Photography tutorials, understanding your camera and what those dials, buttons and menus actually do, it’s a virtual photography course:
Years ago, when I bought my first inexpensive film SLR, I bought a book on basic photography which helped me immensely. Just learning the basics on framing a photo, controlling and using depth of field and exposure speeds changed the quality of my photos dramatically. Like anything, getting a few fundamentals correct makes all the difference.
Next, your camera came with image editing software. Learn to use it. Ansel Adams did most of his work in the dark room. What took him hours or days you can do in minutes with software. Simple things like cropping your photos for greater effect, white balancing and enhancing brightness or contrast can take a dull photo and create something beautiful.
8 thoughts on “Using Your Canon or Nikon DSLR”
Gave my nice digital SLR camera to my daughter. Traveling I just carry a small digital camera that uses AA batteries because the kids are always losing the charger cords.
I have two beautiful photos I took in Venice framed now in my home.
Before we traveled to Peru for the Christmas/New Year holidays a few months ago, my son, who had not owned a fancy digital camera, but had used his girlfriend’s DSLR, bought a new “mirrorless” interchangeable lens camera. He bought a Sony Alpha 6300. It has a large size sensor, and interchangeable lenses like an DSLR, but it does not have a mechanical mirror box, so it is quite a bit smaller and lighter than a DSLR. He was concerned about the weight and size because he was hiking and backpacking for part of the trip. He loved the camera, and it took great pictures. I think that in a few years the so-called mirrorless cameras will take a lot of market share from the DSLRs.
I used my Canon S110, which I bought at Jonathan’s suggestion. It is smaller than a cell phone, but it takes great pictures. You do give up a lot of features, but the size and ease of use are worth it to me. The biggest problem with that type of camera is that it cannot take a shot of anything that is moving quickly and is not focused at infinity. For snap shots, it is fine.
I tried a Canon Powershot and wasn’t really impressed. I think that having owned a film SLR, I was frustrated that I did not have more control over the photos. To me, the ability to control basics like depth of field and shutter speed make an enormous difference in the range of photos I can make. Add to that the optics in a better camera, even an entry level DSLR like the Canon Rebel above, are far superior and make for much crisper photos, especially when it comes with image stabilization.
This Canon Bundle is a great deal for the money, and gives the user enormous capability for very little invested.
All of the Canon DSLRs are excellent, especially if you upgrade the lens. The Canon “mirrorless” models like the new EOS-M3 are also worth looking at. (I have the original version of the EOS-M and it is superb, albeit a bit slow in operation. The 22mm f/2 lens that came with it is as good as anything.)
The SLR is dead. The screens are so good that you don’t need a mirror anymore. As the screen gives you exactly what the sensor see’s, it is inherently superior.
I have a Sony A7r now and it’s a fine camera. I have not taken that many pictures with it yet but my output from it’s predecessor, my Fuji XE-1, another mirrorless camera, is there if you click on my name. I would not go back to an SLR with what’s available now.
The SLR is dead.
You are skilled in repeating group-think from online discussion forums.
Anyone shopping for a camera should try for himself and form his own conclusions.
Most high-end digital cameras now are excellent. However, different makes and models have different strong and weak points. Canon DSLRs are conventional but very refined and versatile. If you don’t mind the DSLR format you get something that is relatively inexpensive, well debugged, reliable, produces pleasing photos using default settings, is easy to use and has the widest selection of lenses and accessories. From what I have read Sony’s mirrorless cameras are excellent but still a bit rough around the edges and lack an adequate selection of lenses. The Alpha 6300 in particular looks very good for general and street shooting, though it’s a bit overpriced currently.
“You are skilled in repeating group-think from online discussion forums.”
I don’t do that. I started with a Nikon FM2 way back when it was fairly new and used it happily for many years. I fairly quickly discovered that the labs you send your stuff to, in the normal world, were largely crap. So I ordered up 100′ rolls of Fuji 50 and went to town. You can do E6 quite easily with an aquarium thermometer and I have over 10,000 slides I souped myself. I printed all my own stuff as well and generally had a blast. I can work an SLR.
I bought a lovely Chamonix 4×5 next and had quite a few happy years fooling with it. God’s own chimp screen and it’s where I started to use one. Another education learning how to use it and, for me, a lot of fun fooling with the technicalities of getting good scans. I could already soup pretty well, so that curve was fairly short, and scanning is a bit of a black art that I got fairly good at.
Anyhoo I bought a Fuji XE-1 because I like the pictures it produced and, happily shot my way into my local mountains. It was my baby for 3 years then I bought the A7r which h I have now.
Forums, well I was known on Large Format for a while but really to get information from knowledgeable people.
Oh yeah The screens are so good a mirror makes less sense every day. As well it’s the new cameras take amazing pictures. There are reasons many pro are switching to the Sony FF family and the image quality is a big one. The Fuji X family owns APS-C as far as I can see.
I used my Nikon F3 for years (20) and loved it. Now it just sits on my closet handle. Have a Canon G7 (old by today’s standards) which I like but since I got this iPhone 5S have been using that almost exclusively since I always have it with me. The resolution isn’t quite as good as the Canon. The 6 S is supposed to be better.
Have a friend who was a chief photographer for our local paper for 40+ years. Of course had the best – leica and Nikons. He just uses his iPhone now.
He said that most news organizations just issue their photographers a Smartphone now – they instantly upload their digital shots.
Obviously an SLR **should** take better pictures – guess if it is recent anyway – but it is that vs convenience and ease. And how much resolution do you need? Guess they balance light better too.
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