Mastering Your Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera

Mastering Your Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera

Break through the technology barrier and discover how to use your DSLR to take beautiful photos. This course will help you learn about features and controls, proper lenses, metering, exposure, and more to take your photography to the next level.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
  • Details
  • Syllabus
  • Requirements
  • Instructor



Take control of your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. In this course, you will break through the technology barrier and learn how to use your DSLR to take beautiful photos.

You will start out by learning about the many features and controls of your DSLR and look at the lenses you need for the kind of photography you enjoy. Next, you will learn about metering, exposure compensation, managing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You will find out how to use these features to get the right exposure for every shot. Then turn your attention to flash photography, managing camera controls, photo files, and even working in manual mode. With these skills, you will be able to take your photography to the next level.

By the end of this course, you will be a DSLR master and will be able to take the photos you've always dreamed of.


In this lesson, you will explore the basics of your DSLR camera such as buttons, and controls, and the exposure mode options for different shooting situations. This lesson also covers some general maintenance and housekeeping issues with memory cards, batteries, and cleaning—and by the end of this lesson, you will feel empowered to get started with your DSLR camera.

This lesson is all about DLSR lenses. One of the most important features of the DSLR is the ability to change lenses based on shooting conditions. You will find out how lenses work, some of the most common DSLR lenses, and what shooting conditions those lenses can help you.

Do you know how your camera sees a photo? In this lesson, you will learn about the three components of exposure—aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You will also learn about metering modes and how your camera uses these to determine the correct exposure for a photo.

The previous lessons introduced the aperture, but this lesson will discuss it in depth. You will learn how this aspect of exposure controls how much light enters the camera, and you will discover how to control this light to affect the quality of your photos as well as certain focusing effects.

This lesson is all about shutter speed—a second aspect of exposure. Shutter speed controls the amount of time that light enters the camera when you take a photo. You probably equate shutter speed with fast-action shots, such as sports photos. A fast shutter speed can stop action, but a slow shutter speed also offers a world of shooting opportunities.

This lesson explores how ISO settings affect camera exposure. ISO manages the camera's sensitivity to light—the higher the ISO setting, the more sensitive. While ISO appears to be an easy fix for potentially dark photos, it can be a tricky setting to use. You will learn all about ISO solutions, potential ISO problems, and how to manage ISO on your DSLR.

In this lesson, you will explore your DSLR's flash options. You will learn about using and controlling the on-board flash, and you will also learn how to use an external flash with your DSLR's hot shoe.

This lesson is all about editing photos and shooting movies on your DSLR. Your camera organizes photo information and stores the photos you take on memory cards. This way, you end up with a digital photo you can use on a computer or print.

Manual mode is an exposure mode on your DSLR that lets you make all of the decisions. In this lesson, you will learn how to master manual mode and use it in a variety of shooting situations. To be a great DSLR photographer, manual mode is a must.

Your DSLR is a sophisticated tool that can help you take great photos. But the DSLR can only capture what you choose for it to capture. For all of the bells and whistles, your DSLR needs a human—a photographer—to capture great photos. In this lesson, you will explore how to get better exposure through composition, and managing available light.

In the previous lesson, you learned about a helpful feature called exposure bracketing. With exposure bracketing, you can take several identical photos using different exposures. This way, you can choose which photo looks best. Exposure bracketing also offers another option—shooting high dynamic range (HDR) photos.

In this final lesson, you will explore the three kinds of photos that give DSLR photographers the most trouble: fast-action shots, macro shots, and low-light photography. The good news is your DSLR can help you master these shooting situations if you know how to use the camera's tools and features, and in this lesson, you will see how to put these features to work.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.
  • Any digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Point and shoot digital cameras are not compatible with the course content.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Curt Simmons

Curt Simmons, B.A., M.Ed, is a best-selling author, trainer, and multi-media expert. He holds degrees in English and communication studies and has more than 10 years of experience teaching English and writing in the classroom. Additionally, Simmons has authored numerous books on a wide variety of technology topics and has been a technical editor for numerous other titles.

Self-Guided Course Code: T9229
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: slr