training sources for the Canon 20d?

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Jul 5th, 2005, 09:43 AM
  #1
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training sources for the Canon 20d?

I recently purchased the Canon 20D, and am trying to devour and understand the manual. I also bought a great book Digital SLR Handbook by Rob Sheppard. which is very good, but am looking for even more- maybe a video? Anyone have any ideas?Thanks!
Barb
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Jul 5th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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I am not sure about a video, you can try the Magic Lantern Guides: Canon EOS 20d (Paperback). The magic lantern series are supposed to be quite good.

ISBN # -- 1579906923
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Jul 5th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Thanks! I am currently on vacation, and have time to do some practice shots and disect the manual- however, I am having problems with the manual exposures (I think I am a bit thick-headed)
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Jul 5th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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I also found the magic lantern series very helpful-- more readable than the manual! ( though I used this for an older Nikon, not for the 20D)
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Jul 6th, 2005, 12:11 AM
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Here is the training video (DVD) that I bought:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ist&sku=354167

It is a very good video offering easy to follow instructions.

Here is another one, though I have not yet ordered this one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Jul 6th, 2005, 02:33 AM
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I own a 20D too and it's a great camera. The lens and it's quality are also very important and you should build up a collection of Canon "L" series lenses.

Canon has just started a web page for digital SLR photography for beginners so check this out:

http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/index.html

Also here's a link to a web site that IMO is the best source for digital photography updates, forums, news etc.

http://www.dpreview.com/

Enjoy!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 02:36 AM
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Forgot - here's another link to a website of a professional photographer(highly regarded) who also review and teaches basic to advance phtotography with SLR and DSLR cameras.


http://www.luminous-landscape.com/
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Jul 6th, 2005, 04:07 AM
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Luminous Landscapes is a great resource... I read it often, though, as with all similar articles, the views represent the views of the author and you'll find another professional who gets just as good results using the exact opposite techniques! But it IS a good learning resource IF it's not taken as the bible, so to speak.

I disagree quite strongly about the L glass lenses. We're talking beginners here. Whilst I would NEVER deny that the quality of a lens impacts on the results the work of a learner is much more likely to be affected by incorrect exposure, poor composition, poor choice of focal plane, poor choice of depth of field, camera shake and a hundred other things that go into a good photograph. An L glass lens is going to make a difference when someone already has mastered the camera functionality, has mastered the art of choosing what to photograph and how to compose the image appealingly... then yes, I'd recommend getting better quality lenses.
But I think it's a waste of monry to build up a collection of expensive lenses if one doesn't ALREADY have the skills to really make use of what these lenses deliver.
Just my opinion.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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Kavey,

I don't visit the Africa board that often but from reading your other posts(about zoom lens etc) I figure you must be some sort of a pro or keen photographer.

If someone buy a 20d body at over a grand(the last time I check it was around $1,500?) then he or she will most likely be able to buy a lens for around $6 - 700. Instead of buying the efs lens that are recommended for this model why not buy a 17 - 40 "L" lens at $670? Price are almost the same but the "L" is sharper. Resale value is certainly better too.

Just my thought!


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Jul 6th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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I bought the 20D along with a Canon
75-300 EF 1:4-5:6 III lens. It also came with the Canon EFS 18-55. 3.5-5.6 Any opinion on these lenses? I'm pretty good at composition, but do struggle with changing exposure to compensate, etc. THanks for the information, and opinions! Barb
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Jul 6th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Hi Barb,

First of I'm just a keen amateur so do take my comments with a grain of salt.

I don't have any EFS lenses, they are relatively new and since the zoom ranges are very similar to the other lenses I've already own. Also, as you probably already know, the EFS only fits in 3 model of the Canon camera range(both digital and film SLR) and I'm not sure if the next generation DSLR from canon will be able to use it. The current top of the range DSLR cannon, the 1 Ds MK 2 or the 1 D MK 2 can not use these lenses and if you're looking to upgrade to the next or higher level of DSLR photography with the top of the line cameras then, IMO, the EFS lenses are not worth buying.

The 75 - 300 EF III is a low to mid range and price lens. There's a website that give ratings for a lot of lenses(the ratings were originally conducted by a Japanese photographic magazine). The site doesn't have info for lenses that were made the past 3 or 4 years but it's still very useful. For your lens(75 - 300) it has a rating of 3.1 out of 5. Check out the site:

http://www.photodo.com/nav/prodindex.html


Also, you know that since the 20D have a smaller sensor than a regular SLR so the "true" zoom range on a 75 - 300 is really a 120 - 390 and I have difficulties using that range without a good tripod. I would add a prime lens, perhaps a 50 F1.4 or F1.8, as these are supper sharp and relatively low price.

I don't know if you shoot your photo in the RAW format or not but this certainly help when you use a good conversion(from RAW to JPEG) programe like Capture 1. This might help in the exposure compensation area if you've made a mistake when you first made the shot.

