Help with my Canon EOS 40D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris88, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Chris88 macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    Hello I bought a Canon EOS 40D last week. I am kind of new to digital photography. I would like to learn how to use the camera other then just putting it on auto. What books and web sets would yall recommend.

  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making

    And the user's manual, of course. While fairly lengthy, it gives a thorough explanation of every setting and feature. Take your camera, the manual, and walk through it, taking shots using each setting as described and you will see how it changes the final image.

    Also, any basic book or site on photography will explain all the terms, common settings, etc., and describe what effect each has on the shot. Learn each mode or characteristic before you combine them all. Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, White Balance (and all other) settings all have significant effect. Work through them all patiently.

    The beauty of digital is that you'll get instant feedback, with no wasted film!
  3. Chris88 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    Thanks for the tips and web pages. You are right about wasting film.
  4. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    Buy David D. Bush's book titled: "Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR Photography Guide." Although most of the stuff found in the owners manual can be found in this book, the author tells you everything you want to know about the camera, and how to use it. He gives clear explanations, and presents you with examples (photos and such) for you to see and understand the differences.

    You may want to start using the "creative" modes, which begin above the green rectangle. P is the first creative mode. This mode is fully auto, except that the flash pops up only when you press the flash button. Also, while in this mode you can change numerous of the camera's functions or settings, something that's not possible when the camera is set to the Basic modes (green rectangle plus 6 more modes below it).

    Learn about the 40D by reading the book above, and for the time being begin learning by switching to P mode. However, you can also set it to Av mode. This mode (Av) is much like "aperture priority" in film cameras like the Nikon F3 I still have. In this mode, you control the lens aperture with the wheel by your index finger (by the shutter button), and the camera automatically chooses the best corresponding shooter speed.

    I use Av to take photos on birds in flight, and set the camera this way:
    -Center focus
    -Lens to f/4 or so
    -Auto ISO
    -Burst mode for multi-shots

    Then I save the new settings to C1, C2, or C3., and when the opportunity arises, I just switch the mode to C1 and shoot birds :)

    I use Av for macro photography, or any time that I want to control the lens aperture to increase of reduce DOF, except that the ISO is as low as possible, the camera is not on AI-Servo, and also not on burst mode (just single shot). I still use center focus, but focus manually for macro, and AF for general photography.

    I use M (manual sometimes), but Av for macro and moving subjects. Tv is useful when you want to blur water (make it look milky). Tv is similar to shutter priority (you select shutter speed, and the camera automatically picks the best aperture to match what you have chosen).
  5. flinch13 macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2004
    Read a little, snap a lot! The only way to learn is to get lots of practice.

    May I suggest you begin in MANUAL mode? It's easy to make the camera think about all the exposure stuff for you, but once you get it in manual, you're good to go for life.

Share This Page