Canon 7D, Exposure Settings for Video

Setting the exposure for video is similar to setting exposure for still photographs, but you will notice a few differences that will only apply when recording movies. One obvious difference is that you can only view your scene in Live View, and the LCD Monitor will display a simulated exposure for what your video will look like during the recording process. You’ll know it’s working properly when you see the exposure simulation icon displayed in white on the Information Display (Figure 9.4). There are also some limitations on shutter speed and exposure— keep on reading to learn more about them.

 In video mode you will see a simulated exposure that is similar to what you will actually record.
FIGURE 9.4 In video mode you will see a simulated exposure that is similar to what you will actually record.

AUTOEXPOSURE VS. MANUAL EXPOSURE

As with other types of photography, we have the option to shoot in auto or Manual mode (M), but with video the settings are a bit different. When using a shooting mode other than M (such as P, Tv, Av, and the Full Auto modes) the camera determines its exposure settings by using autoexposure. You have no control over the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This is a simple setting to use if you want to get a quick video and don’t have the time to change the settings manually. However, with autoexposure you have limited control, and if you want to take full advantage of your DSLR and lenses when shooting video, you’ll probably want to give the Manual mode a try.

The Manual mode for video functions in the same way as it does for still photography: You pick the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You can even change your settings while you are recording (although the microphone might pick up camera noises—read more about audio later in this chapter). I prefer to use the Manual mode when shooting video because I like to be in control over all of my settings, and I also like to use the largest aperture possible to decrease the depth of fi eld in the scene.

One important thing to note when shooting video is that you have some shutter speed limitations, depending on your frames-per-second setting. The slowest shutter speed when shooting with a frame rate of 50 or 60 fps is 1/60 of a second, and for 24, 25, or 30 fps you can go down to 1/30 of a second. You can’t go any faster than 1/4000 of a second, but it’s recommended that you keep your shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/125 of a second, especially when photographing a moving subject. The slower your shutter speed is, the smoother and less choppy the movement in your video will be.

WHITE BALANCE AND PICTURE STYLES

if you were to edit the video fi le on your computer, it would be diffi cult to change the white balance without damaging the pixels, and if the white balance is completely off, you might not even be able to salvage the video’s original colors.

What’s neat about shooting video is that you can see what the video quality will be like before you start recording. This means that you can set the white balance and see it changing right in front of you

Picture styles are also a very useful tool when shooting video. They work the same way as with still photography, and you can preview your scene with the changes while in the video Live View mode. Just remember that once you record in one of these settings, you can’t change this quality of the video. For example, when using the Monochrome (black and white) Picture Style, once you’ve recorded a movie, there is no way to go back and retrieve the color information.

 

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 7D, Using the Built-in Flash

There are going to be times when you have to turn to your camera’s built-in fl ash to get the shot. The pop-up fl ash on the 7D 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 fi lling in the shadows.

The built-in fl ash will automatically pop up in the Full Auto and Creative Auto modes if the camera senses that there isn’t suffi cient light for your scene. In all other 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 fl ash 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 fl ash. In fact, you’ll fi nd that your camera won’t let you go beyond 1/250 of a second when the pop-up fl ash is activated.

The key to great fl ash 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 fl ash makes it possible to create some fun and creative shots as well. Let’s take a look at how each of the camera modes affects the shutter speed when using your fl ash.

  • 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 fl ash, depending on your needs. The default setting is Auto, which will set your shutter speed and is the recommended setting to start off with.

METERING MODES

The built-in fl ash uses a technology called E-TTL II (Evaluative Through The Lens) metering to determine the appropriate amount of fl ash 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-fl ash occurs to meter the light off the subject from the fl ash, 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.

The default setting for the fl ash meter mode is Evaluative. You can set the meter to Average mode, but that should probably be avoided. Your best results will come from the E-TTL mode.

However, 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 viewfi nder.

USING THE FE LOCK FEATURE

  1. Press the Flash button on the front of your camera to turn on the built-in fl ash. Then point the camera at the area that you want to base the fl ash exposure on (this is normally your subject).
  2. Press the Multi-function button (M-Fn), located next to the Shutter button. You will see “FEL” (Flash Exposure Lock) appear on the bottom of the viewfi nder momentarily, and the fl ash will fi re a pre-fl ash to measure exposure. The AE/FE lock symbol (an asterisk) will also appear in the viewfi nder.
  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 fl ash exposure.

