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The User Manual Canon should have given you.
on 25 August 2009
This book is written and illustrated the way camera manuals that come with a new camera should be. It has photographs of the camera and its components. I don't understand why camera makers like Canon who are in the photography use drawings and not photographs.
There are ten chapters or sections and about two-hundred pages to this booklet. The author, Jason Schneider covers everything about the camera: how to configure and use it.
The first chapter is a brief one on appreciating your new camera, explaining the improvements over previous models of Canon PowerShot cameras and other such information.
The second chapter, like a camera manual is on Getting Started. Some readers might not appreciate this method of tracking the manufactuerer counterpart manual, but I do. It's a tried and proven format that is common to Magic Lantern Guides published by Lark Books. The only difference, as I mentioned above, is that this book is much better. So, in the second chapter, Schneider covers the very basic to starting to use the camera: the battery, memory card, initial settings, and the minimal things to know to take a simple picture, review it, copy it to a computer, and delete it. If you've figured all of this out on your own, skip this brief chapter.
The third chapter is on basic features of the Canon G10. This includes things like how to set the aperture, the shutter speed, and the ISO sensitivity. This also includes much more detailed explanations of the various icons and numbers on the camera's LCD view screen when taking a picture and when reviewing it afterwards. I can't always remember what everything means or how to check that I have it set right--especially if I haven't used the camera in a few weeks and have been using one of my other cameras in between. Jumping to this section of the book makes it much easier.
To provide quick and easy access to some settings, the Canon G10 has a Function button to be able to make adjustments on the fly. The fourth chapter is on these settings. It's not much, so Schneider has only ten pages for this chapter.
The fifth chapter is on the menus related to shooting modes. It's one of the longest chapters in the book, at about twenty-seven pages. It not only includes information on menus related to taking photographs, but also on shooting videos. Additionally, it covers setting up your own menu of settings which you often change depending on the situation you're in.
There's one aspect of this chapter, though, that I particularly find useful. I like Canon products and I like this compact camera very much. However, the shooting mode menus are confusing. In an attempt to make the menus simpler, any item which doesn't apply is grayed out. When I see a setting subdued like this, a setting that I can't change and have no idea what I did elsewhere that caused it to be unaccessible, it's frustrating. I rely on this chapter of Schneider's book to help me unravel what I did and to get me what I want.
In the sixth and ninth chapters, Schneider reviews the features available for reviewing images or playing them as a slide-show on the camera. This includes organizing, categorizing, and altering images on the camera without having to first transfer them to a computer. Additionally, he discusses how to print images directly from the camera to a printer. The sixth chapter explains the various menu settings related to these play-back features and the ninth chapter explains how to play the images.
The seventh chapter is a short one on the different drive modes. This includes discussion of single-shot versus continuous shooting modes. He also explains the different auto-focus modes and manual mode.
The eighth chapter is longer and covers light metering (e.g., spot metering) and white balance. If you don't understand how this camera's light meter operates and know how manipulate it, you'll be disappointed in your photographs. If you handle it properly, though, you will be surprised at how good of a camera it is. This chapter of Schneider's book can help you with the light meter.
The final chapter is on some accessories for the Canon G10. Most of the chapter is on configuring and using external flashes (i.e., Canon SpeedLite external flashes). He also talks about the teleconverter Canon makes for G10 so that you can increase the focal length of the camera's lens.
I know I'm repeating myself, but this book is what Canon should be providing with the camera. Since they don't, if you get a Canon PowerShot G10, you should get a copy of this book so that you can get the most out of your camera and so you can quickly get answers to questions you'll have about your camera.