Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Manual

There comes a time when all people break down and do the unthinkable: They read the manual.
– Author Unknown –

In our family – I read the manual before I push any buttons, turn any knobs, plug anything in. The Car Guy doesn’t. (This post, How to Boil Water, is a good example of the way we approach these things.) What about your family? Is Manual Reading a ‘Pink Job – Blue Job‘ thing, or do you think it is non-gender specific?

I have a New Camera (Canon PowerShot SX50 HS).  New buttons, new dials, new printed manual. No, not a big manual. A mini-manual – the one that says ‘Getting Started’. This showed me how to insert the battery and memory card and warned me, in 3 pages of tiny type, of all the safety precautions I should follow. ‘Getting Started” assured me that I could take my first few pictures without knowing what all the buttons and dials will do – so I bravely went where I would not normally go, and I took a few pictures. Then I removed the battery and put it in the charger because it was dead. I took that as a sign – the ‘Getting Started’ Manual didn’t really think I was ready to use this camera.

The real manual is a 286 page document stored in a PDF document that is password protected. A password protected document often severely limits certain useful features of a PDF document, and so it is with this one, as you will see in a moment. The document is set up so you can view two 5.5 X 8.5 inch pages at a time on your computer or a single page on iPad or iPhone like devices. So far, so good (though trying to read the manual on a phone is a chore of immense frustration.)

I wanted to print parts of the document and I believed that each two page spread  would print quite nicely on an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper. The document believed otherwise, insisting that each half a page deserved a full page of paper. End of discussion – for now.

camera

Here is my new camera. The only button that I am very sure about is the one that says ‘ON/OFF’. The rest are a bit of a mystery right now.

2013-Canon PowerShot SX50 manual - 1

Here are the two pages in the manual that explain all the dials and buttons.

2013-Canon PowerShot SX50 manual - 2

This is the same two pages, but edited to show what I understood by the time the battery was charged.

This is one of the more interesting things in my yard right now – dead things from last year. Maybe by the time there are green things and flowers, I’ll have mastered the macro feature!

39 thoughts on “Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Manual

  1. Hah! Same thing in every household that I know – obviously a Venus/Mars thing. The manual is ALWAYS the last resort for the guys!

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  2. Wow! I’m impressed with your Canon. Read the Getting Started manual! Good grief that’s a mini encyclopedia. My husband recently bought a camera that’s less professional than yours. The manual is written in tiny fonts in English, French and Japanese and there still aspects he puzzles over. His Getting Started manual has been on the deck table for a month now where he consults it frequently. The images he takes are terrific but unlike you he’s no photographer. I’m eager to see your upcoming photos.

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    1. I wish the Getting Started Manual had been the WHOLE manual – then it would have been printed and I could have highlighted bits of it with a yellow marker and – well, I’m old school when it comes to manuals.

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  3. Manuals always befoozle me. I think that it is because they are translated from English, to Vietnamese, to Chinese, and the back into English before we get out hands on them. Technically they are in English, but they don’t make much sense.

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    1. Canon is a Japanese company, so I expect all their manuals start out in Japanese! マニュアルキヤノン means ‘canon manual’ – translation of manuals is probably a tricky job.

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      1. I studied Japanese in college for 3 years and then was married to a Japanese man for 8 years. Translating from one to the other is sometimes hilarious. Their sentence structure is entirely different than English.

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  4. It’s really quite simple, Margie. First you set the whatzit to the whatsamajigger notch, being careful not to adjust the gizmothinger in the process. When that’s done, just move the framus wheel 4 clicks to the thingumbob and reset the bedoozer switch. Now you’re ready to point and shoot. Enjoy.

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  5. My husband reads the manual, first, always – he even made an acronym, RTM, that he uses with his students. I tend to get started hands on, then go to the manual, then back and forth – my own version of “interactive learning.” I read it, just not first thing and not all at once 🙂

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  6. Oh, I can so relate. I bought a new camera last year and wanted to review the manual first. The manual was more of a pain so I just jumped in and started playing with the camera. Hey, it’s not as if I had to pay to have the film developed. Isn’t digital great!!! The delete button gets used a lot …lol.

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    1. You are right – it doesn’t cost any more to take a hundred pictures than it does to take one. My camera even has a button that I can push to return all the settings back to factory settings, should I mess things up too much!

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  7. My husband will only touch a manual if he absolutely has to. Me, I read a manual from start to finish and what I manage to remember at the end of it, I apply. That said, my current camera’s manual has pretty much defeated me, so what I do is I learn a bit at a time – just what I need at the time – and then leave it alone for a long time. I’ve got to grips with aperture settings, haven’t got to grips with shutter speeds… I suspect I’ll never understand the latter. Thankfully it has a mostly-good auto function that I use when I’m not quick enough to use the manual settings (as I photograph birds, one needs something fast).

    Your camera manual looks easier than mine…. sadly.

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  8. By the way, I read up so much on my camera before I bought it, I was able to start playing with it immediately. Maybe you can find something about your camera online, too?

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  9. Being an ex techie I’m a RTM sort of guy, for everyone else. Instead, I jump in, play with with things and then later get the manual out. My new camera has a 486 page manual. I’d rather be taking photographs…

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  10. I have yet to look at my manual for the my power shot 😦 I am naughty! I thought I would be reading it when I took it on holidays, but as you discovered it is how to intsert the battery! Of course the CD was at home… I just haven’t had time to read through the CD and at that many pages and a busy work timetable I have been learning as I shoot. Maybe we should share tips and save time? 😉

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    1. I’ll keep posting what I’ve learned and I’m sure, like you, some of it will be by trial and error. I’ll watch for your tips in your blog!

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  11. Your post made me laugh and then get sad. I am about to buy this exact camera based on the reviews of another Blogger that shall remain nameless because I cannot remember her name. I NEVER read directions and I will now copiously follow your Blog for visual direction??

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    1. I’m glad to hear you are making your decision based on someone else’s recommendation. I haven’t taken enough pictures yet to be a reliable source! I’ll try to keep you posted about what I learn.

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  12. I went to a class on how to use my simple camera. The teacher said, “I think you should just put it on Automatic” I guess I’m a slow learner when it comes to gadgets and their manuals, so that’s what I did. Good luck with yours. You took a grand picture of the dead flower. 🙂 LOL!

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  13. Like most technology these days, you have to attend a class to really maximize all the features it has. So much of what I have is underused because I haven’t taken the time to understand the power and multi-functionality of it (Windows 8, my smart phone, my Bernina 840, etc.)

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    1. I agree Lorna. I keep finding features in Windows 7 that I didn’t know were there. My son-in-law just gave me his old iPhone and I have not progressed past making a phone call and creating a little note in the note thingie. As for my sewing machine – well, it is close to 30 years old – I do know what it will do!

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  14. The problem with reading camera manuals is that you need a good block of time to read and fiddle with the camera at the same time. Now that the semester is ending, I am going to take a “class” on photography – just me, my manual, and my camera. 🙂

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    1. That is what I need to do too. The great thing about digital photography is – it doesn’t cost you anything to take a crappy photo then delete it. Not like the days of film cameras!

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  15. I always find manuals intimidating, but at least they give you a fighting chance. Most products seem to come with a Getting Started mini-manual these days, and I think it’s an acknowledgment that many people are going to throw up their hands at the full fine-print version. Give me a printed copy any day, so I can circle something useful when I finally find it!!

    Good luck, Margie, I admire your bravery in tackling new equipment– it takes a lotta gumption nowadays!! : )

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