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Thread: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

  1. #1

    Default Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Can check with the pros on what is the progression or learning curve for someone who just 'graduated' from Digital Camera to being proficient in using a full Manual controls/settings in DSLR? I think all the Lao Jiao probably started somewhere, maybe many years ago and now use DSLR and meddle with the settings proficiently based on where they are, use the correct lenses etc..

    Of course different people will progress differently depending on frequency of shooting, diligently reading up and understand theories and also individual talent in photography.

    Mind to share what you think is the stage you yourself go through to be at least a decent photographer ?

    Stage 1. Decided that you want to have more control of how your pictures will turn out, need better IQ
    Stage 2. Read up and understand difference between DSLR and Digital Camera, learn the basics of ISO, Shutter and Aperture.
    Stage 3. Bought an Entry level DSLR or maybe semi-pro but with noobie controls like Auto settings.
    Stage 4. Start shooting.. starting from Full Automatic and understand how the computer sets the setting in point 2 base on the surrounding conditions.
    Stage 5. Start shooting using Manual settings.....
    Stage 6. Advanced stage, buying and appreciating high grade lenses (e.g. L lense for Canon) and using Tripod, going on night shoot, landscape shoot etc..
    Stage 7.. taking photographs for competition ? hehe.. just my guess.

    How long did it take you guys to go from 4 to 5 ? Just to have an indication...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Why jump straight to 5? Why do you think manual mode is a must? I shoot in Aperture mode 90% of the time. most of the pro shooters I know will choose Aperture Mode, Shutter Mode, Program Mode or Manual Mode depending on the NEED for the particular shot. So i think your concept of jumping from Auto to Manual is flawed.

    Also, your Stage 3 can be "bought top of the line DSLR body and any L lens the salesman recommended because you want to look pro and have others stroke your ego by drooling over your gear" which is especially true in singapore.
    Last edited by Rashkae; 14th November 2012 at 02:37 PM.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    shooting manual is not hard in static lighting but for fast changing conditions it is really challenging .

    it may not really be worth it unless you are very fast at dialing in settings or you really have a lot of experience shooting in similar conditions .
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  4. #4

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Why jump straight to 5? Why do you think manual mode is a must? I shoot in Aperture mode 90% of the time. most of the pro shooters I know will choose Aperture Mode, Shutter Mode, Program Mode or Manual Mode depending on the NEED for the particular shot. So i think your concept of jumping from Auto to Manual is flawed.

    Also, your Stage 3 can be "bought top of the line DSLR body and any L lens the salesman recommended because you want to look pro and have others stroke your ego by drooling over your gear" which is especially true in singapore.
    ya man, tat's why it's a newbie question and apparently my impression of how to progress to be proficient is not correct, i thought going Manual is the 'final destination'... It's purely based on my perception only. LOL....

  5. #5

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by koroshiya8 View Post
    ya man, tat's why it's a newbie question and apparently my impression of how to progress to be proficient is not correct, i thought going Manual is the 'final destination'... It's purely based on my perception only. LOL....
    Manual mode has it's place... It's almost mandatory in a Studio environment (since you are controlling the lighting 100%) and great for long night landscape exposures. But someone who learned about photography and understands aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc, will know to use the right mode for the right shot/condition. Full Manual mode can seriously trip you up here.
    Alpha

  6. #6

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    the final destination is achieving artistic vision and creativity beyond the limits of gear . and going back to using a point shoot . lol. see Digital Revolution Tv YouTube channel - _" pro photographer cheap camera ".

    in any case using Manual as an academic exercise outside of studio environment is great for photography learning. don't let the technical aspect get in the way of creativity and vision though .

    what i am actually most surprised is that Reading the Camera Manual is not listed . a DSLR is not a point shoot so being more complex it will be good for user to read minimally the contents page of the manual and time permitting , read the whole book .
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  7. #7

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    the final destination is achieving artistic vision and creativity beyond the limits of gear . and going back to using a point shoot . lol. see Digital Revolution Tv YouTube channel - _" pro photographer cheap camera ".
    Enlightening ... thanks!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    I started from PnS where I start to use program mode. Then progress to Prosumer with PSAM. And finally now with DSLR. I still shoot in Program mode in DSLR. Sometimes even with those fun effects inside DSLR.

    IMHO, mastering what your camera is capable of and its limitation is 50% of the learning curve in photography. I believe that using what setting and what lens becomes natural to you once you know how your camera behaves.

  9. #9
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by koroshiya8 View Post
    Can check with the pros on what is the progression or learning curve for someone who just 'graduated' from Digital Camera to being proficient in using a full Manual controls/settings in DSLR? I think all the Lao Jiao probably started somewhere, maybe many years ago and now use DSLR and meddle with the settings proficiently based on where they are, use the correct lenses etc..

    Of course different people will progress differently depending on frequency of shooting, diligently reading up and understand theories and also individual talent in photography.

    Mind to share what you think is the stage you yourself go through to be at least a decent photographer ?

    Stage 1. Decided that you want to have more control of how your pictures will turn out, need better IQ
    Stage 2. Read up and understand difference between DSLR and Digital Camera, learn the basics of ISO, Shutter and Aperture.
    Stage 3. Bought an Entry level DSLR or maybe semi-pro but with noobie controls like Auto settings.
    Stage 4. Start shooting.. starting from Full Automatic and understand how the computer sets the setting in point 2 base on the surrounding conditions.
    Stage 5. Start shooting using Manual settings.....
    Stage 6. Advanced stage, buying and appreciating high grade lenses (e.g. L lense for Canon) and using Tripod, going on night shoot, landscape shoot etc..
    Stage 7.. taking photographs for competition ? hehe.. just my guess.

    How long did it take you guys to go from 4 to 5 ? Just to have an indication...
    It's your own race with your own goals (and note, it doesn't even have to be a race, but a journey, etc).