Using the Average metering mode might also require that you tweak the fl ash output by using Flash Exposure Compensation. This is because the camera will be metering the entire scene to set the exposure, so you might have to add or subtract fl ash power to balance out the scene.

Nikon D7000 Portrait Mode

As mentioned before, Auto mode is accurate much of the time, but one of the problems with Full Auto mode is that it has no idea what type of subject you are photographing and, therefore, uses the same settings for each situation. Shooting portraits is a perfect example. Typically, when you are taking a photograph of someone, you want the emphasis of the picture to be on the person, not necessarily the stuff going on in the background.

Portrait mode will create soft and naturallooking skin tones.
Figure 3.6 Portrait mode will create soft and naturallooking skin tones.

This is what Portrait mode is all about (Figure 3.6). When you set your camera to this mode, you are telling the camera to select a larger aperture so that the depth of field is much narrower and will make objects in the background blurrier. This blurry background places the attention on your subject (Figure 3.7). The other feature of this mode is the automatic selection of the D7000’s built-in Portrait picture control (we’ll go into more detail about picture controls in later chapters). This feature is optimized for skin tones and will also be a little softer to improve the look of skin.

Portrait mode will help isolate your subject from the background, making her the main focus of the image. In this image the subject was placed to the side of the frame to make the composition a little more interesting.
Figure 3.7 Portrait mode will help isolate your subject from the background, making her the main focus of the image. In this image the subject was placed to the side of the frame to make the composition a little more interesting.

Using the best lens for great portraits

When using Portrait mode, use a lens length that is 50mm or longer. The longer lens will give you a natural view of the subject, as well as aid in keeping the depth of field narrow.

Canon 7D CA: Creative Auto Mode

One good alternative for new photographers is to start out in the Creative Auto (CA) mode. It’s very similar to Full Auto, so it’s something you might want to use in moderation, but you do have a bit more control over some of the settings. You have the ability to change the brightness, background blurriness (aperture), and Picture Style of each image, along with your quality setting and drive mode. The camera will decide the rest for you. It’s a good option if you know what you want your image to look like but are still not familiar with how aperture and shutter speed function to properly expose your image. For example, if you know that you want to photograph a person with a blurred background, you can do this very easily in the Creative Auto setting (Figure 3.1). The camera will know where to set the aperture to give you the effect you want.

This mode is still limited because you are not able to change your white balance, ISO, focus point, and shutter speed. Keep reading to explore the more advanced shooting modes— this will ultimately give you full control over the images you create.

Creative Auto Mode

SETTING UP AND SHOOTING IN CREATIVE AUTO MODE

  1. Turn your camera on and turn the Mode dial to align “CA” with the indicator line.
  2. The display on the LCD will automatically turn on, allowing you to change some of your settings. To make changes, press the Quick Control button and use the Multi-Controller to toggle between the settings. Then use the Quick Control dial to make your adjustments.
  3. When you’ve fi nalized your settings, point the camera at your subject and press the Shutter button to take a photo.

MENU ITEMS IN AUTOMATIC MODES

The menu tabs are limited in the automatic shooting modes.

One important detail to know when using the Full Auto and Creative Auto modes is that your menu tabs are limited. Only seven out of the eleven tabs that are normally visible when shooting in all other mode settings will display (Figure 3.2). Because in fully automatic modes the camera decides the majority of the exposure and color settings, the information in some menu tabs is not necessary.

 

Canon 7D Full Auto Mode

Full Auto mode, indicated on the Mode dial by a green square, is exactly what it sounds like—fully automatic shooting. This means that the camera decides all of your in-camera settings. It chooses the ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and whether or not you will need more light with the pop-up fl ash. You only control the quality settings (RAW or JPEG) and drive mode setting (where you can choose between single or self-timer shooting).

You might be wondering when you would use the Full Auto mode, right? Well, my answer is pretty simple: never! OK, that may be a little extreme, but you have this incredible camera to take great photos with, and letting the camera decide how to do it defeats the purpose of your investment. If you are very new to photography, my hope is that you want to expand beyond the full automatic mode and use your 7D as a powerful tool. It’s OK if you need to switch to this mode every once in a while, but do your best to learn the other modes to get as much out of your camera as you possibly can.

