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Old May 9, 2007, 4:21 PM   #1
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I am tired of relying on Auto and getting mixed results and I am ready to venture outside the comfort zone and into the unknown of freedom and control. I am not a professional(DUH! ) and just use my camera for general use, but I want the best quality I can get. I don't have a tripod. I would like some general all-purpose settings to try for various situations such as sports or fast scenes, indoors, outdoors etc.
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Old May 10, 2007, 2:00 AM   #2
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if you want the best quality here are my suggestions:

stick to the lowest iso setting using P mode

open the image stabilization

and hold your camera with two hands :-)
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Old May 10, 2007, 11:40 AM   #3
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In addition to the above response (good advice), I would add a couple;
  1. Don't use the flash unless you have to. The color is generally better with natural light, and the flash tends to bounce off of windows, retinas, and other object. Also remember that the flash is only designed to reach up to 17 feet (per Canon), and if you use it at longer distances, the camera will assume it's getting more flash assist than it is and will squelch the lighting down, giving you dark photos. Armed with this knowledge, you may safely snicker at those other spectators using their mini flashes from 50 feet away.[/*]
  2. For fast action, don't insist on stopping the action completely. Your photos may be more satisfying in these situations with some motion blur to convey the action. Practice following subjects as they move past you, blurring the background while keeping the subject in focus.
  3. Get a tripod, if you don't have one. More importantly, get a tripod you'll actually use. Image stabilization and two-handed shooting only get you so far. For this camera, I found a compact Manfrotto tripod with a pistol grip that I really like for around $80, but there are plenty of less expensive options from Sunpak or Slik. When comparing tripods, make sure you're thinking of what it looks like folded in addition to what it looks like when ready to shoot. A monster tripod may be great in a studio, but if it's too bulky or heavy to throw in a backpack, you'll leave it at home. Needless to say, if you're at the ball field and the tripod is at home, your shots won't be any steadier.
  4. Take way more pictures than you think you should, and sort them out later on your computer. This includes using one of the multiple-shot settings (regular or high speed) instead of single frame. I often find that if I take a burst of 3 to 5 shots, one will be better than the others. This is especially tru of taking posed group photos -- I took team photos for my son's crew team (80 kids plus coaches) and gave them a count-down to the shot. I didn't tell them I was actually taking about 6 shots before, during, and after reaching "zero." I was able to pick the best shot of each scene, look like a pro, and even fix some of the kids who looked away in one shot by dropping in another head from a different shot.[/*]
  5. Play with every setting you can find. If you don't know what it does, look it up in the book or ask here or through other resources.[/*]
Good luck.
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Old May 24, 2007, 11:28 PM   #4
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Michaelda, I just started venturing out myself. I upgraded from s1 to s3 recently and want to use this camera for everything it is capable of. Being a novice,I decided to look for help and found this great ebook. I recommend it, and have learned alot about photography, and the S3 itself. It may be helpful to you as it was for me.

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