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Learn how to optimize the Canon A610/A620 for a kids/pets scene
Tags:Canon A610/A620: Set for Kids/Pets Scene,canon a610/a620,digital camera tutorial,how to use a digital camera,lb guides,photography lessons,set for kids/pets scene
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Taking pictures of your kids and pets can be a little bit tricky and it may require a lot of patience, but the results are certainly worth it. So let me show you how to set up your camera for kids and pets pictures.
The first thing that you want to do; set up your mode dial to the program mode. The program mode will allow you the flexibility needed for the scene. So to do that, let’s go ahead and turn the camera on. On the back, let’s just quickly walk through the function menu. I’ll go ahead and press the function button here in the center to access this menu. My ISO at the top is currently set to 50 and this is great if you’re outdoors and it’s a sunny day. 50 should be just fine. If you are indoors, you have a lot less light available and that may need to be increased. Let me just show you first with 50 and I’ll show you how you can tell whether it needs to be increased or not in a second. So let’s take the 50 for now. Let’s go ahead and go down. White balance, mine again is currently set to daylight assuming we’re outdoors on a sunny day. You can change this accordingly if it’s a cloudy day or if you’re indoors, go ahead and choose either tungsten or fluorescent, depending on your lighting situation. So I’m just going to go back for daylight for now.
And keep doing down, the drive mode is at a single shot which is fine. The effect is turned off which is good. The flash compensation, you may need to play around with this and this really depends again on your lighting situation. If there is plenty of light and you’re outdoors, you probably do not want to use the flash at all and just turn it off. If you’re indoors, you’ll probably want to use the flash, in which case, you can increase or decrease the power of the flash with this function. If the subject is farther away, go ahead and increase the flash. If the subject is closer to the camera meaning about three feet, five feet or something like that, about a meter to two meters, then you want to decrease the power of the flash so you don’t overpower the subject and then make everything white and you’re going to lose a lot of detail. So keep that in mind. I’m going to stick to 0 for now.
Go ahead and go down the metering mode is set evaluative which is also good. You can also choose to set it to the center option which is center weighted average. Either one is fine and you may not see a whole lot of difference between the two but you can choose whichever one you prefer. So let’s get out of the function menu for now, press the function button again to just escape the function menu. As you can see here at the top, my flash is currently turned off and I want to keep it that way and I’ll show you why because I’m assuming we’re outdoors and this is broad daylight so I don’t want to use the flash, but I may increase my ISO to compensate in a second.
So now, the most important thing to remember with kids and pets is they’re probably not going to stop so you can take the picture. So you want to be absolutely ready to take the picture whenever something happens. So what you’re going to want to do is set the manual focus and this is very, very important. Just press the down navigation button twice to access the manual focus, and in my case, I have a square in the center that magnifies the image and this doesn’t really help very much to be honest. It’s supposed to show you a closer image that you can judge the focus. But really , screen is so low resolution that you’re not really going to be able to use it in order to judge focus. So we do not recommend using the screen. What I would recommend doing, if you’ll notice down here, the manual focus icon is highlighted and it has two green arrows on either side which means you can press the left or right navigation buttons to change the focusing distance. And you’ll see at the top—up here, as soon as I press the right button, you’ll see the ruler which indicates how far away the focus is. So right now, mine is set to metric. You can change that in the menu. 50 centimeters is about 1 ½ feet. If my subjects are about 2 meters, then I would just set it to about 2 meters. And what this does is that it allows me to press the shutter button to—not to focus but to set the exposure. And then once the subject is doing what I want them to do like looking at the camera or whatever, then I can just press the button the rest of the way and the picture is taken immediately without any kind of lag time.
So it’s very important to manually focus. If you can focus without using the manual focus, that’s great. If the subjects are moving around, you probably won’t be able to focus on them so this is a good alternative to focusing to set the manual focus to roughly the distance of the subject and then just go ahead and take the picture that way.
Finally, let me just get back to the ISO. I’ll get out of the manual focus just by pressing it down button again. So once you pressed the shutter button halfway, the camera will tell you at the bottom what the shutter speed and aperture are set to. So the shutter speed is the most important and this is really just relevant for people taking pictures indoors or pictures without flash. If you use your flash, you’ll definitely have enough light. But again, unless the subject is too far away in which case you will have to increase the ISO because the flash will not be strong enough to illuminate subjects far away. So if this is too low and you’re not using the flash for any reason, then you will need to increase the ISO. So if that is below 160th of a second, go ahead and release the shutter button and just press the function button to access the function menu once again. Scroll up to ISO, increase that to the desired setting, press function once again to escape the function menu, press the shutter button halfway. As you can see, now my shutter speed is much faster. So if you’re not using the flash and you’re not going to want to use the flash, if the subject is too far away or if you want a no flash kind of a look in your image, then you won’t need to increase the ISO to compensate for a slow shutter speed.