I recently upgraded from a standard compact digital camera to one of the newish "halfway cameras", hoping to get a bit better at taking photographs through having a little more control over the settings. Trouble is, the camera has so many settings that I'm having difficulty figuring out which to concentrate on learning about! I think it's best to start with the basic settings, by which I mean those that actually involve something physical in how the photograph is taken, rather than with the vast array of post-processing that the camera seems capable of. So, my question:
Which settings on my camera are "real"? Meaning that they have an effect on the information initially read by the sensor, not post-processing.
(I would be surprised if this varied from camera to camera which is why I haven't specified my exact camera. Also, I'm not asking for an explanation of what the settings do, though a "sound bite" that I can easily remember when I'm out with my camera would be a welcome extra.)
Standard apology: if this question has been asked before, I apologise and would appreciate knowing which question to look for the answers in. Also, I didn't have a clue what to tag this!