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Help Please for a Relative Newcomer (EOS300d)

Panthos 11 3
9 Jun 2007 5:04PM
Hello All

I have just found this site and after browsing some of the topics for a while feel it may be just what I am looking for, I am fairly new to the world of DSLR and photography in general but am a keen learner.

I have a Canon EOS300d and am still trying to get to grips with it, I have been taking photographs in Portrait, Landscape mode etc and have been analysing what settings have been used so I can try them in modes such as AV, TV or M The problem seems to be trying to duplicate what the auto functions are doing, No matter what I Try I cannot seem to duplicate the settings, As an example I took a picture in Portrait mode which came out quite well, ISO 100, 1/60 4.0 AWB and flash, The actual time after pressing the shutter button was very quick indeed, When I tried something similiar in M mode with the same settings the actaul time after pressing the shutter button was longer which surely does not help as far as shake goes.

Sorry If I seem to be missing something obvious but I though by experimenting with the modes used for automatic settings I might learn a little more

If anybody has any Help\tips\Tricks etc for using the DSLR initially It would be much appreciated if you could pass them on



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Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
9 Jun 2007 5:36PM
Hi Paul welcome to epz and the mad house. Why don`t you upload some images to the critique gallery for extra help.

woolybill1 Plus
11 23 72 United Kingdom
9 Jun 2007 6:07PM
Hello Paul,
Perhaps I might try a couple of general pointers to correct exposure. I'll stick to some basics and assume that you can leave focus to its own devices for the moment.

Essentially the relationship between shutter speed and aperture is fundamental. Using your camera in Aperture priority, setting your widest aperture (assume kit zoom lens f3.5) will force the camera to use a high shutter speed, so as you reduce the aperture (f4/f5.6/f8/f11 etc) the camera will automatically reduce the speed. Using Shutter priority operates the same system beginning with the speed rather than the aperture. If you set the aperture the camera will set the speed, and vice-versa.

For a classic landscape (remember this is a huge generalisation!) the narrower (smaller) the aperture the better, in order to keep everything in focus. Use aperture priority and something like f16. However, this will demand a slow shutter speed, so you will probably need to use a tripod. As a rule of thumb, any speed longer than 1/60th second is too slow for hand-held. For a classic portrait, look to f4/f5.6 and remember to focus on the eyes. You don't necessarily want everything in focus, especially if you're using an old white sheet as a background!

Use shutter priority when you need to 'stop the action'. Older books on photography used to give sample speeds such as 1/60th for somebody walking, 1/125th for a runner, 1/500th for a car. As you increase the shutter speed the aperture opens up; ultimately you will be operating fully open and have to increase the ISO to compensate.

I have no experience of Canon DSLRs so can't comment on shutter lag. But delay in the shutter firing should not contribute to camera shake (unless you tremble with panic) - it's the length of time the shutter is open which counts!

The settings you have mentioned are essentially pre-programmed; 1/60th at f4 sounds good for a portrait - but did it really need a flash? Setting aperture priority will give you the choice; setting portrait mode won't.

Relying on the camera's automation at the start can help you to learn about lens angles, zooming, composition and focus, but unless you start to apply an understanding of apertures and shutter speeds you will find it difficult to progress creatively. Rather than using the pre-programmed modes, experiment with aperture and shutter priority and see what results!

I hope this is of some use, if you have managed to read to the end! One last thing: at wider angles (18mm on you kit zoom I expect) you can usually get away with a slower shutter speed; using a longer lens (e.g. 100mm upwards) demands a faster speed, or a tripod.

I wish you all the best; and whatever you do, keep shooting!
lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
9 Jun 2007 6:31PM
Its well worth getting your hands on a copy of Understanding Exposure . A good read of that book and you won't need the auto settings again Wink
Panthos 11 3
10 Jun 2007 11:27AM
Thanks for the replies and useful comments, I have taken a look at the critique section and am not in the same league yet as some of the photographs on show, I am a beginner and feel I must get used to the camera first before posting some images, It's a pity there isn't a critique section for absolute beginners.

I have ordered the recommended book "Understanding Exposure" and hope that it will point me in the right direction.

I understand the comments around auto modes but I wanted to use them first and then try to recreate them and then make subtle changes to help understand what they did.

Once again thanks for the comments, I shall definately be staying here a while

malum Plus
14 622 1 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 2:43PM

Quote:As an example I took a picture in Portrait mode which came out quite well, ISO 100, 1/60 4.0 AWB and flash, The actual time after pressing the shutter button was very quick indeed, When I tried something similiar in M mode with the same settings the actaul time after pressing the shutter button was longer which surely does not help as far as shake goes.

1/60 is pretty quick (in terms of hearing it being slower than any other shutter speed), I'm sure it shouldn't have sounded like any longer unless it was actually longer (ie you set it wrong)
Squirrel 11 450 6 England
11 Jun 2007 5:28PM
When working in M mode you set both the shutter speed and the aperture. To set the shutter speed use the main dial. To set the aperture press the Aperture/Exposure compensation button (AV=/-) and while keeping it down use the main dial to alter the aperture size.
Regards Squirrel
Panthos 11 3
17 Jun 2007 11:18AM
Thanks for the continued comments, Just to reiterate what I was trying to do, I took a photograph using Portrait mode then used exactly the same settings in Manual mode, My idea was to make slight changes via manual mode so I could try and understand what the difference by increasing/decreasing aperture and shutter speed, The problem seems to be that using exactly the same settings that the portrait mode used the shutter speed seems to be slower, Is there anything else that could contribute to that happening.

Thanks for the suggestion for the 'Understanding Exposure' book , I ordered a copy from Amazon and will start reading it this week



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