, to better match a specific shooting situation, or even to make it a special-purpose camera? You can pretty much do it, with adjustments ranging from simple, no-cost setting tweaks up to physical modification of the camera.
1 Reassignment of autofocus to back or function button:
Probably the most universal tweak among pros and serious amateurs, this separates autofocus triggering from the shutter release button. Everyone from landscapists to action shooters values this for the ability to focus and recompose and/or focus and meter a different area of the scene.
2 Auto ISO:
Until recently a function found only on compact cameras, auto ISO is migrating up into DSLRs, and we hear from serious shooters who have embraced it. This mode allows you to lock in an f-stop and shutter speed—or a specified range of settings—and the camera will automatically vary the ISO for proper exposure. If you’re shooting sports, wildlife, or other action subjects in changeable light, auto ISO may be the way to go.
3 Pop-up flash exposure comp:
Our editors advocate setting the built-in flash output to –1 or –1.3 EV for “walking around” mode. This way, you’re ready to take people pictures with partial fill that will look more natural than a full-power pop.
4 Pop-up flash sync:
The default setting is first-curtain sync, which is fine for everyday snapshots. But if you like to combine flash with slowish shutter speeds for action-defining ghosts, set the pop-up to second-curtain sync. This will smear a ghost image behind, rather than ahead of, a subject moving across the frame.