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Old Nov 18, 2002, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default Hate to be a nuisance.....

I'm going to be known as the mouthy one. Sorry I keep asking so many questions but this is like learning a brand new language! I appreciate the help you guys keep offering.

After reading the reviews and the manual of the camera I'm trying out, I'm discovering that at this point, I'm basically a point-and-shoot kind of girl. I don't yet have the ability to look at each shot and think, "Hmm, if I adjust the ISO and white balance and divide the polarization of the color spectrum by pi (I made that last part up), this would be a better picture." I may eventually learn how to do all that stuff, but are my pictures going to suffer until I do?

In other words, if my camera has a bunch of bells and whistles and I don't use them and just choose the auto functions, will I not get the pictures I want? If so, then I'd better start studying!

I hope this question makes sense.
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 6:19 AM   #2
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The default setting for your camera should be auto. Using the auto setting for your camera provides you with point and shoot. Depress your shutter button halfway, you should see a light or beep to indicate that the camera has auto focused and ready for shooting. This procedure will help eliminate blurry pics. What camera model do you have?
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 6:20 AM   #3
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Default Trying on for size

I'm trying out the Kodak DX 3900.
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 6:46 AM   #4
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Try out your 'auto' cam in the widest possible set of shooting: Outdoor: low light, bright light, near far,various zooms, action, landscape, portrait, scenes with mixed bright and dark, pics of garden with detail.

Indoor: flash, subject at different distances, Zoom at various settings, flash with room lighting on/off. Indoor, flash off, Indoor natural daylight from window - flash on and off. Candle-lit dinner party. Indoor through a window.

Try these, compare results and you will better understand the limitations of auto mode point and shoot, so when you next take that kind of difficult pic, you can get better results by controlling the cam yourself. In most cases, you will always get a pic. but the cam warning symbols will start to make more sense!
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 11:28 AM   #5
lg
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Excellent question, whimzie! Here's a few specific difficult situations voxmagna didn't mention you might want to experiment with:

1. Subjects that are heavily backlit - spot metering and fill-in flash are good here.

2. Multiple subjects of varying distances from camera - auto tries to set the best point to focus on, but may focus on a subject other than what you intended. Try prefocusing on the most important subject, and then framing your shot. If this doesn't work, then you'll need to shoot aperture priority and increase your F stop until what you want is all in focus.

3. Action shots are blurred - either use flash, or set camera for shutter priority using a faster shutter speed.

4. Shooting sports through a fence - now this is tough! Autofocus will preferentially focus on the regular pattern of the fence, blurring your subject. Try putting your camera up to the fence; if you can't do this, then learn how to use manual focus.

These are just a few, and there are many others, but the items above are the first situations I encountered requiring settings other than auto. Okay, go have some fun playing with the different settings on your camera, and stay tuned for the wealth information available from more of the real experts like voxmagna when they chime in!
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 12:26 PM   #6
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Also try shooting moving objects. Practice on Cars. Track the object by moving your camera with the object. Press the shutter button halfway and when the object is at the right point for click the shutter button fully. I think moving objects are best shot at a 45 degree angel before or after they reach you.
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