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Old Jun 19, 2008, 4:34 AM   #1
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anyone read/got a good 450d book? its my 1st dSLR but i have used the manual setting on my pany FZ30
Want to make sure i get the most out of the new camera

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Old Jun 19, 2008, 6:39 AM   #2
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Yes - check out http://www.shortcourses.com/store/

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"These books are excellent at combining photography instructions and tips with the workings of particular cameras. I had one for my original Digital Rebel and it was indispensible. Just got the one for the 450d last week and it looks just as good. You can order it in hard copy (spiral bound), pdf download, CD, or combination. I like the hard copy so I can carry it with me but the electronic versions offer links that may be useful.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Enjoy your 450d. I am about 300 pictures in and love it.
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Old Jun 19, 2008, 2:57 PM   #3
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Photography is photography. My advice is to get books on photography as well as research on the web. The manual tells you how to apply settings on a particular camera. People new to DSLRs get too hung up on how to access "all the features". The truth is if you understand exposure, understand the metering modes and understand how the focus system works that's 95% of it right there.

I shoot with a professional camera. 60% of the time I'm in AV mode and 40% of the time I'm in manual exposure. The only other adjustments I need to make on the camera itself is changing the focus point and setting exposure compensation (if in AV mode), focus mode and of course how to dial in aperture, ISO and shutter. 30 minutes with a camera manual and I'll know everything I need to aboutHOW to use that camera to do those things. But the KEY is understanding photography so you know why and when to do those things. Exposure, DOF, composition, technique are all camera independent.

In fact, the only thing old film based photography books don't talk about is white balance. The rest really hasn't changed.

For example - all those nice prefab portrait, landscape, nightscene, kids etc modes your camera has? Guess what? Pro bodies don't even have them. Why? Because a knowledge of the principles is more important than a pre-fab mode that can't come close to pushing the limits of the camera.

I'm not saying don't get a book like the other person suggested. What I'm saying is ignore the cheapo books that concentrate on all the gimmicks. Concentrate on books that talk about photography principles. Then, given 1/2 hour with any camera and manual and you'll know how to use it. Rather than being lost because you're stuck on "I need this gimmick and my new camera calls it something else". It really isn't that daunting.

I also strongly encourage research and questions on sites like this for specific genres. Rather than trying to learn everything about all types of photography. Get a general knowledge of the concepts I mention above. Then take a deep dive into one specific area. You'll find that staying on that one area and practicing that for a few months you'll learn the principles much quicker. Because you won't keep getting tripped up by all the nuances each type of photography takes. If you constantly bounce back and forth between macro, action, portrait, landscape, flash, architecture you'll get overburdened with the nuances of knowledge each requires to be somewhat successful. But after you have a general grip, spending a few months primarily on one of those you'll really start to grasp things.

And, if you really want to learn, as you do that shoot 100% in manual. It will force you to learn DOF and exposure (and the tripple constraint of aperture, ISO and shutter speed). You don't have to shoot in manual after that because you won't always have time to set all 3 variables. But you'll gain an understanding for what each does. And you'll find that given a dozen different settings of the three that all provide the exact same exposure, what the affect will be if you shoot at ISO 400 1/500 f4 vs ISO 100 1/30 F8 (which both give the same exposure but depending on your subject will have vastly different looks in the final picture).

And, of course, composition rules are the same regardless. So you want to learn some things about composition in each genre you're interested in.

All I'm saying is pick your material based upon learning photography. Learning to use a camera is a piece of cake if you know photography.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 8:00 AM   #4
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thanks for your feedback, based on that, heres my view.
The manual is too much based on purely what the buttons do, which, unless you know all about photography, is hard to follow and understand.
I got the book in download format recommended above, and am working my way through it.
Its excellent!! it not only explains where the functions are of the camera, what they do, but also how they effect the picture, along with photographic techniques etc etc.

Its a real good combination of "explaining the camera itself" and "photography lessons". Well its good for me at my level (which is a small understanding of basic photography, past point and shoot)

Sure if you already know all about what aperature, DOF, (the tecky stuff) then a pure photography only book would be fine.

Your an expert in picking up a camera and mastering it fast, similarly im an expert in computers and dont need some indepth training manual, id jump on any PC and be up and running with it in 5 minutes. But some novice would need a 'user guide' explaining how the start menu works and how that effects your interaction with he PC. Horses for courses.

Just my thoughts. (i will be getting a book on photography later, once i get the hang of this bit :-)
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