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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 10 Apr 2014 (Thursday) 06:20
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Any Advice ?

 
Unclelevi
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Apr 10, 2014 06:20 |  #1

I just got a Canon EOS 20D. I'm studying the owner's manual, but are there any other tips I should know that may not be covered ? This is my first digital camera. I have a lot of learning ahead.




  
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Qlayer2
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Apr 10, 2014 07:19 |  #2

Welcome to the forums. Is this your first SLR camera, or your first digital camera?

You can find a lot of great information in the stickies posted at the top of the forum sections. Be careful though- some of them contain a lot of information to digest in one sitting. If this is your first SLR, I recommend Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure- it contains a wealth of information and lots of examples explaining the exposure triangle.

You can also check out this thread dedicated to the 20d/30d camera bodies.




  
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Unclelevi
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Apr 10, 2014 07:34 |  #3

I should have said- This isn't my first SLR, but is my first digital camera. I have these lenses for it also: a 58mm, a 28-105 and a 75-300. I also have a good tripod and a good camera backpack to keep everything in.




  
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Apr 10, 2014 07:48 |  #4

Coming from film myself I can tell you this. The cameras work the same way in most ways. You can change ISO for the situation instead of changing film which a great feature. A digital sensor does not have as much latitude as film did which made it more forgiving. Also when you took film in most people did not know they corrected colour, etc for you.

So with digital you can to do that if you want to. You might find digital a little disappointing at first. My guess you will start shooting in Jpeg. I would suggest you learn about and shoot in RAW. Did your camera come with Canons Digital Photo Professional disk?

Here is a good site to start learning. The first 4 videos tell people what is new. Start with the 5th - What Are RAW images.

http://www.learn.usa.c​anon.com …rials/dpp_tutor​ials.shtml (external link)

Later you can move onto software like Adobe Lightroom, etc that has all types of additional enhancements.


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gfspencer
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Apr 10, 2014 07:48 as a reply to  @ Unclelevi's post |  #5

Go to Canon's website where you will find some general photography tips. (They might have something that is specific to the 20D. I'm not sure.) Check out Amazon for books about the 20D.

The main thing is to have fun and shoot all the pictures that you can. IMHO that's the best way to learn.


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sandpiper
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Apr 10, 2014 07:52 |  #6

Hi, and welcome to POTN.

I had a 20D for several years and it is a good camera. Whilst it lags behind more recent cameras in some capabilities, such as low light shooting, used in normal conditions it produces great quality results.

As for tips, I wouldn't know where to begin :lol: Without knowing what you want to shoot, the style you like, what general camera knowledge you may have etc. The world of digital shooting is a vast and complex array of things that you may never want to use, need to use or may be the most important thing in the world for your next shoot.

I came to the 20D after using film SLRs, and I found the transition very easy as so much was the same in principle. So, a lot of what you may need to learn you may know already if you have shot with film.

OK, some general tips.

Try and stay out of fully automatic use ("green box" mode). It tries to do everything for you, but doesn't actually KNOW what you want it to do, so can cock it up for you. Green box also blocks you from using a lot of things that most of us consider important. Semi-auto modes, such as P / Av or Tv give you much more control over what is happening, whilst still leaving enough automation to make life easy while you learn.

Try not to use "all-points" active autofocus, it is far better to pick a single focus point yourself and place it on what you want in focus. Leaving all points active essentially tells the camera to pick a point over what IT thinks is the subject and focus on that. It will tend to go for the nearest thing, so your subject can be out of focus but the bush off to one side, but nearer the camera, looks terrific. You can alter the chosen point by cycling through all the options with the wheel control, but it is easier if you assign the AF point control to the joystick (in custom functions) as then you just need to tap the joystick in the direction of the point you want, or press it in for centre point. This gives much, much faster selection of points in fast changing situations.

Use One shot focus for stationary subjects, AI servo focus for moving subjects and stay the heck away from ever using "AI focus". Again, this is an auto mode which tries to decide which of the first two you should be using, but gets it wrong quite often and you end up trying to focus on a moving subject and the camera has locked focus on where it WAS rather than tracking it with AI servo.

Learning to read the histogram (and the "blinkies") will help you with exposures. There are youtube tutorials for this (and indeed most things you are likely to need - including using the 20D, just search for Canon 20D tutorials). There is a technique called "exposing to the right", which involves slightly overexposing the shot, but not going off the right side of the histogram, then bringing it back down a little in editing. This helps preserve shadow detail and reduce noise. Again youtube is your teacher.

