Hi all at clubsnap!
I'm a new user of the Canon 40D with the 17-85mm kit lens and 50mm f/1.8. Looking to try out the Sigma 70-300mm before moving on to the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 by year end. Using the DSLR has been a fantastic experience thus far but I also have some questions pertaining to the general usage of the camera. No doubt they are amateurish so please pardon my ignorance for now.
1. How can I store the camera as having a dry cabinet is not possible in the house at the moment? The store gave a dry box but the hygrometer was missing inside. The camera currently rests in the Canon bag placed in a relatively warm room and there's simply too many dogs' balls of fur around.
2. My puppy licked the lens when I got too close. Then, I wiped off the saliva with a soft cloth but under the lamp I can still see some tiny hairs stuck to it. Is it alright for the lens to remain in this condition?
3. How long can the camera be left without its lens cover? If dusts/hair gets in, can I still rely on the camera's self cleaning function to achieve clear shots?
4. Must the camera always be placed in cushioned bag? In my case, It'd be best if I can travel with one lens attached to the camera and stacked into my already waterproof backpack.
5. Do I switch off the cam each time I'm not shooting. Like in the case where I'm attending an event/excursion for very long hours yet wanna try my skills at anything interesting. Is it advisable to leave it at 'on' mode the entire time? I'm a real noob.
Have not been able to shoot much indoors as the dogs hate the camera and lunges or snaps at it. Will update with more qns once I get them used to the sight of it.
6. Composition qn. I've been reading up (and still confused) on AF, metering etc but I'm just curious how are the following scenarios usually shot at.
a) Candid shot - people (standing/sitting) on the left, center and right, quite scattered.
b) Group shot - up to 50 people.
For both egs, do I just use a small aperture to get everyone and the background in? Result - everything sharp = good?
7. Why do f. numbers go up so high? The smallest aperture I've used is f/11 and almost all the time at f/8 yet the image is already very sharp to my eyes.
Current book of reference: Langford's Starting Photography. Hope this is good enough.
Plenty of thanks in advanced to anyone who'd take the time to reply to the wall of text above.
I really need solid advice here as there's no one in person I can forward my questions to.