Canon EOS 60D, Let’s Get Creative

THE “SWIRLY FLASH”

It’s no secret that I don’t like to use the built-in flash. The light is harsh and flat, and when you photograph people in a dark setting, such as indoors or at night, it’s too easy to get a background that is dark and underexposed.

So when I’m in a situation in which I have no choice but to use the flash on my camera, I like to change some of the settings to give my snapshots a different look. I drag the shutter, setting it much slower than normal, usually between 1/15 and 1/4 of a second, and spin the camera on axis with the subject while the shutter is open. This keeps the person mostly frozen and well lit while creating an interesting blur of lights in the background (Figure 10.6).

By using a slow shutter speed with the built-in flash, you can create fun and unique photos of your friends.
FIGURE 10.6 By using a slow shutter speed with the built-in flash, you can create fun and unique photos of your friends.

I like to call this technique my “party trick” because when I’m in a room full of people, I’ll use this method to take a quick portrait, and often it’s something that they haven’t seen done before. This technique is not limited to DSLR cameras, and I frequently show people how to set up their point-and-shoot cameras to do it. I find that it adds a unique look to an otherwise boring snapshot. One quick tip: This type of image usually works best when there are a lot of lights behind your subject, such as the lights from a Christmas tree.

CREATING THE “SWIRLY FLASH” EFFECT

  1. Set your camera to Tv mode and start with a shutter speed somewhere between 1/15 and 1/4 of a second.
  2. Press the built-in flash button on the front of your camera.
  3. Point the camera and center your subject in the frame. Start with the camera slightly tilted, and then press the Shutter button to take a photo and spin the camera so that the subject stays centered in the image.
  4. If your flash is too bright, press the Flash Exposure Compensation button on the top of the camera and use the Quick Control dial to move the exposure value (EV) to the left. Take another photo and preview your results.
  5. If the background is too dark or too bright, you’ll want to adjust your ISO setting. The higher the ISO number is, the more ambient light you’ll bring into the background.
  6. If you have too much or too little blur in the background, adjust the shutter speed (a slower shutter speed for more blur, and a faster shutter speed for less blur).
  7. Keep adjusting the settings until you find that “sweet spot.” It will be different for each environment, and there’s no single right way to do it. Just have fun with it!

 

LIGHT PAINTING

Another fun technique that’s worth trying is light painting (Figure 10.7). For this, you’ll need a dark environment (nighttime is best), your camera on a tripod, and some semi-powerful flashlights or another light source. Shine your flashlight on your subject to light it, and in effect you’ll “paint” the light that will show up on your image. But you don’t have to paint the light on something for it to show up—if it’s dark enough you can stand in front of the camera and move the light source to make shapes or spell something out. A fun item to use for this effect is a sparkler (a type of handheld firework that emits sparkles). Just set your camera up on a tripod outdoors at night and have someone run around the frame holding a sparkler, and you’ll create shapes and streaks that can look really cool. You could also use small flashlights or LED lights. In Figure 10.8, I used a small LED flashlight with a green gel over it to add a different color to the writing.

For this photograph, I used a long exposure while my friend scribbled the haystacks with a laser pointer and I “painted” the ground with a powerful LED flashlight. I added small blue and green gels on the flashlight to add color to the image.
FIGURE 10.7 For this photograph, I used a long exposure while my friend scribbled the haystacks with a laser pointer and I “painted” the ground with a powerful LED flashlight. I added small blue and green gels on the flashlight to add color to the image.
I photographed this image with the help of my friend dav.d. That’s me writing with a small LED flashlight. The original photo was backward, so I flipped the image horizontally using editing software.
FIGURE 10.8 I photographed this image with the help of my friend dav.d. That’s me writing with a small LED flashlight. The original photo was backward, so I flipped the image horizontally using editing software.

SETTING UP YOUR CAMERA FOR LIGHT PAINTING

  1. Place your camera on a tripod in a dark environment, preferably nighttime or a darkened room.
  2. If your environment is extremely dark, set your camera to the Bulb shooting mode with a large aperture. If you have some ambient light in your scene, set your camera to Av mode and use an aperture that is large enough to capture the light from your light painting but small enough to give you a fairly slow shutter speed—several seconds is usually a good place to start.
  3. Using a cable release or one of the self-timer drive modes, press the Shutter button. If you are using Bulb mode, you’ll need a cable release in order to hold the shutter open for the duration of your light painting.
  4. With the shutter open, use a flashlight, a sparkler, or any other type of powerful light source to create your image. The creative possibilities are endless!

