It has taken me more than two-and-a-half years to finish this book.
When I bought my camera, I felt I needed a guide that would be easier to understand than the manual that came with it, which seemed to assume I knew all about cameras. But I’ve always had a point-and-shoot camera, even back in the days of film. Even my 35 mm camera had only a built-in lens. My first two digital cameras were simple automatics. I don’t understand apertures and shutter speeds.
I should have gotten the book for idiots since I apparently don’t have enough intelligence to qualify to be a dummy.
The first few months I labored through the pages, I constantly referred back to what I’d previously read, or consulted the index to see if I could find a clearer explanation further on in the book. The first chapters often introduced a feature and then said, “…but more about this in Chapter 7.” I reread pages over and over again, trying to figure out what the significance of one setting over another was.
When I bought my camera, I chose the Rebel T5 over the just-released T6, because the newer model had wi-fi capability, and I couldn’t conceive why I’d ever need it. (I didn’t even have an Instagram account back then.) I wanted as few bells and whistles as possible, and the T5 was touted as a “beginner” dSLR camera.
I learned early on to turn down the corners of certain pages so I could find them quickly for reference. Pages 11, 12, 27, and 37 have photographs of the camera from different angles with all the buttons and doohickeys labeled. Page 37 explains the “creative zone” modes.
It took me from beginning to end to approach being comfortable with some of the terms that I looked up dozens of times. In photography, some terms have such cryptic names that you have to wonder if manufacturers even want people to be successful with their products. (For example, why is shutter-priority autoexposure abbreviated Tv? Who could remember that?)
The good news is, the default settings on the Canon EOS Rebel T5 are sufficient to take reasonably good pictures under most situations. I used my old point-and-shoot procedure until I learned better. I’m pleased with my camera, and I’m glad that I am learning how to use more of the options. The book, though frustrating for a long time, is getting easier for me to decipher.
I still have much to learn. I’d say I understand about a third of the book at this point. But at least I have a general idea where to look to find out more. I have a feeling I’ll be rereading Canon EOS Rebel T5/1200D for Dummies for years to come.