Hope this help a little
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Jul 6th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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Kavey & Hanuman: I agree with both of your points. I just posted a similar thing under the telephoto lense thread.
A beginner doesn't need a 20D...and by next year,there will be something even better, or cheaper in the line. (Remember when Canon introduced the Dig Rebel at something the half the price of the 10D...with the same sensor and all of the functions a beginner would use?)
But optics don't change quickly, and the prices don't go down. A 10D, or a Rebel 300 with an L lense, will beat a 20D with a standard lense. It will cost no more...and may be a bit cheaper. A new 10D with warranty is only about $800...the Rebel 300 even less. You'll keep that L lense forever, or you can sell it for very near the price you paid if you don't use it. You can't do that with a digital camera.
So I'm really saying a beginner (one who hasn't used an SLR before) doesn't need a 20D (or equivalent). A dig rebel (even a 300--that would be really cheap!) is all they need. When they want to move up, that dig rebel will be a nice light backup body too.

By the way, that 17-40L is a beautiful beautiful lens. I'd keep it and go for the Rebel 300 any day...
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Jul 6th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Just read your post Tashak and I totally agree about the 70 - 200 F2.8 L IS - I have one!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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OK - I've been comparing prices. The rebels aren't that much less expensive than the 10D or 20D. The 10D doesn't have as many MP or digicII processing. Take a look at this Powershot Pro 1 and see what you think of it as a first camera and consequent back up...IT has your L series lens on it, apparently. I'm anxiously awaiting your input!

Our Price: $489.00
Imagine a digital camera with 8 Megapixels of imaging power, a superb Canon L-series 7x zoom lens, and a host of professional-level capabilities, and you have the Canon PowerShot Pro1. Yet with all its advanced technology, the Pro1 retains the ease of use that PowerShot cameras are famous for. The camera features a swiveling 2.0-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor and an electronic viewfinder that offers the same sharp resolution. With a comfortable, ergonomic grip and natural inline layout of key elements, PowerShot Pro1 is designed with the photographer in mind. The mode dial is located for easy viewing during operation, and a main switch takes you quickly from shooting to playback mode. And now you can shoot in silence with a one-touch mute function that disables all sounds except the warning sound. When viewing your captured images in playback mode, zoom in on your shots up to 10x simply by turning the zoom ring, just as you would for manual zooming while shooting. The camera's standard macro function brings you a breathtaking 4" from your subject. But now you can get even closer: 1.2" with a new Super Macro Mode that delivers a full 5 megapixels of close-up detail. Three light-metering modes are available for precise exposure: Evaluative Metering, Center-weighted Average Metering and Spot Metering, which lets you measure exposure at the chosen AF point or the center of the frame for an exceptional level of control.

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Jul 6th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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Yes, this is complicated~! and I have thought about buying a point& shoot like this as a walkaround camera. They do what they do very well.

A couple things to keep in mind however:
1) the sensor on the P&S cameras are different than on the Rebel/10D/20D. All megapixels are NOT created equal. (this is a big fallacy...more mp is not necessarily better, and it isn't here.
Not that this wouldn't take very good, even excellent pictures...just can't compare the mp numbers that simply. SLR sensors will be better, even at lower mp numbers.

2) It does have L glass...but I kinda doubt that that is the same as a full-sized L lense...and that L glass is attached to a particular camera. When, in a couple years, cameras have gotten way better, I think this lense will be attached to a camera you don't want. You don't get to transfer the value to another camera.

3)A 7x zoom still only gets you to about 240mm, so you will need an adapter. (more $) and I'm not sure how good the camera/lens will be with an adapter.

4) You don't get anywhere near the control with a P&S...and if you do, it is limited. No extremely fast or show shutter speed...ISO...apertures. Of course, if you just want to point and shoot, this is an advantage.

5) Here is the real deal breaker-- P&S cameras have long shutterlags AND don't allow you to shoot many frames per second. Actually, I think you would be lucky to get 1 frame per second. This sounds OK, but will drive you mad with wildlife. As your primary camera for wildlife, it is unbearable.

6) I'm sure that this camera, like many others, can take really fine photos...but remember that images on the web are only 72dpi, and virtually any photo can look good on the web (properly exposed and in focus, of course). You would need see largish prints to really see what any camera can do. So I wouldn't buy a camera based on a good pic (hey, they only post the good ones!) But I do think that dpreview is pretty darn thorough and honest...I'd tend to put alot of weight on their review of anything.

OK--back to the 20D question-- I cannot believe that you could get a new, complete in box 20D from a reputable source for $700!!! I think this is below a legitimate dealers costs. Be very very careful here...when digital cameras are hot, there are lots of scam artists and lots of scams. Lets find out what Roccco paid for his 20D...he is the biggest bargain hunter on this board, and I don't thing he got close to this number. B&H photo sold out the last of their 10Ds for $800-$850...I know one other dealer that has a couple for $799...I've seen legit dealers offering Rebel 300s (6.3mp) at $639...I assume you could get some$ off the 20D list of $1599...but $700?? Caveat Emptor!!!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Hanuman, not a pro and I make it very clear very often that I'm no more than a keen hobbiest. If you've read more than one or two of my posts you'll also have read those statements from me.