SETTING UP AND SHOOTING IN FULL AUTO MODE

  1. Turn your camera on and then turn the Mode dial to align the green square with the indicator line.
  2. Make sure your image quality setting is selected (RAW or JPEG).
  3. Point the camera at your subject and press the shutter to take a photo. The camera will set both your color and exposure settings for you.

 

Canon EOS 60D Updating the 60D’s Firmware

The great thing about digital cameras is that they are operated by internally running software, called firmware, that can improve operation or fix problems that might arise. The 60D 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 firmware against this Web site to make sure you have the most recent version.

CHECKING THE CAMERA’S CURRENT FIRMWARE VERSION NUMBER

The firmware menu item on the 60D will tell you which version your camera has.

  1. Rotate the Mode dial to select P (it will not work in the Creative Auto or Full Auto modes).
  2. Press the Menu button to display the menu.
  3. 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 firmware 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

UPDATING THE FIRMWARE DIRECTLY FROM YOUR COMPUTER

  1. Go to the Canon Web site’s digital camera page (www.canon.com/eos-d/) and find the link to the Canon 60D. This will take you to the camera-specific Web page (A).
  2. From the “Drivers and Software” section, download the firmware update file that matches your operating system (Windows or Mac).
  3. Extract the downloaded firmware file as per your operating system (B). (The firmware will automatically be extracted if you are using Mac OS.)
  4. Attach your camera to the computer via USB and turn the camera on (C). Make sure an SD card is inserted in your camera.
  5. Open the EOS Utility program and select the Camera Settings/Remote Shooting option (D). (This program was included on the CD in your camera box. You will need to install it prior to performing this operation.)
  6. When the panel opens, click the Set-Up icon and then click the Firmware button at the bottom of the panel (E).
  7. Click OK and then locate the extracted firmware file to begin the update.
  8. Click Yes on the confirmation screen to begin the update. 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.

EOS Utility program

 

 

Canon 7D Updating the 7D’s Firmware

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

The fi rmware menu item on the 7D will tell you which version your camera has.

  1. Rotate the Mode dial to select P (it will not work in the Creative Auto or Full Auto modes).
  2. Press the Menu button to display the menu.
  3. 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

  1. 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).
  2. From the “Drivers and Downloads” section, download the fi rmware update fi le that matches your operating system (Windows or Mac) (B).
  3. 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.)UPDATING THE FIRMWARE DIRECTLY FROM YOUR COMPUTER
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)

    Camera Settings/Remote Shooting option

  6. When the panel opens, click the Set-Up icon and then click the Firmware button at the bottom of the panel (F).
  7. Click OK and then locate the extracted fi rmware fi le to begin the update.
  8. 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.

    confirmation screen to begin the update

 

 

Canon 7D Set the Picture Style

Picture styles on the 7D will allow you to enhance your images in-camera depending on the type of photo you are taking. There are six styles to choose from, along with three additional user-defi ned styles:

  • Standard: This general-purpose style is used to create crisp images with bold, vibrant colors. It is suitable for most scenes.
  • Portrait: This style enhances the colors in skin tone, and is used for a softerlooking image.
  • Landscape: This style enhances blues and greens, two colors that are typically visible in a landscape image.
  • Neutral: This style creates natural colors and subdued images and is a good choice if you want to do a lot of editing to your photos on the computer.
  • Faithful: This picture style is similar to the neutral style but creates better color when shooting in daylight-balanced light (color temperature of 5200K). It’s also a good option if you prefer to edit your photos on the computer.
  • Monochrome: This style creates black and white images. It’s important to note that if you use Monochrome style and shoot in JPEG, you cannot revert the image to color.

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE

  1. Wake the camera (if necessary) by lightly pressing the Shutter button.
  2. Press the Picture Style Selection button on the back of the camera (A).
  3. Use either the Main dial or the Quick Control dial to scroll through the styles (B).
  4. Press the Set button to lock in this change.

You are also able to edit the existing picture styles by clicking the INFO button on the back of the camera and adjusting
each individual setting (sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone). One other important note is that you cannot change your picture style when using the Full Auto camera mode (it will automatically be set to the Standard picture style).