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begining photography on a EOS 20d

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Anonymous
May 18, 2005 11:59:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the cost
for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
camera from (that's better than the manual)?

One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so I
may have to relearn things I already learned previously. And aside
from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?
Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
best settings?

Sorry for the stupid / many questions but I just want to see if I'm
being stupid for considering this camera to begin with.
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 12:16:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 18 May 2005 07:59:10 -0500, beginner wrote:

>I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
>question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
>is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the cost
>for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
>course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
>difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
>camera from (that's better than the manual)?
>
>One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so I
>may have to relearn things I already learned previously. And aside
>from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
>before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?
>Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
>best settings?
>
>Sorry for the stupid / many questions but I just want to see if I'm
>being stupid for considering this camera to begin with.

For the questions you are asking you would be better getting a simpler
camera and learning the basics of exposure and composition. Yes there
are book out there which you should read about the basics which apply
to all cameras.


******************************************************************

"The past is foreign country: they do things differently there."

_The Go-Between_
L.P. Hartley
1895 - 1972
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 12:26:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

This is an interesting question, at one time I would tell a beginner to
buy a Pentax K1000, for 20 years it was my answer it was a $100-$200
solution. Now it is a whole different ball game. It seems only the
higher end cameras have the functions that allow you to actually learn
photography. True composition can be learned from any camera, but to
learn how to work with light and not just set everything on auto you
need a manual function that relates to good photography books. Most of
these are written for film or by folks using DSLRs. The D20 fits this
requirement, you can probably save a little money and go for a Nikon
D70, the new DRebel 350 or either of the Pentax DSLRs. But get
something that it is relativly easy to use in manual.

Tom
Related resources
May 18, 2005 1:34:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

beginner wrote:
> I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
> question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
> is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the
cost
> for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
> course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
> difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
> camera from (that's better than the manual)?
>
> One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so
I
> may have to relearn things I already learned previously. And aside
> from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
> before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?
> Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
> best settings?
>
> Sorry for the stupid / many questions but I just want to see if I'm
> being stupid for considering this camera to begin with.

I'll give you a different point of view - I'm a tyro myself, have been
for 37 of the last 42 years.....

I think you'll find the whole dSLR thing too intimidating. The
post-processing is reason enough to avoid dSLRs as a beginner; if
you're not facile with a computer it could be a killer. I personally
know an older lady who is an artist (a painter), has been using SLR
film cameras for 30 years for recording her painting subjects and is
darned good. She bought a Canon dRebel and PS 7 about a year ago, used
it for 2 months and hasn't got a single good photo from it - and never
will.... she's very good at getting a nice image onto a piece of film,
but the post-processing required by a dSLR is completely beyond her.
She's very frustrated by it - she knows the potential is there, she's
seen the wonderful pics on the internet. But, she doesn't have the
technical knowledge, or experience with digital cameras (good and bad)
to get the idea behind a digital SLR.

I think you should start with a good "prosumer" level digicam, like the
Oly C-7070 or 8080, Panasonic FZ-20, Nikon 8800, Konica-Minolta A200,
etc. etc. (whatever you like). You can keep it on "P" or "Auto" mode
for learning to properly compose shots, and you'll have the flexibility
of aperture, shutter, and full manual modes available; manual white
balance, ISO and exposure compensation, etc.etc. Most will do RAW files
when you're ready to take that step. The idea is, though, that you
first dip your toe in, then the leg, then the torso, then full
immersion; much less frustrating that way. And, most important, you'll
have fully printable results as soon as you press the trigger, not
after an hour of slaving over photoshop....

Anyways, just my opinion. Good luck, whatever you decide.
ECM
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 3:28:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<beginner> wrote in message
news:32em81pl36ukjvrh15fhj2015sdu61nnbj@4ax.com...
>I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
> question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
> is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the cost
> for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
> course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
> difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
> camera from (that's better than the manual)?
>
> One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so I
> may have to relearn things I already learned previously. And aside
> from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
> before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?
> Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
> best settings?

You can learn photography with any camera that works. If you want to learn
a lot, then the 20D is a good choice as it is in the prosumer category which
means that it has most of the features and capabilities of professional
gear. Also, it has basic modes which allow it to function as a simple point
and shoot camera. Finally, since it uses interchangeable lenses, it can
grow with you as you advance.

I find the 20D easier to use than the 300D.
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 7:30:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 5/18/05 7:59 AM, in article 32em81pl36ukjvrh15fhj2015sdu61nnbj@4ax.com,
"beginner" <beginner> wrote:

> I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
> question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
> is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the cost
> for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
> course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
> difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
> camera from (that's better than the manual)?
>
> One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so I
> may have to relearn things I already learned previously. And aside
> from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
> before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?
> Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
> best settings?
>
> Sorry for the stupid / many questions but I just want to see if I'm
> being stupid for considering this camera to begin with.

