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Amateur wanna-be photographer

by NoPro / October 26, 2004 12:52 PM PDT

hey All,

I am an aspiring photographer with lots to learn. I have an non-digital SLR but am still learning about the basics: f-stops, exposure compensations, how to focus, etc. I've spent too much money on developing film to see my mistakes and now want to buy a manual digital camera that will help me learn faster with fewer printing expenses.

Can anyone recommend:
1. a good book to learn how to use manual features more effectively?

2. a good digital camera to practice manual features?

"Good" for me would probably mean: easy to use features, good quality images, lots to play with but also not overly complicated. I'm thinking of the Canon Powershot A75 or S500 or Konica Dimage Xg or Fuji S5100.

PS: One frustration of my first non-manual digital camera is not being able to take action shots - by action I mean, a bride walking slowly down the aisle. Is this me? or my camera (a basic Fuji A203)?

Thanks for any advice

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It depends on the amount of light.
by Kiddpeat / October 26, 2004 3:11 PM PDT

When the bride comes down the aisle, the church is probably fairly dark. The camera will hold the shutter open longer, and movement, including your own, will cause the picture to blur. Be careful to hold it still long enough in low light conditions.

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Re: Amateur wanna-be photographer
by jump1127 / October 26, 2004 9:55 PM PDT

I used to face the similar problem that you had many years ago. It takes time to know and correct all the mistakes. Fortunately, the digital cameras came around and fastly evolved. Eventually, you need the camera that equipped with the manual mode. The Canon IXUS S500 is a good compact camera; however, it's not fully equipped with the manual mode. Canon A, S, or G series are better equipped for the manual feature. There, you can try and test every aspect you really want to know. For instance, right aperture, shutter speed, white-balance, under and over lighting exposure, and so on. In addition, the DSLR camera is sill too expensive and not fully free from multiply factor ( CCD or CMOS censor is not the same size as 35mm SLR camera ). I'd wait for a few more years until the DSLR camera become more affordable without the multiplier, like the conventional film camera. Until then, my current Canon L-lense will be fully useful again. So, spend wisely. Do not over-invest for the digital camera now. The camera's technology hasn't reached the maturity yet. Good luck.

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Re: Amateur wanna-be photographer
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 27, 2004 12:36 AM PDT

The Canon S500, Konica Xg and the Fuji A203 are point and shoot cameras and would not be a good choice for a "amateur wanna-be photographer".

The Canon A75 has all the manual over-ride controls and would be a good choice for you.

Here is one link to a short photography course:

I suggest you visit the Kodak site ( and near the top of the page, click on "Taking Great Pictures". They have lots of good information. Who knows more about photography than Kodak?

Taking action shots. You want a fast shutter speed.
Many of the digital cameras have a "scene" mode that is called sports (or something similar). That sets a fast shutter speed.

The Canon A75 also has a shutter priority setting that lets you choose the shutter speed, the camera automatically sets the aperature for that speed.

You will find that digital cameras are not instantanious in taking a photo. There is a short shutter lag. The camera manufacturers recommend that you press the shutter button half way down to let the autofocus lock and then wait for the action to occur. Then press the button the rest of the way down to complete the photo. Takes a little practice but then it becomes second nature.

With a camera like the A75, don't try to learn the entire owners manual at one time. You can't do it.
Start out in the automatic mode, take lots of photos. Review the results and see what can be improved. Then learn each feature one-at-a-time.


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