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Old Dec 30, 2005, 11:20 AM   #1
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I have had the Kodak P850 since Black Friday. Even though I have taken many pics, I still don't know much about the camera itself. I am always using the Auto mode to be safe and get a pic I will like. I have read the manual 3 times already but can't figure out for the life of me how to change the settings (maybe is the "newbie" in me)

I know the camera is good, I just have not figured out yet how to use it to its max.

I am a hands on learner, so when I am reading a book I must have the camera next to me, which I always do, but nothing has "clicked" yet. Are there any good books that could help me with the camera itself? I have a couple of books but are mainly about photography, it is great to know how to get a great pic, it is just frustrating not knowing how to make my camera do that

If there is any hope for me, I would greatly appreciate if you could point me in the right direction.
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 3:59 PM   #2
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Hi very crafty,

Getting to really know the P850 can take some time :-)
My suggestion is to have patience and take it one step at a time :-)

The first thing you can try is to switch from Auto to the P mode, which is a more customizable version of the Auto mode. Many of the basic settings you change in Auto mode (and the scenes mode) are reset when the camera is powered off, while they are saved for the P, A, S and M mode. You can start using the P mode just as you used the Auto mode. One thing to check first after you switched to the P mode is whether the exposure compensation is set to 0.0 (you need to use the comand dial and the set button to do that as explained in the manual). Once you learn how to adjust the exposure you will change that; some cameras had a +2.0 exposure compensation right out of the box, and that would lead to washed out pictures.

Take a look at the following short course to get a brief (and gentle) introduction to various concepts and settings: http://www.shortcourses.com/using/index.htm

Don't hesitate to ask questions on the forum. And use your camera as much as possible -learning by trial and error is the best way :-)

Good luck,
Ken
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 4:22 PM   #3
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If you have never had a film camera before and that is your first digital camera, then you have to learn the photography basics first. And that is the exposure- aperture (the lens opening) and shutter speed settings, ISO sensitivity, focusing, zooming, White Balance, the use of different flash modes, exposure metering modes and so on. Only then you will be able to go further than Auto mode. An as said before go step by step. Start with the exposure understanding. As long as you will maintain the interest you will progress rapidly. And then one day you will notice that you know quite a lot but you will never be a Pro:sad:... But never mind I hope you are a pro in something else!

I think there must be a dozen of books on (digital) photography in english.

Good luck, Maris
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot!

You guessed right, I've never had a film camera and even though this is my third digital camera, it is the first time I actually care to learn how to get/take better pics.

I have been scrapbooking for years and thought it was about time to take good/great pics to begin with.

I can play with the outcome a little bit with my PSP7 (but not much). I guess that if I take the pics right from the beggining little to none work is needed afterwards.

I am completely new at this, but hope to get a whole lot better . I am doing my part so far, I am reading photography articles like crazy - I just need more time so I can play with my camera settings more. I wish days were 24+ hours:roll:
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 2:31 AM   #5
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What you said there at the end is the key. Play with the settings and view the results. If it helps when you take a good shot lets say in bright sunlight facing away from the sun Then write down the settings you used then face at 90 degrees from the sun and shoot another one and check the results. Then move the camera settings till you get a good shot at that 90 degrees away from the sun. After that turn back to the original position and using the settings you wrote down take another photo. See if they are the same. Play with the settings but do it in a purposeful manner, and record what you did. Then come back the next day and do it all over again! That's how you learn the camera. Until you get that new knowledge into use it will not be your's. Shoot shoot and shoot some more. Have a Happy New Year and shoot lots of photos!


Dawg
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 5:45 AM   #6
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I did the same mistake, as probably you, a year ago- I hurried and was impatient. I took a lot of shots without understanding the basics. Mostly it is about exposure. Take a book, read one chapter (lets say about aperture), take your camera and experiment. Like Big Dawg said. Then read the next chapter (lets say about shutter speed- it's settings are directly related to aperture settings!) and experiment again. And you will soon feel more comfortable with these things.

Good luck and Happy New Year to every body in this forum.

Maris.
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 11:44 AM   #7
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A happy New Year to you Maris!

Dawg
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 3:11 PM   #8
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Getting to know any camera withmulitple settings takes some time. This is not a quirk of KODAK. It's the way it is. Learning to use a camera is an on going lesson. It doesn't just shoot good pictures becaue you want it to. It takes time and trial and error. It takes learning your controls and understanding what your setting and why. It sounds to me like you setthe shutter to be open for a long time with the flash on. Then it takes a bit of time to proccess that long shutter, and when youdidn'tknow what was happening all you got was a picture of light.
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