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Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 31

Autofocus Area

John Greengo

Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

10. Autofocus Area


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:12:55
2 Photo Basics Duration:04:03
3 Basic Camera Controls Duration:03:33
4 Exposure Modes Duration:20:29
5 Top Deck Additional Features Duration:05:29
6 Exposure Bracketing Duration:04:14
8 Viewfinder Duration:12:31
9 Live View And Movie Mode Duration:23:52
10 Autofocus Area Duration:10:16
11 Quick Menu Duration:03:48
12 Play Back Duration:06:13
13 Memory Cards Duration:06:33
16 Lenses Duration:07:35
17 Shooting Menu Duration:10:45
18 Lens Aberration Correction Duration:04:31
23 AF Method Shutter And Metering Duration:04:45
24 Movie Menu Duration:11:36
25 AF Menu Duration:23:09
26 Playback Menu Duration:07:43
27 Setup Menu Duration:24:13
28 Custom Functions Menu Part 1 Duration:14:28
29 Custom Functions Menu Part 2 Duration:19:48
30 My Menu Duration:05:04
31 Camera Operation Duration:09:47

Lesson Info

Autofocus Area

Alright, so that is your Movie and Live View functions on the camera. Next up is our AF-ON button on the back of the camera. We have two of these, one for horizontal, one for vertical shooting. On its own, straight out of the box, this doesn't do a lot for you because when you press down on the shutter release, most cameras have the autofocus tied in with the shutter release, and so, you can use the back button to focus if you want, it won't shoot a photo, but once you press down on the shutter release, it's gonna shoot a photo again. Where this really comes into play is when you turn off the focusing on the shutter release. That way you can do back button focusing, you can focus with one finger and then you can recompose, move the camera around, take your finger off and shoot a photo, as many photos as you want, without the camera refocusing. And so, we're gonna talk a lot more about these controls when we get into the Custom Controls in the custom operation of the Menu section, so th...

