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Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 31

Class Introduction

John Greengo

Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hello everybody, welcome to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Class. If you own, use or just want to learn this camera, this is the class that's gonna take you through all the buttons, all the features, all the menu options, and give you a whole bunch of advice on how to set this camera up and how to get the most out of it. We've got a big class ahead of us, and so let's go ahead and dive right on in to the good stuff. All right, so I've broken the class up into different sections. We're gonna go through a little overview to start off with. We're not gonna talk about too many basics. This is one of the challenging things making a class like this, because this is Canon's top of the line camera, and I'm assuming that most of the people who own and use this camera are gonna have quite a bit of experience, but I do know that a lot of people are kind of stepping up, and they move up to that top of the line pretty quickly, so we're gonna cover some of the basics, but we're not gonna dwell on them, ...

we're not gonna spend a lot of time on them. We're gonna move past them, and onto the more advanced stuff in the camera as well. So beyond that, we're gonna spend most of our time going through the camera controls on the camera, which is all the buttons and dials on the outside. We'll talk about everything that you have access to and what it does. The second half of the class, we're gonna go into the menu system, and there is a lot of items in the menu. You do get a PDF that you can download, and what I do, because I'm a very visual person, is I like to see the entire menu system on one page. That way I can look for features and I can just scan, and I can find it a little bit more easily than going up and down and back and forth throughout the entire menu system. And so, this comes with the class. I have this with my recommendations. I have another page that has just the menu without my recommendations, because I know you're gonna be making your own settings that are gonna be a little bit different than my initial recommendations. The PDF also comes with a recommended settings for different types of photography, which can be of some basic help for some people. But this is gonna be definitely handy in the second half of the class, and that's gonna be the whole menu functions. And then we'll wrap things up with camera operations where I give you some guidelines on how I would use this camera for different types of photography. For instance, portrait or action, or landscape photography. All right when you get this camera you get this big old hunking instruction manual that's gonna take you quite a bit of time to wade through. I expect this class to be a little over five hours in length, and so how is it possible that I can fit everything in that instruction manual into this five hour class? And the honest truth is, is I can't. There is just a lot of information in there. I have gone through it page by page, and I've tried to pull out everything that is really the most important stuff, and put it into this class. Hopefully in a very visual manner so it's very easy and quick to learn. There will be additional data that you might want to dive into in there. One area that we're not gonna spend a lot of time on in this class, I'll give you two areas we're not gonna spend a lot of time. Number one, we're not gonna talk a lot about flash photography. The camera does not have a built-in flash. You can of course hook it up to work with all of the other Canon flash units, and we will talk about those units, and a little bit of the controls that the cameras have with those flash units. Another area that we're not gonna go into is network communications. So if you're gonna be hooking this camera up tethered to a computer, and you want a full tutorial on how to use it tethered in the studio, we're not really gonna be doing that, and the reason is is because it's not how most people are using the camera, but it's also an incredible amount of information, and it probably deserves its own entire class. I will show you a little bit into what it does in that regard, and you will see that just when we peek in the doorway you're gonna see that it's a very complicated world in there, and so that's one area that we're not gonna spend a lot of time on. I really want to concentrate our time, spending our time on how to figure out how to use this camera to get the highest quality images out of it, and so that's kind of my main concern, and my main direction in this class. You will notice that I don't spend a lot of time talking about recommended shutter speeds and apertures for different types of photography in here, and that's because this is not a basic photography class. This is a camera class, where we're talking solely about this Canon camera. If you are interested in other photography classes, CreativeLive here has a bunch of classes, lots of them, almost 1,000 of them. I have several of them if you want a little three hour basic one, or a longer 27 hour class. I do have those, and you can find those at the CreativeLive catalog. All right, Canon. Canon is a pretty amazing photographic and technical company in many ways. They were started back in 1933. They started making their first SLRs back in 1959. They got a little bit more serious in 1971 when they came out with their first professional camera. And this proved to be pretty popular with a lot of different sports and photo journalists, and other professional photographers. And things really changed in 1987, this is really a big hallmark year for Canon, because that's when they introduced their auto focus, their EOS system. And, it doesn't really look that different than their manual cameras. Their T90 was a very revolutionary camera, but that was a film camera, and they changed it over to their EOS system. Brought out a whole bunch of set of new lenses, and that angered a lot of people, but they were really looking to the future. And so the modern cameras, like the 1D X Mark II can use lenses all the way back to those 1987 lenses. Granted they've gone through many improvements since then, and you probably want to be using the more current lenses, but it has a very long line of lenses that you can use from it at this point in time. And then their first digital camera came out in 2000, at least their first interchangeable lens camera. The D30, I remember this one very clearly when it came out. It was a pretty big hit, because it was only $3,000, and it had a full three megapixels to it. And, they've come a long way since then, but it's kind of neat to just walk through and see where they've been, and their progress over the years. So that's just my one minute of