Snap savvy

It's all very well having a high-performance compact digicam, powerzoom or SLR snapper, but you'll never reap the benefits unless you understand and use its features. We detail what its settings and icons mean, and how best to employ them.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  February 23, 2008

It's all very well having a high-performance compact digicam, powerzoom or SLR snapper, but you'll never reap the benefits unless you understand and use its features. We detail what its settings and icons mean, and how best to employ them.

Image stabilisation

Blurry images are an annoyance for many snappers and often it can be a mystery as to why an image came out so undefined. According to photography experts, the most common cause is ‘camera shake'. This simply means that while the exposure was being set, the camera moved.

To counter this, we recommend turning on your cam's Image Stabilisation (IS) feature, which is symbolised by a hand with two waves on either side.

Now while IS mode does a good job, you should also learn how to hold your digital camera correctly.

Here's how:

• Hold the snapper close to your body

• Place your elbows in against the side of your body

• Keep a firm grip

• Stand with your legs apart so that you don't lose balance

• Use the viewfinder instead of the LCD when composing shots, as bracing the camera against your face helps steady it

• Another useful technique to steady a camera is to rest it on a flat surface such as a table to both frame and take the shot

• An alternative is to use a tripod.

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