Canon 7D, Custom Controls

Setting the 7D’s custom controls, located in the Custom Functions menu tab, is a great way to change the buttons and knobs on your camera to your own specifi cations. You might fi nd that there are some default buttons you don’t use very often while you are shooting. If so, there just might be a different setting for those buttons that would make them more useful for your shooting style.

SETTING THE CUSTOM CONTROLS

SETTING THE CUSTOM CONTROLS

SETTING THE CUSTOM CONTROLS

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to scroll to the Custom Functions tab, and then use the Quick Control dial to highlight the C.Fn IV: Operation/Others item (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select C.Fn IV-1 (Custom Controls) (B). Press the Set button.
  3. Next, use the Main dial to highlight the item you woud like to change. For this example I’ll show how to add a function to the Multi-Controller (C).
  4. Press the Set button and use the Main dial to select AF Point Direct Selection (D), and then press the Set button once again. Now I can change the focus point in my viewfi nder while shooting by toggling the Multi-Controller.

You are free to change any of the settings however you like. I recommend scrolling through all of the items to see what they can do. But don’t worry f you get things moved around so much that you can’t remember what you changed the buttons to— you can always set them back to their default settings by pushing the Picture Style Selection button on the back of your camera when you are in the Custom Controls menu screen.

 

Canon EOS 60D, 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 60D 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.

The built-in flash will automatically pop up in most of the Basic Zone shooting modes (Full Auto, Creative Auto, Portrait, Close-up, and Night Portrait) if the camera senses that there isn’t sufficient light for your scene. In the Creative Zone modes (P, Av, Tv, and so on), you’ll need to push the Flash button, located on the front of your camera, to activate it.

SHUTTER SPEEDS

The standard flash synchronization speed for your camera is between 1/60 and 1/250 of a second. If you set the shutter speed faster than 1/250 of a second, it will be too fast to catch all the light produced from the flash. In fact, you’ll find that your camera won’t let you go beyond 1/250 of a second when the pop-up flash is activated.

The key to great flash photography is controlling the shutter speed. The longer your shutter is open, the more ambient light you can let into your image. If you are photographing a person during a sunset and drop your shutter speed low enough to capture the light behind them, you can add beautiful colors to the background. Using different shutter speeds with a flash makes it possible to create some fun and creative shots as well

  • Program (P): The shutter speed is automatically set between 1/60 and 1/250 of a second. The only adjustment you can make in this mode is to your exposure compensation by using the Quick Control dial to change the f-stop.
  • Shutter Priority (Tv): You can adjust the shutter speed to as fast as 1/250 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 largest aperture.
  • Aperture Priority (Av): This mode has three custom settings for adjusting the shutter speed when using the flash, depending on your needs. The default setting is Auto, which will set your shutter speed and is the recommended setting to start off with. (This setting can be changed in the 60D’s menu in the Custom Functions tab, and is the seventh option under the C.Fn I: Exposure menu item.)

METERING MODES

The built-in flash uses a technology called E-TTL II (Evaluative Through The Lens) metering to determine the appropriate amount of flash power to output for a good exposure. When you press the Shutter button halfway, 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, a pre-flash occurs to meter the light off the subject from the flash, and a determination is made as to how much power is needed to balance the subject with the ambient light. This applies to the P, Tv, and Av camera modes.

If you have special metering needs, such as a background that is very light or dark, you might consider using the Flash Exposure (FE) Lock to meter off your subject and then recompose your image in the viewfinder.

USING THE FE LOCK FEATURE

  1. Press the Flash button on the front of your camera to turn on the built-in flash. Then point the camera at the area that you want to base the flash exposure on (this is normally your subject).
  2. Press the FE Lock button, located on the back of the camera (the button with the asterisk above it). You will see “FEL” (Flash Exposure Lock) appear on the bottom of the viewfinder momentarily, and the flash will fire a pre-flash to measure exposure. The AE/FE lock symbol (an asterisk) will also appear in the viewfinder.
  3. Recompose the scene as you like, focus, and press the Shutter button completely.

The FE Lock will cancel after each exposure, so you have to repeat these steps each time you need to lock the flash exposure.

 

Canon EOS 60D Balancing Your Image with the Electronic Level

Finding the horizon and making sure your camera is level is sometimes easier said than done. Photographing a flat landscape is one thing, but when you integrate mountains, rolling hills, and foliage into the image, you might not be able to see where the horizon line is, and you risk tilting your camera in one direction or the other.

Many tripods and tripod heads come with a bubble level, but there will be times that your tripod is propped at a weird angle and you won’t be able to rely on it. The 60D has a really cool feature—called the electronic level—that can help you with this. When the electronic level is activated, you can set the horizontal tilt and properly level your camera for landscape photography. You also have the option of viewing this feature on the LCD Monitor, through the viewfinder, or on the top LCD Panel (Figures 5.10 and 5.11). I usually prefer using the LCD Monitor, especially when my camera is on a tripod, but sometimes I don’t want to take my eyes away from the viewfinder (which could slow down my shooting). In those situations, I use the viewfinder method.

