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5 Crucial Camera Features for Landscape Photography

These key camera tools come in handy on location
Photo of camera modes

Digital cameras come loaded with so many features these days half of which you are probably never going to use. But there are some handy built-in tools in modern cameras that can help you out a lot, particularly if you enjoy shooting landscapes.

In the below video, pro photographer Mark Denney tells you about “five insanely helpful camera features for landscape photography” while capturing the Spring Dogwood Bloom in a local woodland near his home in North Carolina.

“When it comes to camera features, I find those to be quite different from camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO,” Denney explains. “And in this video, I’ll walk you through the camera features that I’ve found to be the most crucial to my on-location workflow for landscape photography. I can’t guarantee that your specific camera has all five of these features built in, but I believe most modern cameras today will contain many of these.”

Watch below where he discusses the following essential camera features for landscape photography. We’ve included the time-stamps of where you can find them in Denney’s on-location video at the bottom of this post.

#1 Crop Mode (5:50)

“My lens isn’t quite long enough to try and do exactly what I’m looking to do so I put my camera in the crop mode,” he says. “This basically gives you the ability to punch in even further. It reduces the overall resolution of the image but it’s not that big of a deal. It gives you that additional reach.”

#2 Auto Exposure Bracketing (9:48)

“Another camera feature I think is wildly helpful to enable is auto exposure bracketing or AEB. It’s not the easiest camera feature to turn on but the ultimate goal is to press the shutter button once and your camera will immediately rattle off however many images you have set up for your auto exposure bracketing. I always have my camera set for just three images two stops apart. I find that’s enough in most scenarios to capture the full dynamic range of a scene.”

#3 Self-Timer (14:35)

“[Self-timer] is probably the most beneficial camera feature that I use. I’m almost always on a two-second delay self-timer to get away from the camera shake of you actually pressing the shutter button. If my using a longer lens and it’s very windy out, I’ll probably switch that to a ten-second delay. The self-timer is absolutely imperative.”

#4 In Body Image Stabilization (15:07)

“A lot of lenses today have optical image stabilization which is really easy to turn on. But In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), if your camera has that, is also handy. I don’t shoot handheld very often but in windier situations, IBIS can really help.”

#5 Histogram (16:29)

“Being able to see the histogram all the time is very important. I actually have it on two places on my camera. I have a top LCD screen on the body that I can see the histogram. I can also always see it on the back of my camera. I think being able to always see the histogram is extremely helpful to landscape photography. You want to be able to see if you’re blowing out those highlights. That’s really what I pay attention to. To see how far to the right I’m pushing my histogram.”

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