Photographer’s DSLR checklist

Almost everyone who gets into DSLR photography and learns how to use their gear makes a mental checklist to run through before they push the shutter button. Or do they? How many times have you forgotten to lower the ISO when you’re out in daylight or change the meter from it’s last setting? Have you ever left the self-timer on and then wondered why your camera wasn’t working correctly? Duh.

Here is the beginning of a checklist that I’m sure others will add to over time. These are things I consider before I shoot (when I remember). This is in no particular order.

  1. Is the sensor clean?
  2. Are all lenses being used clean (both glass and contacts)?
  3. What lens is on the camera?
  4. Is the lens properly attached?
  5. Are the lens’s switches set correctly (AF/MF, focus limiters, IS)?
  6. What filter is on the lens?
  7. Do you have extra filters with you?
  8. If the lens has a hood that you use, is it with you?
  9. Check battery level and bring extra battery
  10. Is there a memory card in the camera?
  11. Is the memory card erased?
  12. Bring extra memory card(s)
  13. Check mode dial setting
  14. Is the diopter adjustment on the viewfinder in focus?
  15. Check ISO setting
  16. Check meter mode setting
  17. Check file type: RAW or jpg
  18. Check picture style setting (if meaningful)?
  19. Drive mode set as you like it: one shot, continuous, timer
  20. Self-timer off?
  21. Check white balance if it’s been changed from default
  22. Check auto focus points to make sure they’re what you want
  23. Do you need a tripod?
  24. Do you have a cable release packed?
  25. Do you have your detachable shoulder strap with you?
  26. Do you have rain protection for your gear with you?

If you’ve got ideas that need to be added to this list, please leave them below in comments.

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