It may be time to dust off that Canon 50D you purchased aback in 2008. The association abaft the Magic Lantern firmware add-on accept pulled yet addition aerial out the accepted hat (or is it lantern?) by enabling RAW video recording on the APS-C-based DSLR. What’s even added absorbing is that the 50D lacks video abutment out of the box, so this new-found functionality is absolutely magical.
If your camera arsenal includes a 5D Mark III, prepare to get your download on. Earlier today, Canon released a major firmware update for the hit DSLR — version 1.2.1 enables clean, uncompressed HDMI output with simultaneous LCD display and recording to CF or SD cards, along with cross-type autofocus for apertures as small as f/8, bringing that aspect of AF capability in line with the EOS-1D X. You’ll be able to take advantage of improved autofocus performance even when using an f/5.6 lens with a 1.4x extender, or an f/4 lens with a 2x extender. On the video front, version 1.2.1 will let you boot an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 feed to an external recorder, enabling your pick of codecs and frame rates, while also eliminating arbitrary limits on record time. The free download, available for recent versions of Mac OS and Windows, Canon 5D Mark III firmware
[compare q=”Canon 5D Mark III” gtm=”on” l=”3″ ct=”US” v=”list” ft=”fetchProducts” w=”auto”][/compare]
Source : engadget
In order to photograph fast-moving subjects, get several shots at a time, and stay focused on the subject through the entire process, you’ll need to make a few changes to your camera settings. The 7D makes the process simple, but it can be a bit confusing when you fi rst start to work with it. Here, I briefl y explain each of the three areas that are addressed in this section: drive modes, AF (autofocus) modes, and AF areas.
The 7D’s drive mode determines how quickly each photo is taken and how many photos it will take continuously. The drive modes available on your camera include the following:
- Single shooting: With this setting you will take only one photo each time you press and hold the Shutter button.
- High-speed continuous shooting: When you press and hold the Shutter button, your camera will continuously take photos very quickly until you release the Shutter button, up to 8 frames per second.
- Low-speed continuous shooting: When you press and hold the Shutter button, your camera will continuously take photos at a slower pace until you release the Shutter button, up to 3 frames per second. You can also easily take just one shot by quickly pressing and releasing the shutter.
- 10-sec self-timer: Self-timer mode: the camera waits 10 seconds to take a photo once the Shutter button is pressed.
- 2-sec self-timer: Self-timer mode: the camera waits 2 seconds to take a photo once the Shutter button is pressed.
For action and sports photography, the best option is High-speed continuous shooting. In this mode you will take several consecutive photos very quickly and are more likely to capture a good image of your fast-moving subject. Keep in mind that taking this many images at a time will fi ll up your memory card much more quickly than taking just one image at a time. The speed of your CF (Compact Flash) card also limits how many images you can take in a row.
Within your camera is a buffer, a feature that processes the image data before it can be written to the CF card. When you take a photo, you’ll see a red light on the back of your camera (the Card Busy indicator)—you usually won’t notice anything is happening because the buffer is big enough to hold data from several photos at a time. When you take a lot of photos in a row with the High-speed continuous drive mode, the buffer fi lls up more quickly—if it completely fi lls up while you are shooting, your camera will “freeze” momentarily while the images are written to the card. If you have a fast memory card, such as a UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access), you can often avoid this problem.
One way to stay on top of this while you are shooting is to look inside the viewfi nder—in the lower-right corner you’ll see a number. This number tells you how many photos you can take before the buffer is full (Figure 6.7). In general, it’s a good idea to do short bursts of photos instead of holding the Shutter button down for several seconds. This will help keep the buffer cleared, and the card won’t fi ll up as quickly.
USE THE CONTINUOUS MODE TO CAPTURE EXPRESSIONS
Using a fast shutter speed is not just for fast-moving subjects, but also for catching the ever-changing expressions of people, especially small children. This image (Figure 6.8) shows how an expression can go from happy to sad in a matter of seconds. Taking several consecutive shots allowed me to capture each moment as it happened without missing a thing.
SELECTING AND SHOOTING IN HIGH-SPEED CONTINUOUS DRIVE MODE
- Press the AF • DRIVE button on the top of the camera.
- Use your thumb to rotate the Quick Control dial until you see the drive setting that shows an “H.”
- Locate and focus on your subject in the viewfi nder, and then press and hold the Shutter button to take several continuous images.
