View Full Version : New to DSLR Photography

02-12-2009, 09:52 AM
Greetings all!

Glad to have found this forum. I just bought a new Olympus E-410 for my birthday the other day and I have no idea how to use it! I took a couple of photography classes in high school and loved it so much I ran out and bought a Pentax K1000. I just LOVED that camera. I still have it, but it needs some serious repair. My next camera was a Canon AE-1, which I also still have. This one was even better because it had a timer (!) and came with a zoom lens and all sorts of goodies. This camera has given me some pretty amazing shots over the years. I've had it since high school.

But time marches on and I'm not afraid of the digital age. I've been wishing for a digital equivalent of my old Pentax with its barebones simplicity. Something with all the important features that allowed for the same kind of flexibility, but with the robustness of a Tonka toy. I settled with the E-410.

So...now that I have it, I have to figure out how the thing works. If anyone has links to crash-course, complete-idiot's-guide type tutorials it would be much appreciated. I know 35mm SLR's but I need to figure out how to translate what I know so far to the digital format. White balance? Noise filters? What the heck are all these things? What are the 35mm equivalents? Any direction would be appreciated. Many thanks!


02-12-2009, 10:30 AM
Hi and welcome to the forum!

I'd suggest you concentrate on things 1 by 1.
Exposure, composition, white balance etc.

Feel free to bring these up one by one in the proper forum.
Here's a list of podcasts that may well be of interest to you.


02-12-2009, 10:45 AM
Welcome to the forum!
I would start with you camera's manual...
There is a new series of books that I just bought for my husband that I really like - there are assignments included at the end of each chapter - you submit online for c and c... The series is called:Photo Workshop put out by Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Hope that helps - Maybe, for more advice, post a thread of more specific questions...

02-13-2009, 11:14 AM
I hope your old camera needs repairs because of use, not neglect :)

1. Read your Manual.

2. If you need a kicker (not the light) to get your eye started again, get two books. Both are called "The Photographer's Eye". One is by John Szarkowski and the other is by Micheal Freeman.

3. Just start taking pictures with your camera manual in your hand. Refer to your camera manual, play with it. I just got my mother a DSLR, she has shot maybe 100 pictures in a month. She has read ,aybe 4-5 of my books cover to cover... she is waiting for the book to tell her some great secret to good pictures. Well, there is no great secret - you have to open your shutter, again and again and again. With digital you can do that and look at your pictures on the spot. So just keep pressing the button.

4. Find out how to reset to factory defaults in your manual. Skip ahead if you need to.

02-16-2009, 12:16 AM
Thanks for all the tips. I'll definitely have look/listen to those podcasts, Marko, but I'll have to wait until I'm at work. Downloading anything heftier than a JPEG over dial-up just raises my blood pressure.. lol

The Pentax needs a total overhaul, yes, due to lack of use. The Canon on the other hand has plenty of bumps and bruises from regular use. I'm hoping this new camera can stand up to the elements while hiking. I'm afraid they're a little more sensitive to knocks and such than the old 35mm cameras. Those things were built like tanks.

I started leafing through the owner's manual and I can see it's going to be slow going. It's a fairly thick manual, and it's a chore to keep focused. I guess I'll just have to take it one chapter or feature at a time. I took a few quick shots this weekend to get the feel for it. I don't think new books are going to be in the budget for a little while (spent all my birthday money on the camera, eh? ;) ) but when I'm able to, I'll be sure to have a look for the books you've all suggested.

Thanks again!

02-16-2009, 01:30 AM
Many people tend to overlook YouTube as a source of information. Itís not all Pepsi and Mentos. Iíve researched purchases there and returned to look for tips after the buy. The best thing about it is that you can get model specific advice rather than generic information.

Itís good to have you here, and try this link to a ten minute video that covers most of the features youíll find in your camera's menu when you get back to work.


Mad Aussie
02-18-2009, 05:04 AM
Welcome to the forums areilla10 ... shoot, shoot and then shoot some more ;)