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Old Jul 6, 2008, 7:49 PM   #1
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I just purchased a Canon G9, and would like to learn (in layman's terms) what all the different settings are, when to use them,and how they effect the photo. The descriptions in the manual are vague at best. I get some of the obvious ones in P mode, such as color and scene settings. I am also lost on when to use ISO settings and the different levels of aperture and flash.

Is there a section of this site that would cover this, or another website?

Thanks!!!
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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Many people speak highly of Dennis Curtin's Books.

See http://www.shortcourses.com/store/canon-g9.html
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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TCav stole my thunder! I was going to suggest that book!

I think that you might have to go this route, BostonBull. Granted, it isn't a freebie, and you might be able to gradually amass similar information (for free) through asking many, many questions in the Canon forums on this site and other forums on other sites which might be more specialized towards the G9, but I'm guessing that you might like to start getting the most out of your camera now, rather than after a course of months.

I think that the book is something like $25.00 -- and you might even get lucky and find a used copy on Amazon.

Grant
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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The most important thing you can look at is your camera's manual. The next step is to get an EXIF viewer (almost certianly one came with your camera). Those will confuse you with the references to f/stop, aperature, shutter speed, ISO, saturation, contrast, ... Pick on each of those as a separate topic to study while realizing that many are tightly interconnected.

To learn: shoot, read, think, shoot, think, read, shoot, ... If you are lucky, it never ends.
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 1:04 PM   #5
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I'm going to suggest looking for a book on PHOTOGRAPHY. Manuals are useful if you already understand photography. They will tell you HOW to change settings but they're pretty poor at telling you WHY to change them or in understanding the principles involved. Spend a little time learning actual principles of photography and you'll quickly see most of the 'pre-fab' scene modes are a waste of time. They don't maximize the potential of your camera.

Photography and it's principles don't change with the camera you're using - at least not once you get to a camera that gives you manual control. Learn the basics of photography and 15 minutes with a camera and it's manual and you'll be good-to-go.

Other than that, I agree with the rest of Bill's advice:
Quote:
To learn: shoot, read, think, shoot, think, read, shoot, ... If you are lucky, it never ends.
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 9:24 AM   #6
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I will still contend that the manual is the most important single reference. Perhaps what I did not emphasize enough was that there is no single reference that will answer all questions. The main reason I contend that the manual is the most important is that it contains information that isn't found in other places, other than perhaps an aftermarket 3rd party reference manual.

The manual will not tell you how to make a great photo - no single book will do that. It will give clues about what to study. When do you want a wide aperature? Small aperature? Slow shutter speed? High ISO?

If you are always stumbling over the mechanics of the camera, you will have a more difficult time dealing with all the choices that need to be made. IMHO, the most important of those is figuring out where to stand when you push the shutter release.

I also agree that if someone knows photography, 15 min with the manual will be enough to be able to run the camera on manual and aperature priority- the ways a knowledgable photographer is likely to use the camera. However, itt might take more time to figure out the finer points of various autofocus and flash options.
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 12:02 PM   #7
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Bill,

Good discussion. Let me word my point this way: In photography we often stress using the right tool for the job: Use a tripod when it's called for, a fast lens when it's called for, a flash when it's called for etc. A camera manual's job is to teach someone how to operate the camera. That's it's primary job. That is it's purpose. The OP is struggling with the WHYs of photography. So, that's why IMO, it's better to use a tool who'se primary job is describing the WHY - a book on photography.

Manuals can be good for the job they were designed for - telling you where the controls are. But they're almost always poor with regard to WHY to use those controls. At best you might get a paragraph - often barely a sentance. Those photography books talk about "where to stand" and they provide more examples of the techniques they discuss.

Absolutely there are nuances that make the manual essential (learning different metering modes the camera employs that are not universal, or the various focus modes and how they operate. So I'm with yo there. I just think using a manual to learn photography is like relying on anti-shake when you should be using a tripod.

Still, a healthy discussion. And, in the end, whatever works for the individual is what matters most. Very often it just takes a different source of info, worded differently that 'clicks' in the user's mind. With that thought in mind - to the OP, whichever source you start off with: if you come to a topic that just isn't making sense - some searches on the internet or posts in forums are a terriffic way to find alternative ways of explaining that aspect of photography. One of those ways will click with you.


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