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SX740: any hints 'n tips for novice user who doesn't want AUTO all the time?

Craggy
Contributor

Every digital camera I've ever previously owned has has some kind of dedicated user forum, somewhere on the worldwide web. But not the SX740HS. from which I include, word of mouth has been so bad and general user interest so low that it has little in the way of a following. I'm not surprised: I find its capacity for frustration and infuriation in inverse proportion to its size.

 

The camera has been a disappointment to me from the get-go, not surprising as the first one had to be returned to Canon and replaced three days after purchase (lens refused to retract when camera was switched off) and since then I've pottered around with the replacement here and there, belatedly realising the extra-long zoom is of practically no value without having the camera on a tripod, an ancillary I always tuck in my pocket (!) whenever I'm out and about. Yeah. Right.

 

However, sticking with my purchase I'd be really grateful to hear from any other SX740 owners as to how they've fared with the camera in P mode (and any other mode away from AUTO) and what hints 'n tips they might have for changing to new settings so as to extract the best possible performance from this camera. Thanks.

18 REPLIES 18

cicopo
Elite

Start by taking a good look at this simple tutorial. Canon produced it but it applies to photography and is not brand related.

 

Canon Explains Exposure

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Thanks for that, cicopo. A great link to a really well presented mini-tutorial, something that's a credit to Canon. (It's now bookmarked in My Favorites toolbar). I admire the company's restraint in not seeking to hype its own wares but to deal simply and succinctly with the (illustrated) facts. I should've remembered all that stuff from years ago and long before buying my Canon AE1, but it's surprising how time dulls the mind. Well, mine at any rate.

Tronhard
Elite

The issue for me with the SX740 is the combination of a long telephoto reach without a viewfinder.  The design of the camera means that it has to be held like a cell phone - held away from the face with two points of support, when a long telephoto lens really needs a third anchor point that is usually gained by placing the viewfinder to the eye.  Trying to stablize it on two points and get decent shots is challenging.  I would suggest getting a mini tripod that collapses to a handle and use that against your chest for longer shots.

 


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

Thanks, Tronhard. 'Tis the same for me. I should've anticipated it before purchase but trusted to luck (never advisable.) Presumably the vogue fora longer and longer telephoto range has come to an end now as it's obvious that pocketability rules out viewfinders and viewfinder absence rules out stability. I actually do have a small pocketable tripod but rarely remember to take it out with me.

Waddizzle
Legend

@Craggy wrote:

 

The camera has been a disappointment to me from the get-go, not surprising as the first one had to be returned to Canon and replaced three days after purchase (lens refused to retract when camera was switched off) and since then I've pottered around with the replacement here and there, belatedly realising the extra-long zoom is of practically no value without having the camera on a tripod, an ancillary I always tuck in my pocket (!) whenever I'm out and about.

 

Yeah. Right..


Yeah, that's correct.  At the longer focal lengths a tripod may be necessary.  A lot has to do with your technique for holding the camera.  The camera lacks a viewfinder, so you have to hold it out like a cell phone, which is naturally unstable.

 

The camera is capable of 24-960mm range of equivalent focal lengths.  Anytime I use my DSLR with 600mm of focal length I always use a tripod or monopod.  In fact, I use a monopod or tripod with my 100-400mm lens whenever I want the sharpest photos.

 

At 960mm on just about any camera, some means of support is highly recommended. 

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Couldn't agree more, Waddizzle. Holding the SX740 like it's a cellphone is inevitable and more instinctive than practical and the end result shows the folly of that. Quite how the mountain- hopping bloke manages who sub -edits on a Scottish newspaper and walks across mountain ranges at night, as featured in the Canon SX740 promo, is beyond me.

Craggy
Contributor

just a quick addition: I wanted to thank everyone for responding so quickly to my post. The thoughtfulness is appreciated.

 

I'm still wondering, though. . .  any folks on here who don't actually use AUTO all or most of the time, do you prefer P instead? And, if so, what are your favorite camera settings in that mode? Thanks.

I never ever use auto an a camera offering it. Program makes better decisions & allows Exposure Compensation & Flash Exposure compensation. Both of those options mean I can quickly adjust to the unusual comditions quickly & get a more accurate shot which can be tweaked with software. About the only use I have for Auto is when handing a camera to someone with zero understanding about photography to take my photo. Even then I doubt I'd have it set to Auto.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Thanks cicopo. Am reassured! I'll keep on with Program mode, maybe experiment more and more with the settings available in that mode.
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