Camera Basics: Canon DSLRs By Matt Kloskowski

1 hr 5 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

This class is designed to accelerate your entry into DSLR photography with a focus on the fundamental skills and concepts you need to take your photography to the next level. While this class is not focused on any one Canon camera model, Matt and Pete have created this class specifically with the Canon user in mind. By customizing the language and terminology of photography basics around the Canon family of DSLRs you’ll be able to follow along more closely with your Canon camera in hand.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

There's no better way to get started with your DSLR than learning how to hold it correctly.
Choosing the right shooting mode for the situation your are in has a big impact on your ability to capture the peak moment.
Placing the focus point on the most important part of the scene is critical to getting great photos.
It is important to understand the differences between shooting in Auto and Program modes.
There are a number of scene modes built-into the camera that are designed to choose the optimal settings for different scenes.
The aperture setting has a big impact on the depth of field in your photo, which determines how much of the photo is sharply in focus.
Sometimes the light meter in the camera can be fooled by extremely bright or dark areas in a scene, so it is important to know how to use the exposure compensation setting to correct the exposure.
The ISO setting controls how sensitive the sensor is to light. Understanding how this setting impacts your shutter speed is important for getting sharp photos in low light.
The camera uses the information under the focus point to determine the proper exposure for the scene.
There are different auto focus modes that are designed to be used in specific situations.
The white balance setting is important for telling the camera to correctly adjust for the color temperature of the light in the scene.
Learn the differences between shooting in raw versus JPG mode so that you can make the right choice for your needs.
Most DSLRs can display the view through the lens on the back of the LCD screen, which is called Live View mode.
After covering all of the basics Matt and Pete leave you with a few additional tips to take your photos to the next level.
Profile photo of Matt Kloskowski

Meet your instructor

Matt Kloskowski


Matt is the Vice President of Photography for onOne Software and a Tampa-based photographer. He's a best selling author of over 20 books and teaches Lightroom and Photoshop at seminars and conferences around the world....

Matt's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of frambois26 frambois26

    Lesson 11 refers to re-formatting the memory card on the camera or the computer and you state that it is better in the camera. What is re-formatting? What is the purpose of it? Thanks!

  2. Profile photo of

    You are an excellent teacher Matt. Thank you.

  3. Profile photo of Sloane Sloane

    Would love to see a class on back button focus. I cannot find this topic in Search. Thanks. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  4. Profile photo of robambriz robambriz

    Are there any camera holding tips for people with a left dominant eye?

    1. Profile photo of

      What’s the difference exactly? The camera needs to be held the same way by everyone it’s just looking through the viewfinder with the other eye. . . I’m left handed and shoot left eye dominant.

  5. Profile photo of tsims tsims

    Great Course! I recommend this course even if you have been shooting for awhile. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of Line Jordan Bank Line Jordan Bank

    Thank you Matt Kloskowski & Pete Collins for a very easy to understand course, it is a good way to teach this ping pong.
    Thanks again

  7. Profile photo of jakemcbroom jakemcbroom

    This class was one of the best I’ve seen. It is freaking awesome. Well done guys. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of Mnbillings Mnbillings

    Even after taking other courses within Kelby Training, I found this course to be extremely helpful and easy to follow. I learned something in every segment. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Jean Easton Jean Easton

    You guys are great.I Just watched your course on Camera Basics for Canon DSLRs. I have a Rebel EOS XSi, which is about two years old and love it. Not really that good in low light, but great outdoor shoots. Three weeks ago today I upgraded to the Canon EOS 5D Mark 111, WOW, what a camera! As a kit it came with the Canon EF 24-105mm Lens. That said, that’s what brought me here to watch this course, and vary glad that I did. You saved me a lot of reading time,To learn what you showed in your video was a lot easier. You got right to the point about the Canon’s setting’s, how to hold it correctly, etc, etc. I know more about my new 5D Mark 111 in about forty five minutes then I have in three weeks. I would recommend any one, just starting with a digital camera, Canon, Nikon, or Sony, a hobbyist, semi-pro or a professional photographer to watch this course and others here at You can always learn something new and things you might of forgot about. Thanks again guys, You are great. Keep smiling, you never know when you could be on Canon Camera! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of MelBeau MelBeau

    Question….scene modes were mentioned…..which canon DSLR were they referring too. I have the Mark III and could not find that option. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanking you in advance….

    By the way, I have picked up so many helpful tips and I’m only half way through watching the video. As always, Kelby Training is where I turn for any help I need with my photography or with Photoshop. You are the best. Melissa Beauregard —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of pujamahapatra pujamahapatra

    Excellent training. Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

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