 

Canon EOS 60D, Picture Styles

Picture styles on the 60D will allow you to enhance your images in-camera depending on the type of photo you are taking. The picture style is automatically selected when you are using any of the Basic Zone modes. When using a Creative Zone shooting mode, you decide which style to use.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using picture styles. The first is that when you are shooting in RAW, the picture style doesn’t really “stick.” When previewing your images on the LCD Monitor, you’ll see it applied to the image; but once you bring it into your RAW editing software, you can change it to any of the other styles. Shooting JPEG images or video, however, will permanently embed the picture style to the image or movie and can’t be changed. This is extremely important to keep in mind when using styles such as the Monochrome picture style, since you will be discarding all color from your image.

These styles can be applied in the menu, while shooting in Live View, or while editing your RAW images in-camera. There are six styles to choose from, along with three additional user-defined 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 it 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 the Monochrome style and shoot in JPEG, you cannot revert the image to color.

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE IN THE ME

  1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera, and then use the Multi- Controller to get to the second menu tab.
  2. Using the Quick Control dial, scroll down to the Picture Style menu item. Press the Set button.
  3. Use either the Main dial or the Quick Control dial to scroll through the styles. When you’ve selected the one you want to use, press the Set button.
  4. To edit any of these styles, select the one you want to change, and then press the Info button. To edit a specific setting, select the setting, press Set, and then use the Quick Control dial to make the changes.

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE WITH LIVE VIEW

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE WITH LIVE VIEW

  1. Press the Live View shooting button to get into the Live View shooting mode.
  2. With Live View activated, press the Quick Control button on the back of the camera, and then use the Multi- Controller to scroll down to the Picture Style icon. Press Set.
  3. Use the Main dial on the top of the camera to select from among the different base picture style choices (A).
  4. Once you’ve selected a picture style, you can change any of its four parameters by using the Multi-Controller or Quick Control dial to select them (sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone), and then use the Main dial to make the changes (B).
  5. Press the Set button to lock in your changes.

 

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

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

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!

Canon EOS 60D, Composition

When creating movies, most of the same rules of composition you use with still photography apply. The rule of thirds is one important rule to keep in mind when shooting video. The 60D’s grid overlay feature places a grid over the LCD Monitor to help you frame your shot properly. Changes to this menu item will apply to both Live View and videorecording modes.(FIGURE 9.4)

You can set your camera to display a grid overlay on the LCD Monitor in video mode and Live View.
FIGURE 9.4 You can set your camera to display a grid overlay on the LCD Monitor in video mode and Live View.

SETTING THE GRID DISPLAY FOR VIDEO RECORDING

SETTING THE GRID DISPLAY FOR VIDEO RECORDING

  1. Set the camera to video mode using the Mode dial on the top of the camera.
  2. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to get to the second camera tab. Use the Quick Control dial to scroll down to Grid Display and press Set (A).
  3. Using the Quick Control dial, select the grid of your choice (B). Press the Set button to lock in your change.
  4. Press the Menu button to go back into Movie shooting mode. You will now see a semitransparent grid over the LCD Monitor on the back of your camera.

Quick Control dial

When you are in video mode, you will notice a semitransparent mask covering parts of the LCD Monitor (FIGURE 9.5 and FIGURE 9.6). The space within the mask is the area that will be recorded; the semitransparent mask on either the top and bottom (HD) or left and right (SD) will not be recorded. This is extremely helpful when composing images for movies, because you will know where the edges of the frame will be.

In HD resolutions (720p and 1080p), your camera will display a semitransparent mask over the top and bottom portions of your LCD Monitor.
FIGURE 9.5 In HD resolutions (720p and 1080p), your camera will display a semitransparent mask over the top and bottom portions of your LCD Monitor.
n SD resolution (640 x 480), your camera will display a semitransparent mask over the left and right portions of your LCD Monitor.
FIGURE 9.6 In SD resolution (640 x 480), your camera will display a semitransparent mask over the left and right portions of your LCD Monitor.

If you place your camera on a tripod to record your movies, one very useful feature is the electronic level, “Landscape Photography” (FIGURE 9.7). It can sometimes be difficult to see the horizon line in your scene, and the electronic level will help you keep your camera leveled horizontally. With still photography you can always go in and straighten the photo in editing software, but with video you don’t have as much wiggle room, so it’s always best to get it correct in-camera. Note that if you set the autofocus mode to “Face detection Live mode,” the electronic level won’t appear. Be sure to set it to either “Live mode” or “Quick mode” for it to show (please read the next section for more information on focus settings for video recording).

