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Learn how to set up the Canon XSi/450D for basic pictures
Tags:Canon XSi/450D Getting Started: Setup,camera setup,canon xsi/450d,digital camera tutorial,how to use a digital camera,lb guides,photography lessons
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Canon XSi/450D Getting Started: Part 1 – Setup If you’re just getting started with the Canon Rebel XSi, I’m going to show you a couple of tips in order to properly setup the camera in order to optimize it for just about every picture. For videos on how to setup the camera for specific scenes, go to LBGuides.com. First, let me go ahead and cover some of the basic features on the camera. Here you’ll notice you have a hot shift for a large external flash. This can be very helpful because the built-in flash is really only good for about 15 feet. Here is your mode dial, the P stands for Program and this is probably the mode that I most often used. I highly recommend sticking to this mode. The other modes above the P are your creative modes which allow you to set the shutter and the aperture or both. The green square is fully automatic and these modes below the green square are profile modes or scene modes that automatically setup the camera for that specific scene. I don’t use this very often because they limit you very, very much. Everything is automated including things like ISO and white balance and those are the things I highly recommend changing in order to optimize the picture. This dial is used to change the shutter or the aperture setting or both. In the back, you have your navigation buttons, right, left, up and down that will help you navigate through the menu. On the left side, you have the flash button and the depth of field button which closes down the aperture and allows you to see how much of the picture is in focus. On the bottom, you have the tripod mount and the battery door. Let’s go ahead and press this down and pull back on the door to open that. Move the white locking mechanism over to pop the battery out. This camera uses a Lithium-ion battery that lasts a very, very long time, this is actually a very nice battery. You can use the battery to nudge the white locking mechanism over in order to place the battery back in its slot as that until it locks. The battery door can actually be removed in order to place the battery grip on the bottom of the camera. A battery grip will replace the battery, the battery will be inserted into the grip instead of this slot and the grip will be threaded into the tripod mount. The door, if you hold it at a 45-degree angle and just pull it out it will come right off. To place it back in, again 45 degrees and just push it back in. You want to close this all the way so the camera can turn on. The memory card is in this door right here, just place your finger nail in this ridge and push it back. The memory card is SD, just press it in to release the sticker or the face of the memory card should be towards the back of the camera and press it until you hear a click and the card should stand. Close the door and your ready to take a picture. With DSLRs as opposed to regular point and shoot digital cameras, you pretty much have to use the view finder. This particular model does provides you with a live view option but that’s really designed specifically for product photography and you can see more about that in the product photography video. But for now, you’re going to use the view finder. When you use the view finder and especially if you have eye glasses, what you want to do is actually take the glasses off, focus the camera and then put your eye up to the view finder and move this little diopter dial in order to calibrate the view finder to your prescription. Once you see through the view finder, it’s in sharp focus then your okay to go. Let’s go ahead and turn the camera on. Right now, you can see that I’m in the fully automatic mode and with this option, my menu options are very, very limited. So I don’t want to use this and I want to go to P or Program and press Menu. Now by default, the resolution is set to the highest quality JPEG possible and I’m going to go ahead and leave that, I’m not going to get into raw and if you want to know more about raw files, check out the glossary section at LBGuides.com. All these settings are really just fine, there’s really just one thing here that I want to point out and it’s in the second record tab. I’m going ahead and move over and go down to where it says, Color Space. Now if you press Set, you’ll see that you have an option of SRGB or Adobe RGB and a lot of people assume that Adobe RGB is better because it’s a larger color space and technically it is true, it is a larger color space. However realistically speaking with most pictures, you’ll really never see a difference and on top of that it really just complicates the issue. For the easiest way of maintaining accurate color from when you take the picture to the computer monitor and to your printer is by sticking to SRGB. So I would recommend, just stay with SRGB and avoid using Adobe RGB all together. Just press Set. Lastly and really the only thing that I would recommend at changing or at least setting in the menu is the date and time. Just move over to the second setup tab and go down to Date and Time. Make sure the date and time are set properly. This is a brand new camera for you as soon as you turn it on. It probably is prompting you to set the date and time. This is very, very important because those image organizing applications such as iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop Album and Adobe Bridge, use this information which is embedded into every file in order to organize the pictures. So, let’s go back into the Menu, press Set. Use the right or left navigation buttons to move the highlighted field over and press Set to access that field then choose up or down to set the proper setting to set again to escape from that field and just keep moving over until everything is setup properly. We can use this option to change the order of the date and you haven’t press the right button to select OK and press Set once that has been setup. Press Menu to escape the main menu. Now just about everything is setup, the last thing I want to do is make sure that my white balance and ISO are set properly by default. The ISO is set to auto, I don’t like that because sometimes it will choose a higher ISO than 100 and because I know I have plenty of light, again I am assuming or outdoors I want to go with 100 and no more to maintain the best in its quality. Press ISO, right here you can press down with your index finger and then just press down to select 100. Press Set or give it a second to go away. Now, with the white balance minus currently set the daylight which is great if yours is not, your white balance button is right here just press the White Balance button and use the right or left navigation buttons to move the highlighted square over. I want to go with daylight, press Set and now those two are set. Now in the program mode, you should know that the flash is not automatic. So you have to either use it or not use it and you need to know whether you want to use it or not, you can’t let the camera decide because if the flash is down, it just won’t use it. In order to use the flash, just press the Flash button right here and the flash will pop up. Now we’re outside, let’s say we’re taking a picture of a person, so I want to use the flash in order to eliminate any kind of shadows. The last thing is the focusing. This is very, very important. By default, the focusing is set to Auto Select which it looks all the focusing points and you look through the view finder you’ll see those focusing points and the camera will judge where it should focus. This is a problem if you have anything closer to the camera than the subject on which you are trying to focus. So, this is your focusing button right here, this will allow you to choose a different focusing point. Just press that button and then use the dial up here to select the center focusing point. Press the button again to escape. And now, when you look through the view finder, only the center focusing point will look for a subject on which to focus. So now you’ve got your ISO at 100, the white balance is set to daylight and your focusing, right on the center where you should be and you are ready to take your picture. To find out much more about Digital Photography and to your digital camera go to LBGuides.com.