Shooting "raw", rather than jpeg will give you the best starting point for editing your image later, if that is what you want to do. Jpeg is good for getting good images straight from the camera, but bakes in some editing steps with the in camera conversion and then throws away a lot of data with the compression. You can still improve jpegs with post processing but sometimes you need the raw file to do what you want.

If you are new to digital, and editing, then you may be better off starting with jpegs and learning raw (which needs different software, although you may have got that with the camera if it came with the original discs) once you start to get more confident with editing.

It may be worth setting your camera to shoot "raw and jpeg" and get the best of both worlds. You can set aside the raw files at first and just use the jpegs, keeping the raws for later use if you start working in raw. I started in digital just shooting jpeg and after a year or so moved over to shooting raw and doing more processing on my images. My big regret then was that I couldn't go back to my first years shots and redo them with much improved editing, because I didn't have the raw data to work with. Had I originally kept the raw files somewhere, I could have done more with them.

OK, that is a few things off the top of my head, but there are many things that could be helpful and way too many to try to go into withouyt knowing more about you, your current experience and what you want to do.

POTN is, in general, a great community and there are a lot of us who like to help out others. As you get into using your new camera, if any things occur to you just pop back on here with more specific questions and there will be help on hand I am sure. There are some very knowledgable people on here and any problems or questions you have can be sorted out, I am sure.

Have fun with your new toy.




  
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joedlh
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Apr 10, 2014 07:52 |  #7

The 20D has an APS-C size sensor, which is smaller than 35mm film. This produces what is known as a crop factor. Your wide angle lenses will not be as wide and you will have more reach with your telephotos, compared to a 35mm film camera.


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Duckhunter250
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Apr 10, 2014 07:55 |  #8

Welcome to the forum. You can learn more here than you would ever want to know!! You have to be a little thick skinned at times, but ask lots of questions as there are very good people here willing to help.

This is a good place to start.

http://photonotes.org/​articles/beginner-faq/ (external link)



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Apr 10, 2014 08:43 |  #9

sandpiper wrote in post #16823335 (external link)
It may be worth setting your camera to shoot "raw and jpeg" and get the best of both worlds. You can set aside the raw files at first and just use the jpegs, keeping the raws for later use if you start working in raw. I started in digital just shooting jpeg and after a year or so moved over to shooting raw and doing more processing on my images. My big regret then was that I couldn't go back to my first years shots and redo them with much improved editing, because I didn't have the raw data to work with. Had I originally kept the raw files somewhere, I could have done more with them.

Good point. I started with Jpeg, then Jpeg and RAW as I started to learn about RAW and then just RAW. Starting with both Jpeg and RAW gives you the best of both worlds during the learning curve.


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Gregg.Siam
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Apr 10, 2014 09:12 as a reply to  @ digital paradise's post |  #10

A digital sensor does not have as much latitude as film did which made it more forgiving.

What do you mean?


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Apr 10, 2014 09:19 |  #11

I figured someone would say something about that :D. Film had more dynamic range may have been a better term. I owned the 20D so I am basing it on that. Modern day sensors are a whole different thing.


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Apr 10, 2014 09:32 |  #12

Gregg.Siam wrote in post #16823498 (external link)
What do you mean?

Film has a much higher DR than most digital cameras (certainly more than a 20D), so you were able to under- or over-expose and correct it during processing to a much greater extent than you can with digital.


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Apr 10, 2014 09:33 |  #13

If you get tired of reading, youtube has some good camera specific videos that are a good supplement to reading. I'd spend time studying and shooting. Go back and forth instead of waiting to shoot(not saying that you are).


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Apr 10, 2014 09:40 |  #14

Learn what your histogram is, and what it tells you. There is a trick for exposing digital compared to film. In film you tried to expose for the middle tones, and let the highlights and shadows fall where they may. With digital if you expose to keep information in the brightest parts of the scene, you can manipulate the middle tones and shadows.




  
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Apr 10, 2014 09:52 |  #15

archer1960 wrote in post #16823532 (external link)
Film has a much higher DR than most digital cameras (certainly more than a 20D), so you were able to under- or over-expose and correct it during processing to a much greater extent than you can with digital.

When I purchased my 20D digital was just on the verge of really taking off. I attended a free digital orientation they spent a good portion of time going over that. I guess they found people coming from film were not impressed. Post processing was in its infancy for the masses at the time.


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