Canon® 1DX Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 4/31 - Exposure Modes

 

Canon® 1DX Mark II Fast Start

 

Lesson Info

Exposure Modes

Now, the camera is rated at 400,000 firings of the shutter and so, at 14 frames a second you're gonna get roughly about eight hours of life out of the camera. And so, the shutter is kind of intoxicating to listen to because it is so incredibly quick. But I thought it was kind of interesting that your camera is only gonna, is expected to last eight hours of life. And so, wanted to see how that compares with the price of the camera. In general it's gonna cost you about 1.5 cents per shot and so, be careful about really not too many shots, just for kicks. It's a little fun for a while but it will eventually cost you in durability. Okay, so first serious subject here is exposure modes. The camera has a mode button on it. A lot of other cameras, the dominant way that most cameras work these days is they have a mode dial. And these top of the line cameras like this one from Canon has a mode button. Does not have a dial, does not have any of the little picture modes. And so, you're gonna pres...

s down on that button and then you can turn the main dial on the camera to flip through the different modes. The first mode we're gonna star with is the simplest mode on the camera which is the program mode. And so, in this case the camera is gonna set shutter speeds and apertures for you. It's gonna show them to you in the viewfinder on the left hand side right below the image. There's a line of information that you can see. We have our shutter speed and then our aperture. It also shows us to you on the top of the camera and it does on the back of the camera. So let me show you with my camera here. Make sure my camera's in the program mode. Now if you wanna see it on the back of your camera, a little preview button that we're gonna be using a lot is in the info button right up here by the viewfinder. And so, if you don't wanna see anything you can press that but sometimes especially for today's class I'm gonna wanna show you what the camera is doing. And so, here you can see I have the camera in the program. The camera is in kind of a light nap mode. And so, when you press down on the shutter release, it wakes up, it activates the metering system. Now you can see we're at 1/80 of a second at F4.5. And went to sleep again there. And so, as I move the camera around you'll see the shutter speeds and apertures change a little bit according to the situation that it sees right there and how much light it sees. And so, one of the things that you can do if you are not happy with that particular setting is that you can turn the top dial to do something called program shift. And any of these were gonna give us a decent exposure. And so, let me get in a little bit closer on a subject here. And so, I can shoot a photo here and pretty good exposure there. But if I don't like that, I want more depth of field I can change this so that we get more depth of field. This is gonna be a longer shutter speed. And so, we get a decent exposure there. Let's play in both back. We have one image, I'm gonna pull up some information so that we can see that these are actually different. This one was shot at F20 and this one was shot at F3.5. And brightness-wise they're exactly the same but shutter speed and depth of field-wise they're very different. The program mode allows us to get decent exposures very, very quickly with some adjustment. Now something to be aware of is that let's just say I wanted a bunch of depth of field so I set it to F22. And then I kind of dilly dallied here for a little bit and the camera's gonna reset. Oh, there it reset. And so, now I press down on the shutter release it's no longer at F22. So, if I set this to any particular setting and I just kind of leave it be for about six seconds it's gonna reset and the next time I come up here it's gonna reset back to its default setting, whatever it thinks would be a good general setting to have. Now the program that it has built in is it likes to keep you at a 60th of a second or faster. And so, that's one of the things that's built into the camera as far as what it thinks you want to do. And so, that's the program mode and program shift. So for anybody who wants to just have the simplest setup and have the camera kind of taking care of all the hard work that is one system that'll work pretty well. And that's gonna be shifted with the main dial on the top of the camera. As you recall we have that quick control dial on the back of the camera and this will control exposure compensation. So let's take a look at what this does here. And so, by turning this dial, there'll be a separate scale that you can underexpose your photographs or you can overexpose your photographs according to what you think looks good. The camera is basing everything on 18% gray. It wants everything to be kind of an average of light and dark and that doesn't always work in all situations. And so, this is something that you can use in program, time value and aperture value which we'll talk about in a moment. But does it work in manual? You'll see what we do, how we work with this dial in manual. And so, let me give you a little demo on the camera here in front of us. And so, we have kind of a little darker area and a lighter area in front of us. I'm gonna point this over to a lighter area and actually I need to move my focusing points so that we can focus a little bit. And so, over here we have a bit of a white background and our camera's giving us an image that doesn't look too bad. But what we can do on this is by turning this dial you can see I have both the scale on the right hand side and down below. And I'm gonna give this a plus one exposure and now we have an even whiter background. Here's the plus one, here's the zero. Let's take this a little bit further. We'll do a two and just go right in and do a three. And so now we can see a plus three, plus two, plus one and zero. Now, we've got this dark wall over here and I'm gonna go ahead and take a picture over here. And our camera, it looks terrible because I forgot, I left it at plus three. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna set this back at zero and then I'm gonna do a bunch of photos at zero and just real quickly go to minus one, and minus two, and minus three. And then we'll look at the results and see which one looks best. And so, we've got this dark wall with these bright lights on it. And so, this is the zero setting, let me double check. Actually no, that's the minus three. I can see down here, you can see down here there is nothing there so that's the zero setting. And that's minus one, I think that looks a little bit better, notice how we get a little bit color out of those lights. Minus two, that doesn't look too bad there and this one's actually minus three and a quarter, three and a third. And that one's definitely too dark. And so, for darker subjects you probably wanna have this down a little bit to let the camera know you're shooting a darker subject. And so then back with the white background. It might look a little bit better in the plus one category. And so, this is something that you generally want to leave at zero most of the time. And according to your subjects you'll be bumping it up and down a little bit. A little preview of the lock button over here that we had turned the camera on and off. If you leave it here in the middle where it says lock you won't be able to turn this dial and it will just say lock on you. And so, if you wanna have full access to the camera you wanna turn it all the way on so that you can move this adjustment right here. And so, this will also work in the upcoming modes we're gonna talk about in aperture value and time value. So, let's get to those. That is exposure compensation. All right, next up is the time value mode. And so, what we're gonna do is we're gonna change the, press the mode button on the top of the camera and then we turn the dial. And you can actually see all the options that we're gonna talk about here. And so, TV stands for time value where we get to change the time. Let's just look at a quick example here. If you know that you have something that's moving very quickly and you need a fast shutter speed like an eagle coming into a river pulling a fish out of it, you're gonna want something like a thousandth of a second or maybe even faster. If you wanna blur the action, some scarves blowing in the wind here, this is a shutter speed of one second. The camera was used on a tripod here which is why the background is still sharp and focus as well. So, lots of different shutter speeds, lots of great things you can do in a photography having a lot of fun with different shutter speeds. And this is a good simple mode for doing that. It's not my favorite mode and I'd like to give you a little demonstration as to why I don't like to use shutter priority in a lot of the time. So I have put the camera in the time value mode which is also known as the shutter priority mode. With other companies and in the general in the world of photography. If I'm gonna set my ISO, it's a little darker here in the studio, I'm gonna set it up at 800 for right now. And so, I can move my shutter speed around and I have very specific controls. So if I wanna set a shutter speed of let's say a 30th of a second and I take a photo, that photo comes out pretty good in brightness and so forth. Let me change lenses here, take another photo and so, looking pretty good here with the exposure at a 30th of a second. But if I suddenly decided, oh, we've got some action going on and I want a faster shutter speed. And I go up to a faster shutter speed, well there's a limit. This lens has a maximum aperture of 2.8. So if I go past this, I can set a thousandth of a second. The 2.8 is blinking at me and the indicator over here on the right hand side is telling me that this image is gonna be very dark. But I can go ahead and shoot the photo and this photo is indeed a bit on the dark side. If I go to a really fast shutter speed up at 8000th of a second, it's still blinking. It's warning me that I'm way off the charts, I can shoot my photo and it's nearly perfectly black. And so, the problem with shutter priority is that if you're not paying attention to going past that limit, you're gonna end up with some dark pictures that you were not expecting. And the problem here is that there are a lot of shutter speeds. There are way more shutter speeds than there are aperture settings. And so, it's quite likely that you're gonna hit this limit either on the high end side or potentially on the low end side. If I wanted to do a four-second exposure in here I can't because I don't have a lens that closes down enough. And so, if you do use the time value or the shutter priority mode you need to be very conscious about going over or under the limits of what your camera has. And for some people the option of adding in auto ISO may solve the problem. And so, there are certain situations that I have used the time value mode and I've added in auto ISO to compensate any time that I might have gone past those limits or those extremes on the aperture of the lens. And so, that system can work quite well for many people. So it depends on what you're shooting and how you like to shoot and what you like to pay attention to. But just be forewarned on that in the time value mode. All right, the next mode is the aperture value mode and this is a great mode when you know that you wanna control the depth of field. In a shot like this I want what's in the foreground in focus and I want what's in the background in focus. I'm using F22. I don't care about my shutter speed because there's nothing moving in the scene and my camera is on a tripod. In other cases I wanna go with very shallow depth of field. I wanna highlight a particular subject within the frame and I can do that with shallow depth of field. And so, if you have one of those wide aperture lenses it's very easy to do but you can do it with all lenses if you really work it right. And so, when I'm using aperture priority I'm thinking primarily about the aperture but I'm keeping an eye on the shutter speed to make sure that it's appropriate for either handheld photography or whatever it is that I'm shooting. And so, let me show you on my camera, I'm gonna go ahead and change it over to the mode of aperture priority. And so, now our main dial on the top of the camera is controlling the aperture. And so, if I want an aperture of F8, I set it there and no matter where I move the camera it stays at F8. It may change the shutter speed and that's something that you would wanna keep an eye on. Now, whatever aperture you choose under almost any lighting condition, you're gonna have an appropriate shutter speed. And so here at F2.8 I can shoot a photo, it comes out looking pretty good. If I wanna close it down to F I can shoot a photo here and it's gonna come out pretty good. It's just because there's a limited number of apertures but there is a nearly unlimited number of shutter speeds. There are lots and lots of shutter speeds. And so, this is my favorite walk around mode. This is my favorite mode that I let the camera help me figure things out is that aperture priority mode. As I say, I'm picking an aperture according to what I'm shooting and I'm keeping an eye on that shutter speed to make sure that it's appropriate. And if it's not really putting me in the right place I will adjust the ISO but we'll talk more about that in a moment. All right, so that is the aperture value mode. Next up is full manual and this is where you get to set all the settings yourself. This is my favorite mode on the camera because this is where you get full control and you get very consistent results. Once you do a couple of test shots and you figure out what the right shutter speed and aperture settings are, and you leave it there set, all of your images are gonna be correctly exposed from there on out. And so, this is something that you'll be changing the shutter speeds on the top and you'll be changing the apertures on the quick control dial on the back of the camera. And you will be using the meter over on the right hand side which is gonna show you whether you are overexposed or underexposed. And it'll show it to you in third stops. It's got little bigger indicators when you're a full stop over or a full stop underexposed. And so if you do want your image a little bit brighter or a little bit darker, you can just have it set some place other than the middle of that particular scale. Normally, that's a good place to start right there where it's at zero. And so, as I say it works for consistent control of subjects that are under the same lighting. It's good for situations where the lighting is a little bit tricky. And so, it's something that I encourage you to use as much as convenient for you. Let me just show you on my camera here. I'm gonna switch it over to manual exposure with the mode dial, with the mode button and the dial. And so, now we can pick an aperture. Let's go with F8, always like about F8 and be there. Now I wanna figure out what the correct shutter speed is. And so, we can see that the indicator is showing that we are overexposed right now. Let's just go ahead and take a picture and see how bad it is. Yeah, that's a little on the overexposed side. So I'm gonna turn the dial on the camera and that doesn't seem to be the right direction so I'm gonna go the other direction until we get down to the middle mark right there. You'll see essentially the same thing when you look through the viewfinder. I'll go ahead and take a photo and that should be a good consistent result. Now, if I am moving the camera around and I'm shooting in slightly different compositions, and I'm zooming in. And then we go back and we look at all these images, they're all going to be the same brightness levels. And so, if you're gonna be shooting a football game and it's under consistent lighting, either it's all sunny, all cloudy or you're inside or whatever, once you figure out where those shutter speeds and apertures need to be, you're gonna get good exposures for the rest of the game. And so, only if you are dealing with a situation where the stadium is half in the sun and half in the shadows, and that's a whole other tricky thing we're not gonna get into. But in most cases, manual is gonna be the way to go for a lot of people. And so, as I say, you can look at the exposure meter on the back but you'll be wanting to probably look at the one in the viewfinder itself. All right, so that is manual exposure. Those are your four main exposure modes. Bulb is kind of an extension of the manual mode. The longest shutter speed in manual is 30 seconds. If you wanna shoot a photo that is longer than 30 seconds, whether it's 31 seconds or 31 minutes, you can use the bulb. And the way the bulb works is when you press down on the shutter release it's gonna open the shutter and it's gonna keep it open as long as your finger is on the shutter release. When you release it is when it close the shutter. Now, obviously this would not be a very good technique because having your finger on the camera you probably move the camera, vibrate it in some ways and this is why you wanna use one of those cable releases. And so, the bulb mode comes in handy when I say, as I say you want a shutter speed longer than 30 seconds. So here in Rome, I wanted to have a bunch of tail lights on the street but there just wasn't enough cars in a 30-second time span so I left it open for about two minutes so that I could collect more car lights for the image. And so, usually this is gonna be done with night time photography and as I say, this is where you wanna use that remote control and the one to get with this camera is the TC-80N3 from Canon. This is their timer remote control which will allow you to trigger the camera, lock it in and leave it open for as long as you want. Now, digital sensors don't do real well when you leave them open for a long period of time. So, the longest shutter speed that I would really recommend for most people would probably be in the 10 to 15-minute range. The longest that I've done for most of my nighttime work is about five minutes. And so, it's rare that you need to go beyond that. But you don't wanna leave it open for hours and hours because it heats up the sensor and eventually will shut down the sensor, shut down the camera. And I suppose it's possible to do some damage but just most people don't do anything longer than a few minutes. All right, beyond that we have three custom modes, C1, two and three. And this is where you can customize the settings of the camera so that you can very quickly change them. And so, if you like to use aperture priority with a certain type of focusing system, but then you wanna be able to switch really quickly to time value with a different focusing system rather than going through all those individual settings you can just simply change it from C1 to C2 and C3. Now the way that you get this setup is you first set the camera up the way that you would most like it to be. And then you're gonna dive into the menu and where you go in the menu is you go into setup menu number four, custom shooting mode and then you would register those camera settings with either C1, two or three. So this is a shortcut, I'm gonna be giving you a number of shortcuts as we go through the class because we are talking about the outside buttons and dials on the camera and there's a lot of those controls that are buried in the menu system. And I know many of you like to take that shortcut, go right ahead and make those changes right now. If you don't wanna follow the shortcut, that's fine. We will get there eventually when we go through the menu system. All right, so those are our exposure modes and if you find that you never use one of those. So let's say you're a sports photographer and you never use the bulb mode and you don't even want to accidentally select that or see that when you are selecting your modes. You can disable that and disengage it and restrict the camera from even using that mode by going into custom function number three under exposure, restrict shooting modes. And if you don't like time value, bulb and the custom modes you can just eliminate them from the options, and so you won't even see them. There's a lot of different ways that we're gonna see like this that you can customize this camera and it's one of the most customizable cameras out on the market today.

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.


Reviews

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.

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.

Linda Doherty
 

Class was awesome it gave me a better understanding on setting up my 1dx and understanding all the function on what this camera has to offer..