So you’re raring to go with your new digital camera. But even though it was sold to you as a simple point-and-shoot camera, there are a lot of features, and you’re probably wanting to learn how to take the best digital photos you can. Here are some quick tips and tricks to get you started:

Autofocus. Autofocus is what makes it easy to get good pictures with a digital camera. Long gone are the old days of fiddling with your focus until you get it just right. But even with autofocus on your camera, unless your digital camera also has a feature that lets you have continuous focus, it will be difficult taking action shots. So if your camera does offer a continuous focus setting, and you’re shooting sports or other fast motion pictures, make sure to set it to this setting.

Exposure compensation. Your camera comes with automatic exposure, which will help you get great pictures under most conditions. However, sometimes you might run into situations where you might want to use the exposure compensation feature (check your camera, though – not all cameras offer this feature ) – for example, when there’s a bright light shining into your lens. The exposure compensation feature lets you adjust the automatic exposure on your camera.

Your digital camera may also offer a variety of exposure modes. If you’re interested in getting more creative with your digital photos, you should check out the different exposure modes featured on your camera. Read your manual, and then take your camera out and give each of the settings a few test runs. You’ll soon become familiar with each mode’s effects, and know what mode to use under what conditions. For example, your camera may feature a night portrait or night photography mode – with this mode, your nighttime photos will not come out with pitch black backgrounds.

Using a tripod. If you’ve never used a tripod to shoot pictures, you may be amazed at the significant difference in image sharpness that you can get by utilizing a tripod. Unless you’re using a fast shutter speed, taking shots while holding a digital camera by hand can result in fuzzier images. This is especially true if you happen to be taking a close-up picture using your lens zoom while in low light conditions. But even under normal conditions, a camera set on a quality tripod will often give you a sharper looking image.

Using your flash on sunny days. Chances are, your digital camera has a built-in flash. And you probably turn it on when you’re shooting indoors or when it’s dark. Next time you’re out in bright sunlight, though, try taking your photos with the flash turned on. This serves the function of brightening up the dark shadows that bright sunlight can cause, resulting in a better picture.

We’ve touched on just some of the features available on digital cameras. Taking pictures with a digital camera is easy, and taking great pictures just requires a little bit of practice. Getting familiar with the features offered in your camera is also a good idea. The more you use your digital camera, the better you’ll get, so explore what your camera offers, and be prepared for some truly wonderful shots.