Canon XSi/450D

Random thoughts about using the Canon XSi/450D

Moving from a compact digital camera to a digital single lens reflex camera has been quite an experience. It’s been a good one but may take some time before considering it a great one.

Moving from a compact digital camera to a digital single lens reflex camera has been quite an experience for me. Here are some of my feelings about using it.

It feels like luggage

After using lightweight compact digital cameras for years, I’m still not used to the weight of the XSi (and it’s considered light for a DSLR). Still, when actually using it, I don’t think about the weight at all.

However, I must confess. I feel like I’m packing luggage for a trip whenever I want to take along both lenses and the few accessories I have to date.  🙂

Auto ISO

Speaking of using lightweight digital cameras for years, I am ecstatic about the high ISO performance of the XSi. It is just so far superior  to the high ISO performance of any compact digital camera I’ve owned. My FujiFilm F20 does quite well, but for my photographic style, the F20 doesn’t have some features I want and the zoom is too short.

I keep the XSi on Auto ISO most of the time.

Moving from a compact digital camera to a DSLR

There is a definite learning curve when moving from a compact digital camera to a digital single reflex camera . Surprisingly though, handling a DSLR is actually easier than a compact. There is little need to dig through menus to change key settings such as ISO, white balance and Exposure Compensation. On my XSi, these important settings have dedicated external buttons.

Aperture Priority mode

Getting the best out of a lens certainly takes some homework. To get the sharpest images from a lens, you need to find its “sweet spot.”  That often means using Aperture Priority mode; instead of the automatic P mode, which I regularly used on compacts.

Using the built-in flash

My experience with the flash has not been a pleasant one. Evidently compact digital cameras do not have the shutter speed limitation as with DSLRs that have focal plane shutters. Thankfully, the high ISO performance of DSLRs excels compared to compacts.

I’ve never been a fan of flash photos anyway. So until I learn to use the flash correctly in manual mode, I switch the camera to P Mode and flip up the flash.

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