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simonp

Point and shoot to SLR

I've just been given a Canon DSLR (a 20D, I think, not collected it yet) on permanent loan and have absolutely no idea what to do with it, other than point it at stuff and press a button!

Are there any websites/books anyone recommends for tips on its (proper) use?
him

Have a read of this - Canon DSLR - The Ultimate Photographer's Guide

63MB pdf...

***EDIT*** LINK REMOVED...
Clunes

As a first step away from automatic get it in Aperture priority mode and start playing :)

Also, most point and shoot cameras produce very 'bright/colourful/saturated' images where SLR's tend not to straight out of camera so don't be put off straight away.
..

Simon,

I have a 20D and I'm quite happy with it so I hope that you are too. The manual is quite good and has lots of stuff that beginners will find useful. If you don't get one with the camera you should be able to find one to download but if not I have it in pdf and can I'll email it to you.

To get the best out of this camera you really need to shoot RAW and there is an excellent free package you can download called Rawshooter Essentials. There's also a pdf manual you can download. I love this package and use it all the time.

For processing TIFF's and JPEG's I use a busted version of CS2 (which will also process RAW) but there are many free packages available to download including GIMP which I personally don't like but some do. Another free one is Rawtherapee which can process RAW and JPEG files but as far as I know not on Mac's. There's a pdf manual for this to.

One thing that the 20D doesn't have is in built sensor cleaning so at some point you may get some spots on your pictures. If you need advice on how to check for contaminants on your sensor and how to clean it just let me know.

Good luck and just let me know if I can help at all.
simonp

Thanks for the info. I have picked the camera up this evening and it is indeed a 20D.There are 2 lenses with it, an 18-55 and a 75-300, so I guess this was some sort of package back in the days when it was new?

It is/was my dad's camera, but he has some sort of dementia and no longer remembers even owning it, so my mum has given it to me to use.

There's a manual for a Speedlite 580EX in the bag, but no flashgun. My dad 'gave' the camera to someone once and my mum had to go get it back so I'll have to assume this person pinched it whilst it was in his 'possession'.
Matt

The 580EX is very good, so yes, they may have conveniently forgot to return it!

I have the 18-55 and I like it, but then it cost me 25 in pristine condition, so it might be all relative.

I have a 20D and I love it. I'd buy another if mine broke as I feel it is well sorted and free from noise issues, something more modern DSLRs struggle with thanks to the ever increasing megapixels.

What are you shooting it in? I'd suggest skipping auto and program modes and just practice on a series of scenes in manual, reviewing them and adjusting if need be, as the real satisfaction with cameras like these is to my mind, doing it yourself.

RAW capture is also better than JPEG, simply because you can recover shots on the 20D from near-disaster in RAW. I once posted a picture on here where I got custom white-balance wrong and because I was shooting RAW, I turned it from a very green WB to a natural looking shot, which would be impossible in JPEG.

EDIT: Here's the shot I salvaged in RAW.

simonp

That's amazing! As for what I'm shooting in I haven't used it at all yet, so I couldn't tell you!

Will need to check the size of the memory card first to see if RAW is feasible and I guess I'll need to pray that the battery isn't knackered as it's been sitting in the bottom of a wardrobe for the best part of 2 years without a charge.

I also notice that the firmware has never been updated (ver 1.1.0) so this might be something worth doing, too.
Matt

Just checked my firmware and it's at 2.0.3 but I don't think my Dad would have updated it himself, so it must have been sold like that.

A very brief explanation of a brief update and links to the downloads.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0510/05102702canon_20d20dafw203.asp
simonp

I looked up how to do it right after typing that. Looked simple enough and I had a blank card so it's now done. 2.0.3 is the latest version.

Not sure how into this photography lark I'm gonna get as this camera is a big lump to lug about compared to my old S70!
Boxer6

Matt wrote:

EDIT: Here's the shot I salvaged in RAW.



I actually really like the original capture there Matt ........ nowt wrong with the end result mind, I simply find the "mucked up" one more appealing for some reason. (I don't even know why, really)
..

Simon, if you need a battery the Canon ones might be expensive (Jessops once quoted my 50) but you can get clone ones and they're
perfectly fine and a fraction of the cost. 10 or so I think. Just search the web.
..

Mat, it should be possible to do something with that picture as a JPEG. I did these in CS2 and Rawtherapee.
Rawtherapee has a spot white balance tool that works on JPEG's.

RAW is best though.




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