history on Canon history. And just for interest, the EOS-1D which was their first top of the line pro really hasn't changed much in style and form compared to the new 1D X Mark II. So one of the best things about having a Canon camera is that you are part of a very large family of cameras, lenses, and accessories. And so if you need a different camera that fulfills a different type of need, chances are they make it. They have tons of different lenses to address all your different needs. We will talk a little bit about a few of my favorite lenses for this particular camera, and they have an extremely good flash system. So for anything that you want to do with add-on flash, they have a very good system in that regard. So, the 1D X Mark II is their flagship camera. It is, it's kind of interesting, it's one of their lowest resolution cameras. In fact it may be their lowest resolution camera, just about their lowest resolution camera, but when it comes to overall features, build quality, it is their top of the line. Now, the top of the line camera has been going through a lot of changes over the generation. I kind of think of it going all the way back to their first EOS-1 film camera, so they made the 1, the 1N and then the 1V, and then they entered the digital age. And when they entered the digital age, they kind of found that they had split needs. They had sports photographers who wanted really fast frame rates, and they needed to work under low light conditions. But then there was another category of professionals that wanted a very high resolution, and so for quite a while they had two side by side flagship cameras that addressed these different needs. And then they decided to kind of combine them and it's a little bit closer to the faster sports action photojournalist type camera, and they dropped the version with the high resolution. And so the 1D X and the D X Mark II is kind of their new style going forward. If you want maximum resolution, you might want to look at the 5DS, and the 5DS R, because those have 50 megapixels, and if you're working in the studio or doing landscape photography, great camera. Not as weather resistant, not as well built as this camera. It doesn't have as many features, but does have more resolution. So this one does fit a particular need of photographers, and those people tend to prefer those. The extra size and the extra durability to it. And so, that's your lineup from the camera. Now as you get into the instruction manual you'll eventually come upon a bunch of pages warning you about things not to do with the camera. And I think they could replace pretty much all of that with just simple phrase of don't be stupid with it, because there's a lot of things that are pretty obvious with that. There are a couple of warnings that people do have questions on. Now the camera is classified as water resistant. It's not waterproof, which means you can't use it underwater. It just means that it's gonna do pretty well if you get caught in a rainstorm with it. Now if I was assigned to go shoot a football game, and I knew that I was gonna be outside for probably three to four hours in a heavy downpour, there's kind of like a 50/50 chance that the camera is gonna survive that in some ways, if it's a really heavy downpour. So if you know that you're gonna be going out in really terrible conditions, I would still recommend a rain cover system for it. If it's a moderate rain, you're probably gonna be good for quite some time, but one of the things you want to take a very close look at is what lenses are you using on the camera, and are those lenses weather-resistant, and how weather-resistant are those? And, it's not a simple answer that I can give you, because they have many different lenses that have many different levels of weather resistance. It's something that I do cover in a lens class about Canon lenses a little bit more closely. And, that is something that you need to pay attention to because that's where a lot of the problems are gonna come, and there's a lot of moving parts on lenses, especially the focus and the zoom rings, and the front elements moving back and forth. So, the camera itself should do quite well under a shower type condition, but there is a limit as to how long that'll protect your camera. Canon is also not liable for damage with non-Canon accessories. So of course they can't test the camera with every imaginable product that you might put on it, but they of course want you to buy their accessories. I'll be honest with you. But there are certain things that I would stick with Canon. For instance I would stick with the Canon batteries. I wouldn't play around with any of the other batteries. That's a very important connection on the camera. It's not gonna cause any problems, but I do prefer Canon flashes when it comes to on camera TTL type flash systems. I don't like to play around with other ones. It's gonna hook up and work totally fine in studio situations. It's got a PC sync, and if you're hooking it up to pocket wizards, or other types of strobe systems, that's not gonna cause a problem at all. Canon makes a lot of great lenses, but you know, these days there are some other pretty compelling lenses by Tamron or Tokina, and Sigma, and those are not gonna cause any problems with the camera. There are a few features that I will talk about where the camera is communicating with the lens, and if it's a non-Canon lens it won't be able to communicate that information. But those are pretty minor things, and if there's another lens that you really like, I say go for it. I'd have no problem using another brand of lens on the camera. All right, so let's make sure that your camera and my camera is ready for today's class. You want to make sure that you've charged the battery, it takes about three hours to do that. They do have a new battery system for any of you who've had previous flagship cameras from Canon, so we'll talk more about that when we get to the battery section. You're gonna want a lens on it, and it takes either the CF card or the CFast card. You can either have one or both in the camera. Go ahead and turn the camera all the way on. There will be a lock position, we'll talk more about that, but there's Off on the bottom and On all the way up to the top. And then the Program mode is set by pressing the Mode button and turning the top dial on the camera. And then pressing the shutter release, and make sure my camera here is working. And looks like we're getting good results here, and so if your camera is ready to go, let's get going with the rest of the class.

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.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Canon® 1Dx Mark II Recommended Settings

Canon® 1Dx Mark II Fast Start Class Slides

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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.