Taking Great Pictures Automatically

In This Chapter

Shooting your first pictures

Setting focus and exposure automatically

Using flash in automatic exposure modes

Getting better results by using the automatic scene modes

Changing from single-frame to continuous shooting

Switching the camera to self-timer or remote-control mode

A\ re you old enough to remember the Certs television com-¥ • mercials from the 1960s and '70s? "It's a candy mint!" declared one actor. "It's a breath mint!" argued another. Then a narrator declared the debate a tie and spoke the famous catchphrase: "It's two, two, two mints in one!"

Well, that's sort of how I see the Rebel XS/1000D. On one hand, it provides a full range of powerful controls, offering just about every feature a serious photographer could want. On the other, it also offers fully automated exposure modes that enable people with absolutely no experience to capture beautiful images. "It's a sophisticated photographic tool!" "It's as easy as 'point and shoot!'" "It's two, two, two cameras in one!"

Now, my guess is that you bought this book for help with your camera's advanced side, so that's what other chapters cover. This chapter, however, is devoted to your camera's simpler side. Even when you shoot in the fully automatic modes, following a few basic guidelines can help you get better results. For example, your camera offers a variety of fully automatic exposure modes, some of which may be new to you. The mode affects the look of your pictures, so this chapter explains those

options. I also cover techniques that enable you to get the best performance from your camera's autofocus and autoexposure systems and review the flash options and Drive mode settings available to you in automatic modes.

Getting Good Point-and-Shoot Results

Your camera offers several fully automatic exposure modes, all of which I explain later in this chapter. But in any of those modes, the key to good photos is to follow a specific picture-taking technique.

To try it out, set the Mode dial on top of the camera to Full Auto, as shown in the left image in Figure 2-1. Then set the focusing switch on the lens to the AF (autofocus) position, as shown in the right image in Figure 2-1. (The figure features the lens that is bundled with the Rebel XS/1000D. If you use a different lens, the switch may look and operate differently; check your lens manual for details.)

Figure 2-1: Choose these settings for fully automatic exposure and focus.

Figure 2-1: Choose these settings for fully automatic exposure and focus.

¿«jltBEft Unless you are using a tripod, also set the Stabilizer switch to the On setting, as shown in Figure 2-1. This feature helps produce sharper images by compensating for camera movement that can occur when you handhold the camera. Again, if you use a lens other than the kit lens, check your lens manual for details about using its stabilization feature, if provided.

Your camera is now set up to work in the most automatic of automatic modes. Follow these steps to take the picture:

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