Got my First DSLR some questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by i-sidd, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. i-sidd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Hi guys,

    I got my first dslr yesterday and I am super excited. I am new to this and have a huge learning curve, I got the canon xsi with the kit lens. I don't want to shoot in auto, so I started shooting in Av mode, but I want the pics to be sharp, what settings do I need to change what auto foucus, singleshot, AI or AI servo, Multipoint or single autofocus?

    What is the sweet spot for this lens? Any other suggestions to get me started...
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    I really need to make a cut and paste post ready for quick use.

    Get yourself Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson (and read it, of course). That will help you a lot.
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    you got yourself a great, capable camera. I just bought an XSi kit with a few lenses 2 weeks ago.

    Most lenses will be sharper the more they are stopped down; the higher the f stop, the sharper it will get (to a point). That is ofcourse you have amazing glass, then it really wont matter:)

    I bought the book "Photography" by John Freeman. I love that book..
  4. Chasb macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2007
    I got mine through Amazon a couple of weeks ago and I'm loving it!

    I'm a big fan of the 55-250mmIS lens also. Maybe this will help...I purchased the book/ 2 DVD set, Magic Lantern Guides - Canon Multimedia Workshop for the XSi and XS. One DVD covers the menu etc of the XSi and the other covers DSLR basics (aperture/white balance and so on) doesn't go too deep, but it's good start. You can get it used on Amazon for $14 or the "Dummies Guide" for XSi/450D is excellent and that's around $18 used.

    Here's my Flickr site that I started after getting the camera:

    Note: I went from a four year old point and shoot to the XSi and I do like to manipulate my photos through CS2. I try to mention in my notes which ones were Photoshop and which ones are unaltered.
  5. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    thanks for the reply guys, I am reading "understanding exposure" right now and some stuff off the internet. I am not too good with image editor, I am using picasa which has basic editing and I am comfortable with it, unlike photoshop where I get lost.
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Only use AI servo when you are shooting quickly moving subjects (if they are moving towards you or away from you, sideways don't use it). It constantly updates the focus. I shoot AI, a friend shoots singleshot. When I set up my camera AI seemed the way to go, he felt singleshot was better for him. Look online (or in the manual) and see what matches your shooting style.

    I like single point AF. I know which point I have selected, put that point on the subject and focus, then recompose the shot and shoot. Multipoint tries to decide for you what is important in the picture. If I hand my camera to someone that doesn't know what they are doing, multipoint is the safest choice.

    Sweetspot on the kit lens for sharpness will be somewhere between f8 and f11. Unless you have great light, you will need a tripod to get sharp shots closed down that much.

    Playing with the camera is the best way to learn. Have fun.
  7. canonguy macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2009
    The kit lens isn't sharp. But all lenses will be at their full potential in the middle of their aperture range, generally around f–8.

    For settings: set your AF to the center only, from the 9 or 11 spot. Change it to "one shot". This will let you focus on a subject by centering it and half-clicking, then compose without releasing the button... it will hold focus until you release it.

    Set your metering to spot. Use the same technique to meter for your subject.

    This is a good starting point... you will find your own preferences as you learn.

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