    I know people who are more than happy to self-proclaim themselves as the king of gear, having the best gear. They are even proud to admit that they can't shoot but they have the best gear and that's what they care about.

    I know people who spend their lives being obsessed about winning competitions. They get fed up when they don't win, and post rants about it on Facebook, Clubsnap, various forums. Their photographic life centers around getting first prize. Even second won't do. If they lose they will torture themselves and also berate the judges and say that there is bias favouring fisheye lens (for example).

    There are also people who care about money and nothing else. The stock photographers among these take photos not out of pleasure or sense of aesthetics. Every single photo is measured up to how much money it could generate in stock photography revenue. Likelihood of being used in adverts is higher? Ignore the beautiful sunset and shoot the child and mother playing amongst the trees.

    Just like people progress differently, you miss out the part that people have different goals. Depending on your goals there are different stages as well. You need to consider that. Then you would understand that it is pointless to put a fence around anybody's photographic hobby and define them by stages. Life is so complex and fluid that doing so assumes too much.

    A lot of people get caught up in wanting to become "pro" without any clear definition of their goals and aspirations for the hobby. I think we've all been there. Trying to do what most people think what's right... Trying to prove something to someone else, or just to yourself. Does it really matter? What's important, in my opinion - is to ask yourself honestly: Why do I shoot? Where do I want to be? And go from there. It is much more efficient to define your own goals and run your own race and progress, than to sit around looking at what everyone else is doing and basing where you want to be on that. Cheers.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 14th November 2012 at 04:03 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    Shoot a lot of photographs, and you be better.

    Either better at taking photos, or better at realising u can't take photos.

    Because your first 10000 shots are the worst.
    hi

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    I guess everyone has their own way of learning photography and it also points down to how enthu and patience you are into learning.

    For me, I started off with a prosumer camera using only manual mode and it was really tough in the beginning as all my pictures are pitch black. This method is tough but i feel that I learnt alot during the process and it gives me the knowledge to use other modes easier.

    Till now, I am still learning from ppl in the forum and photography is a continuous learning process, you will never finish learning...
    In the eyes of the beholder!

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by koroshiya8 View Post
    Can check with the pros on what is the progression or learning curve for someone who just 'graduated' from Digital Camera to being proficient in using a full Manual controls/settings in DSLR? I think all the Lao Jiao probably started somewhere, maybe many years ago and now use DSLR and meddle with the settings proficiently based on where they are, use the correct lenses etc..

    Of course different people will progress differently depending on frequency of shooting, diligently reading up and understand theories and also individual talent in photography.

    Mind to share what you think is the stage you yourself go through to be at least a decent photographer ?

    Stage 1. Decided that you want to have more control of how your pictures will turn out, need better IQ
    Stage 2. Read up and understand difference between DSLR and Digital Camera, learn the basics of ISO, Shutter and Aperture.
    Stage 3. Bought an Entry level DSLR or maybe semi-pro but with noobie controls like Auto settings.
    Stage 4. Start shooting.. starting from Full Automatic and understand how the computer sets the setting in point 2 base on the surrounding conditions.
    Stage 5. Start shooting using Manual settings.....
    Stage 6. Advanced stage, buying and appreciating high grade lenses (e.g. L lense for Canon) and using Tripod, going on night shoot, landscape shoot etc..
    Stage 7.. taking photographs for competition ? hehe.. just my guess.

    How long did it take you guys to go from 4 to 5 ? Just to have an indication...

    when I start photography, all the cameras are the same,

    you read the reading from camera exposure meter,

    for those camera come without meter, either you use hand held light meter, or just memorise the Sunny f16 rule


    than adjust the camera exposure setting to follow suit, you may plus or minus a little base on your experience or preference.



    isn't it simple?
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    and the best part is, you can read the "cartoon drawing" from the film packaging box to know what exposure setting to use if you don't know how.

    of course, you need to buy consumer grade films, pro grade films don't have "cartoon drawing", just like pro grade DSLR don't have "green" mode.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  14. #14

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    thanks to all the replies.. think will serve as a good reference for anyone starting out on photography, to hear of personal experience, as textbooks only teach you the technicalities but the philosophy part really have to experience oneself or hear others out.. thanks!

  15. #15
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Nobody gives two hoots about the mode you are using - except those drooling fan boys and gear heads and wannabies who think that it needs a certain camera, lens or mode to get a shot. Photographers will judge you according composition, story and many other criteria. Google for composition in photography and you won't find a single word about modes or camera systems. I wonder why
    EOS

  16. #16

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Different people are different.

    Some are very creative but technically they move very slow with not much progression.

    Some are technically very good, but they are a block of wood in terms of originality.

    Work on your strong points and cover your weak points.

  17. #17
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    My viewpoint on this is simple. In the end, only the image matters.

    Doesn't matter if you use manual, P, A, S or Auto mode.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    My viewpoint on this is simple. In the end, only the image matters.

    Doesn't matter if you use manual, P, A, S or Auto mode.
    but if you don't understand how they work, you might have a frustrating time operating the camera and getting the result that you want.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    but if you don't understand how they work, you might have a frustrating time operating the camera and getting the result that you want.
    Well, I guess the point is that people should not treat the journey of learning photography as a progression through various "levels" or "stages" which can be clearly defined, like a progression through Primary 1-6 and then Secondary School
    Exploring! :)

  20. #20
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning curve from Digital Camera to Full Manual DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Well, I guess the point is that people should not treat the journey of learning photography as a progression through various "levels" or "stages" which can be clearly defined, like a progression through Primary 1-6 and then Secondary School
    If we outrule equipment ("Skills matter more") and stages like classes then how else can they compare who has the longest one..?
    EOS

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