Camera Controls: Mode Dial
All right folks, time for camera controls. This is where we actually get into the good stuff. This is where the class really begins right in here. So, let's get in and talk about the camera. First off, the basic controls. Clearly you're gonna want to have the camera turned on whenever you want to use it. Turning it off saves the battery power. When you turn it on, there is a little protective filter in front of the image sensor that will automatically turn on and knock off dust. It does this every time you turn the camera on and off, and so it's doing a very good job at help keeping your camera dust free. It's still possible it may get dust. I'll talk on how to address that in a future slide. The shutter release is gonna be used for taking photos obviously, but it's also for waking the camera up. And so the camera does like to go to sleep on a regular basis, and by pressing lightly halfway down on the shutter release, you'll wake your camera up. The main dial on Canon cameras is the to...
p dial used with your index finger, and so for changing any setting on the camera, that's often the first place to go to. Not always, but often. Hallmark of all the higher end Canon cameras is the Quick Control Dial, or sometimes I'll just call it the back dial on the camera, and that is used in concert with the main dial. Sometimes they do the same thing, sometimes they do complementary things. And in the middle of that is your Set button, and so when you highlight an item in the menu system, and you say, I want to activate this feature you're gonna be hitting the Set button. Occasionally that back dial is not working, and you turn the dial and nothing happens and that's because in most cases you flipped that lock to the right-hand side, and you've locked the controls on the camera. And one of the things that it does is it locks the dial. It can lock other things and we'll talk more about that as well, and so if it's not working just flip that lock over to the left-hand side. We also have a little joystick officially called the Multi-controller. This is gonna be used for moving your focusing point around, but you can also navigate through the menu system, as well as use it in many other areas whenever you need to go up, down, left, or right. We're gonna start taking our tour on the top deck of the camera, and we're just gonna go around and talk about all the different aspects. So once again, the shutter release, pressing it halfway down does wake the camera up because the camera will go to different stages of a sleep after about six and 15 seconds, and this will wake it up. But it also activates the focusing system and the metering system on the camera, and so photographers get very used to that half press on the shutter release, before pressing all the way down. It's usually a two stage pressing that most people go through on their cameras. The biggest and most important control on the top is gonna be the Mode Dial, and this has a lock button in the middle so that you don't accidentally bump it as easily, so it does kind of take two fingers to press and turn that at the same time. And this requires a little bit more of an in-depth discussion, so let's talk about the Mode Dial. We're gonna start off on the simplest of the settings, which is the Scene Intelligent Mode. It's full auto, but the Scene Intelligent part about this is that the camera is actually looking at what you're shooting at, and it's using its metering system which is actually kind of a small sensor in many ways, and it's trying to judge what you are shooting and how it should tweak the camera to adjust for those settings. So it can tell that you're shooting a portrait, in some cases, all right? It's not good in every case. It can tell if it's a back lit or if it's a closeup because it can tell where the lens is, and so there is some very, very simplistic thinking that it can do. Now, I believe that anyone who watches this class and gets to the end of it is gonna be smarter than the camera is at this point. Now if you're gonna hand the camera to a friend or relative who doesn't know about photography, and you just want to make it as easy as possible on them getting decent shots, this is exactly what this mode is for. This is the friend mode. You're handing the camera off to somebody else. I really don't expect, and I would actually be, I would be disappointed if you said, John, I saw your class on the 5D Mark IV. It was a great class, I've watched it start to finish, and I look down at your camera and it's in the A plus mode. I would be truly disappointed that you haven't chosen to take more control of your camera. Because there is so much more that you can do once you understand how it works. But it's great for somebody who just has only made it this far, and they want to get easy simple photos out of their camera. Next up is the P button which stands for Program, and for the most part it's very similar to the Scene Intelligent mode. It's not analyzing the scene and making adjustments, but it is setting shutter speeds and apertures, and it's taking care of everything else in the camera. One of the things that notably happens in the Program mode is the child safety locks are turned off. In the Scene Intelligent mode, there's a lot of menu items which are now grayed out or completely disappeared from the options, which means you can't get in and make changes on it. Which is great for the people who don't know how to use the camera. But as soon as you say, hey I want to change the ISO, you can't do that in the Scene Intelligent mode. You can do it in the Program mode. So the Program mode is gonna set shutter speeds and apertures for you, and if you turn the top dial you can do something called Program Shift. Now what you will see in the viewfinder when you look through the viewfinder at the bottom of it you're gonna see a line of information below the image, which is gonna give you your shutter speed, your aperture, your light meter, your ISO, and how many images you have left. And, we're looking at the first two numbers. The shutter speed and the aperture, and you'll be able to see them change. So let's do a little demo here in the class. Let's go ahead and get my camera setup so you guys can see what's going on on the back of my camera. I have my camera now in the Program mode, and to make things easy for you to see them at home, I'm gonna press