When photographing a few things have to be set. First of all you have to select the exposure. Because that influences the selection of the other functions. There are two zones on the Canon EOS 350D, which is similar to other EOS models. The first one is the standard mode. This contains the so-called green mode which decides everything for the photographer and it contains the symbol settings. The green mode is more or less the mode for beginning photographers, you can't influence the light metering or the exposure data and everything is stored in JPEG format. The symbol settings at least give you some influence because with these programs a certain priority for aperture or shutter speed is chosen. For instance the portrait symbol offers maximum aperture and when the sports symbol is selected fast shutter speed will get priority. Also with these settings JPEG format will be used and a number of menu options are disabled. If you want full control of the menu, the Canon EOS 350D also features the creative zone. You'll find the 'normal' exposure settings in this zone like: P (Automatic shutter speed and aperture), Av (Aperture Priority), S (Shutter Priority), M (Manual) and A-Dep. This latter setting is unique for Canon. You focus on two points and the camera chooses the correct aperture and focus point. In creative zone the menu is fully accessible and you can work with all types of file formats. I prefer the P-mode to the green zone. But to be honest, mostly I use the Av mode.
Canon EOS 350D - Light metering
The Canon EOS 350D digital SLR is equipped with some three possibilities for light metering and fortunately you can decide yourself which light metering you use for every exposure program. Also the exposure lock works like it does on professional models. No more fiddling about. The most advanced metering method is the evaluative metering. The surface is divided into zones and is centred like that. The selected focus point will be taken in account. This metering will be satisfying for most situations. Besides that, the Canon EOS 350D features centre weighted metering, at which a circle in the centre decides the metering for 60%. Finally we find the partial metering, at which 10% of the area decides the metering. Do not confuse partial metering with spot metering, for the latter one focuses on a much smaller area.
Canon EOS 350D - Focus
Focus doesn't depend on the program either. And again the user can select from three settings: One shot, Ai Focus, and Continuous. The first setting lets you take the picture after the focus is correctly decided, the latter setting focuses continuously. Ai Focus is the good middle course. Focus is set but if the sensor detects the subject moves, focus will be adjusted.
Canon EOS 350D - Image format
The Canon EOS 350D can record simultaneously in JPEG, RAW as well as RAW and JPEG. The last one will always select JPEG format in the highest quality. Unlike its predecessor, the Canon EOS 350D will store the JPEG file separately from the RAW files. Working with RAW format certainly has its advantages, especially now there is a good program delivered with the camera to convert RAW files.
Canon EOS 350D - Image quality
ISO sensitivity can be set from 100 to 1600; 3200 sensitivity is not available. For a camera in this class it is sufficient. Canon really knows how to deal with digital noise, because up to ISO 800 hardly any noise is visible. The ISO 1600 suffers from minor noise but a lot less than the Canon EOS 300D or the Nikon D70. When using the standard setting, the image quality of the Canon EOS 350D is already outstanding. But if you want to give it an extra touch, there are plenty of possibilities. For example, the white balance has a fine setting, in case you don't like the standard one. And AdobeRGB as well as sRGB are available; the first one is a must if you shoot for printed material. Beside that it's also very easy to make black & white pictures. Even with a colour filter for example to give the blue light a darker shade. Of course that will only work in JPEG; in RAW you can even turn your images into colour again. The advanced photographer and the amateur will find plenty of possibilities on this digital camera.