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Thread: DSLR - first steps

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Noel

    DSLR - first steps

    I have recently purchased my first DSLR, a Canon 7D. I bought three EF lenses - 50mm f1.4, 17-85mm f4.0, and 70-300mm f4.0-f5.6. We are still getting acquainted, but I hope I will be able to adapt. First opportunity to practice was a short holiday last week, which included these from a visit to a small private zoo all early afternoon, not much activity. I have not edited at all except for resizing, as I wanted to preserve all attributes for C&C. Thanks for any comments.
    Mogo zoo_meerkat (EF 50mm f1.4, USM): f1.6, 1/8000, ISO160
    DSLR - first steps

    Mogo zoo_red panda (EF 17-85mm f4.0, IS USM): f5.6, 1/80, ISO100, 80mm
    DSLR - first steps

    Mogo zoo_white lion (EF 50mm f1.4, USM): f1.4, 1/6400, ISO100 - through a wire fence
    DSLR - first steps

    I also found this sea eagle down the beach one morning, looks like unfortunate rodent for lunch but I only had the point and shoot with me: Lumix TZ10, auto f4.9, 1/160, ISO80 (would have liked to have had the DSLR and a lot more experience).
    DSLR - first steps

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Frank Miller

    Re: DSLR - first steps

    Hi Noel, a zoo is an excellent location to start getting used to your new camera. Set yourself a specific goal that utilizes a feature of the camera and practice (with CiC feedback) until you are comfortable that you can configure the camera with your eye at the viewfinder for the scene at hand.

    At the same time you are learning to effectively use the camera settings, work on getting a pleasing composition for the subject at hand. Here is a link to a free e-book "11 Ways to Improve Your Photography" that can help you with learning composition: http://craftandvision.com/books/craft-and-vision/

  3. #3

    Re: DSLR - first steps

    friend, what should be the first to adjust and so on? aperture, white balance, shutter or ISO etc? any step by step?

  4. #4
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Phil Page

    Re: DSLR - first steps

    You've got a fast prime lens which will give you some nice shallow depth of field.

    I'd stick with Av Mode. Auto ISO at around a minimum shutter speed of around 1/80th and max ISO of 3200 for non moving subjects and shoot shoot shoot

    If you've got Photoshop or Lightroom, itmight be good to shoot RAW with auto WB and worry about changing the White Balance in the software later.

  5. #5

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    Noel

    Re: DSLR - first steps

    Hi Frank, Joel, and Phil. Thanks to all of you for your feedback.
    Frank, I like the goal setting advice – like learning to touch-type, it is easier if broken down into specific exercises. I think I will commence with selecting, setting and locking an appropriate auto focus option without taking my eye from the view finder (can anyone recommend any articles or tutorials on this?). Also, thanks for the link – I have downloaded and commenced reading.
    Joel, at this stage my intended process is to select ISO and WB, decide whether aperture or shutter most important, select appropriate priority and setting, adjust focal length, focus, then let the camera complete the exposure equation, and shoot. I may have an occasional lapse of discipline and omit one or two of those steps. I would appreciate any further advice on this.
    Phil, I love that 50mm f1.4 prime. It makes shallow DOF much easier, but the complicated part for me is getting the correct depth – e.g. my lion image becomes progressively softer. The other thing that baffles me is that with such a large aperture and decent light, the shutter becomes so fast (1/8000 for the meerkat at f1.6 and ISO 160) that I worry about reaching the limit and still being over exposed and having to compensate.
    I have Photoshop CS3, but the version of ACR I have compatible with this is not compatible with the CR2 format of the 7D. Does anyone know of a version of ACR that works with CR2 RAW and plugs into Ps CS3? I also have Canon DPP, but I am not that great with it yet. I am mainly using it to convert and save as .tiffs, then playing around in Ps. Attached photographs were shot in RAW+JPEG, and I posted the unedited JPG’s for C&C. I deferred attempting to adjust WB and exposure of the RAW images, awaiting any comments or suggestions that may assist with this.
    Thanks again for taking the time to respond and offer the benefit of your experience, much appreciated
    regards,
    - Noel

  6. #6

    Re: DSLR - first steps

    thanks casper...

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