the Info button on my camera. I'll talk more about this in a moment, so that you can see exactly what mode I'm in, and what shutter speed and aperture I'm at, so I'm at 1/50th of a second, f/3. now as I pan around the room here just a little bit, you can see the aperture changes. Maybe the shutter speed changes a little bit, depending on where I'm pointing it at. Now if I said, you know what? 1/60th at f/4 is fine and all, but I need more depth of field. Well I can take the top dial and I can dial in and stop it down to f/16. Down at 1/4 second so it's good that I'm on a tripod, but if I'm not happy with the settings, I can just turn the dial. All right? But there is a little quark to this whole thing. Let's say I do want f/16. All right great, I'm at f/16. One, two, three, and I go back, and it's not at f/16 anymore. And that's because the camera resets after about six seconds. And so if I knew that I wanted to shoot at f/16, well fine I can go shoot my picture there, but if I let it sit for a few seconds, it's gonna reset, and now I gotta go reset it again. And so if you want to take pictures repeatedly, a series of photos with particular settings, this is not the right mode. This is when you want to take quick one-off shots, and maybe you want to change something real quickly, you know? You're shooting a landscape shot and then suddenly you go like, oh this would be a good time for a portrait. Let me just quickly change it to a portrait mode, and grab a quick shot or two. When you said, oh wait okay we're gonna go over here, and we're gonna shoot a bunch of portraits. That's when I would take it out of that mode. And so this is not a bad walk around mode, so if you're on vacation and you're just walking down the street, you're going to the park, and you don't know what your next shot is, Program mode is not the worst place to be. Because you can safely just point the camera and shoot it, and it's gonna give you good settings for general photography. And you can dial things in if you want to get a little bit more exact. But when you get to serious photography where you're shooting lots of photos, we're gonna move onto something else. Now the back dial controls exposure compensation, so let's talk about what this is. So this allows you to make pictures that are a little bit darker or a little bit lighter. You can work these in 1/3 stop increments, so this is what it looks like one, two, and three stops underexposed, and one, two, three stops overexposed. The camera thinks everything in the world is middle tone gray, and it's not. And so this allows you to get in there and make those adjustments, and to be able to tweak them so that they are right for any particular situation. So let's do another little demo here. All right so we can see what's going on. And so, let's zoom in a little bit. Let me just check to make sure that I'm generally in the right area here. Okay so if we take a normal picture right here, we're gonna get pretty decent results of our stand and background over there. If I said, you know what? I think it's a little dark, let's go minus two, and you can see the little graphic indicator right there. And it's gonna show you the same thing when you look in the viewfinder. And we'll take that one, that one's gonna be notably darker. Let's go to the plus side, and we'll go plus two to make this one notably lighter. And I'm gonna play back these three images, and I'm gonna bring up some information so I can prove to you what I'm doing here. Down here at the bottom it says plus two, minus two, and then there's nothing there which means it's normal. And so, there's our minus two and there's our plus two, and so if you take a photo and it just doesn't look right, and you think you can make an adjustment either lighter or darker to fix the problem, this is a great way to fix the problem. Now, one of the things you'll notice is that it's still at plus two, because that's where we last had it. The camera just went to sleep, I wake it up. It is still at plus two. If I turn the camera off, if I take the battery out, and I put it all back in, turn it back on, where is it at? It's still at plus two. You've got to remember to reset that, and so this is something that you want to reset. Now, you'll notice that I was just turning the back dial here. Some people bump this. Well that's when you can throw on the lock switch, and now it's locked. And so you can turn it on, and you could lock it there, and now it's always locked on. Generally, I like to leave it at zero, but I like to leave this unlocked, because I'm pretty conscious of where because it shows me back here, it shows me in the viewfinder. It's pretty clear what's going on. But adjust to your own needs there. So that is exposure compensation. Next up, time value. So this is where you want to control the time. And so if you have something that is moving that you either want to freeze in motion with a fast shutter speed, like an eagle going into a river, you might choose something fast like 1/ or 2/1000 of a second for that. If you see something moving and you want to blur it in the wind, for instance these scarves here blowing in the wind with a one second shot. Now this was shot on a tripod of course, so that everything else is nice and sharp. You could use a slow shutter speed, and so if you know the time that you want to have, you can just dial the time in. But do be careful of anything that blinks. Anything that blinks is a warning sign, and so let's show you on the back of the camera. Let me move my camera over into the Time Value mode, and you can see, let's just change this to 1/8 of a second right now. So my camera is at 1/8 of a second, and the camera is figuring out the aperture which is f/8, and if we take a photo we get a decent exposure. Now if I just said, you know what? I want to shoot a photo at 1/1000 of a second, so I'm gonna change this to 1/1000 of a second, and I'm gonna take a photo. And that photo is seriously dark. Now, you'll notice that I just, I was working so quickly I didn't have time to pay attention to the fact that the F2.8 is blinking. It's blinking in the viewfinder, and it's blinking up on the top LCD of the camera as well. That's a warning that says, hey buddy, F2.8 still aint good enough. It's not enough light, so I'm gonna have to come back, until it stops blinking. And so, fastest shutter speed I can get away with in here is about 