Canon EOS 60D, In-Camera Image Editing

The 60D has image-editing features that allow you to quickly process images in-camera and save those files as a JPEG on your SD card. This feature is not a replacement for editing images on your computer, but it is a useful and fun way to create quick, ready-to-use images directly from your memory card.

CREATIVE FILTERS

The Creative filters are a fun way to add different effects to your images. The 60D comes with four different filters, each with settings you can change to customize the look of your image. Now, one thing to note is that you are unable to apply these effects to images photographed in the mRAW or sRAW quality settings.

  • Grainy B/W: This will make the image black and white and also add grain to the image. You can control the amount of contrast in the image—the contrast setting in Figure 10.2 was set to “low.”
  • Soft Focus: This adds a classic “soft glow” to an image by adding blur (Figure 10.3). You have control over the amount of blur you would like to add to your image.
  • Toy Camera effect: This effect adds a color cast and also vignettes the corners of the image to make it look as though it was photographed with a toy camera (Figure 10.4).
  • Miniature effect: If you want to mimic the look of a tilt-shift lens, then this is really fun to use. This filter adds contrast and blur to the image to make your scene look like a diorama, and it allows you to select the area of focus. It looks best when applied to photos taken from high up, like from a cliff or balcony (Figure 10.5).
Grainy B/W
FIGURE 10.2 Grainy B/W
Soft Focus
FIGURE 10.3 Soft Focus
Toy Camera effect
FIGURE 10.4 Toy Camera effect
Miniature effect
FIGURE 10.5 Miniature effect

APPLYING A CREATIVE FILTER TO AN IMAGE

APPLYING A CREATIVE FILTER TO AN IMAGE

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to go to the fifth tab from the left. Scroll down to the Creative Filters option using the Quick Control dial and press Set (A).
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select an image to edit (your camera will only display compatible images at this point). Press the Set button.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to select the Creative filter you would like to apply, and then press Set (B).
  4. Use the Quick Control dial to adjust the filter (the options are different for each filter) (C). When you are finished editing, press the Set button. (You can also exit any of the filters at any time by pressing the Menu button to go to the previous screen.)
  5. Select OK on the next screen, and your image is now saved as a JPEG on your memory card. Press OK to confirm, and press the Menu button to exit.

RAW PROCESSING

Along with the Creative filters, you can also do basic adjustments to RAW files on your 60D. This feature is helpful if you need to quickly edit a file and save it as a JPEG, and you don’t have access or time to do so on a computer. Just like with the Creative filters, you cannot process images photographed in the mRAW and sRAW quality settings.

PROCESSING RAW IMAGES WITH THE 60D

PROCESSING RAW IMAGES WITH THE 60D

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to go to the fifth tab from the left. Scroll down to the RAW Image Processing option using the Quick Control dial, and press Set (A).
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select an image to edit (your camera will only display compatible images at this point). Press the Set button.
  3. Use the Multi-Controller to select an option to edit. Then use the Quick Control dial to make changes.
  4. Continue making changes to each setting as necessary, and when you are finished processing the image, scroll down to the Save option (B). Press Set.
  5. Select OK on the next screen, and your image is now saved as a JPEG on your memory card. Press OK to confirm, and press the Menu button to exit.

RESIZING IMAGES

Sometimes you might want to quickly resize an image, and the 60D has a feature that makes this very easy. You can resize JPEG L/M/S1 and S2 images, but not RAW and JPEG S3 files. This feature is perfect if you edited an image using a Creative filter discussed earlier in this section and need to use the image on the Web or send it as an email attachment.

RESIZING IMAGES ON THE 60D

RESIZING IMAGES ON THE 60D

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to go to the fifth tab from the left. Scroll down to the Resize option using the Quick Control dial and press Set (A).
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select an image to resize (your camera will only display compatible images at this point). Press the Set button.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to select the size you would like your image to be, and then press the Set button (B).
  4. Select OK on the next screen, and your image is now saved as a JPEG on your memory card. Press OK to confirm, and press the Menu button to exit.

