If you’re just starting out in photography, there are a lot of resources out there to help you understand the basics before you just jump in. And while books and videos are certainly helpful, one of the more fun ways to learn your way around a camera is by using an online DSLR simulator. We’ve shared one with you before, and now Canon Canada has released a simulator website of its own dubbed Outside of Auto.
The Outside of Auto website maintains that while a Canon DSLR can still take good photos in Auto (debatable, but we digress) the real fun starts once you begin to understand exposure and all the ways to control it. As such, the website gives users three sections to choose from: Learn, Play and Challenge.
The Learn section itself is then split into three sections: Home, Photography 101, and Tips. Home covers the basic exposure triangle, giving visual representations of how aperture, shutter speed and ISO all affect the final exposure. To finish off, it ties everything in to the all-mighty exposure meter, perhaps missing an opportunity to point out that zero doesn’t always translate into “properly exposed.”
Photography 101 then goes into more detail under headings like “Understanding Exposure,” “Setting the Mood” and “Your Shooting Environment,” while Tips includes tidbits that will help beginners understand the Shutter and Aperture Priority modes while explaining some of the benefits and pitfalls of each point in the triangle.
Once users are done learning the basics they can head over to Canon’s simulator in the Play section, where they can put their newfound knowledge to use. This section gives you a chance to shoot as many pictures as it takes to understand those settings and how to properly expose a photo. The only oversight we noticed is the fact that you can’t change the ambient lighting conditions.
Finally, the Challenge section gives users a chance to test their skills against the clock by timing them as they try to replicate 6 different photo scenarios such as “get a good exposure” and “capture the motion of the propeller.”
Ultimately, the website offers beginners a great starting point if they either don’t have their own DSLRs to mess with or just have some time to kill on the Internet while they’re somewhere far away from the camera they do have.
Click here to head over to Outside of Auto and mess around with Canon’s simulator yourself.