Now that your drive setting is ready to go, let’s move on to focusing. The 7D allows you to shoot in three different modes: One Shot, AI Focus, and AI Servo (AI stands for Artifi cial Intelligence). The One Shot mode is designed for photographing stationary objects, or subjects that don’t move around very much—this setting is typically not very useful with action photography. You will be photographing subjects that move often and quickly, so you’ll need a focus mode that can keep up with them. The AI Servo mode will probably be your best bet. This setting will continue to fi nd focus when you have your Shutter button pressed halfway, allowing you to keep the focus on your moving target.
SELECTING AND SHOOTING IN AI SERVO FOCUS MODE
- Press the AF • DRIVE button on the top of the camera.
- Use your index fi nger to rotate the Main dial until AI SERVO appears in the top LCD Panel.
- Locate your subject in the viewfi nder, then press and hold the Shutter button halfway to activate the focus mechanism. You’ll notice that with this mode you won’t hear a beep when the camera fi nds focus.
- The camera will maintain focus on your subject as long as the subject remains within one of the focus points in the viewfi nder, or until you take a picture.
The AI Focus mode is another setting that can be useful when you have a subject that is stationary at fi rst but then starts to move—it’s the “best of both worlds” when it comes to focusing on your subject. Imagine that you are photographing a runner about to sprint in a race—you want to focus on the person’s eyes as they take the “ready” position and don’t want your camera to change focus. But just as the runner starts running down the track, the camera will kick into AI Servo mode to track and focus on the runner as they are moving.
You should note that holding down the Shutter button for long periods of time will quickly drain your battery because the camera is constantly focusing on the subject. You can also activate the focus by pressing the AF-ON button on the back of the camera (Figure 6.9). This is a great way to get used to the focusing system without worrying about taking unwanted pictures.
The third setting that is extremely important in action photography is the area of focus within the frame.
- Single-Point AF: You choose from one of the 19 focus points within the viewfi nder.
- Zone AF: You pick a general area within the viewfi nder where you want the camera to maintain its focus.
- Auto Select: With this option, the camera selects one of the 19 focus points for you.
My advice is to use Zone AF when photographing action shots. You will want to follow along with your moving subject, but you won’t always have a specifi c focus point like you would with the Single-Point AF and a non-moving subject. For example, if you know that you will be following a person riding a motocross bike and they will always be centered in the frame, set the focus point somewhere in the middle (Figure 6.10). As long as you keep the subject centered, the camera will use that area to fi nd the best point of focus. There are fi ve areas that you can use: left, right, top, bottom, and middle. The one you use will depend on the subject you are photographing and the composition you are trying to achieve.
SETTING THE FOCUS MODE TO ZONE AF
- Press the AF Point Selection button on the back of the camera.
- Press the Multi-function button (M-Fn) on the top of the camera next to the Shutter button until you reach the Zone AF setting (you will see a cluster of focus points grouped in one area of the viewfi nder).
- Rotate either the Main dial or the Quick Control dial to change the focus area (you can also use the Multi-Controller on the back of the camera to toggle from one area to the next).
- Now point your camera at your subject and press the Shutter button halfway to set focus. You’ll see the camera fi nding the focus point(s) somewhere within the area you just chose in the above steps.
Another option is to use the Auto Select focus mode. I tend to stay away from settings in which the camera decides everything, and in this case the camera has full control over where the focus is set, but sometimes this mode can be useful (Figure 6.11). Just try to use this mode sparingly and only in situations when it’s very unlikely that the camera will fi nd the wrong area of focus.
The 7D gives you the option to shoot and save your images to your memory card in RAW, JPEG, or both. Most people are already familiar with JPEG since it’s one of the most common fi le formats for anyone using a digital camera.
You may want to set your camera to JPEG and start shooting, never bothering with the other settings. After all, a JPEG is a very simple fi le to work with! It’s ready to go right out of the camera and you can store a lot more JPEG fi les on your memory card than you can RAW fi les. JPEG will also write to the card much faster, making it a good choice for photographers who do a lot of high-speed photography (such as sports photographers or photojournalists). So what’s the drawback of JPEG? There’s really nothing wrong with it if you can create your photos in-camera exactly how you want
them to look (proper exposure, white balance, and so on).
It is a compression standard, and compression is where things go bad. When you have your camera set to JPEG, you are telling the camera to process the image however it sees fi t and then throw away enough image data to make it shrink into a smaller space.In doing so, you give up subtle image details that you will never get back in postprocessing.
SO WHAT DOES RAW HAVE TO OFFER?