 

VARI-ANGLE LCD MONITOR

One really cool feature of the 60D is its Vari-angle LCD Monitor (commonly called an “articulating screen”), which can be really handy in certain situations. Benefits of using this feature are very apparent when shooting in Live View or video mode, since you can angle the display so that it’s shaded from the sun. You can also angle the display when you want to lower or raise the camera beyond your field of view by moving the LCD Monitor so that it’s always facing in your direction. You can also swivel the display so that it’s flipped completely around, making it possible to do self-portraits or videos of yourself.

Another nice benefit of the Vari-angle LCD Monitor is that you can turn the display so that it’s flush against the camera, protecting the LCD Monitor from scratches while not in use. This is a good option when packing the camera in a camera bag or while using it in a harsh environment where damage to the monitor can easily occur.

VARI-ANGLE LCD MONITOR

Nikon D7000, Flash and Glass and A Few Words About External Flash

Flash and Glass

If you find yourself in a situation where you want to use your flash to shoot through a window or display case, try placing your lens right against the glass so that the reflection of the flash won’t be visible in your image. This is extremely useful in museums and aquariums.

A Few Words About External Flash

We have discussed several ways to get control over the built-in pop-up flash on the D7000. The reality is that, as flashes go, it will only render average results. For people photography, it is probably one of the most unflattering light sources that you could ever use. This isn’t because the flash isn’t good—it’s actually very sophisticated for its size. The problem is that light should come from any direction besides the camera to best flatter a human subject. When the light emanates from directly above the lens, it gives the effect of becoming a photocopier. Imagine putting your face down on a scanner: The result would be a flatly lit, featureless photo.

To really make your flash photography come alive with possibilities, you should consider buying an external flash such as the Nikon SB700 AF Speedlight. The SB700 has a swiveling flash head, more power, and communicates with the camera and the TTL system to deliver balanced flash exposures.

Canon EOS 60D, The My Menu Settings

You may find that you are constantly going back and forth in the menu to change some of the same settings over and over again. Instead of going into the menu to hunt for the one item that you need to change but that you have misplaced (this happens to me all the time), take advantage of the 60D’s simple solution to help you keep a few of those settings in one place and make them easier to find—the My Menu tab.

Under the My Menu tab, you have the option to register up to six different menu options and custom functions. I usually select menu items that I use frequently so that I can quickly make changes to those settings. Some of the items I tend to keep in the My Menu settings are Format, Creative filters, Expo. comp./AEB, and White balance (Figure 10.1).

This is what the My Menu settings look like on my 60D.
FIGURE 10.1 This is what the My Menu settings look like on my 60D.

CUSTOMIZING YOUR MY MENU SETTINGS

CUSTOMIZING YOUR MY MENU SETTINGS

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to select the tab to the far right (the star). Select the My Menu settings option, and press Set (A).
  2. Highlight the Register to My Menu item, and press Set.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to scroll through the available menu items (B); when you see one that you want to add, press the Set button and confirm that you want to add it by selecting OK.
  4. Continue adding the items that you want until you have selected your favorites (up to six of them).
  5. You can sort your menu items as you see fit or, if you change your mind, you can delete them individually or all at once.
  6. If you want the My Menu tab to be the first menu tab that appears each time you go into the menu on your LCD Monitor, enable the Display from My Menu item (C).

Quick Control dial to scroll

Nikon D7000, Reducing Red-Eye

We’ve all seen the result of using on-camera flashes when shooting people: the dreaded red-eye! This demonic effect is the result of the light from the flash entering the pupil and then reflecting back as an eerie red glow. The closer the flash is to the lens, the greater the chance that you will get red-eye. This is especially true when it is dark and the subject’s pupils are fully dilated. There are two ways to combat this problem. The first is to get the flash away from the lens. That’s not really an option, though, if you are using the pop-up flash. Therefore, you will need to turn to the Red-eye Reduction feature.

