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Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 31 of 31

Camera Operation

John Greengo

Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

31. Camera Operation

Lesson Info

Camera Operation

Alright, finally we have our camera operations. So we've gone through all the nitty-gritty details on the camera, and this is where we kinda finalize and summarize how would we use the camera? What do we wanna think about in the overall operation of the camera? So before we head out on a big job or a big trip, we wanna make sure that we've got our battery charged, we've got our right memory cards, we've got 'em formatted, we've got the quality setting that we want, JPEG, Raw, whatever we're shooting. We wanna go through and make sure that we have the proper settings in our menu system, and then if, you know, you're going on a trip to Africa, you don't wanna go to Africa with a dirty sensor. There's not a lot of places to clean your sensor over there like there is here at home. And so you wanna make sure that your sensor is clean before you go off on any big shoot. Once you do that, while the camera does have dozens, if not hundreds of different features to go through, the main ones tha...

t you're gonna be using are these controls right here. Most of 'em deal with exposure, like shutter speeds and apertures, some of them are dealing with focusing, so there's a few others like white balance and the drive mode, but these are the few main controls that you're gonna be using over and over and over again. And so this is how I would use the camera in some basic situations. Let's take a look at the nine different options we have... For how we would set the camera up. And the first option is just super simple, and when I say super simple, I'm talking about handing your camera to someone else in your family, a friend, for them to shoot photos for you. Just as simple as possible on the camera. Put the camera in the Program mode, this is where it sets shutter speeds and apertures for you. I'm not a big fan of Auto ISO, but this is a great place to use Auto ISO so that it figures out the entire exposure system, shutter speeds, aperture, and ISO. Make sure that the Exposure Compensation is set to zero, and this is where you might throw the little lock on the back of the camera between the on and the off so they can't accidentally adjust that exposure and screw things up. White Balance, probably gonna wanna leave it in Auto. Focusing, as long as they're not focusing on action, you could leave it in One Shot. If they were gonna be shooting the triathlon or something like that, then you would put it in Servo. For Focusing Area, Auto AF is where it uses all 61 focusing points and it just looks for whatever's closest. It's not that great for fine-tuned professional photography, but for basic photography, point and shoot, that's gonna be the simplest system. And then, of course, with the Drive, just getting a single shot at a time probably makes sense. Alright, next up let's do landscape photography. And this is where we want more depth of field. Our subjects are not moving around, perhaps we're using our camera-- hopefully we're using our camera on a tripod. This is where we have a little bit more time to work with things, and we wanna get consistent results from shot to shot, so we're gonna shoot manual. First thing that we're probably gonna do here is set our ISO low at its best sensitivity setting of ISO 100. If we want depth of field, we're gonna need f/11, 16, 22, depends on the situation exactly where we'll need to set that. And the shutter speed will depend on the lighting. There's a good chance that with f/11 or we're gonna have a slower shutter speed, which is why landscape photographers are often using tripods to accommodate that slower shutter speed. White Balance is probably fine at Auto, you can change it if necessary. Our subjects are not moving around, so we're gonna choose One Shot on the Focus. For Focus Area, a Single-point should be fine. We can choose exactly the rock, the tree, exactly the point that we want to focus on. And as far as the Drive mode, Single mode would work fine here. We could also use the Self-Timer mode, might be a good idea to use a cable release as well so that we're not jostling the camera with that slower shutter speed. Let's set our camera up for portrait photography. In this case, what you wanna be thinking about is our subject's movement. If they're people or dogs or animals, they might be moving around so we need faster shutter speeds, and we might be wanting shallower depth of field. A lot of times portraits are shot with shallow depth of field so that our eyes stay on the subject. In this case, I prefer to shoot manual so that I can get the exact settings I want. In this case, I would probably go with that shallow depth of field to start with, so if you have one of those 1.4 lenses, good time to set it. You're probably gonna want a