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Thread: I need help! :(

  1. #1
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    I need help! :(

    I just bought a Canon Rebel Xt. I am a complete beginner and the sales guy assured me I would be able to figure out how to use it. I bought it for an upcoming trip to egypt, but Ihave less thana month to kinda get the hang of it before I have to go. I'm feeling like I shold just return it but I really want to give it a try.
    Can someone recommend a really good website... I am soo lost reading the manual. I'm looking for an easy step by step way of learning.
    Or maybe it would be better to take a class. I usually hate classes, and I really don't have the money for it right now, btu maybe I need it?

    TIA

  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Member ozbuc's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    I am very new with my pentax DSLR as well but I am getting better. Take your camera out every day and shoot. Try to learn one aspect of photography each time you go out. When I started I was throwing out 5 shots for every one I kept. Now the ratio is 2-3 to 1. Go to your local library and take out a few books or better yet go to the local book store and browse through the bargain bin for last years version of books for beginners. Go out and shoot every day. Make mistakes and learn a little each time you do. Like they say if you ain't falling down you ain't learning. Go out and shoot every day. Ask questions here. Take photo's of the tree in front of your house, the old lady down the street, your ugly cousin Earl. Just shoot every day and learn a little each time. Like all hobbies you will get out of it what you put in.

  4. #4
    Sue
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    Re: I need help! :(

    practice, practice, practice!! I have the same camera, and have been learning it for the past 3 years!! it takes great pictures, you won't regret purchasing it,, it's dandy!! don't get discouraged with it,, just play around with it,, that's the beauty of digital,, you can throw out the ones that don't turn out,, and learn from them... there is no magical lesson or something that'll ZAP you into knowing all the ins and outs of it,, be patient with it, and you'll get it :-)

    take pics and post them when you get back from your trip!!

    Sue

  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    Practice is key. Like others have said, get out and shoot. Or stay at home and shoot. Either way, the only way you are going to learn how to use the camera is to practice. Don't let all the setting get the best of you. Take it in small chunks. Start out by putting the camera on full auto mode and start shooting and then move on from there. Switch to aperture priority mode and play with your aperture to see how it affects your depth of field. Play with shutter priority mode and see how your shutter speed can freeze movement, or give you a blurry image.
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  6. #6
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    Re: I need help! :(

    thanks for the advice!
    I'm gonna keep trying.. I just feel all I'm doing is ponting and shooting and understanding nothing more, and all the pictures are looking the same. I'll check out that website, and I think I'm gonna look for a couple of book at the library, but it seems finding a local guy who knows something and paying him for a bit of time an expertise might be the way for me to go

  7. #7
    Member ozbuc's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    This wont help for your trip to Egypt but another suggestion I would make is to check out your local community college. Quite often they have photo classes as do some camera shops.

  8. #8
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    Can you tell us more about what you're trying to learn? You know you don't have to learn it all right away. Pointing and shooting for a while is ok. But if you're having specific problems or questions, we can probably help a lot. In the meantime, learning the basic principles of photography is probably a good idea. We have a very good article on exposure here on the site:

    Photography Exposure Primer >>

    That article should help you understand more about what the manual controls on your camera do and help you realize what you don't know. And discovering what you don't know always helps give you more direction towards learning more
    Photo-John

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  9. #9
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    Re: I need help! :(

    Yeah, I was looking into taking a couple classes, I probably still will if I decide to keep that camera, but for now I just dont' have the time. There seem to be some ok one's in the area here. I can get a someone to come teach me a bit for about 50 bucks and hour, I figure I'll need a couple of hours, which is about the same $ as the seminars.

    Right now I just don't see a difference with this camera, or any other Point&shoot camera I've had. I want something that will take good quality photos and a lot of the places will be in low light so I was told that I really needed to get a dlsr camera for that. I'd love to learn more but for now I'm thinking it seems liek I shoudl just return it and get a camera for 1/4 the cost because it doesn't seem like it's any different. sorry if that sounds stupid I don't know any technical terms, I dont' know what any of the buttons on here are for other than to turn it on and put it on autofocus. Will it really make a difference having this camera if I don't know how to use it? I don't know when, if ever, I am supposed to change settings... it's all just very complicated. And they tell me it's easy!!!

  10. #10
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    It's Better

    Quote Originally Posted by cherac
    Will it really make a difference having this camera if I don't know how to use it? I don't know when, if ever, I am supposed to change settings... it's all just very complicated. And they tell me it's easy!!!
    Trust me, it's better. The main difference between a compact camera and a digital SLR is the size of the pixels. Your XT has way bigger pixels than a compact camera. As a result, it can capture much cleaner images in low light. Low noise is one of the lesser known, but most important benefits of having a digital SLR instead of a compact camera. If you trade your XT in for a compact camera, you will notice the difference in low light photos.

    Keep it on the Green Mode and don't worry so much. I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm still learning. It's not going to happen overnight. But it sure is nice knowing that your camera isn't going to be a problem.
    Last edited by Photo-John; 07-21-2008 at 06:10 PM.
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  11. #11
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    Post one of your low light pics and you'll get lots of advice and help.
    Even a dslr isn't going to give you good low light shots if you don't make the right adjustments in aperture and shutter speed. And if the light is low enough you're going to need a tripod or some steadying device for longer shutter speeds.
    But post a pic and we'll get a better idea of what you need to know.
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  12. #12
    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    It's quite simple. Get a book on basic photographic theory at your local barnes and noble. Just getting a basic hang of what "exposure", "focus", "aperture," and "depth of field" means and how all these variables interact can help you to understand how you use your camera. The camera itself shouldn't be too complex when you understand what these photographic terms and variables mean. You'll understand that longer shutter speeds let in more light, and so to compensate you might need to close the lens (the aperture) to let less light in. Then you'll also understand that more things will be in focus if you do this (no blurry backgrounds like the ones you use for portraits). You might think a book won't help but trust me, you learn the theory and when you figure out how to adjust focus, exposure, aperture, and ISO on your camera (four different buttons probably) then you'll have the skills to take almost any picture out there. And that's easily doable in under a month. You won't get composition down, that takes experience, as does reacting quickly for action shots or getting perfect white balance (you'll learn this from a book too), but you will know what it takes to use the semi-automatic modes on your camera to take fantastic images without getting mediocre ones from the full auto mode or a point and shoot.
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  13. #13
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    Re: I need help! :(

    well the links above have helped me a little already. Not so much taking better pictures... but at least I understand some of the technical parts of it a little more. (even if I don't know how to manipulte anything yet) I'm planning on going by the library tonight to check out some books. Maybe I'll try to take some photos tonight and see if I can post them. I dont' have too much yet other then what I've been taking at the tennis that's going on right now.

  14. #14
    Member ozbuc's Avatar
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    Re: I need help! :(

    Way to go! Keep at it. A little more effort and you'll be on your way to a great new hobby.

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