is is one of the buttons that we can customize to do something, also, completely different than autofocus, but it's one that most people leave on 'cause it's a very handy way for focusing with this camera. Next up is our Auto Exposure Lock button. When we have our camera in an Aperture Priority, Program, Time Value mode, the camera is constantly evaluating the scene and adjusting the shutter speeds. Let me give you a little demonstration here. So, let's put our camera into Aperture Priority mode here, Aperture Value, and so, let me change my screen around, get to our standard screen here. So, I have an aperture of f/8 set and as I move the camera around, you can see my shutter speed is changing. If I know that I wanna get it locked in at a certain point, let's just say right here, to 1/30th of a second, if I press in on the star button, well, I have reprogrammed that button during the break time, so let me jump in and I should really have reset this completely back to its system. So, let me jump in to Custom Controls and get this turned back to what it's supposed to be. Alright, so now this demo will work right. Okay, so move our camera around, there's our 1/30th of a second. We press in on the star, it actually shows up right here in the back of the camera. It'll show up in the View Finder as well and it's locked in at 1/30th of a second, and so, if we know that's the setting we want in our Aperture Priority mode, we can shoot photos and it stays locked in at 1/30th of a second. When we release off of it, then it will adjust. Do we still have it? I think I have it set in Spot Metering which is also gonna mess it up there. So, lock it in, stays there this time at 1/25th of a second and then, if I let it sit for six seconds, it's gonna reset. Come back and now the camera is reset and will jump around a lot. So, if you wanna lock the exposure in in one of the automated exposure modes, you can do it with that button. If you wanna reassign it, you can. If you don't use that particular feature, I know in my photography, I don't use that particular feature and so, I like to reassign this to do a focusing option on the camera, and I'll be showing you that when we get to the custom settings on the camera. And that is all in the Custom Controls that you saw me secretly jump in there and make some changes on real quickly. Alright, next up on the far corner, I call this the thumb button 'cause it's where the thumb goes real easily. This is our Auto Focus Points button and this is where we get to talk about the focusing system which is one of the real strengths of this camera. So, the Autofocusing Area has 61 autofocusing points that you can choose any one of these different points, and the way you're gonna do this is you're gonna press the AF Point selection button here on the back corner of the camera and then you're gonna press the Multifunction button, which is right up next to the shutter release, and you'll just press that to cycle through the different options. And if you want to move one of the smaller point around, you'll use the little joystick to do that. So, let me just show you real quickly on the back of the camera. Let me, actually we're in the right into screen here. If I just hit this button, you can see our options and as I hit the Multifunction button on the top, you're gonna see these different options that we're gonna talk about. And so, once again, thumb button up on front and then I just hit the shutter release button to kinda get the camera back to the shooting mode. So, let's take a look at some of the options and why you might wanna use them. So, first up, starting from small going to large, we have the Single-point Spot AF. You can choose any one of the 61 focusing points and you'll notice there's kind of a small box and a bigger box. Well, you're actually looking and using the smallest of those box, and this is a really, really tiny, pinpoint spot area. It's actually a fair bit smaller than I prefer to use, just 'cause it's hard to hold the camera steady and get that locked on the exact subject that I want, and so, this is one that I personally don't use very much. The next one, I do use, which is Single-point AF, which is the slightly larger than normal size focusing box, and you can, of course, select any one of the 61 areas for that to go. Next up is an AF point five-point Expansion area, and so here it's looking at a focusing point, but it's also looking up, down, left, and right of it for additional help. And so, it's primarily looking for the one in the middle, but it will look to its near neighbor if it needs help and it's having problems focusing, and so, it can be good for subjects that are moving around a little bit. The next bigger one is a nine-point box, pretty obvious on the shape of that one. And so, this is one of my favorite ones for action photography. It's nice to have something that's a little bit bigger than just a single-point and I think this is a very versatile one for doing lots of sports photography. Next up is Zone, which looks the same. It's nine, but then it becomes when it's off to the side and the slight difference between these is, in the AF point Expansion, you are primarily looking at one point and then it goes to any of the other eight if it needs help, whereas in the Zone AF, all nine are equal and it works with whatever one it can first grab onto, and it's usually looking at whatever is closest to you in the frame. And so, while these look the same, or almost the same, very similar, they are acting in slightly different matters. And so, the Zone AF and the next one up, which is called Large Zone, both work in the same way as where they're looking at a large group of points, in this case, the Large Zone, either the left, middle, or right sections, and all of the points are equal. It's not looking at one to start with, it's looking at whatever is closest, whatever's easiest for it to grab onto. And then finally, we have Auto selection where it's looking at all the points totally and it's choosing whatever is closest and whatever it can grab onto in those. And so, for portrait photography, for landscape photography, where things are not moving around too much, is where I like to choose Single-point. When I'm shooting action, depending on how haphazard and erratic the motion is, I'm either choosing the nine-point or possibly the Zone or the Large Zone. If I was gonna be doing something where I knew there was no interference between me and the subject, so for instance, a bird in flight where there's no trees between me and the bird, it's just open sky, that's where I would choose the Auto selection AF because then it could pick up on that subject and have the widest area to work with. So, on any of the ones that are less than the Auto Selection AF, you're gonna be using that joystick button to move that focusing point around so that you can adjust where that is, and the shape of those things will sometimes change depending on which section of the frame that you are in. So, a little bit of detail on the autofocus system that this camera uses. It uses a Phase Detection Beam Splitter and what this does is it has two different systems. One's looking for horizontal lines, one's looking for vertical lines. The Horizontal Line Sensor is set up with a couple of sensors and it is looking specifically for horizontal lines that cut across both sensors. Vertical lines don't do this and so, the camera can't focus on those types of lines with that type of sensor. And so, a horizontal line, when it's out of focus, is split and the camera knows which way to focus in order to get it in sharp focus, and it works very well. It uses different sets of Vertical Line Sensors for vertical lines to figure out how to focus them. So, in this camera, there are Horizontal Line focusing sensors, there are also Vertical Line focusing sensors to pick up on the different sensors. The type that we all love are Cross type focusing sensors, which are a little bit more complicated, but there's one laid on top of the other and it looks for either vertical or horizontal lines. This camera has some of those, but it also has one step further which is a Dual-Cross type sensor, which even looks for angled lines and can pick up on those a little bit more quickly. And so, in this camera, we have a variety of systems being used. The ones you see here in green are looking for vertical lines with lenses that are f/8 or faster. The next group here in blue are Cross type focusing, working with all lenses f/8 and faster for vertical lines and f/4 or faster with horizontal lines.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Canon 1Dx Mark II camera with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. 

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this fast start class, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the new 61 point AF system
  • How to understand and use the autofocus system for great photos
  • How to incorporate video into your shooting using the 4K advanced video capabilities.
John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This Fast Start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Canon 1Dx Mark II's settings to work for your style of photography.


Joe Berkeley

I quite enjoyed John's course on the 1DX mark ii. To be frank, I should have taken it 122,000 shots ago when I bought the camera. I learned quite a bit. There were only a few occasions when I thought my cranium could explode. But I walked away from the course with some great tips and in the grand scheme of things, the money I invest in education is always more valuable than the latest and greatest camera strap, lens, or bag. It will probably take a few months for all of the information to sink in but I'm feeling good about what I learned and the price I paid for it. All in all, a good value.

Fred Innamorato

John does a great job as usual. He provides so many visual aides and demonstrations which really helps you understand how to operate and set up your camera. His step by step explanation of the entire menu and each tab is excellent. In addition to his many photography tips and instructions. What an excellent class and a great value for all the detailed instructions provided. Much better than the manual you get in the box. Plus you get to watch this as many times as needed. I highly recommend this course and all of John's other classes.

Ian Sherratt

Great video. Loved the clear explanations, great views and mixture of video and slides. I’ve read a lot of manuals and books on settings and use of various Canon cameras but this is the first time I’ve really understood the full range of functions.