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New Canon Rebel t6... what do I need to know???/


I'm a (very) amateur photographer who has been doing photography for a year now with my DJI Mavic Pro. For aerial shots, it's great, but I've been wanting something for ground level that isn't my cell phone. Two friends who do a lot of photography strongly recommended the Canon Rebel t6 since it's on sale and I have zero camera experience.

The camera will arrive in a few days but in the meanwhile I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Who do you trust for comments, reviews, information, etc. What should I learn first? I feel really overwhelmed but excited as well. Thanks!



Hi WIlliam

Welcome to the forum. 


Not knowing how much you DO know about photography I will assume pretty much zilch...  If you have access through your local library to the website (if its in the catalogue it's free access), or just visit it directly - (30 days free), you can get access to a huge number of videos on the basics of photography.


Basically you need two types of skill:

1. TECHNICAL - that means understanding the Holy Trinity of imagery: shutter speed, aperture and ISO - what the characteristics of each are, how they interact and how they impact on your images.  Once you get those under your belt you can use any camera. 


Also you need to read your camera's manual - you need to become competent in using the controls, and preferably finding them without having to look.  That may take a while and some of it will depend on your homework on theory.


Start with learning to hold a camera properly: left hand under the lens and cradling the body from beneath in heel of your hand, right had lightly working the controls, and eye to the viewfinder rather than the LCD at the back.  That way you have 3 points of contact with the camera which is a much more stable platform than holding it up like a cell phone.



2. ARTISTIC - we're talking composition here. Any decent book or video on photography basics will give you the basics of good still image composition.  One way is to look at how artists paint great pictures, but frankly getting a decent book on photography for Christmas would be a good start.


I would also suggest looking at your local photographic clubs or societies.  You can learn a lot from experienced members who will usually be happy to help you out.


That should get you started. 

cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


"What should I learn first?"


What should you learn first, learn how to read the manual.  Most folks that get a new camera don't even know there is a manual. Don't be that person.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I'm an old head 35 mm SLR shooter, but not a pro. I got the Rebel T6 as a Christmas present and I couldn't be happier. I'm approaching this camera like an old school 35 mm.


Shots are free, so I intend to do a lot of experimenting. 


This camera will do LOTS of things. I dove into the manual, and I'll be going back to it for some time.

READ THE MANUAL - it lays out everything the camera will do. The more you know about what your camera will do, the better your shots.


Hi William your not alone! I just got a new T6i after being a point and shoot owner for many, many years. First things I noticed was all the buttons on the camera! I bought a book on the T6 too just to see things explained a little differently than the manual. You will get, and I will get good advice here from the members on specific questions as well as general inquiries. But just like most things, it's going to take practice and patience.and time. Make the manual your best friend! 

"Shots are free, so I intend to do a lot of experimenting."


I love this!  Second on the list of things to do is a post editor.  A must not an option if you want the best the T6 can deliver.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


Since you are very new to DSLR photography, I'd recommend you buy Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Photography".... read it, study it, learn it. Last time I looked on Amazon it only cost about $18 and may be the best money you ever spend on your photography.


There are also "guide books" specific to the T6 available, which sort of expand upon what you'll find in the user manual. One of those might be helpful, too. Over the years, I've bought guides by David Busch, Doug Klostermann, David Taylor and Charlotte Lowrie.... all good. There are probably others by authors I don't know, so check the buyer feedback.


The Canon manuals are fine (and free). But any printed one that's included with the camera is probably heavily abridged.... more of a "starter" manual. Be sure to check online and download the more complete PDF version from the Canon website. (For example, the printed manuals that came with my 7D Mark IIs is aroudn 150 pages... But online the PDF manual is over 500 and there's a separate 50 page manual for just the autofocus system!)


The T6 has a lot of automation to help new shooters. One mode for still photography that I'd call your attention to is "CA" or "creative auto".... This is sort of a "learning" mode, which provides wizard-style assistance on the camera's rear LCD monitor to help you get familiar how things work.


The camera will come with Canon software to work with your images on your computer (either on a disk or as a download). That can be fine. However, a lot of people opt to get a more full featured, all in one program like Adobe Elements 2019 (which is also loaded with support for new users). It's on sale for $70 right now.... but if you also want to work with video, the $150 bundle with both Elements and Premier is probably a better deal. 



Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2) some other cameras, various lenses & accessories

I no longer recommend Photoshop Elements. Ever since the 2018 version, you can no longer perform lens correction. It has been crippled. Use the Canon free software.

Adobe Premiere is for video.

Learn how to set the camera to save files in RAW format. The CR2 files are like digital negatives. The JPG files are like instant prints from a Polaroid.
"The right mouse button is your friend."


"... Adobe Elements 2019 (which is also loaded with support for new users). It's on sale for $70 right now.... "


This is a good deal for a program that is almost Photoshop.  It will do everything the amateur or even advanced person wants. A steal at $70 bucks.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

@ebiggs1 wrote:

"... Adobe Elements 2019 (which is also loaded with support for new users). It's on sale for $70 right now.... "


This is a good deal for a program that is almost Photoshop.  It will do everything the amateur or even advanced person wants. A steal at $70 bucks.



This is what the version of ACR that now comes with PSE looks like now.  Like I said, it has been crippled.  You cannot perform lens correction with PSE.  People are better off using DPP, and freeware like GIMP or PaintDotNet.

Adobe really wants you to enroll in a subscription.  They now offer at least two packages aimed at photographers.  If you want PSE with lens correction, then subscribe to Lightroom CC.  Lightroom CC is not a full blown version.  If you want full blown Lightroom, then you need Lightroom Classic CC, which costs twice as much.

"The right mouse button is your friend."