The electronic level is a helpful feature to use when placing your camera on a tripod.
FIGURE 9.7 The electronic level is a helpful feature to use when placing your camera on a tripod.

USING A TRIPOD

To get the best-possible quality when recording video with your camera, it’s a good idea to have a sturdy tripod and a fluid video head. I use a Manfrotto 501HDV video head with my Canon 60D when I use it on a tripod (Figure 9.8). There are also other options for stabilizing your camera, including handheld rigs and additional equipment.

A sturdy tripod and a fluid video head are good tools to have when shooting video with your 60D.
FIGURE 9.8 A sturdy tripod and a fluid video head are good tools to have when shooting video with your 60D.

 

 

Canon 7D, Let’s Get Creative

To fi nish off this chapter, I’m going to give you a few more shooting tips, mostly fun ways you can play around with light to get some really neat results. Photography wouldn’t have as much appeal to me if it weren’t for all the exciting ways to use light, along with the different settings on my camera. These are just a few of the hundreds of ways you can experiment with your camera.

THE “SWIRLY FLASH”

It’s no secret that I don’t like to use the built-in fl ash. The light is harsh and fl at, and when you photograph people in a dark setting, such as indoors or at night, it’s too easy to get a background that is dark and underexposed.

So when I’m in a situation in which I have no choice but to use the fl ash on my camera, I like to change some of the settings to give my snapshots a different look. I drag the shutter, setting it much slower than normal, usually between 1/15 and 1/4 of a second, and spin the camera on axis with the subject while the shutter is open. This keeps the person mostly frozen and well-lit while creating an interesting blur of lights in the background (Figure 10.2).

By using a slow shutter speed with the built-in fl ash, you can create fun and unique photos of your friends.
FIGURE 10.2 By using a slow shutter speed with the built-in fl ash, you can create fun and unique photos of your friends.

I like to call this technique my “party trick” because when I’m in a room full of people, I’ll use this method to take a quick portrait, and often it’s something that they haven’t seen done before. This technique is not limited to DSLR cameras, and I frequently show people how to set up their point-and-shoot cameras to do it. I fi nd that it adds a unique look to an otherwise boring snapshot. One quick tip: This type of image usually works best when there are a lot of lights behind your subject, such as the lights from a Christmas tree.

CREATING THE “SWIRLY FLASH” EFFECT

  1. Set your camera to Tv mode and start with a shutter speed somewhere between 1/15 and 1/4 of a second.
  2. Press the built-in fl ash button on the front of your camera.
  3. Point the camera and center your subject in the frame. Start with the camera slightly tilted, and then press the Shutter button to take a photo and spin the camera so that the subject stays centered in the image.
  4. If your fl ash is too bright, press the Flash Exposure Compensation button on the top of the camera and use the Quick Control dial to move the exposure value (EV) to the left. Take another photo and preview your results.
  5. If the background is too dark or too bright, you’ll want to adjust your ISO setting. The higher the ISO number is, the more ambient light you’ll bring into the background.
  6. If you have too much or too little blur in the background, adjust the shutter speed (a slower shutter speed for more blur, and a faster shutter speed for less blur).
  7. Keep adjusting the settings until you fi nd that “sweet spot.” It will be different for each environment, and there’s no single right way to do it. Just have fun with it!

LIGHT PAINTING

Another fun technique that’s worth trying is light painting (Figure 10.3). For this, you’ll need a dark environment (nighttime is best), your camera on a tripod, and some semi-powerful fl ashlights or other light source. Shine your fl ashlight on your subject to light it, and in effect you’ll “paint” the light that will show up on your image.

But you don’t have to paint the light on something for it to show up—if it’s dark enough you can stand in front of the camera and move the light source to make shapes or spell something out. A fun item to use for this effect is a sparkler (a type of handheld fi rework that emits sparkles)—just set your camera up on a tripod outdoors at night and have someone run around the frame holding a sparkler, and you’ll create shapes and streaks that can look really cool. You could also use small fl ashlights or LED lights. In Figure 10.4 I used a small LED fl ashlight with a green gel over it to add a different color to the writing.

For this photograph, I used a long exposure while my friend scribbled the haystacks with a laser pointer and I “painted” the ground with a powerful LED fl ashlight. I added small blue and green gels on the fl ashlight to add color to the image.
FIGURE 10.3 For this photograph, I used a long exposure while my friend scribbled the haystacks with a laser pointer and I “painted” the ground with a powerful LED fl ashlight. I added small blue and green gels on the fl ashlight to add color to the image.
I photographed this image with the help of my friend dav.d. That’s me writing with a small LED fl ashlight. The original photo was backwards, so I fl ipped the image horizontally using editing software.
FIGURE 10.4 I photographed this image with the help of my friend dav.d. That’s me writing with a small LED fl ashlight. The original photo was backwards, so I fl ipped the image horizontally using editing software.

