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Old Oct 20, 2008, 1:32 PM   #1
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I have recently been given an Olympus E-410 as a gift from my husband. It is a lovely camera, but beyond my mind! I have read and re read the manual and still feel lost.

I hope to be able to ask a load of silly but genuine questions to you all.

I am very relieved to find this message board

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Old Oct 20, 2008, 3:43 PM   #2
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Make sure to visit the Olympus dSLR Forum and you'll be able to get some tips from our members on using the E-410.

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Old Oct 21, 2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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Don't feel to bad about being overwhelmed. Just like reading a car manual doesn't teach you how to drive, reading a camera manual doesn't teach you how to be a photographer. It just tells you where everything is.

Your camera has a fully automatic mode - you can start by using that. The next step is the other 'scene' modes - so you can dial in one of those as appropriate (probably has a landscape, portrait, action/sports modes etc...). Those are your training wheels - really no different than a digicam.

The next step in the evolution is to learn some basic principles of photography - exposure, composition, depth-of-field, stop-action, motion blur, etc. etc. Those are really independent of the camera. Take a course, get books from the library or research on-line but really don't get focused in on 'how do I use my E-410'. That's the tough way to do things. There are a lot of features you may never use. If you go at it from learning the principles and learn WHEN to shoot shutter priority vs. aperture priotity and WHEN to use exposure compensation and WHEN you want a lot of DOF or a little bit of DOF (all things independent of the camera) then the manual points you to the dial, button or menu option that changes those things.

What I'm trying to say is - the 'HOW' is easy - 15 minutes with a manual will show you 'HOW' to do things with a camera. It's the WHY that's critical. Not unlike driving. How difficult is it for you to get into a new car and operate it? Not to tough once you know how to drive. But just like driving there are a lot of variables in photography so there's no simple 2page cheat-sheet that will tell you what to do in every shooting situation.

Hope that ramble made sense. There's a great group of people at Steve's and the Oly crowd is very friendly and helpful. Don't hesitate to ask questions. We all started off knowing nothing about photography.

Good luck and welcome!
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