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Recommended settings
Hi. I have a new A720 IS. I'm learning how to take photos without relying on the Auto settings..

With shots of pets and birds I seem to be a little behind the action. How do I set Focus Mode, metering, AF lamp etc for faster shooting without compromising quality?.

Would you agree with these settings as defaults? http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-logs/8/default.php.

What about "safe" modes, leave them on?Dan..

Comments (7)

There are no magical, perfect settings for anything, as all places are different, with different lights, etc..

Read the UserManual that came with your camera. Everything the camera is capable of should be perfectly explained there..

Then: Just play around with your camera.Set some settings, take an image.If you're not satisfied with the look, change your settings to something else.Repeat process, until you find sth that works for you..

Have a nice day..

Temporary Photoblog:http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/~a0605112/php/index.php..

Comment #1

Audiobomber wrote:.

Hi. I have a new A720 IS. I'm learning how to take photos withoutrelying on the Auto settings..

With shots of pets and birds I seem to be a little behind the action..

I am afraid that slow focussing is a common problem with compact digital cameras. To get really fast focussing you have to go to a DSLR..

The best technique when trying to shoot a fast moving subject is to focus lock (half press the shutter button - a very important technique) on somewhere in front of the subject and wait until it arrives there before pressing the shutter release fully down..

If you are having problems with birds in flight, don't worry - this is one of the most difficult things to do in photography..

How do I set Focus Mode, metering, AF lamp etc for faster shootingwithout compromising quality?.

Would you agree with these settings as defaults?http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-logs/8/default.php.

These are not unreasonable settings but, as somebody else has suggested, read the manual and experiment..

What about "safe" modes, leave them on?Dan.

Chris R..

Comment #2

Hi,.

I'll take issue with the settings as I can't imagine the good it will do setting the camera for -1/3 EV all the time except indoors. Better to meter properly or get the thing adjusted if it's out of step most of the time..

Regards, David..

Comment #3

I'll take issue with the settings as I can't imagine the good it willdo setting the camera for -1/3 EV all the time except indoors..

Through trial and error, I've set both my Canon compacts this way because it helps to reduce the highlight blowouts you get on these cameras. For cameras without a live histogram, it's a good base setting..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #4

Thr33face wrote:.

There are no magical, perfect settings for anything, as all placesare different, with different lights, etc..

Read the UserManual that came with your camera. Everything the camerais capable of should be perfectly explained there..

Then: Just play around with your camera.Set some settings, take an image.If you're not satisfied with the look, change your settings tosomething else.Repeat process, until you find sth that works for you..

Have a nice day..

Temporary Photoblog:http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/~a0605112/php/index.php.

That's exactly what I'm doing Face, reading and practicing. I've had good p&s cameras for decades, but now I'm wanting to learn about photography. I've taken more photos in the past month than I have in the previous fifteen years..

I realize there are no magic settings, but I'm assuming that Canon's default settings are not necessarily set up for fast shooting. I've read the manual and I understand what the various functions are and what they do, but the manual does not address for example the relative speed of Evaluative vs. Center or Spot metering..

I turn off the red-eye setting because it has too much effect on the subject (makes them self-conscious and unnatural). But what about the AF light, should I only use it in low light? Will it slow the camera down or speed it up if I leave it on all the time?.

Is Safety MF a good thing? A portable has so much depth of field, I really wonder if manual focus needs to be fine-tuned automatically. OTOH if it's not going to cause a noticeable lag, then why not use it?.

I know I can read and practice and eventually figure these things out for myself, but I have my hands full right now with learning the basics. Any shortcuts tips or pitfalls that anyone can suggest are much appreciated.Dan..

Comment #5

Chris R-UK wrote:.

I am afraid that slow focussing is a common problem with compactdigital cameras. To get really fast focussing you have to go to aDSLR..

The best technique when trying to shoot a fast moving subject is tofocus lock (half press the shutter button - a very importanttechnique) on somewhere in front of the subject and wait until itarrives there before pressing the shutter release fully down..

If you are having problems with birds in flight, don't worry - thisis one of the most difficult things to do in photography..

Chris R.

I do use the half-pressed shutter. It makes 0.5 sec difference, but that's a heck of a long time sometimes. Even with pre-focus it was frustrating trying to catch chickadees in the bird feeder. They land, grab a seed and fly, all in a blink. I was taking photos of birds in flight, but that was not my intent. :~).

I intended to buy a DSLR, but now I'm wondering about a p&s ultrazoom. An SLR lens to photograph birds would be a large and expensive item I expect. Any idea what I'd need and how much it would cost?Dan..

Comment #6

Audiobomber wrote:.

[snip]I do use the half-pressed shutter. It makes 0.5 sec difference, butthat's a heck of a long time sometimes. Even with pre-focus it wasfrustrating trying to catch chickadees in the bird feeder. They land,grab a seed and fly, all in a blink. I was taking photos of birds inflight, but that was not my intent. :~).

Try prefocussing on the bird feeder. Keep both eyes open. When you see a bird about to land, press the button. With practice you should be able to get successful shots, but you might get a low hit rate..

Personally I find that my reaction time is normally the limiting factor, not the camera speed with a DSLR pre-focused..

I intended to buy a DSLR, but now I'm wondering about a p&sultrazoom. An SLR lens to photograph birds would be a large andexpensive item I expect. Any idea what I'd need and how much it wouldcost?.

It doesn't have to cost a lot, especially if you are shooting in good light and can get close. Something like a standard 70-300 on an APS-C sized DSLR should be adequate to get started..

Be aware that if you are shooting small birds you will need to get to within 10-12 ft to fill the viewfinder, so getting close is at least as important as having a long focal length lens..

On the other hand, I have had quite successful shots of storks with an 85mm lens..

Chris R..

Comment #7

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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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