Author Topic: Have you RTFM ?  (Read 1210 times)

Have you RTFM ?
« on: February 05, 2019, 08:56:53 am »
While I wait for the arrival of my new lightweight body (I wish!!!) I was poking around reading about the 150-400 lens - not that I'll be buying one as I don't suppose you'll get much change from £10k, but it is a perfect example of "why m4/3?", contemplating handheld 800mm (or even 2,000mm) on a full frame, or even APS-C doesn't get of the physics starting blocks.

I came across the concept of a "Focus Peaking" feature on the Olympus m4/3 system, realised I knew nothing about it and decided it was high time to read the manual, cover to cover.  Turns out there are a few features I had lived in blissful ignorance about, and some smarter ways of configuring stuff, not surprising given the soft configuration abilities of most DSLR. Not earth shattering, but useful all the same. Oh, and the "Focus Peaking"? that's the most useful thing and EVF specific, if you use manual focus (or, as I do, AF with MF tuning if you need to)  the EVF highlights object edges which pop in and out of definition. No idea why it is off by default, it's a knockout improvement to EVF, like split prism on steroids on a normal VF but operates across the whole frame.

Part of this comes about because I graduated into the latest generation from earlier OM-D models which weren't as fully featured (and optical rather than EVF), moving onto the latest you carry over your old ways of working, and anyway, whoever reads those damn things.

Have you ever read your manual?


  • Just do it!
Re: Have you RTFM ?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 12:27:32 pm »
I did when I bought myself my first camera, a Pentax ME-Super on 28 April 1984...


  • Timelord
Re: Have you RTFM ?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 12:28:08 pm »
People still write proper manuals?   :o
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Have you RTFM ?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 01:11:24 pm »
Yes, but you have to go online to read them.

DSLR are in a unique space, because there is substantial effort put into backward compatibility for meatware, along with familiarity and rapid acclimatisation for system users, however the tech  has made leaps and bounds. Those factors mean that anyone can easily take good pictures using the standard PASM dial, along with basic controls like white balance, but - at least in Oly's case - there are a few goodies under the covers.

Re: Have you RTFM ?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 04:18:27 pm »
Often. Usually to find out or clarify how a less frequently feature works. Just the other day I was looking up how to use long exposure noise reduction. And yes, there's sometimes hidden gems. I discovered back button focus that way.

If anyone's significantly embedded in the Nikon system, Thom Hogan's books go beyond the manual and are worth their deep dive into the hidden depths of DSLR configuration.

Re: Have you RTFM ?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 10:23:15 pm »
I always read the quick start guide that comes with the camera, however with firmware updates and such manuals very quickly go out of date, my camera introduced "post focus" as a firmware update, and it's such a strange concept that they put a demo mode on the camera, so the camera can give you a video demonstration on the LCD of what it's used for.

I tend to watch youtube videos rather than read manuals cover to cover as manuals are dry, and a lot of the stuff, connecting to printers, setting up multiple flashes etc, aren't anything I'm particularly interested.

Before going on holiday I always make sure to download the latest manual to my kindle, in case I need to work out how to set something.

A few weeks ago, I managed to lock something on my camera, and it said I need to push function 5 button to clear it. I had no idea which button was function 5, as they are all unlabelled, and I tend to remember them by their position.


  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Have you RTFM ?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 08:22:00 am »
When I got my D300s I managed to get it into bracketing mode without realizing it. That was fun until I RTFM.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.