I was planning on taking a couple online courses from our local community college at $99 per course. There are three courses, so my plan was to take all of them over the summer.
When I went to buy a course, I noticed that there was a sample of what to expect. To my surprise, the course, at least what they had as a sample, consisted only of pdf files. There was no video at all. So, I decided to look elsewhere.
I remember someone mentioning Lynda.com a while back. I wasn't really sure what it was, but I decided to research it. Lynda.com has over 1800 video courses available and many discuss photography, Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop. There are also classes on specific cameras, web design and other business related subjects.
They offer a free trial so that you can try out the service before paying. They do require a credit card and they automatically charge you if you do not cancel before the trial is over.
Since I mainly wanted to learn Photoshop, I went ahead and subscribed to their $37.50 per month service. It contains "exercise files" that let you follow along with the same file as the instructor. I am not sure it is really needed, since you can just manipulate any file in a similar manner, but I will try it out and decide later. The subscription without these files is $25 a month. I am not sure why it costs so much more to get these files, but I think it will make it easier to remember steps if I see it and perform it on the exact same file.
When I signed up, I noticed that they had a 5+ hour course that covered my camera. It walks you through most of the settings. One of the things I really like is that the course is broken out into several videos based on subject matter that makes it easy to go back and review a subject later.
My favorite thing about the service is that it works on my iPad or iPhone. I can watch the videos directly on the device or send it to my AppleTV via airplay. I set it up to automatically play the next video. It looks great on the TV and it will just continue to play the next subject without any manual intervention. My only complaint is that it won't play the video in the background on the actual iPhone/iPad. Therefore, you can't check email or do anything else while the video is playing. I usually just play the video on the iPad so my iPhone is still available for other uses.
The service makes it easy to find courses by subject or searching and gives you the option to add courses to playlists that you can create. It will also keep track of the courses you have started and put a small icon that looks like an eye next to subjects you have started.
I plan to keep the service for a while. I may eventually cut back to the $25 a month service, but I have hours and hours of courses in my playlists now and I haven't even started looking at the business courses. Also, when you consider the bang for the buck, even a single local online course in this area won't get close to the value. I realize there are similar classes available for free on Youtube, but you may end up wasting a lot of time reviewing bad videos before you find something professional and useful.
If you are a photographer, I would highly recommend looking into the service.