This is a simple feature that shines a light from the camera at the subject, causing his or her pupils to shrink, thus eliminating or reducing the effects of red-eye (Figure 8.13).

Notice that the pupils on the image without red-eye are smaller as a result.
Figure 8.13 Notice that the pupils on the image without red-eye are smaller as a result.

This small adjustment can make a big difference in time spent post-processing. You don’t want to have to go back and remove red-eye from both eyes of every subject!

The feature is set to Off by default and needs to be turned on by using the information screen or by using a combination of the flash button and the Command dial.

Turn on the lights!

When shooting indoors, another way to reduce red-eye, or just shorten the length of time that the reduction lamp needs to be shining into your subject’s eyes, is to turn on a lot of lights. The brighter the ambient light levels, the smaller the subject’s pupils will be. This will reduce the time necessary for the red-eye reduction lamp to shine. It will also allow you to take more candid pictures because your subjects won’t be required to stare at the red-eye lamp while waiting for their pupils to reduce.

Turning on the Red-eye Reduction feature

Turning on the Red-eye Reduction feature

  1. Press and hold the flash button while viewing the control panel.
  2. While holding the flash button, rotate the Command dial until the small eye appears in the box. This means Red-eye Reduction is on. Release the flash button.
  3. With Red-eye Reduction activated, compose your photo and then press the shutter release button to take the picture.

When Red-eye Reduction is activated, the camera will not fire the instant that you press the shutter release button. Instead, the red-eye reduction lamp will illuminate for a second or two and then fire the flash for the exposure. This is important to remember as people have a tendency to move around, so you will need to instruct them to hold still for a moment while the lamp works its magic.

Truth be told, I rarely shoot with Red-eye Reduction turned on because of the time it takes before being able to take a picture. If I am after candid shots and have to use the flash, I will take my chances on red-eye and try to fix the problem in my image processing software or even in the camera’s retouching menu. The Nikon Picture Project software that comes with your D7000 has a feature to reduce red-eye that works really well, although only on JPEG images.

 

Canon EOS 60D, Using a Custom White Balance

Throughout this book, I’ve discussed several of the white balance settings and when to use them. One white balance setting I haven’t covered in detail is the Custom setting. Sometimes the presets on your camera won’t be 100 percent accurate. For example, you might use the Daylight setting outside on a sunny day, but the color and quality of the light will be different at noon than they will be at 7 p.m. The Daylight white balance setting will get you to a good starting point, but you’ll need to go through a few simple steps to achieve as much accuracy as possible.

The only piece of equipment you need to do this, other than your camera, is something you can point your camera at to measure the temperature of the light. These devices come in many shapes, sizes, and prices; one inexpensive option is a basic 8-by- 10-inch 18 percent gray card. You can find these at most camera stores and they don’t cost very much—plus they do the job well. But you don’t need to purchase anything to set this up—you can always use a plain white piece of paper, or anything with a plain white surface. The color won’t be as accurate, but it should get you really close. (Note: This setting will not work with an image photographed with the Monochrome picture style.)

SETTING UP A CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE USING A GRAY CARD

SETTING UP A CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE USING A GRAY CARD

  1. Place the gray card in the light you will be photographing your subject in. Position the card in front of the camera so that it fills the entire frame, focus manually, and use a balanced exposure. Then press the Shutter button and take a picture.
  2. Next, press the Menu button and use the Main dial to get to the second shooting tab. Use the Quick Control dial to scroll down to the Custom White Balance menu item (A), and then press the Set button.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to scroll to the photo of the gray card you just took. Press the Set button and select OK (B).
  4. If your white balance is not already set to Custom, you will get a reminder on the next screen. If this happens, press the Set button and set your white balance to Custom

Now your camera should have the proper white balance for the light you are currently working in. Don’t forget to change it when you move to a location with different lighting!

