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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning Meanies,

I have been using a very cheap and cheerful Samsung camera to take illicit pictures of animals for several years and for a while I have been making noises about needing a better camera. My skills extend to the occasional macro shot and some lucky composition but not much else.

Anyway, because she is probably having an affair with the paper boy and feels guilty, my darling wife surprised me with an Olympus E410 with a couple of lenses for Christmas. I looked up info on this model on the web and found this review http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse410/ which seems to suggest it's quite a good camera but most of the text could be written in drug-addled Kiwi for all the sense I can make of it.

Since the planets have come together (I have been given a nice camera at the same time as I have taken more of an interest in photography), it makes sense to try and learn how to use it properly. There are an awful lot of "camera" websites and sifting through them is taking forever, so does anyone have a good link to a site for learning the basics, and any tips from those who regularly post great pics? (I have photoshop elements which I currently only use for resizing pics).

Many thanks in advance,

TB
 

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That is quite a nice camera, Tidy. As far as learning to use it, the easiest thing to do is to leave it in program mode for a week or so and take lots of pictures. Take a walk in that bucolic/wet/damp/mouldy countryside of yours and shoot a bunch of pix of your furry friends, towpaths, and pubs. Work on composing your shots and let the camera do the rest of the work, at least at first.

Oh, and read the manual a few times to get the basic layout of the camera.

I don't really have any websites to recommend. Most of the Photo mags have websites, but the tend to be more equipment specific. Look for articles on basic composition skills. You can worry about things like exposure (not to be confused with self-exposure on the tube at Piccadilly) later.

Try this link, lots of info on composition:

http://photoinf.com/

Shooting pix is like riding a bike (remember: you know how to do this) the more you practice, the more you fail. Oops, I mean the better you get.
 

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some info

Check out the web site:
www.mycanong7.com

It has some great info on the Olympus E410.

The site started out as a Canon G7/G9 Blog and review site. Then the author got an Olympus E410 and expanded the site. There is a ton of great info, pictures, and articles.

Good luck with the new camera.

TG
 

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Big Wheel Homer !!
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I've got a E-510 and they are quite easy to use. I spent some time over on Photo Review browsing the forums and quite like MTBR picked up on tips and when I had questions about something I just asked.
Just learn some of the basics other than auto, Aperture (depth of field), and shutter speed. Are you going to carry it riding? If so shutter speed and the ISO settings are a must. I carry mine quite often and at first I was scared of crashing and breaking it, but now I just throw it in the pack and go.
 

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TIdy - I've found this book helpful, from Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-SLR-Handbook-Michael-Freeman/dp/1905814178/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230733774&sr=1-10

Sheep will need a high shutter speed to reduce blurring. I'm thinking 200 and above, 1000+ if they see you coming first.
Your 6pack leant up against a gate should be good at 60 to 125 ;)

Seriously, getting your head around ISO, shutter speed, and aperture is well worth the effort as it makes you visualise shots a lot better before you take them. I rarely move my camera off the manual setting now.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Digital photos are free... shoot LOTS

Photoshop Elements is pretty danged good, get "The Missing Manual" and read it on your commute, then come home and try the examples. You'll learn plenty.

Carry your camera as much as you can and just shoot anything that catches your fancy, if you have time bracket a few different settings to see the differences in results.

I'm wanting to get a SLR myself as I've seen the pix taken from them just blow away P&S shots. I can't bring myself to packing one but If I got one I guess I would.

What I really need to do is back-up the 4+ years of photos I have on my hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Guys, great advice much appreciated. I'll just start snapping stuff and learn as much as I can - maybe I'll post a few pics on this thread for you to critique?

I've been playing around with it this afternoon and it's really easy to use on the auto setting. It came with two lenses (14-42 and 40-150mm I think), so I've been messing around just trying to get used to the way it works.

I really want to get into the manual modes though, so we'll see how it goes. I do intend to take it out on rides with me when the weather picks up a bit so expect a whole lot more sheep, but in slightly sharper focus.

Thanks again for the advice and any more is greatfully received.
 

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Bikezilla said:
I'm wanting to get a SLR myself as I've seen the pix taken from them just blow away P&S shots. I can't bring myself to packing one but If I got one I guess I would.
Agreed. I dumped my Canon 20D a while back, and just can't find a P&S that comes remotely close in terms of speed and photo quality. I looked at the G10 and a few others in its class, but have been underwhemed at the shooting speed.
 

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tips

Adobe Lightroom - check it out. I use it 95% of the time; rarely need Photoshop anymore. LR is more efficient for most common tasks.

Read the manual several times at least... then again in the future every once in a while.

Shoot in RAW mode, it leaves you with more options. While it does add a step to your workflow, if you use something like Lightroom, it really simplifies everything.

Take lots of photos and study the EXIF data when you 'process' them, as this will tell you what your camera settings were at when you took the shot.

Every time you see a photo that you like in a magazine or on teh internetz, study it... figure out why you like it... what makes it a good photo?

There are a couple of really good articles on Ridemonkey... here and here. If you want to take action photos, read them.
 

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Yo Tidy-

I think you came to the right place, I caught the photography bug this year and received a lot of great advice from folks here.
:thumbsup:

Rather that jump straight to shooting MTB stuff, I learned a TON from shooting family & landscapes with my camera in fully manual mode. Combined with reading the manual several times, researching on the web, and just shooting a lot, I feel like I've got a solid foundation now.
Using manual mode and experimenting with different settings has helped me understand the relationship between exposure, aperture, and film speed.

I've found this site to be helpful- I haven't subscribed, the tutorials alone are excellent.

recent shots (canon a720 is)


 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I managed to head into the garden over the weekend and this morning and shoot a few pics. These are straight out of the camera so please critique. Obviously there are no bike pics because I'd have to actually get my fat arse moving to do that, but hopefully I'll be back out on the run to the shops soon.

I'm intending to pick up photoshop today (plus the missing manual - thanks Zilla) and learn how to use that, but at the moment I have my hands full just trying to understand and implement the technology!

Any comments on composition, exposure, anything really, greatfully received.

Cheers,

TB

















 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
trailadvent said:
Who took em for ya :D Not bad pretty good stuff, :thumbsup: maybe I better read my manual :D
I usually ask my 4 year old to sort out any technology being an old fart myself but in this instance I thought he might do what he does with his Fisher Price camera and smash it against the wall.....

The sheep just congregate outside my fence, they know where the pleasure is....when the battery for the camera has charged I'll take a pic out of my office window so you can see how they tease me:D

Any technical comments on the pics?
 
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