Canon Digital Learning Center – Why not? It’s free!

by: Gary Lowell [Flickr], Studio Lighting Contributor

Now contrary to the title of this article, the Canon Digital Learning Center can be useful, quite simply, to anyone with any kind of camera.

The site is actually intended for users of the Canon Eos line of cameras. If you own an Eos 1D Mark II, Eos 20D, original Rebel (Kiss, 300D) or a RebelXT (350D) there are camera specific tutorials that are absolutely awesome.

Click here for a link to the site

Some of the tutorials are simly about such topics as using fill flash, flash positioning, camera handling, doing more with macro, choosing lenses, shooting in low light, printing from camera and much more.

Under the RebelXT tutorial page there are 10 tutorials labeled as “Digital Photography Basics”. In this section Canon takes you quickly through metering, lighting, lens types, Jpeg Vs. Raw, portrait concepts and just about anything you can think of for an amateur photographer.

Aside from tutorials, Canon also has an occasional photo contest where you can win some pretty cool gear. The only catch is that you need to shoot your “winning photo” with an Eos Digital Camera.

Canon has also recently released the newest version of their Digital Photo Professional software. This software is designed to help us more efficiently work with our Raw images.

Here’s a direct link to the Digital Photo Professional page.

What I like most about this program is the feature called “Recipes”. This may be a feature you’re already familiar with on a different program. Using a recipe allows you to apply a blanket change to a group of photos with a few simple clicks.

Say you just came home from a shoot and realized that you accidentally set your white balance to flash but you shot the whole day with tungsten. You can simply open one of the pictures from your shoot in Digital Photo Professional, adjust your white balance (and/or many other things) and save it as a recipe. You can then apply that recipe to any of the photos you choose. I’m willing to bet that this tool has saved someone’s job at least once.

If you’re shooting with any of the Eos DSLR’s you probably got an older version of this. Make sure to take advantage of the free upgrade (I think the new version is 2.0 even though it says 1.6 on the site). To the best of my knowledge this software only works with Canon’s proprietary RAW format.

Well that’s all for now. If you live up north, make sure to take some snow pics before it all melts away.