Nikon D7000, Compensating for Flash Exposure

The TTL system will usually do an excellent job of balancing the flash and ambient light for your exposure, but it does have the limitation of not knowing what effect you want in your image. You may want more or less flash in a particular shot. You can achieve this by using the Flash Compensation feature.

Just as with Exposure Compensation, the Flash Compensation feature allows you to dial in a change in the flash output in increments of 1/3 of a stop. You will probably use this most often to tone down the effects of your flash, especially when you are using the flash as a subtle fill light (Figures 8.10–8.12). The range of compensation goes from +1 stop down to –3 stops.

This image was taken with no flash. The exposure is too dark although we have plenty of detail in highlights.
Figure 8.10 This image was taken with no flash. The exposure is too dark although we have plenty of detail in highlights.
This image was taken using the flash and now the image appears too light or “blown out.” There’s very little detail in the highlights.
Figure 8.11 This image was taken using the flash and now the image appears too light or “blown out.” There’s very little detail in the highlights.
By reducing the flash by one stop I was able to achieve the exposure I wanted without losing details in the highlights.
Figure 8.12 By reducing the flash by one stop I was able to achieve the exposure I wanted without losing details in the highlights.

Using the Flash Compensation feature to change the flash output

Using the Flash Compensation feature to change the flash output

  1. With the flash in the upright and ready position, press and hold the flash button while viewing the control panel.
  2. While holding down the flash button, rotate the Sub-command dial to set the amount of compensation you desire. Turning to the right reduces the flash power 1/3 of a stop with each click of the dial. Turning left increases the flash power. Release the button when you have made your selection.
  3. Press the shutter button halfway and then take the picture.
  4. Review your image to see if more or less flash compensation is required, and repeat these steps as necessary.

The Flash Compensation feature does not reset itself when the camera is turned off, so whatever compensation you have set will remain in effect until you change it. Your only clue to knowing that the flash output is changed will be the presence of the Flash Compensation symbol in the viewfinder. It will disappear when there is zero compensation set.

Canon EOS 60D, Tips for Shooting Video

Transitioning from being a still photographer to making movies might seem like a piece of cake, but you’ll find that there are still a few things to keep in mind to make those videos shine.

SEE DIFFERENTLY

When I first started creating videos with my DSLR, I really started to pay attention to the cinematography of TV and movies. I noticed that the camera was usually still while the world around it moved. Subjects moved into the frame and out of the frame, and the camera didn’t always try to follow them. It can be tempting to move the camera to follow your subject, but sometimes keeping still can add more impact and drama to your scene (plus a lot of movement might make your viewers dizzy!). So let your subjects move in and out of the frame while you take a deep breath, relax, and keep your camera pointed in the same, unchanging direction.

DON’T RUSH

As still photographers, we tend to see things “in the moment.” When recording videos those moments last longer, and they need to flow through from one scene to the next. A common mistake that new video photographers tend to make is that they cut their videos short, meaning they stop the recordings too soon. It’s important that you have extra time before and after each scene not only to allow for smooth transitions in and out of the video, but also for editing purposes. It’s always good to have more than you need when piecing video clips together in postproduction.

So, when you think you are done with your video clip and you want to turn it off… don’t! Count to three, or four or five, and then stop your recording. It will feel odd at first, but don’t worry; you’ll get the hang of it. Those extra couple of seconds can make a world of difference.

VIDEO EDITING

Once you have recorded your movies, you might want to do a little bit more with them, such as assemble several video clips into one movie, or add sound or additional graphics and text. If so, you’ll probably want to learn a thing or two about how to edit your videos using video-editing software. Many different software programs are available for you to choose from. With some of the free or inexpensive programs, like iMovie (for Mac) or QuickTime Pro, you can do basic editing on your video clips. Other programs, such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro, will allow you to do even more advanced editing and to add creative effects to your movies. Using editing software is not required to play back and share movies created with your 60D, but it is a fun way to take your movies to the next level.

