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

Canon 7D The Portrait Picture Style for Better Skin Tones

I discussed the different picture styles the 7D has to offer, and as you have probably guessed, the Portrait style is best for photographing people. The default Portrait settings give your images a softer look, but the neat thing about the styles in general is that you have the ability to change the settings to increase or decrease the amount of sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone to your preference.

SETTING THE PORTRAIT PICTURE STYLE

SETTING THE PORTRAIT 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 to the Portrait style (B).
  4. If you would like to make any changes to the style, press the INFO button and use the Multi-Controller or Quick Control dial to select the setting you would like to adjust (C). Then press the Set button and use the same dial to change the setting (D).
  5. Press the Set button to lock in this change, and then press the Menu button to go back to the Picture Style screen.

BEAUTIFUL BLACK AND WHITE PORTRAITS

Sometimes a portrait just looks better in black and white—we see more of the person and their expression rather than their surroundings or the color of their clothing (Figure 4.15). You can change the picture style to Monochrome in your camera so that you are photographing the image in black and white, but when you do this, you are only giving yourself one option. If you decide you liked it better in color, you
have no way to change it back.

I prefer to do all of my black and white conversions while editing the photo on my computer, and I encourage you to do the same. You can make black and white conversions, along with many other types of adjustments to your images, by using the Canon Digital Photo Professional software on the disc included with your camera.

A black and white portrait eliminates the distraction of color and puts all the emphasis on the subject.
FIGURE 4.15 A black and white portrait eliminates the distraction of color and puts all the emphasis on the subject.

 

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).