FIGURE 5.10 You can view the electronic level in the LCD Monitor. This feature is available whether or not Live View is on (in this example, Live View is off).
FIGURE 5.10 You can view the electronic level in the LCD Monitor. This feature is available whether or not Live View is on (in this example, Live View is off).
FIGURE 5.11 You can also view the electronic level through the viewfinder. In this example, the hash marks that you see indicate that the camera is not level on the horizon. The indicator on the top LCD Panel shows these same hash marks on the bottom of the panel.
FIGURE 5.11 You can also view the electronic level through the viewfinder. In this example, the hash marks that you see indicate that the camera is not level on the horizon. The indicator on the top LCD Panel shows these same hash marks on the bottom of the panel.

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

  1. First, be sure that you have the electronic level set up to display properly. To do so, press the Menu button and use the Main dial to select the third setup tab, and then scroll down to Info Button Display Options using the Quick
    Control dial (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Make sure that there is a check mark next to the Electronic Level setting (B). If there isn’t, use the Quick Control dial to scroll to it, and then press the Set button (a check mark should appear). Use the Quick Control dial again to scroll down to OK, and then press Set.
  3. Next, press the Info button until the electronic level appears in the LCD Monitor. (To view the electronic level when using Live View, press the Info button until it appears in the LCD Monitor.) You’ll know the horizontal tilt is leveled when the red lines turn green (C).

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER AND TOP LCD PANEL

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER AND TOP LCD PANEL

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to scroll to the Custom Functions tab, and then use the Quick Control dial to highlight the C.Fn IV: Operation/Others item (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select C.Fn IV-2. Press the Set button and use the Main dial to get to the fifth menu option (B). Press Set.
  3. Now, look through the viewfinder as if you are going to take a photo, halfpress the Shutter button to activate the camera, and then press the Set button. On the bottom of the display you’ll see hash marks moving from left to right. When just one hash mark is showing, your camera is leveled horizontally.

Canon 7D, Balancing Your Image with the Electronic Level

Finding the horizon and making sure your camera is level is sometimes easier said than done. Photographing a fl at landscape is one thing, but when you integrate mountains, rolling hills, and foliage into the image, you might not be able to see where the horizon line is, and you risk tilting your camera in one direction or the other.

Many tripods and tripod heads come with a bubble level, but there will be times that your tripod is propped at a weird angle and you won’t be able to rely on it. The 7D has a really cool feature—called the electronic level—that can help you out with this. When the electronic level is activated, you can set the vertical and horizontal tilt and properly level your camera for landscape photography. You also have the option of viewing this feature either on the LCD Monitor or through the viewfi nder (Figures 5.10 and 5.11). I usually prefer using the LCD Monitor, especially when my camera is on a tripod, but sometimes I don’t want to take my eyes away from the viewfi nder (which could slow down my shooting). In those situations, I use the viewfi nder method.

FIGURE 5.10 You can view the electronic level in the LCD Monitor. This feature is available whether or not Live View is on (in this example, Live View is off).
FIGURE 5.10 You can view the electronic level in the LCD Monitor. This feature is available whether or not Live View is on (in this example, Live View is off).
FIGURE 5.11 You can also view the electronic level through the viewfi nder. In this example, the AF points that you see indicate that the camera is level horizontally and tilted upward vertically.
FIGURE 5.11 You can also view the electronic level through the viewfi nder. In this example, the AF points that you see indicate that the camera is level horizontally and tilted upward vertically.

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

  1. First be sure that you have the electronic level set up to display properly. To do so, press the Menu button and
    use the Main dial to select the third setup tab, then scroll down to INFO Button Display Options using the Quick Control dial (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Make sure that there is a check mark next to the Electronic Level setting (B). If there isn’t, use the Quick Control dial to scroll to it and then press the Set button (a check mark should appear). Use the Quick Control dial again to scroll down to OK, and then press Set.
  3. Next, press the INFO button until the electronic level appears in the LCD Monitor. (To view the electronic level when using Live View, press the INFO button until it appears in the LCD Monitor.) You’ll know the horizontal and vertical tilt are leveled when the red lines turn green (C).

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to scroll to the Custom Functions tab, and then use the Quick Control dial to highlight the C.Fn IV: Operation/Others item (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select C.Fn IV-1 (Custom Controls). Press the Set button and use the Main dial to highlight the M-Fn item (B). Press Set.
  3. Scroll over to the VF Electronic Level item (C). Press Set to lock in your change.SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER
  4. Now, look through the viewfi nder as if you are going to take a photo. Press the M-Fn button (located next to the Shutter button). A grid will appear and you’ll see black or red squares where your AF points usually appear. You’ll know that the camera is level both vertically and horizontally when the only AF point visible is the one in the center (D). To exit from this mode, just press the Shutter button halfway.

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER