Skip to main content

Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 29 of 31

Custom Functions Menu Part 2

John Greengo

Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

29. Custom Functions Menu Part 2

Lesson Info

Custom Functions Menu Part 2

Alright, here's the big one, folks. Custom controls. This is where we get to go in and really customize the camera in some ways that will make the camera very fast and very easy to work with. So let me go through and show you a few custom controls that I think may be helpful for you, and then we'll do a little demo at the end of this. So first off, let's customize the set button. When you're normally shooting photos, the set button doesn't do anything. And so when you dive into the custom controls, you can navigate over to the set button and rather than off, you can have it change the white-balance or you can have it turn the menu system on. Or you could have it do playback, so that you don't have to reach over with your left hand, to hit the playback button. And so any of those options would be good, we're not gonna go through all of them, but I think the playback option might be handy for a lot of people, so you can do one-handed playback with your right hand on the grip of the camer...

a. Multi-function button, okay so that's the M-Fn button up in front, so that's often used for changing focusing points. But only after you've changed that focusing point button on the back of the camera. On its own, it's doing flash exposure lock and very seldom do people have flashes attached to the top of the camera. So you can choose something else for that button to do. Now granted it's not an endless list of options that you can choose but you can choose something that is slightly more relevant to you than flash exposure lock by going in and choosing from one of the other options. You can have it be your movie record button, or go to one of the custom modes. Or be able to change from raw to jpeg. Alright, this is kind of a cool one, one shot AI Servo. So the asterisk button on the back of the camera is normally used for auto exposure lock. We did a demo, a little test earlier where we pressed that in, and it locks the exposure as we move our camera around. If you would rather have that do something a little bit more useful in my opinion, you can have that do an AI Servo. So normally you press down the shutter release, and the camera is in a one-shot focusing mode. So it focuses on a subject and then stops. If you reprogram that button to switch over to AI Servo, by pressing that button down and pressing the shutter release, your camera is now in a continuous focusing mode and you don't have to press a button and turn a dial to get your camera in a different mode. You simply just press this one button and while you are pressing it down, it will switch over to that AI Servo continuous focusing and so it's a very quick way to go back and forth between single and continuous focusing. And so I think that's a neat option but it's just the beginning of where we're going on customization. Alright, let's take that same button because that is one of the most customizable buttons on the camera and we can do something called recall shooting functions. And this is where we can go in and we can set our camera to act in a particular manner when we press that button. And so let me do a little demo here. And let's get our camera set up. So I'm going to have my camera set up right now. Okay, I have this here so you can see me. So we're in a manual mode right now, but I'm gonna set this up so that when I press this button, the camera goes into a program mode. So you can see right now nothing's happening. Because it's not programmed yet. So we're gonna go in and, what page are we on, We are on custom controls right here. I'm gonna come down to the asterisk setting. I'm gonna press set and then I'm gonna dial through to this recall mode right here, but I need to press the info button for a detailed setting. So now what I'm going to do is I'm gonna go into the shooting mode and I'm gonna have it change to program, I'm gonna go down and change the ISO to 3200. And I'm going to leave the metering mode white balance auto, that looks pretty good, AF area selection mode, I can change all of these different things in here. I'm not gonna bother changing any other ones other than program and ISO 3200. Let's make sure I've got that set and I'm gonna hit menu to back out of that. So let's go back to our camera. Our camera is in manual at a sixtieth of a second. And when I press this it's not working because I probably forgot to engage it in some way because I forgot to turn it on right here. And set it there, now it should be set. So when I press this button, normally it's in manual, but I press this it instantly switches to program ISO 3200. And so this is the recall shooting mode. And I need to go in here and set it to recall and then I need to press info and I can go in and I can change all these other parameters about how the camera works. And so it's an instant way of changing your camera that's even faster than the custom modes we talked about earlier, by pressing the mode button and coming up to one of the C-one, two, or three modes. And there isn't any other camera on the market that really works in quite this manner at all. I can have my camera in aperture priority, and it instantly switches over to program. I could have my camera in program, and I could have my ISO at 1600, but when I go to this one, it changes it to 3200. So it's an instant override for anything that you find really, really important. And so that recall is just a fun one to customize for certain types of sports and action photographers that want to be ready for two different environments very, very quickly. And so that's the recall shooting function. Alright, back button focusing. To do back button focusing we need to turn off the autofocus on the shutter release. So you can go right up to the shutter release, and you can change that so rather than saying metering and auto focus, it just says metering. And then we can autofocus with the back of the camera. So let me show you on my camera 'cause I know a lot of you have an interest in back button focusing. And so I'm gonna go into custom controls, and I'm gonna turn off this little asterisk because I'm gonna send it back to what it normally does. I'm gonna go up here, I'm gonna select the shutter release, press the set button, I'm gonna come over here and let the camera just simply meter so that when I press down on the shutter release we don't hear that little chirping because it's not focusing. But when I press back here, and let's see if I can focus on something, So hopefully you can hear that focusing with the back button, but with the front it's not focusing at all. Now I can probably do this in live view as well, let's give you a little bit more tele-photo in here. So pressing down on the shutter release, not focusing. Pressing down on the back, focuses. Let's get something closer up. Focuses, focuses, and the idea with back button focusing is I can focus on my subject, recompose, and take photo after photo and I don't have to move the focusing point and change it because the distance hasn't changed between me and my subject. And so it's a technique that a lot of photographers use. If you haven't used it, I highly encourage you to give it a try. It's got a lot of good benefits that you'll soon discover once you get used to it. So that is back button focusing. Alright, how about two button focusing? We can have the AF-On button focus in one way, one manner of system, and then we can program the asterisk button next to it to focus in a different system. So what we would need to do with this is go into the info, and we can be very specific about what type of system we're focusing with, how it focuses, and even where it focuses. One of the interesting things we can do is we can have a focusing point set for one, a selected point that's where we're currently selected at, and then we can have the second one go to what's called a home point which is a memorized point off to the side. You're gonna use the selected for the current point or the home point for a registered or saved point. And I'll do a little demo here as soon as I get through this next slide. And so if you want to register a point, which means you're setting a home point, a different point to jump to what you need to do is move that focusing point off to the side, you press that focus selection button and the ISO and you'll hear a little beep and then it will recognize where that point is supposed to go. And so for my trickiest demo of the day, let's hope this goes right folks, let's try to focus this camera into double back button focusing. So in our custom controls first off we have the shutter release set at metering only. So it's already in back button focusing. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna come down to the AF-on button and we're gonna program this specifically. So first off it is focusing which is good, but we have the info detail set so we're gonna come down here, and our start position is gonna be our selected position. Wherever we happen to be is where we're gonna start at. We can go in and we can change the autofocus characteristics which I'm not going to worry about for right now. For autofocus operation I'm gonna leave this in one shot. So this is for my still photography. In the area selection mode, I can choose different points. I'm gonna choose a single one, but not the really tiny one. So I want the one point autofocus. That's the way my camera will work in the autofocus button. I'll hit the menu to back out of this, back out again, but now I'm gonna come down to the asterisk button right next to it and I'm gonna reprogram this one to meter in autofocus, I'm gonna hit info, and I'm gonna have this go to not the selected point but the home point, which is gonna be something else I'm gonna register in just a moment. For characteristics I'm gonna leave that the same, but in this case rather than one shot, I'm gonna leave this one in Servo, and yeah this is exactly what I want here. Let's choose a larger zone point. Well, actually if we wanna move the point, we'd better use this surround area here because you can't set selected points when you have large areas. There are some limitations. We have a very different system between AF-on and over here, and that looks pretty good so I'm gonna hit menu to back out of this, now before I show you this example, I'm gonna have to move the focusing point around and memorize it. Right now let's get this screen right here. Okay, so where is my focusing point right now? My focusing point is in the middle, I've been playing around registering before. So let's do a registered focusing point off to the far left-hand side. Okay so this where we want it to jump to in the AI Servo focusing mode. Now in order to do this, I have to press two buttons and I'm trying to remember which ones they are. They are this button and ISO and we should hear a beep, do you hear that beep? I will move it up one and do it again just so that you can hear it. Okay, so that is the new memorized point. I'm gonna move this back to the center of the frame and so now, as I'm focusing, you know I reset this whole menu so you can't see what's going on. And, let's see if it's going to show us. Okay so what I need to do, because I played around showing you with a previous customization, is I need to go back and adjust that customization so that we can see what's going on. And how about we just revert to the default layout, that could save a lot of time right there. I think that will solve our problem. Okay, so right now, when I'm focusing, I am focusing in the middle but when I press over to the right hand side, let me see, let me double check. I've gotta pick this up and look at it. Alright I think I may not have registered it quite properly so I've gotta go back and double check to make sure that I've got things correct. Life is not perfect. Here is my problem is that I did not officially change this, I left it as it and that's why it wasn't working. Let's go back and change it to autofocus. Let's double check the information in here, AI Servo, with a larger area, so when I press with the AF-on button it is focusing on the middle, and when I press over here it's changing it and it's focusing over here on the side in a Servo mode. It's not the most exciting here, this is blinking, versus over here where it shows us that it's getting it. Over here it's looking for other focusing points and trying to track that focus. It doesn't say AI Servo here but if I switch over to a different screen perhaps it will show us. Yes, you'll see normally when I press AF-on it's in one shot and over here when I press this button it's in AI Servo. So if you want to quickly go back and forth between one shot and Servo, setting up the AF-on button like I just did and the asterisk button to be in Servo is a great way to be able to instantly go single shot, continuous, single, continuous with a single button press. And it's something that I think anyone would get used to fairly quickly, and it's a great way to customize your camera. It's a little tricky, as you saw me making a few mistakes. You're likely to do the same, or you might be much better than me at it. It's a little tricky to set up the first time, but once you get it set up I don't know of any other camera that works out there with so many different options at a single press of a button. Now there are a bunch of other buttons that you can go in and customize as well, we don't have time to go into all of them. But that gives you a hint and some ideas on some of the more interesting ways that you can customize the camera. And that is all buried in that little tiny custom control settings on page six of your custom function menu. Alright, we looked real quickly at this very early on in the class, it is the lock/mic button. So the lock combination microphone button can be adjusted, you saw that I had to adjust it to the third setting down, which is the play memo option, if you want to be able to play your memos back in the camera so you can hear it while you're out in the field, you need to adjust it back for that. You can also adjust it to rating if you don't use that microphone recording device in there as well, so there's a couple different options on how to customize that particular button. Alright, final big page is you can add cropping information to your images, now you would need to use the Canon software in order to make this work so you will need their Digital Photo Professional for working with those cropped images after the fact. The timer duration heads us into another little submenu, and so normally the camera gives you six seconds when you press down on a button to make an activation or change in that particular feature. And if you want to shorten or lengthen that time, you can adjust that time there. The flashing exposure lock and the multi spot metering has a 16 second timer and if you need more or less time, you can adjust that setting there. After you take a photo the timer is still active for a couple of seconds and if you want to change it, you can change it in there. So lots of different timing things you can change as well. Most people don't need to make many changes there. The camera has a lag time between shutter actuation and actual fire shuttering of point zero five five seconds. I believe that's 55 thousandths of a second. And if you want to shorten it you can shorten it down to point zero three six. Now the reason that I'm not recommending shortening it and leaving it at the standard is that it will only achieve that shortened shutter speed lag time on very very fast shutter speeds. And I think it's more important that it's consistent for all of your photographs for timing purposes that you know how much that lag is, which by the way is one of the shortest on the market of any camera out there. So it's very short to begin with. But you can make it even quicker, if you need to for specialized photography. The audio memo that you record can be recorded at a lower quality that uses up less data. Normally this sort of stuff doesn't use up a lot of data, so I would generally leave it in the higher quality. You can do your own little audio test. I found the low quality to be a bit on the low side myself. There seems to be a lot of background buzz with it. This is something that is near and dear to my heart, and I guess before I explain through this, when you wanna delete a photo, which is gonna happen from time to time, how many button presses and dial turns do you want to have to make to delete that photograph? And in my opinion, pressing one button to delete a photo is a little too quick and a little dangerous. But I don't like to have to press too many buttons to confirm that you want to delete something. So that's kinda the problem with most of the cameras is that you indicate yeah I'd like to delete this photo, and then are you sure you want to delete it? Yes I'm very sure I want to delete it, please delete it. And so I don't wanna have to go through too many questions on deleting it. So normally cancel is selected, which means the camera thinks that when you hit the delete button, you accidentally hit the delete button, you didn't really mean it and so you have to confirm the setting and then you press set. I much prefer erase selected which means you hit the garbage can and then you hit the set button. It's got a little bit of safety precaution. You do have to hit two buttons, you don't have to hit three. And so it can save you a number of little button presses and dial turns in deleting your photographs. There are a very few number of little lenses that will have an automatic power retraction system and this, when you have this turned on will automatically power the lens down and retract it. There's just a couple of these little STM lenses but it's probably good that they're retracted when you turn the camera off or are retracting the lens. Alright finally on page eight you can clear all the custom functions and so if you've made a horrific mistake that you're not sure on how to clear up, you can come here to the end of the menu and clear out all the custom functions and start fresh again.

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.