 

Nikon D7000, Using the Built-In Flash

There are going to be times when you have to turn to your camera’s built-in flash to get the shot. The pop-up flash on the D7000 is not extremely powerful, but with the camera’s advanced metering system it does a pretty good job of lighting up the night…or just filling in the shadows.

If you are working with one of the automatic scene modes, the flash should automatically activate when needed. If, however, you are working in one of the professional modes you will have to turn the flash on for yourself. To do this, just press the pop-up flash button located on the front of the camera (Figure 8.8). Once the flash is up, it is ready to go. It’s that simple.

A quick press of the pop-up flash button will release the built-in flash to its ready position.
Figure 8.8 A quick press of the pop-up flash button will release the built-in flash to its ready position.

Shutter speeds

The standard flash synchronization speed for your camera is between 1/60 and 1/250 of a second. When you are working with the built-in flash in the automatic and scene modes, the camera will typically use a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. The exception to this is when you use Night Portrait mode, which will fire the flash with a slower shutter speed so that some of the ambient light in the scene has time to record in the image.

The real key to using the flash to get great pictures is to control the shutter speed. The goal is to balance the light from the flash with the existing light so that everything in the picture has an even illumination. Let’s take a look at the shutter speeds in the professional modes.

  • Program (P): The shutter speed stays at 1/60 of a second. The only adjustment you can make in this mode is overexposure or underexposure using the Exposure Compensation setting or Flash Compensation settings.
  • Shutter Priority (S): You can adjust the shutter speed to as fast as 1/200 of a second all the way down to 30 seconds. The lens aperture will adjust accordingly, but typically at long exposures the lens will be set to its smallest aperture.
  • Aperture Priority (A): This mode will allow you to adjust the aperture but will adjust the shutter speed between 1/200 and 1/60 of a second in the standard flash mode.

Flash range

Because the pop-up flash is fairly small, it does not have enough power to illuminate a large space (Figure 8.9). The effective distance varies depending on the ISO setting and aperture. At ISO 200, f/4, the range is about 14 feet. This range can be extended to as far as 20 feet when the camera is set to an ISO of 1600, f/8. For the best image quality, your ISO setting should not go above 1600. Anything higher will begin to introduce excessive noise into your photos. Check out page 147 of your manual for a chart that shows the effective flash range for differing ISO and aperture settings.

The pop-up flash was used to fill in shadows. The longer exposure time allowed the ambient light to illuminate the rest of the scene.
Figure 8.9 The pop-up flash was used to fill in shadows. The longer exposure time allowed the ambient light to illuminate the rest of the scene.

Metering modes

The built-in flash uses a technology called TTL (Through The Lens) metering to determine the appropriate amount of flash power to output for a good exposure. When you depress the shutter button, the camera quickly adjusts focus while gathering information from the entire scene to measure the amount of ambient light. As you press the shutter button down completely, the flash uses that exposure information and fires a predetermined amount of light at your subject during the exposure.

The default setting for the flash meter mode is TTL. The meter can be set to Manual mode. In Manual flash mode, you can determine how much power you want coming out of the flash ranging from full power all the way down to 1/128 power. Each setting from full power on down will cut the power by half. This is the equivalent of reducing flash exposure by one stop with each power reduction.

Setting the flash to the Manual power setting

Setting the flash to the Manual power setting

  1. Press the Menu button and then navigate to the Custom Setting menu.
  2. Using the Multi-selector, highlight the item labeled E Bracketing/Flash and press the OK button (A).
  3. Highlight item E3 Flash Cntrl for Built-in Flash and press OK (B).
  4. Change the setting to Manual (C) and then press the OK button to adjust the desired power—Full, ½, ¼, and so on—and press the OK button (D).

Don’t forget to set it back to TTL when you are done because the camera will hold this setting until you change it.