The RAW format is an uncompressed fi le that stores as much data as it can possibly collect from each image you take. Unlike JPEG, it is lossless compression, which means that it loses no image data when it writes to the memory card. Photographing with the RAW format means that you have a lot of room to edit the photo, but it also requires the use of software in order for you to share or print the image.
RAW images have a greater dynamic range than JPEG-processed images. This means that you can recover image detail in the highlights and shadows that just isn’t available in JPEGs.
There’s more color information in a RAW image because it is a 14-bit image, meaning it contains more color information than a JPEG, which is almost always an 8-bit image. More color information means more to work with and smoother changes between tones, and it will preserve the quality of your image while you edit.
Regarding sharpening, a RAW image offers more control because you are the one applying the sharpening according to the effect you want to achieve. Once again, JPEG processing applies a standard amount of sharpening that you cannot change after the fact. Once it is done, it’s done.
Finally, and most importantly, a RAW fi le is your negative. No matter what you do to it, you won’t change it unless you save your fi le in a different format. This means that you can come back to that RAW fi le later and try different processing settings to achieve differing results and never harm the original image. By comparison, if you make a change to your JPEG and accidentally save the fi le, guess what? You have a new original fi le, and you will never get back to that fi rst image. That alone should make you sit up and take notice.
ADVICE FOR NEW RAW SHOOTERS
If you are used to only using the JPEG format, moving to RAW is a big step but a very worthwhile one. Using the RAW format means more work at your computer, but don’t give up just because it takes a few extra minutes to process each image. It will also take up more space on your CF card, but that’s an easy fi x—go buy more cards, or get them in larger sizes (I like to use 16 GB CF cards when I shoot with my 7D). Also, don’t worry about needing to purchase expensive software to work with your RAW fi les; you already own a program that allows you to work with them. Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software comes bundled in the box with your camera and gives you the ability to work directly on the RAW fi les and then output the enhanced results.
SELECTING A RAW FORMAT
The 7D has the ability to capture different-sized RAW fi les. This means you can now have all of the benefi ts of a RAW fi le in a smaller image size. The standard RAW fi le uses the full sensor resolution of 5184 x 3456 pixels. If you want the fl exibility and power of using the RAW format but don’t necessarily need an image that large, you can select one of the smaller RAW fi les: mRAW (3888 x 2592) or sRAW (2592 x 1728). These smaller RAW fi les will also take up less space on your memory card, allowing you to shoot more images.
When discussing digital cameras, image resolution is often used to describe pixel resolution, or the number of pixels used to make an image. This can be displayed as a dimension such as 5184 × 3456. This is the physical number of pixels in width and height of the image sensor. Resolution can also be referred to in megapixels (MP), such as 18 MP. This number
represents the number of total pixels on the sensor and is commonly used to describe the amount of image data that a digital camera can capture.
SELECTING YOUR IMAGE QUALITY SETTING
- Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to select the fi rst shooting menu tab.
- Use the Quick Control dial to highlight the Quality setting and press the Set button to enter the Quality setting page (A).
- Use the Main dial to change the RAW setting and the Quick Control dial to change the JPEG setting (B).
- Press the Menu button to lock in your changes.
If you are uncomfortable shooting in RAW, that is perfectly OK. My recommendation is to use what works best for your photography, but don’t be afraid to try new things. One great feature of the 7D is that you don’t have to pick one or the other—the camera gives you the option to shoot in both RAW and JPEG simultaneously (Figure 2.3). This will take up a signifi cant amount of space on your memory card, but it’s a good way to transition over, or to just give RAW a chance.
CROP SENSOR VS. FULL FRAME
The 7D is what we consider a “crop sensor” camera. Many digital SLR cameras have one of two different types of sensors: full-frame or crop sensor. The sensor is the area in the camera that converts the image you see through the viewfinder into the digital file that writes to the memory card. All full-frame sensors have an area of 36 × 24 mm (the same size as a 35mm negative). The crop sensor on the 7D is slightly smaller at 22.3 × 14.9 mm (Figure 2.4). This will increase your focal length by a crop-factor of 1.6, so if you have a 50mm lens attached to your 7D, then you are actually seeing the equivalent of 80mm when you look through the viewfinder.
The great thing about digital cameras is that they are operated by internally running software, called fi rmware, that can improve operation or fi x problems that might arise. The 7D is no exception, and the Canon Firmware Update page (www.canon.com/eos-d/) provides all of the data you need to make sure your camera is up to date. It’s a good idea to check your camera’s fi rmware against this Web site to make sure you have the most recent version.
