May 05, 2007

My New Toy

Last week I bought a Canon Rebel Eos XTI, 10.1-mega pixel camera. The Canon Website says that the camera is easy to use. However, I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it for a week now. It is not user friendly. My old Sony 5 mega pixel camera was. So far I’ve shot over 500 pictures trying to understand how to use the darn thing, and I have several seemingly unsolvable problems. First, I cannot decrease the opening of the lens (the f stop) in order to increase depth of field while the camera is in “Landscape” mode. There is another setting that will allow me to go to f 22 and higher, but not with the “Landscape” setting. I know there must be ways to do this, it just doesn’t work the way an old-fashioned 35 mm SLR camera use to. Second, when I shoot a landscape or seascape, the foreground is always slightly out of focus. That is why I wish to have more control over depth of field in this setting. Third, there are so many controls that I cannot hope to remember all of them until I have played with the camera under various conditions and in various situations during the next few months, which means that I will not be able to return the camera if I decide I do not
like it.

So, I’ve decided to create some study sheets with various shooting problems outlined with possible solutions. I’ll pour over the instruction manual, which is about 200 pages, and use the sheets which will include a blank grid to write in data concerning camera settings, ISO, shutter speed, f-stop that I am able to control, as well as other settings using the camera’s presets. I will take the camera to the beach this afternoon and set it up with my tripod so all the pictures will be of the exact same scene. I’ll shoot and number each image, and note the settings. I can then download the images to my computer and make comparisons to see if I am able to gain control over the blurred image problem, while keeping the depth and breadth of color the camera’s preset “landscape” setting allows. Unfortunately, this solution to my dilemma will take at least several days to accomplish, and meanwhile I must wait to get serious with the camera.

Additionally, I use the camera as an aid to drawing - that is I shoot objects and scenes that I can edit/montage in order to draw/paint them. So I shall have to postpone that function of the camera until after I have solved these basic camera-setting problems.

Ah well, such is life , or as a dear friend use to say, "Asi es la vida."

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