shutter speed of a 125th of a second or faster to stop the motion of you holding the camera as well as your subject's subtle motions potentially as well. Ideally we would be at ISO 100, we may need to bump it up if we are in lower light conditions. Auto White Balance is likely fine. If not, you can adjust. As long as our subjects are not moving around too much, we can use the One Shot mode. And for focusing, if we wanna be very precise about the focusing, I would prefer the Single-point focusing and I would focus on the nearest eye on the face. And that way the camera's not picking up an arm, a hand, a nose, or something else that isn't quite exactly where we want that plane of focus. And for the Drive, you could have it in one of the continuous modes, which would be fine, but for most cases, you're probably good having it in the single mode. Alright, let's do what this camera was really designed for, action photography. Sports, wildlife, anything that's moving around quite a bit. Now if the lighting is consistent, I would prefer to be in manual exposure so that I can get consistent exposure results from shot to shot. In this case, I'm gonna wanna choose a shutter speed fast enough to stop the action in most cases, and so that's gonna be 500th of a second or faster, depending on the situation. This is where it really pays off to have those fast lenses, like a 2.8 lens. And so if you don't have 2.8, you probably set it as fast as your lens can go, and you work with that. Ideally we'd be at ISO 100, but with faster shutter speeds we're undoubtedly going to need a faster ISO, a higher ISO, 400 is just to start. If you're working indoors you might be at ISO 3200 and 6400. Auto White Balance is a good place to start, adjust if necessary. Focusing, an important change to AI Servo. So this is the continuous focusing mode that will constantly adjust the focusing on our subject as it comes closer or moves further away from us. The focusing area, it's too hard to keep a single point on a subject, so you're gonna need a larger area. I prefer the Zone AF for most types of action photography. But in some cases, I need the large zone, in other cases a smaller AF point expansion area will work. This will change and depend on you, the sports you shoot, the lens you use, your point of view, and a number of other factors as well. But Zone AF is a darn good starting spot for a lot of types of photography. And then for the Drive mode, you spend all this money on a camera that does 14 frames a second, by goodness that's where I'm gonna set my camera. And so, maybe in some cases that you don't need that, but in many cases it's gonna be nice to have. But be careful, hopefully you don't have too heavy of a finger on there, 'cause you're gonna have a lot of images to edit. And so be careful about how you shoot your bursts. Okay, basic photography. This is kinda where you don't know what your next shot is. I kinda think of this as travel photography. You just don't know what you're gonna encounter on the next block, and so in this case I like a little bit of automation, and so I like that aperture value system here, and I like setting an aperture that's modestly wide open, maybe four, five, six, something in that range. And then I will have my ISO set relatively low, depending on the light levels. If it's dark or I'm going inside then I'll bump it up to 400, 800 or higher, if necessary. And I'll be keeping an eye on that shutter speed to make sure it's appropriate for my hand-holding of the camera as well as the motion of the subject that I am shooting. I'll keep an eye on that Exposure Compensation and I won't use it unless it's necessary. White Balance, I'll probably leave it at Auto 'cause it does such a good job. Focusing, as long as it's not action most of the time, I'm gonna set it to the One Shot mode. And for Focusing Area, I am fine using the Single-point. I think the AF point expansion might be another good option as well, but to each his own in this case. And then for the Drive mode, I can usually rattle off a few shots in the Single mode pretty quickly by just raising my finger up and down if necessary, but the camera fires so quickly in the High Speed mode it's hard to take just a single shot pressing down on the shutter, which is why I'm choosing the Single mode there. So, if you've been paying attention for the last several hours in this class, congratulations, you are now a Canon 1DX Mark II expert. And so I encourage you to get out there and play with your camera, customize it. Think about all the different ways that we customized that camera. Your camera can be totally tailored to the way that you shoot photography. So thanks a lot for paying attention and coming along with this class. I hope you enjoy your camera, I'm quite sure you will. I envy you in all the things that you are going to do with your camera, it's a great camera and you should have a lot of fun with it.

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.