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Old Jan 22, 2007, 8:26 AM   #1
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Quick Question!



Aside from asking questions here, is there a guide I can read to learn how to use my camera. I just bought the Canon Rebel XTi and am starting to explore the functionality of the camera.

I am brand new to cameras, photography and need a guide in layman's terms that is not 500 pages. I have been reading the user guide and it is very good, but I want to get more information so as to fully understand the capabilities.

If there is a free online guide that anyone can recommend it would be appreciated!



Thanks in Advance!
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Old Jan 22, 2007, 10:08 AM   #2
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I'm going to suggest you change the way you're looking at the problem. Don't look at it from the standpoint "how do I use all the features of this camera", look at it from this standpoint:

what are the principles of photography, especially as they apply to the types of photography YOU do. The principles are the EXACT same no matter what DSLR you have - in fact, many of the principles are the same no matter what camera you have - including film (the noticable difference being that DSLRs have much shallower depth-of-field than digicams ).

The idea is to know/understand these principles then the manual will tell you how to control the settings you need to control on that particular camera.

Read books/articles/white papers on these principles: exposure, depth of field, composition. This is what's important to know. Knowing WHEN to use exposure compensation is the important thing - not necessarily how to achieve it on the XT (that's the easy part).

The Canon web site used to have a series of tutorials on photographic principles - it's not a bad starting point. But I recommend a book from the library. Something like: Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is a good primer. Books to me are better than on-line for getting started because you can take a book 'out in the field' with you - it's a little tougher to do that with an online tutorial. Once you start gaining an understanding, there are great articles on www.luminous-landscape.com - in their 'understanding' section.

By approaching the problem this way you gain an understanding of WHY and not just WHAT. In my opinion, the books that are written towards a specific camera tend to focus too much on the controls and not enough on the principles. You get amazing advice like: Use Sports mode for taking action photos or portraitmode for taking portraits- well gee, that's helpful. The problem is sports mode doesn't always work and is portrait mode still OK when I have 2 or 3 people or 2 rows or 3 rows?And it still doesn't help you advance past the pre-set modes. Learning the principles of photography allows you to ditch the prefab modes that don't always work because your shooting situations aren't that cookie-cutter.

And once you know that, and you recognize the terms, the manual is easy to follow to understand how to access the necessary controls on your camera.
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 11:34 AM   #3
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go to canons website and you will find a tutorial for the xti
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 2:08 PM   #4
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if you are new to the photography you need something like this:
http://www.photozone.de/4Technique/index.html

rather then a camera tutorial.

go through all the links on the left side: the descriptions are short with great examples.

when you know what you need to accomplish when taking a picture you can look up the manual and see how to set certain settings.


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Old Feb 16, 2007, 1:41 PM   #5
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DVD's work for me. Sometimes I feel to lazy to read!

The 'blue crane digital' series is very informative.


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Old Feb 17, 2007, 4:54 PM   #6
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www.elitevideo.com do an xti dvd pretty good
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 7:49 PM   #7
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I think this may be what you're looking for...

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 3:40 PM   #8
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JohnG your advice ( Read books/articles/white papers on these principles: exposure, depth of field, composition. This is what's important to know. Knowing WHEN to use exposure compensation is the important thing - not necessarily how to achieve it on the XT (that's the easy part). ) is the most elegant answer to what should be a blantantly obvious choice.

Being the over excited novice to dSLR cameras I, in my exuberance almost jumped down the wrong path. Thanks for the advice and the link to the Luminous Landscape website.
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