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Thread: No manual with new Canon P&S

  1. #1

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    No manual with new Canon P&S

    My wife is a good photographer who isn't interested in dragging a DSLR around. She's had a Canon SD900 for a few years, which allows quite a bit of control, and she gets very good results. She just got the newly released SD4000IS as an upgrade.

    But we were very disappointed to discover that there's no manual in the box. There's a "quick start guide" of about 30 pages, but no user's manual. Very disappointing for a camera that allows exposure compensation, custom white balance, AE lock, FE lock, and lot of other semi-manual adjustments.

    I know this is a broad trend for all kinds of products, but I still find it discouraging. She got a real manual with her SD900, about 3 years ago.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S


  3. #3

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Thanks, Colin;

    We downloaded it. But I keep the manual for my 500D and both my flashes in my camera bag. If I'm out somewhere doing something, I want to be able to check in the book to see why the setting I thought would make something happen doesn't work. We also checked the Canon site, and you can't even buy a printed copy of the manual: apparently it doesn't exist.

    We can print it, of course: I'll have to see if I can rotate it and print it two pages per page, double-sided.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  4. #4
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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Look for a field guide, it may take some time before it's printed but they usually offer more detail than the manufacturer's manual. I have a 200 page manual for my DSLR but it's basically a large print verison of the point and shoot manual. Field guides offer a lot of hidden functions and also the author's "real" opinion of the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    Thanks, Colin;

    We downloaded it. But I keep the manual for my 500D and both my flashes in my camera bag. If I'm out somewhere doing something, I want to be able to check in the book to see why the setting I thought would make something happen doesn't work. We also checked the Canon site, and you can't even buy a printed copy of the manual: apparently it doesn't exist.

    We can print it, of course: I'll have to see if I can rotate it and print it two pages per page, double-sided.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  5. #5

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    An even better option if you have a smart phone like an iPhone or Blackberry is to just carry an electronic version of all these manuals.

  6. #6

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Two good points: I've read the field guide for my 500D, although I don't carry it. It will definitely be a better resource. And putting it on the smartphone is better than having it in the bag. I sometimes leave the bag in the car, but I'm never without my BBy: I get the bends.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Perhaps a good plan B might be to just read the book a few times - taking a few notes whilst you do it - and then just keep the notes with you?

  8. #8

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Sounds way too organized for me.

    Seriously, the things that I have problems with tend to be little "gotchas." Once I look them up under pressure, I remember them. Like using the stupid zoom button to get to master mode on the 580 flash. The first time I wanted to use it as master in the real world, I forgot which button to push.

    Although it's true I probably would have made a note of that one.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  9. #9

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Hopefully you mean the 580 Mk II - the 580 has a switch on the bottom

    That's the joy of the more modern cameras ... you can program the flashes from the menu on the camera.

  10. #10

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Yep - the II. But I wish they'd kept the switch.

    I can set the custom functions from the 500D, but never thought to see if I can change master/slave: I'll have to check that. It would be convenient.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  11. #11

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    Look for "Wireless Set" under the zoom controls on the menu.

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    I'll be darned! You're right, Colin. This is sweet: it's much more understandable than little glyphs, and it even works with my off-camera extension cord. Thanks a million! Amazing the things you learn here.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  13. #13

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    No worries

    Although to be honest, one does get pretty used to manipulating the controls directly off the flash fairly quickly. The classic "gotcha's" with the 580EX series is when the hit is tilted all the way down and you're wondering why the display is flashing - wondering why it still flashes when told not to, but set as a master controller (it still emits the pre-flash to communicate to the other flashes) - wondering why it's zoomed to 14mm (diffuser panel not fully retracted) - or won't zoom with the lens (not in the straight-ahead position).

  14. #14

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    Re: No manual with new Canon P&S

    I've run into all of those, except the pre-flash: I probably haven't noticed because I have limited experience in setting up complex light groups. The diffuser panel, in particular, got me a couple of times, until it penetrated my skull.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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