SETTING UP YOUR CAMERA FOR LIGHT PAINTING

  1. Place your camera on a tripod in a dark environment, preferably nighttime or a darkened room.
  2. If your environment is extremely dark, set your camera to the Bulb shooting mode with a large aperture. If you have some ambient light in your scene, set your camera to Av mode and use an aperture that is large enough to capture the light from your light painting but small enough to give you a fairly slow shutter speed—several seconds is usually a good place to start.
  3. Using a cable release or one of the self-timer drive modes, press the Shutter button. If you are using Bulb mode, you’ll need a cable release in order to hold the shutter open for the duration of your light painting.
  4. With the shutter open, use a fl ashlight, a sparkler, or any other type of powerful light source to create your image. The creative possibilities are endless!

HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE (HDR)

how to use HDR for landscape photography. But HDR doesn’t need to be limited to landscapes. In fact, you can photograph almost anything that is not moving and achieve some great effects. Figure 10.5 is the interior of a library photographed just before noon. The light shining through the windows added contrast to the scene, but by creating an HDR image, I was able to retain a lot of detail in both the highlight and shadow areas of the image.

This is an HDR image of the interior of a building. Notice that you can still see details in the shaded and sun-fi lled areas of the scene.
FIGURE 10.5 This is an HDR image of the interior of a building. Notice that you can still see details in the shaded and sun-fi lled areas of the scene.

 

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 7D, The My Menu Settings

You may fi nd that you are constantly going back and forth in the menu to change some of the same settings over and over. 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 7D’s simple solution to help you keep a few of those settings in one place and make them easier to fi nd—the My Menu tab.

This is what the My Menu settings look like on my 7D.
FIGURE 10.1 This is what the My Menu settings look like on my 7D.

Under the My Menu tab, you have the option to register up to six different menu options and custom functions. To give you an idea of what this looks like, take a look at what I currently have registered in the My Menu tab (Figure 10.1). I usually select menu items that I use frequently so that I can quickly make changes to those settings. I do change these from time to time, but the majority of them stay put (for example, the Format menu item is one that will always remain in place).

CUSTOMIZING YOUR MY MENU SETTING

CUSTOMIZING YOUR MY MENU SETTING

  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.
  2. Highlight the Register menu item (A), 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 confi rm 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 fi t 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 fi rst menu tab that appears each time you go into the menu on your LCD Monitor, enable the Display From My Menu item (C).

 

Canon 7D, Using the Custom Settings Modes (C1, C2, and C3)

The 7D has three different customizable camera user settings: C1, C2, and C3. These are useful if you frequently fi nd yourself shooting in the same environment with the same settings. They allow you to completely customize a shooting setting any way you like and then record those settings as a preset. One example of when you may want to use these settings is when shooting HDR. It doesn’t matter where I am, what lens I’m using, or what time of day it is; I always use the same starting point. I set the ISO to 100, shoot in Av mode, set the drive mode to High-speed continuous shooting, and make sure that Auto Exposure Bracket mode is turned on. I can record all of these settings in one of the custom settings, and they will be ready any time I want to photograph a series of images for HDR.

Another useful preset to create is one for using the Movie shooting mode. I like to have a good starting point for all of the movies I record, and I don’t want to make a silly mistake like forgetting to turn sound recording on, shooting at too high a shutter speed, or using the wrong movie-recording size. Setting up a preset and using a customized camera user setting will guarantee that I won’t make any of those mistakes. It also allows me to jump straight into movie shooting without having to think about my settings.

SETTING UP YOUR OWN CUSTOM SHOOTING MODES

SETTING UP YOUR OWN CUSTOM SHOOTING MODES

SETTING UP YOUR OWN CUSTOM SHOOTING MODES

  1. First make all of the adjustments to the camera that you want in your custom shooting mode. For example, you might set the camera to Av mode, ISO 100, Daylight white balance, and RAW+JPEG image quality.
  2. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to get to the third setup tab.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to highlight the Camera User Setting option (A), and then press Set. Select Register and press Set again.
  4. Choose which mode dial you would like to register, C1, C2, or C3 (B), and then press Set.
  5. Use the Quick Control dial to select OK (C), then press Set one last time.
  6. When you want to use a setting, just rotate the Mode dial to that custom setting (C1, C2, or C3) and begin shooting.