I'm not saying L lenses are outrageously expensive. I'm saying that, for the people who are asking here, they are not worth the difference in price to a decent non L lens. SOME (not all) of the people asking are going straight from snapshot level, no photography experience whatsoever, no understanding of the technicals, no idea of what aperture or depth of field are, no understanding of how aperture, shutter speed and ISO relate and certainly no good understanding of composition, exposure and other basics. Advising them to spend the money on an L glass lens is simply encouraging them to spend for the sake of feeling superior about what they own.

The 20D on the other hand CAN make sense as a purchase if it's only a small price differential above another model as it gives the user more megapixels which means the best of what they take can be printed at larger sizes for their wall at home.

Also, for the record, in another thread, where people have asked which DSLR to get as a beginner I've actually recommended the 350D or the 10D rather than the 20D because, again, it's not necessary to go straight for the 20D (currently top of the prosumer models) if one is so new into SLRs in general. Certainly if one doesn't already have the body I'd suggest a less expensive bodies (it's the lenses one keeps for longest after all) and spending more on the lens. But why spend huge amounts at all on one's first dSLR? Better to opt for a good but reasonably priced body (maybe a 10D or a 350D) and a reasonable couple of lenses. As one learns and gets better one can upgrade slowly. Why run in all at once?

The 17-40 L is a nice lens. A friend has one, it's sweeeet! But on safari, 17-40mm isn't, for many people, who are only taking one or two lenses on their trip, a particularly versatile lens to have. Very limited range compared to many wide to telephoto zooms which are of much better quality than they were 10 years ago. L glass with more extensive focal ranges are more expensive.

$500 may not seem like much but the difference between a $200 lens and a $700 lens is quite a lot when we're talking about beginners who's photos don't merit the difference in quality YET. I have never found prices for L glass "almost the same" as non L glass when I have looked - let me know your supplier quick!

Once they improve (or if they are already pretty good), L glass makes more sense, I agree.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 03:09 PM
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PS... only bummer with the Digital Rebel (called 350D in UK) is that it's too small for many of us - I find it horrible to hold... which is a shame because I'd be more than happy to use it if it were a touch bigger. That's the only reason we went for the 20D rather than holding on for the 350D not that many months ago.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 04:02 PM
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Hi Kavey,

FYI the prices at the various online store are about the same for the 17 - 40 L($680) and let's say the EFS 17 - 85($599.95). $180.05 might seems high but you'll recover the price difference when you sell you lenses as I often do.

Another example: EF 75 - 300 F4-5.6 IS USM = $414.95 and EF 70 - 200 F4 "L" = $589.94.

Source Amazon.com and other online company like Andorama etc.

Ofcourse there are the very expensive top of the line "L" lenses which I have not mentioned but the ones that I have mentioned are very good for beginners. I've used these two as comparision because Barb has one of them(75 - 300) and I've already mentioned the 17 -40 "L". IMO the "L" lenses makes more sense even for a beginner to buy as the resale value will be far superior as well as the picture quality even in the fully automatic mode(ediot mode!) of the camera.

There are other options which I've not mentioned and think that are important to taking good photograpsh like external flashes and filters but these are for more experience photographers.

Source = Amazon.com
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Jul 6th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Oops my last post suppose to end with "Cheers" and not "Source = Amazon.com"!

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Jul 6th, 2005, 06:12 PM
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Tasha,

I did pretty well on my Canon 20d. I paid $1666 including the 17-85mm IS lens and including shipping. I bought it from a company whose name I will not mention as I had a very negative overall experience (a lot of quick talking upselling on accessories that drove the price up, but I eventually kicked this company in the *** and had Ameican Express put a stop payment on part of the order for the warranty and supposed high speed CF card and supposed long life battery that were each just standard issue).

$1666 was not the very cheapest price but since this company claimed to have it in stock, I went with them...my camera arrived 3+ weeks later, as it was not really in stock.

On the other hand, I have had very good experiences with 17th Street Photo and B&H Photo (and with Sigma 4 Less for my lenses).

For the body only, you can get this lens for under $1,150, but by the time you throw a 17-85mm IS lens on it, a good walking around lens, you are looking at about what I paid $1,650.

Copy and paste the link for about 30 different vendors and their respective pricing.

http://www.nextag.com/serv/main/buye...&zipcode=91104

I would love to know if anybody finds the camera body for a lesser price as I am more than likely going to soon buy a backup Canon 20d body so that I don't have to change lenses as often while on safari.

I have read reports in photography magazines showing that despite having the same megapixel quantity, that the Canon 20d produces better photos than the Digital Rebel XT, so I will be sticking to the Canon 20d.
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