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Author Topic: DSLR handling tips  (Read 2712 times)

phemark

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DSLR handling tips
« on: March 29, 2012, 06:09:43 PM »
Hi,

I am getting 60D in couple of days and I wanted to ask if you could share some tips on DSLR handling for a beginner. Things, that I could start using right in the beginning, so I wouldn't learn doing something the long or inconvenient way, or even incorrectly.

For instance, i read in this forum about using AF button to focus, and then shutter only to take pictures (is this possible in 60D?).

Also, that I cant delete photos on camera - better to do that on the computer by formatting the card (is that right?).

Things that seems obvious to you, might not be so obvious to a new user, so if you have a particular way of doing something, which is faster or more convenient, please share it:)

Thanks!

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DSLR handling tips
« on: March 29, 2012, 06:09:43 PM »

samueljay

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 06:18:18 PM »
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a DSLR! :)

I am able to use the back button focus on my 550D / T2i, so I'm sure that you'd be able to on the 60D, it will be in the Custom Functions Menu :)

You can delete photos off the camera, but some people think it's a bad idea, and to delete them off your computer once you have them backed up. Also never format the card in the computer, always format the cards in camera :)

If I think of any tips I'll update this post for you, but I'm sure many others will be posting here to help you too!
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Cosk

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 06:40:22 PM »
Here are my tips... I'm making the assumption you are new to photography.  If not, you can ignore this :)

#1 Get a good DSLR Book (e.g. DSLR for Dummies)
#2 If you got a kit lens, ditch it for something that shoots down to f/2.8. 
#3 Get good photo management software: Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture
#4 Ditch the Canon strap (I like Domke or Gordy's straps)
#5: Get an extra battery (Adorama.com has cheap ones)
#6: Get the fastest memory cards you can buy... I prefer a few smaller/faster cards over one big one. 
#7: Get a prime lens to see what it can do (50mm 1.8 is a great place to start for just over $100... and you will find over time, your favorite photos were taken with this lens)


* Get in close... closer than you naturally would.
* Get down to eye level... if you are taking photos of children, on your knees.  If you're taking a photo of a dog, on your elbows.
* Move.  Don't just take a photo where you are- move around to see how the perspective changes.  Oh, and get in close.
* Isolate.  If you can see someone's head in the shot... then if their feet are also in the photo, it will be boring.  Get in close. 
* Learn to set your white balance for every shot... this will dramatically improve your images (or shoot RAW and do it in the software above)  Or better yet, do both. 
* Take lots of photos, and learn to delete 9 out of 10... the secret to being a great photographer is to delete the thousands of boring or bad photos before anyone ever sees them... only let people see your great ones.


« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 07:01:10 PM by Cosk »
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lynx0069

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 06:47:32 PM »
phemark......congrats on deciding to purchase a 60D, i just picked up a 60D a month ago as an upgrade from my XSi, and i love it
yes, you can use back button focus, it is in custom functions in the menu.....the orange camera icon.
it is  C.FnIV   i have mine set to 1, shutter button: metering start, AF-ON: meter & af start, * button: AE lock.
and i have never had hay problems with deleting photos in camera on my XSi or 20D, but i also format in camera most of the time.
i do recomend fast SD cards though......i use sandisk extreme myself, and i didnt even take the strap out of its bag, i use a black rapid, i highly recomend sling straps.
i also have a battery grip on order.....once i started using a grip on my XSi, i will always have one, improves the balace and handling greatly, especially with long lenses, like my 100-400.
i wish i knew a couple more tips for you, but i am still learning the 60D as well. once i get a lot more familiar with it, i plan on installing magic lantern on to it
good luck

     jim

wickidwombat

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 07:53:35 PM »
Hi,

I am getting 60D in couple of days and I wanted to ask if you could share some tips on DSLR handling for a beginner. Things, that I could start using right in the beginning, so I wouldn't learn doing something the long or inconvenient way, or even incorrectly.

For instance, i read in this forum about using AF button to focus, and then shutter only to take pictures (is this possible in 60D?).

Also, that I cant delete photos on camera - better to do that on the computer by formatting the card (is that right?).

Things that seems obvious to you, might not be so obvious to a new user, so if you have a particular way of doing something, which is faster or more convenient, please share it:)

Thanks!

I prefer back button focus I am pretty sure you can at very least assign the * button to this function on the 60D if it doesnt have the AF-On button

not deleting images on the card is an urban myth dont worry about it

for the pop up flash i got my parents one of these for their 600D it works brilliantly in doors
the orange and blue are rubbich but with the white one it makes the light sooo much better from the popup flash

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260971777053

for $1.80 cant go wrong really :D
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ronderick

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 04:41:01 AM »
Hi,

I am getting 60D in couple of days and I wanted to ask if you could share some tips on DSLR handling for a beginner. Things, that I could start using right in the beginning, so I wouldn't learn doing something the long or inconvenient way, or even incorrectly.

For instance, i read in this forum about using AF button to focus, and then shutter only to take pictures (is this possible in 60D?).

Also, that I cant delete photos on camera - better to do that on the computer by formatting the card (is that right?).

Things that seems obvious to you, might not be so obvious to a new user, so if you have a particular way of doing something, which is faster or more convenient, please share it:)

Thanks!

Congrats on taking your first step into the world of DSLR!

My suggestion is to start with familiarizing yourself with two things: switching lenses and cleaning lenses.

