June 25, 2013

Canon Virtual DSLR Site Helps Beginners Learn the Basics of Photography Outside of Auto

Canon Virtual DSLRIf you're a beginner at photography, but too embarrassed to admit it, I know the feeling. I'm definitely not the most mechanically savvy person in the world when it comes to cameras (which I've found to be problematic when I get hired to do professional shoots.) But luckily there's a website for those of us who are camerachanically challenged (camera + mechanically = camerachanically -- probably the best word I've ever made up.) Canon has introduced a virtual DSLR website, a camera simulator called Outside of Auto, aimed at helping newbies learn the basics by taking them off autopilot and putting their hands on the controls.

Canon wants you to "take creative control" by using their interactive website. The way they plan to open you up to the world outside auto settings, is by explaining and introducing you to the basic vocabulary of camera settings: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure meter.

Now, when I started showing interest in cameras years ago, I had to read a 3-inch thick textbook about "buckets of light" and how an aperture on a camera is "like a faucet." That's all well and good, but I'm a visual and hands-on learner, and those of us who are will like the photos accompanying each explanation of the terms, and will really benefit from the website's "Play" feature.

This allows you to choose your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, which alters the exposure meter. Once you've chosen your settings, you capture your photo to see what effect your choices had on the image.

Again, this is very basic, but for anyone who is looking to learn those basics, this site has just enough information and controls to interact with to not overwhelm or confuse you, while at the same time giving you a good foundation for when you're ready to pick up the real thing.

Did you find Outside of Auto helpful? Are there other DSLR simulators out there that were also helpful?

Link: Canon's Outside of Auto website

[via PetaPixel]

Your Comment

107 Comments

hi. I have been studying and then teaching Photography, Cinematography and then Videography for years..
but I always count myself as a student and I'm happy to join this film making gear and so...
please let me know more about any new product. thanks

June 25, 2013

0
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jahanbakhsh

Hmmm strange... the http://www.canonoutsideofauto.ca web site is just blank. Maybe it's a temporary glitch..? I'll try it again later.

June 25, 2013

1
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Razor

It's working perfectly for me on a Macbook running the latest version of Safari.

It's a well done site which seems to be coded in HTML5 and JQuery (no Flash, which is nice). It would make a nice teaching tool for those not familiar with the basics of exposure.

June 25, 2013

1
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Markus Arike

It's a great page/site. The funny thing though is that I did a slow shutter speed and got a blurred propeller, with everything else looking reasonably well. By increasing the shutter speed and adjusting the exposure and ISO, you can get a good shot with perfectly focused propeller ... but I thought the blurred one was more "artistic". Oh, well.

June 26, 2013

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Reply
DLD

I think this website does a DSLR simulation much better. You should feature this as an article here. I use the site's DSLR simulator to teach a basic photography class.

http://camerasim.com/camera-simulator/

How a modern DSLR works

http://camerasim.com/slr-camera-explained/

June 28, 2013

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Awesome, have to try it out asap - thx!

July 1, 2013

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Reply

That's an awesome resource from Canon and I agree, it's good to have the hands on practice with the basics when you are just learning.

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