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Newbie cheat sheet for using SLR in the field
Methinks this will be a very ignorant qn but here goes. Is there in existance somewhere a cheat sheet of what settings you should use for a given SLR camera (eg 450D) & possibly also a selection of lenses (eg 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS) as a starting point for different scenarios in the field to have some chance of getting a good shot..

By this I mean something that you could print very small so that it could be laminated and sit in your camera bag. The type of scenarios and corresponding info I am referring to for example are for example:.

1) Low light infoor portraits with small DOF- ISOn xxx, Shutter speed 1/xxx, aperture fx.x.

2) Running water shots bright light - ISOn xxx, Shutter speed 1/xxx, aperture fx.x, must use xxxx filter and xxxx lense.

I suppose I could read a few books a try to summarise this myself - just wondering if something like this already exists out there in the ether? Taking a reference book with me into the field (on holiday actually) will not be an option...

Comments (8)

I'm a newb, too..

I'm experimenting with just using the preset modes (e.g. night, kids, sports)... seeing what settings those use and than learn from that..

Here's an excellent diagram I've seen from cambridgeincolour.com:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

This link elucidated F-stops for me:http://www.uscoles.com/fstop.htm..

Comment #1

It shouldn't take you more than an hour or two to read all the lessons (if you skip the assignment or postpone them) and at the end of that you should have all the basics you'll need to decide what settings to use in what situation! I found them to be great lessons(and free too)..

Http://www.morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php..

Comment #2

Quick answer now: PhotoBert cheatsheets. I don't use them but they seem exactly what you're looking for. They make them for general purpose digital photography as well as camera specific..

Http://www.photocheatsheets.com/product.aspx.

But you really can't rely on them. Learning the basics is WAY better and you'll naturally know how to conquer any situation then..

Nbawden wrote:.

Methinks this will be a very ignorant qn but here goes. Is there inexistance somewhere a cheat sheet of what settings you should use fora given SLR camera (eg 450D) & possibly also a selection of lenses(eg 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS) as a starting point for different scenariosin the field to have some chance of getting a good shot..

By this I mean something that you could print very small so that itcould be laminated and sit in your camera bag. The type of scenariosand corresponding info I am referring to for example are for example:1) Low light infoor portraits with small DOF- ISOn xxx, Shutter speed1/xxx, aperture fx.x2) Running water shots bright light - ISOn xxx, Shutter speed 1/xxx,aperture fx.x, must use xxxx filter and xxxx lense.

Impossible. There are no concrete numbers, only "whatever that you can get away with" rules. I will try to provide some basics though:.

1) DOF- set aperture to largest it can be (ie 2.8 or lower) / keep ISO as low possible so that camera shake doesn't show (shutter speed should be (1/(focal length x 1.6) factor in Image Stabilization). I like to use ISO 400 all the time..

2) Do you want them to look like running water or frozen? Too vague..

I suppose I could read a few books a try to summarise this myself -just wondering if something like this already exists out there in theether? Taking a reference book with me into the field (on holidayactually) will not be an option..

I always post this link, it's seriously helpful and to the point. Even if you don't have a Canon, the lessons are universal..

Http://www.canon.co.jp/imaging/enjoydslr/index.html..

Comment #3

As far as lenses go, check out lenses forum - people will be more than happy to advise you .

For settings, shoot RAW. This way there's only four things that will actually matter in the field:1) Aperture (small f/ number = more light and shallow depth of field)2) Shutter speed (long = more light, short = freeze motion)3) ISO (high = more sensitive to light but more noise)4) Flash or no flash.

White balance, sharpness, contrast, etc. etc. etc. you can just change on your computer if you're shooting RAW. The only thing you can't change are the above settings..

I read a book called "understanding exposure" which I thought was good and helpful. But in general, just experimenting yourself will get you the farthest I think..

And of course, reading the forums is a big help too..

Good luck!..

Comment #4

Automatic settings would probably work as well as a cheat sheet. The bottom line is that you need to understand how the various settings will effect your resutls..

For example, with the running water. Do you want the water to be stopped so you can see the droplets sparkling in the sun or do you want a blurred moving water effect? In your portrait example. In low-light portraits you'll be shooting nearly wide open so the narrow depth-of-field is a given. If you want a deep DOF, you'll go with a flash..

It seems confusing at first since changing one parameter caqn effect others but once you understand the basic concepts it suddenly makes sense.Patrick T. KellyOaxaca, Mexico..

Comment #5

I'm going to be cruel to be kind..

There is no way that you can substitute understanding photography with a cheat sheet. Photography has just too many variables due to the fact that, unless you are working in a studio, light is infinitely variable..

As someone already said, the best cheat sheets are already built into your camera. The automatic modes are there for people who can't or won't learn what they need to know to make their cameras do what will give them the photograph they have in their mind, rather than a kind of generalized "good enough", cheat sheet kind of image. Auto modes are settings someone would give you on your cheat sheet..

Make the effort to learn what the controls of your camera do to photographic images. Once you know how aperture, shutter speed, ISO, color balance, flash controls, lens focal length, etc, control the final image, then YOU will be able to manage them all in any situation you encounter to get the effects YOU want. At that point you are a photographer..

If you spent money on a DSLR, it would be pretty silly to not put in the effort to learn how to use it. And nothing will substitute for the effort required..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #6

I absolutely agree. Besides, with digital there is no excuse for not learning by trial and error. Once you get your images onto your computer you can review them along with the EXIF data and compare your images with the settings (fstop, shutter speed, ISO, etc) that you used for each image and assess which images you like best and what settings produced that image..

Forget the cheat sheets, get out there and practise. I'll bet you'll be surprised at how soon you'll get a feel for what settings you need to get the shot you want..

Marion.

Aletheia wrote:.

I'm going to be cruel to be kind..

There is no way that you can substitute understanding photographywith a cheat sheet. Photography has just too many variables due tothe fact that, unless you are working in a studio, light isinfinitely variable..

As someone already said, the best cheat sheets are already built intoyour camera. The automatic modes are there for people who can't orwon't learn what they need to know to make their cameras do what willgive them the photograph they have in their mind, rather than a kindof generalized "good enough", cheat sheet kind of image. Auto modesare settings someone would give you on your cheat sheet..

Make the effort to learn what the controls of your camera do tophotographic images. Once you know how aperture, shutter speed, ISO,color balance, flash controls, lens focal length, etc, control thefinal image, then YOU will be able to manage them all in anysituation you encounter to get the effects YOU want. At that pointyou are a photographer..

If you spent money on a DSLR, it would be pretty silly to not put inthe effort to learn how to use it. And nothing will substitute forthe effort required..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #7

I'm also a newbie and to echo what others have said practice is the only way to learn. That being said, I have been doing two things that seem to help very much:.

1. I always carry a slim moleskine journal and pen in my camera bag to write down tips and questions/thoughts on certain settings so that I can document and then come back to the wonderful world of the web and try and figure things out....

2. If I'm not sure what settings to use, I will put my camera on the auto setting for a certain shot, take one or two pictures then go back into the menu and examine the EXIF info for the shots to see what aperture, shutter speed, etc the camera used. I then go to Manual mode and set up the same settings and practice from there going wider/narrower and slower/faster, etc. This has helped me a TON in learning how to read a shot..

Good luck!Jim S Jordan ~ The Photographer Formerly Known As WingsGirlC19.

Check out my photos: http://myrtleart.smugmug.com..

Comment #8

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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