I remember great fun shooting with new DSLR - until I bought my second lens and found out I knew nothing about the changing mechanism. I ended up with a few scratches on the lens mount, contact point, and even a little on the lens - as well as dust specs on the sensor. But eventually you'll learn after some casualties  8)

As for lens/body cleaning, just get familiar with the maintenance gadgets like Lenspen, disposable lens wipes, cleaning cloth, blower, etc. And try to avoid cleaning the sensor at this stage (well, I was taught not to mess with the sensor - period).
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phemark

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 05:54:19 AM »
Thanks for your suggestions

One thing I shouldve told you is that even I am new to DSLR photography, I am reading internet/forums/magazines/books about photography, and I used manual settings on my girlfriends bridge camera, so a know a bit to start with. Also, I have ordered all the the accessories i will need in the beginning - extra battery, SD cards (sandisk extreme), strap, bag, lens cover, filter, cheap diffuser, cleaning cloth etc. I am just waiting for 60D + 15-85 to arrive

As for the second lens, i will get 50mm 1.8 soon, but first i just want to get familiar with the camera.

Tips that i want from you, is probably simple things you use everyday with your DSLR, but new person might do the same thing differently, and if he does it for a long period, he might not be able/want to switch to correct/faster way of doing thing :)

As someone mentioned grip, i think i will skip it for the time being. Will see later if i need it or not.

Anything else you can think of (like formating SD in camera, or suggested settings) please share :)

Also, is there any way that all those auto modes (portrait, landscape etc.) could be used as custom functions (there is only one in 60D, so adding more would be very useful)


P.S. I have read 60d manual

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 05:54:19 AM »

japhoto

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 07:34:51 AM »
For "never" formatting your card in a computer as suggested by samueljay, I'd say why is that?

Especially if you're using the card with multiple cameras, for example I've gone from Oly E-520 to E-3 to Canon 7D and had a try with 1Ds MkII, I always format the card in the computer before putting it in a new camera. And when I do, I don't use the "quick format" option.

This is because every camera formats the card "in their own way" and I had a big problem when I went from the E-520 to the E-3 and formatting the card in the computer solved it. The camera would take a few photos ok, then freeze with mirror up and wouldn't reset until the batteries were taken out. So yeah, learned my lesson there.

I mean what's bad about formatting the card in a computer if you format it again when you put it back in the camera with it's own utility? For some reason I don't think new cards are formatted in camera when they ship out...

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 09:24:39 AM »
Thanks for your suggestions

One thing I shouldve told you is that even I am new to DSLR photography, I am reading internet/forums/magazines/books about photography, and I used manual settings on my girlfriends bridge camera, so a know a bit to start with. Also, I have ordered all the the accessories i will need in the beginning - extra battery, SD cards (sandisk extreme), strap, bag, lens cover, filter, cheap diffuser, cleaning cloth etc. I am just waiting for 60D + 15-85 to arrive

As for the second lens, i will get 50mm 1.8 soon, but first i just want to get familiar with the camera.

Tips that i want from you, is probably simple things you use everyday with your DSLR, but new person might do the same thing differently, and if he does it for a long period, he might not be able/want to switch to correct/faster way of doing thing :)

As someone mentioned grip, i think i will skip it for the time being. Will see later if i need it or not.

Anything else you can think of (like formating SD in camera, or suggested settings) please share :)

Also, is there any way that all those auto modes (portrait, landscape etc.) could be used as custom functions (there is only one in 60D, so adding more would be very useful)


P.S. I have read 60d manual

Experiment, experiment, experiment!  Try the picture modes and see if they work well for you or if you'd rather do without them.  Not all camera features are useful for all people.  Use the ones that make sense to you and ones that would save you time.  Use Live View and regular AF and test out the lenses as you get them.  Make sure that they perform as expected.  Experiment with aperture and shutter priority with your lenses, and develop a feel for what settings can be used when.  Play with matrix and spot metering and exposure compensation to combat different lighting situations, and have fun doing it!

samueljay

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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 08:31:51 PM »
For "never" formatting your card in a computer as suggested by samueljay, I'd say why is that?

Especially if you're using the card with multiple cameras, for example I've gone from Oly E-520 to E-3 to Canon 7D and had a try with 1Ds MkII, I always format the card in the computer before putting it in a new camera. And when I do, I don't use the "quick format" option.

This is because every camera formats the card "in their own way" and I had a big problem when I went from the E-520 to the E-3 and formatting the card in the computer solved it. The camera would take a few photos ok, then freeze with mirror up and wouldn't reset until the batteries were taken out. So yeah, learned my lesson there.

I mean what's bad about formatting the card in a computer if you format it again when you put it back in the camera with it's own utility? For some reason I don't think new cards are formatted in camera when they ship out...
I format in camera so as that the card is formatted the way that that camera likes. As for using different cameras with the same memory cards, in that case, maybe formatting on a computer is a good way to go, but it's something I would never do. I would have separate memory cards for each camera (and I do for my compact and dslr and any other device).

Like you said, the camera format's "in their own way" I don't know if I'm being overly anal, but I've read it a bunch of times that it's better to format in camera as then the camera and card are both set exactly how the camera would like it.

To quote wedding photographer Jeff Ascough:

Quote
On the subject of reusing cards I never, ever, ever use the computer to format the cards - I always format the cards in the camera they are to be used in. Another thing I never do is delete files on the fly in camera as this is just asking for trouble. If you feel the need to do this, may I suggest you spend some money and buy some extra cards? :D

No, you're right, new cards are not sent our pre-formatted in camera, that would be stupid, what camera would they choose? And a lot of cards wouldn't even be used in a camera, that's why, when I get a new card, I format it in camera as soon as I put it in.

Whatever works for you though, since you swap cards in different camera's formatting on a PC is probably the best way to go about it since it's a uniform format that every camera should be able to read/write to.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 08:34:27 PM by samueljay »
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Re: DSLR handling tips
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 08:31:51 PM »