I am sure that I have written this camera advice before but I guess it is time again.
I have had a couple people come in with camera issues in the past two months. One person actually sent his camera and lens back to Canon (3 times) as they were not working correctly and Canon could not fix it and another person was just plain frustrated and ready to give up.
What had happened?
Both people either took a course or listened on-line to a “Expert” tell them how they should be shooting. They then made changes to their cameras following this advice and did not understand why they did it or how to undo the changes.
One person was told that “on the lens you should NEVER use the AF setting”, unfortunately they never explained that if you use the MF setting you need to manually focus the lens. He was getting all out of focus pictures (okay a couple were in focus just by the fact that if your lens is set to 20′ sometime your subject will be at 20′). This was an easy fix (put lens back on AF) but I had to argue with him for 20 minutes that it would make his pictures better. Once done he was so happy but confused how a “professional” would mislead him, I had to tell him that it was one person’s preference on how to shoot a specific situation and he only got a part of the information.
The second person was told that he should change a number of his custom settings, SO he did! I understand why the teacher said to do that (again it was for a specific shooting situation and was not to be used for ALL photography), but with a novice photographer all he did was to confuse him, the changes were made and he could not get the camera back to the correct settings. After changing the custom settings he was not able to get his camera to correctly focus or to get an exposure close to what it should be. He sent his lens and camera back to Canon 3 times and each time was told it was fine (it was as long as you knew that it was no longer focusing using the shutter button, that the mirror lock up was on and a number of other changes were made). In his case I reset of all the camera settings and he was back to having a great camera and lens.
PLEASE – before you make any changes to your camera, lens, or menus make a note of the changes (what and how) and if it doesn’t make it better set it back. If someone tells you to make changes make sure that you understand why before you do so.