 

Canon EOS 60D, Audio

The Canon 60D records audio by utilizing the microphone located on the front of the camera (FIGURE 9.9). It records monaural sound, meaning the sound is recorded on a single channel. This audio basically gets the job done. It’s not top-notch, but if you are making quick, simple movies and don’t need high-quality sound, then this microphone will work quite well for you.

The built-in microphone is located on the front of your camera.
FIGURE 9.9 The built-in microphone is located on the front of your camera.

One huge drawback to using the built-in microphone is that it will pick up operational noises made by your camera. Changing the ISO or manually refocusing your lens during the recording process might not sound loud to your ears, but when you play back the video you’ll hear every click, bump, and swish your camera made during those changes.

If you’re serious about shooting videos and want to ensure that you have the best audio possible to go along with your movies, your best option is to invest in additional audio gear instead of using the built-in microphone (FIGURE 9.10). You can plug in this equipment by using the external microphone IN terminal located on the side of your camera, beneath the Terminal cover. The advantages to using an external microphone and other equipment are that you can record your sound in stereo and you can regain control over the sound recording level. When you have a microphone plugged in, your camera sound will automatically be recorded through that microphone.

The 60D can easily be equipped with external audio gear; here is a simple setup with a BeachTek DXA-SLR active DSLR adapter and Audio-Technica AT875 shotgun microphone.
FIGURE 9.10 The 60D can easily be equipped with external audio gear; here is a simple setup with a BeachTek DXA-SLR active DSLR adapter and Audio-Technica AT875 shotgun microphone.

TURNING OFF THE SOUND RECORDING

TURNING OFF THE SOUND RECORDING

It’s possible, however, that you don’t need to record any audio with your videos. With the 60D you have the option of turning sound recording off so that you are only recording the video. Be sure that you turn the Sound Recording setting back to On when you are finished so you don’t unintentionally record silent movies!

 

 

Nikon D7000, Shooting Long Exposures

We have covered some of the techniques for shooting in low light, so let’s go through the process of capturing a night or low-light scene for maximum image quality (Figure 8.7). The first thing to consider is that in order to shoot in low light with a low ISO, you will need to use shutter speeds that are longer than you could possibly hand-hold (longer than 1/15 of a second). This will require the use of a tripod or stable surface for you to place your camera on. For maximum quality, the ISO should be low, somewhere below 400. The long exposure noise reduction should be turned on to minimize the effects of exposing for longer durations.

Once you have noise reduction turned on, set your camera to Aperture Priority (A) mode. This way, you can concentrate on the aperture that you believe is most appropriate and let the camera determine the best shutter speed. If it is too dark for the autofocus to function properly, try manually focusing. Finally, consider using a cable release to activate the shutter. If you don’t have one, use either the Self-timer mode or Exposure Delay mode. Once you shoot the image, you may notice some lag time before it is displayed on the rear LCD. This is due to the noise reduction process, which can take anywhere from a fraction of a second up to 30 seconds, depending on the length of the exposure.

Flash Sync

The basic idea behind the term flash synchronization (flash sync for short) is that when you take a photograph using the flash, the camera needs to ensure that the shutter is fully open at the time that the flash goes off. This is not an issue if you are using a long shutter speed such as 1/15 of a second but does become more critical for fast shutter speeds. To ensure that the flash and shutter are synchronized so that the flash is going off while the shutter is open, the D7000 implements a top sync speed of 1/250 of a second. This means that when you are using the flash, you will not be able to have your shutter speed be any faster than 1/250. If you did use a faster shutter speed, the shutter would actually start closing before the flash fired, which would cause a black area to appear in the frame where the light from the flash was blocked by the shutter.

 This exposure took several tries until I finally got it right. Using a tripod was an absolute must. The longer exposure really helped with silhouetting the tree at the bottom of the frame.
Figure 8.7 This exposure took several tries until I finally got it right. Using a tripod was an absolute must. The longer exposure really helped with silhouetting the tree at the bottom of the frame.