I just bought a new Canon Xsi and dont know how to use it?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by heybigd, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. heybigd

    heybigd TPF Noob!

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    Obviously I know the basics, I know how to take pictures, etc. but dont know all the functions of the camera? I have had a lot of fun takin pics of my daughter and some scenery pics as well but my wifes a professional model (the main reason we got the camera) and we would really like to start puting the camera to good use. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, read the user's manual front to back...then do it again.

    A digital camera, even a DSLR, is just a camera. It's a tool for creating photographs. A lot of the bells & whistles can make things easier (or more confusing) but the basics of the camera operation are the same as they ever were. You use shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO) to control your exposure.

    If you are not up to speed on the basics of Exposure...then I'd suggest starting there. Once you have a good handle on that, you should be able to know which modes to use on your camera (and which ones to avoid).
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pick up manual
    Read manual
    Read manual again
    Read manual again - but this time play with the camera at the same time
    Shoot -
    Keep shooting

    then come the difficult part - get the shots off your camera - select a few of the best (5 at most) and then post them up here to a website like this one and ask for some feedback on your work. Make sure that you also add in the details of the shot as well - how you shot it; what the lighting was like (indoors, cloudly, sunny); what shooting mode you used (even if it was auto - no shame in that); what settings you (or the camera) chose to use for the shot (you can get this info from the exif data - go to the properties of the photo and then the details tab - scroll down and you can find details of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO used for that shot); and finally the kit you used to take the shot (lens, camera, tripod? flash? etc...)

    That will get you (hopefully) some good feedback on the shot and some ideas for how you can change the way you are viewing and thinking about taking a shot in order to get an improved overall performance from your gear.

    Also I strongly recomend reading Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson since that book will greatly help you start to understand Aperture, shutter speed and ISO; how they relait together into giving you an exposure and also how to not only take a correct exposure but also a creativly correct exposure.

    You are going to end up taking 1000s of shots that are nothing more than experiments - some might fail and some might work really well - look at the failed shots - see the settings and come to understand why the shot "failed" for you - don't ever just waste them to the bin - you can learn from them just as much as you can from the shots that worked really well

    And always have your camera manual with you! :)
     
  4. Jeffrey Byrnes

    Jeffrey Byrnes TPF Noob!

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    Go to youtube and search for tutorials on how to use and opporate your camera. There should be a few useful videos on there that will make it all very clear. Reading the manual will help you tremendously, but some times seeing people use it helps even more.
     
  5. adolan20

    adolan20 TPF Noob!

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    Find your camera specific book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. It would be easier to learn than the manual, and would include some tips and tricks,
     
  6. heybigd

    heybigd TPF Noob!

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    I agree that I need to read the manual completely, my problem has been that the camera manual is so dang small that it makes it difficult for me to read, but I will however purchase a camera specific book from one of the major book retailers to help me with this.
     
  7. couture87

    couture87 TPF Noob!

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    Heybigd, Did you purchase just the Canon xsi body or did you purchase it along with extra lens? how much did it cost you for the Canon xsi? I am looking into purchasing it!
     
  8. Micah

    Micah TPF Noob!

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    read the book.
     
  9. Miss Sony

    Miss Sony TPF Noob!

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    That's a good idea, I never even thought about using youtube for anything other than music videos :)
     
  10. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Purchase one or all of the following:

    The Digital Photography Book - Scott Kelby
    The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2 - Scott Kelby
    Understanding Exposure Photography Book - Bryan Peterson

    and if you want
    The Digital Photography Companion - Derrick Story

    All very helpful.

    I really suggest starting at the "green square mode" or AUTO, and then gradually working your way up... from AUTO to Program to eventually Manual.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I could tell you to learn about light, but you need to learn about photography first.
     
  12. Guindalf

    Guindalf TPF Noob!

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    I got mine from B&H complete with 18-55 and 55-250 IS lenses for $790 total. This was in January, so not too long ago.
     

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