I don't think that you are stupid at all for considering the 20D as a
beginner's camera. Most start with a simple camera because that is all they
can afford; if money is not a major factor there is no reason for a beginner
to *have* to start with a simple camera. For one thing the 20D, like many
digitals, has a full auto mode that allows you to simply point and shoot. I
don't really recommend using it much but it is always there to fall back on.
The 20D manual itself is a good place to start reading. You won't remember
everything but you will in the future know where to look to to find
something. As far as good third party books are concerned, specific to the
20D, I am not aware of any. Any beginners book on photography (digital or
not) will introduce you to the concepts of exposure, depth of field,
lighting, etc, etc. One very good book, that is sometimes used as a text
book, is "Photography, Eighth Edition," London, Upton etc. published by
Pearson - Prentice Hall.
I would recommend that you start shooting in the 'P' mode and then do some
experimenting in the aperture priority and shutter priority modes. Do use
the camera frequently. One of the great things about digital is that you
are not wasting film every time you experiment. So shoot lots of exposures
in various conditions and look at the results to see what happens. You can
always delete all of your mistakes, and you may find that some of your
images are real winners!
Chuck
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 9:08:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<beginner> wrote in message
news:32em81pl36ukjvrh15fhj2015sdu61nnbj@4ax.com...


> I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
> question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
> is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the cost
> for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
> course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
> difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
> camera from (that's better than the manual)?

You should start with something like a Canon AE-1. That will force you to
*learn* to shoot. Else you might end up in "green" aka "idiot" mode on the
camera for the rest of your life wondering why your exposures seem to be hit
or miss.

Read "The Camera", "The Negative" and "The Print" by Ansel Adams. And get
"Photography"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0131896091/qid=1...

or

http://tinyurl.com/79qo6

> One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so I
> may have to relearn things I already learned previously.

Don't do that. Shoot every DAY. It doesn't take a second to pick up the
camera. It helps to take it with you every where you go. That's what the
shoulder strap is for. ;) 

> And aside
> from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
> before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?

Best is a matter of taste. What is important is that you learn to repeat
the settings that produce the results that you want to produce - that
accomplish your artistic intent.

> Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
> best settings?

I've taken over 10,000 photos in the last 4 years. I still don't know the
"best" settings because every situation is different. But these days my
initial guesses are more often right than wrong - that's a reverse from 2
years ago. :) 

> Sorry for the stupid / many questions but I just want to see if I'm
> being stupid for considering this camera to begin with.

Not at all stupid! It's exciting that you're considering getting into
photography. My last piece of advice is don't be timid. Just jump right
in. That will get your interest up and you'll be surprised how much you
learn just by trying. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Enjoy and have
FUN!

Cheers.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
>
>
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 9:38:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Far from being "stupid," your questions are, in my view, vital to
anyone considering getting into photography. Perhaps you can add to
your questions: What am I going to do with my photographs?

Will they reside on a hard drive and never be seen anywhere but on a
computer screen, a web page? Will they be printed 40x60 inches, framed
in gold and hung in the Louvre? Will they be vacation shots never
printed more than 4x6, then sent to grandma at Christmas? Will I be
bidding on product photography where I must have absolute color
control? Will I send them to a stock photo agency that will make me
rich? Will I become a photojournalist and cover the Iraq war? Is my
main motivation getting a new toy? And so forth... After answering
lots of end-result questions, your hardware choice may become easier.

One possibility is to get the 20D and use it on full automatic until
you have a good reason to change one of its settings. When in
automatic mode, the camera is very smart about exposing and focusing
under a wide variety of conditions. It is, in fact, an excellent
point-and-shoot camera and it can print to an inkjet printer without
using a computer.

Having had a Canon G1, G2, D60 and 10D, the one regret I have is that
I didn't shoot all photos in raw file format. Thousands of images I'll
not be able to capture again are stored in jpeg files. A few years ago
the resulting print quality would have been acceptable; today it is
not.
--David



>I know no matter how much I try to describe myself before asking this
>question, I'll omit something relevant so I won't bother. Anyway
>is it stupid to consider buying a Canon Eos 20d (forget about the cost
>for this discussion) and learning photography while using it? Of
>course I'd read the manual but do you think the 20d's menu is too
>difficult for a beginner to understand. Any good books to learn this
>camera from (that's better than the manual)?
>
>One of my biggest fears is that I won't use the camera every week so I
>may have to relearn things I already learned previously. And aside
>from experimenting, is there a way to learn what settings are best
>before taking the picture (assuming you are using manual settings)?
>Do you have to learn just by taking 1000's of pictures to know the
>best settings?
>
>Sorry for the stupid / many questions but I just want to see if I'm
>being stupid for considering this camera to begin with.
!