CHECKING THE CAMERA’S CURRENT FIRMWARE VERSION NUMBER
- Rotate the Mode dial to select P (it will not work in the Creative Auto or Full Auto modes).
- Press the Menu button to display the menu.
- Turn the Main dial to get to the third camera setup menu tab (third menu tab from the right), and you will see the currently installed fi rmware version number at the bottom of the settings (Figure 2.2). If this version is not the latest one listed on the Canon Web site, follow the steps in the next section to load the latest version.
UPDATING THE FIRMWARE DIRECTLY FROM YOUR COMPUTER
- Go to the Canon Web site’s digital camera page (www.canon.com/eos-d/) and fi nd the link to the Canon 7D. This will take you to the camera-specifi c Web page (A).
- From the “Drivers and Downloads” section, download the fi rmware update fi le that matches your operating system (Windows or Mac) (B).
- Extract the downloaded fi rmware fi le as per your operating system (C). (The fi rmware will automatically be extracted if you are using Mac OS.)
- Attach your camera to the computer via USB and turn the camera on (D). Make sure there is a CF card inserted in your camera.
- Open the EOS Utility program and select the Camera Settings/Remote Shooting option (E). (This program was included on the CD in your camera box. You will need to install it prior to performing this operation.)
- When the panel opens, click the Set-Up icon and then click the Firmware button at the bottom of the panel (F).
- Click OK and then locate the extracted fi rmware fi le to begin the update.
- Click Yes on the confi rmation screen to begin the update (G). Note that the software will not allow you to continue the update unless the camera is plugged into the AC power adapter or the battery is fully charged.
The memory card is where you will store all of the images you photograph until you off-load them to your computer or hard drive. It’s a very important accessory to own, since you can’t create any images until you have one in your camera. If you own a digital point-and-shoot camera, you are most likely already familiar with Secure Digital (SD) cards. The 7D uses CompactFlash (CF) cards, a larger and sturdier version of the SD card (Figure 2.1).
There are many different brands and sizes to choose from, and there’s a lot to consider when buying CF cards for your camera. Here are some tips to help you make your purchase:
- The size of your card is very important, especially since the 7D can shoot up to 18 megapixels in both RAW and JPEG fi le formats. You can fi nd CF cards in many sizes, but you will probably not want anything smaller than 4 GB per card. It’s also a good idea to have more than one card tucked away in your camera bag to use as backup.
- Consider buying Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) cards. These cards are generally much faster, both when writing images to the card as well as when transferring the fi les to your computer. If you are planning to use the continuous shooting mode (see Chapter 6) for capturing fast action, you can gain huge boosts in performance just by using a UDMA card.
- Don’t skimp on quality because of a good price. Remember, the card is the only place that your image fi les are stored until you can transfer them to a computer. A high-quality card might cost a few more dollars but will be more reliable and will last much longer than a less expensive one. You don’t always know that something is wrong with a card until it’s too late, and having a reliable card is one step to help prevent that.
Along with a CF card, it’s also a good idea to have a CompactFlash card reader. It is possible to connect your camera to the computer to retrieve the fi les, but over time you will unnecessarily drain your camera’s battery. Some card readers can also be connected to the computer via FireWire, making transfer time much faster than using the USB cord from your camera.
Immediately after I’ve inserted a battery in my new camera, I ensure that I won’t accidentally take a photo without a memory card by turning off the Release Shutter Without Card setting. This step is so important that if I happen to be holding a friend’s camera and notice that they don’t have this feature disabled, I go ahead and do it for them (they usually don’t seem to mind). The benefi t to doing this is that if you forget to put your card in and you start shooting, the camera won’t let you take a photo. There’s nothing worse than spending several hours photographing something only to realize that you didn’t have any of those images saved, especially when the mishap could have easily been avoided. This feature has prevented me from losing photos on several occasions, securing it a spot on this Top Ten list.
TURNING OFF THE RELEASE SHUTTER WITHOUT CARD SETTING
- Turn the camera on.
- Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list.
- Use the Multi-Controller to select the far-left menu tab.
- Now scroll down to the Release Shutter Without Card option using the Quick Control dial and press the Set button (A).
- Use the Quick Control dial to select the Disable option, and then press the Set button once again (B).
- Press the Menu button again to return to shooting mode.
Now when you try to take a photo without a memory card inserted in the camera, you will see a message at the bottom of your viewfi nder that fl ashes the words “no CF” (which stands for no Compact Flash card). This is your clue that you need to insert your memory card before the camera will fi re. The top LCD Panel will also display the “no CF” message if you activate the Shutter button.