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Learn how to set up and take a basic picture using the Canon A650 IS
Tags:Canon A650 IS: Getting Started,canon a650 is,digital camera tutorial,how to use a digital camera,lb guides,photography lessons
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If you’re just getting started with the Canon A650 IS, let me show you a few pointers that may help you out. I like to use the program mode, notice up here at the top is your mode dial and normally people use the automatic mode but I like to use program. This is very, very similar to auto but it gives me control over things like ISO and wide balance which definitely helps improve image quality. Here’s your zoom lever, just pull it in this direction to zoom in and push it in this direction to zoom out. Let’s look at the bottom, here you have your tripod mount and here is the battery and memory card door. Go ahead and press this door locking mechanism down quite firmly. Move it all the way over and then just push the door open. You’ll notice engraved next to every battery is a little symbol of how the battery should be placed in its battery slot. This is plus, here is minus, here’s plus and here is minus. Here is your memory card, just go ahead and press this in, in order to eject it and the memory card is placed in with the sticker placing the back of the camera. Just go ahead and press that in all the way so you hear a click and that’s it. Close the door, press it quite firmly, flushed against the camera body and just push it back in. Here is your displace screen and this can swing open, this is very, very handy. You can swing it in this direction, you can close it, shut it in order to protect.
You can flip it in this direction if your camera is very low down to the ground. You can look down instead of getting physically low yourself and if there’s a crowd of people and you want shoot over them, just hold it over your head, swivel the LCD screen in this direction, look up and you can still see what you’re taking a picture. This is really handy, I usually have it in this position, I swing it open. Just go ahead and turn the camera on. Your controls are in the back, you have two menus, one is the function menu and the other is the main menu. Let’s just press the function button in the center to access the function menu. Here is a list of most frequently used function, wide balance, your timer mode is located here in the drive function and your resolution. So this is very, very handy, you’ll quickly access all these different functions just press the function menu. I’m not very happy with my image quality so I’m just going to go ahead and go down. Here are your navigation buttons and this is down, up, right and left, so anytime you need to move this little red highlighted square to indicate and another function just press it down or up button. And to change highlighted function setting, you just press left or right. So apparently my default is to set to fine and I’m not very happy with that because it’s really not best image quality the camera can produce. I can see here that right now I can four-hundred and eighty-five pictures on this memory card in this setting but I’d rather have high quality so I’m just going to press the left button, it’s the super fine. That number drops significantly to 289, if I need that to be a little higher, plus I have 12 mega pixels, I’m going to go down the image resolution. 12 mega pixels is a lot of resolution. Most of the time I really don’t need that, unless I really plan on printing very, very large, I’m just going to go ahead and choose the 8 mega pixel option, just press the right navigation button once to go to M1.
This is 8 mega pixels and that’s still very, very high quality so this is great. Press the function button to escape and now I’m going to go ahead and set up my main menu, just press the main menu button down here. I might have changed some of the default settings because I’m not very happy with the way the camera is set up by default. Just press it down, out of focus frame center is great. My frame size is pretty set to normal but I’m going to go ahead and choose small digital zoom and set the standard. This is really not good, you don’t want to accidentally use the digital zoom so turn this off. Press the right navigation button to turn that off, also red eye, I can do a much better job removing red eye with a program on my computer like iPhoto or any kind of major organizing application. So just press the right navigation button there, turn that off and finally at the very bottom, I like to set this. So let’s just go ahead and press the set button, so I’ll just go ahead and press the set button. I’m going to choose wide balance, I’ll show you what that means in a second. You can choose any of the other options but wide balance to me seems like the most appropriate so I’ll just go ahead and press function or set to set that. And now, I want to go over to the set up tab, you can either scroll the way back up, scroll down to get to the record tab and then move over using either the right or left navigation buttons or you can just use the zoom lever, this is pretty neat. I just move the zoom lever over to the right and I jump over to the set up tab. Now I want to go down, I don’t want mute all the sounds but I do want to change my volume setting, press set to change my volume, start up volume and by operation volume. Press the menu to go back to the main menu and I just want to make you aware of the date and time setting. This is very, very important. To set the date and time, the camera will prompt you and you first turn it on, set the date and time. This helps in any kind of image organizing application to organize pictures so make sure that’s set. And down below, that is format. This is also very, very important, every time you take the camera or the memory card out of the camera, or if you use the USB cable to download your pictures, go ahead in 4 minutes the memory card once those pictures have been downloaded, put the memory card back in the camera, come here to format, press set go over to OK and hit set to format. This is much better than erasing all the pictures or anything like that because sometimes computers will leave erroneous files on the memory card which are not good and the result will not be able to erase, so formatting is much healthier and better in the long run.
Other than that, everything else is set up just fine. I just want you to make you aware of the bottom option which is reset all, this will reset all the functions back to their factory default so incase you’ve changed something and don’t know how to get back to it, just go and hit the reset all. Okay, press the menu button to escape the main menu, now I’m going to go ahead and press the display button and this will show me all my functions the way their set up. I like this because I need to know this information before taking a picture. I like to know that my flash is turned off, I like to know that my ISO is set to auto or actually I prefer not having it on auto. So what I would be doing in order to take a picture is again use the program mode, set the flash accordingly, depending on whether you want to use the flash or not just press the up navigation button right here, like this to sight off through the different flash options. Just wait a second or hit set to set that option. My ISO is pretty set to auto and as I mentioned for not using auto so I’m going to change that just by pressing the ISO button right here and then press the left to right navigation button to choose. I’m going to go with 80, because that’s going to produce the best and most clean image quality. And then I want to set also my wide balance depending on what my light situation is. So as you saw before in the menu, I set up the print and transfer button to quickly access my wide balance, I’m going to go ahead and press that and then press the left to right navigation button to choose the wide balance. I’m going to go with daylight as I’m assuming we’re outdoors, daylight and press set. So we set that and you can see up here and now I can see that my wide balance is set to daylight. After I’ve got everything set up, zoom in and propose the picture the way you want and press the shutter button halfway in order to focus on your subject. This is very, very important. I’ll show you how that’s done, usually if I’m taking a picture of a person for example, I want to focus on their eyes so I just press the button halfway. It seems like I’m a little bit close in this case, so what I want to do is press the macro button. I’ll just go ahead and go down and choose macro. This will allow me to focus on subjects that are closer than two feet. So now I should press the button halfway, it will define the focus point. I can see my little green focusing square is has not turning green and supposed to yellow which indicates that the camera has a lot focus.
Now I’m focused on the subject’s eyes then I’ll turn the camera, I keep my button pressed halfway. I’ll just recompose the image so it’s properly composed and then when I’m ready I would press the button the rest of the way. If I had composed first and then take the picture, you’d notice right now I’d be focusing on the person’s arm or on the background if they’re two people and so I don’t want to do that I just want to press and I just want to focus on the person’s eyes and then press the button halfway to focus and then recompose and then take the picture. To find out much more about Digital Photography and your Digital Camera, go to LBGuides.com.