1/80 of a second, and that gets me a decent exposure. Now this can also happen on the slow side of it as well, but if that aperture is blinking that means you don't have the right aperture for that photo to work, and this is one of the reasons why I don't like the time value mode is it's very easy to go in with a good intention of trying to do something very specific in a photograph, but your lens just doesn't have the capability of it. And so, I tend not to use the time value mode except for in very special situations. And, for those of you who are a little bit more advanced, one little tip is you could use Auto ISO to compensate for any of that sort of air where you don't have enough aperture to work with. The ISO would then kick in, but that's a separate technique we're gonna not get into too much right now. And so Time Value mode, it's interesting, and it's useful in particular situations, but I tend to shy away from it for general photography. All right next up is one of my favorite modes which is the Aperture Value mode. And so this is great when you know that you want a specific amount of depth of field. So in a case like this, f/22, I want the foreground in focus, I want the background in focus. I'm gonna be using a tripod, if I need to, if the shutter speeds dictate that I need it. I want lots of things in focus, or maybe I want to shoot with a very shallow depth of field, and have a very, very shallow depth of field in my pictures, and so I'll dial it down to 1.4 for instance if my lens has that. And so, this is my favorite travel photography mode. Because it gives you pretty specific control over your aperture, which I can also control my shutter speed as far as, I look at my aperture, or I'm looking at my shutter speed, but I'm adjusting my aperture. So, quick little demo here on the back of my camera for that. Let me go ahead and change my camera over to aperture value to make sure this works right. And so, I'm right now at f/2.8 at 1/80 of a second, and I will get a decent photo there as far as exposure goes. Now if I want to stop it all the way down to f/22, it's at .8 of a second, so nearly a full second. I'll take a photo, and we're getting proper results there. And this is safer than the Time Value mode, because there are relatively few apertures, and so many different shutter speeds that can match up to it. So, in most situations, it's not always, but in 99% of the situations, whatever aperture you choose, there will be an appropriate shutter speed available to you. Now you may or may not be able to handhold it, or it may not be appropriate for the subjects you're shooting, but you're gonna get a proper exposure. And so let's say I wanted to shoot at 1/15 of a second. Well, I'm just looking at the shutter speed numbers, and that means I need to be at f/6. to get that 1/15 of a second, and I can shoot my photo there, and so I can kind of get away with both things here in a very safe environment. You're not gonna end up with bad exposures, overly exposed or underexposed areas, when shooting in Aperture Value. So it's a mode that I frequently use when I don't know what my next shot is gonna be, or I just want it to be ready for whatever comes my way. Next up is full manual. The top dial controls the shutter speeds, the back dial controls the aperture. This is good for either tricky lighting situations where your camera might not be metering it properly and you're gonna shoot a photo, and go, wait no that's not quite right. You make some adjustments and you want it to stay there. And that's the other time that I like using manual exposure, is that when I've dialed in the exposure, and I want it to be the same consistently no matter which lens I'm using, no matter where my focal length is, no matter where I'm standing, no matter where the background is, as long as the subject and lighting hasn't changed, and I want to have things maintain their settings, I would use Manual. So if I'm gonna take a portrait of somebody, and I'm gonna go down to the park and I'm gonna get it all kind of setup, and we have consistent lighting, it's not changing, I am gonna choose Manual exposure so that I can dial in what works for me, and keep it there, and I don't want the camera changing it around. So let's look at the back of the camera, and I'm gonna flip my camera over to Manual mode. And so, if I want to set things manually, I'm just gonna leave it at ISO 200, that's where it's at right now. But let's just say I wanted to shoot it at f/5.6. Well, I can change my aperture using the back dial at 5.6. Now the shutter speed needs to go someplace where the meter is giving me a proper meter reading, and the camera is currently in a light sleep mode right now. And so I'm gonna press down halfway to wake the camera up, and I can see that I am more than three stops underexposed. And so I'm gonna start changing my shutter speed dial until it gets to zero, and that's gonna be my first shot. And then I'll look at that, and I'll go, well maybe I need this a little bit brighter so I'm gonna overexpose by 2/3 of a stop in this case, and maybe that's where I prefer the brightness. And then that's where I'm gonna be shooting the rest of my photos in that series. So anytime you plan on shooting a series of photos, you want consistent results, and you're willing to shoot a couple of test photos, Manual is what I would go with. And so it's my favorite way of shooting because it means that I'm gonna get consistent good results, because I've tested and checked them out ahead of time, and that's where a lot of people are gonna be using this camera, very easy controls on it. So that is the manual mode. Once again, when you see that light meter, if it goes more than three stops under or over you'll just see an arrow that says that it's more, and it's outside of the reading areas. And these are once again in 1/3 stops. Each full stop is a double or halving of the amount of light. And a good place to start is with it at the center, for your first exposure, depending on the subject of course. Next up, Bulb, which is an extension of the Manual mode. The longest shutter speed you can go with in this camera is 30 seconds. That's the longest in most cameras, but every once in a while you come across a situation here you want to use a shutter speed longer than 30 seconds. For instance, when I was in Rome, I wanted to capture as many taillights as possible, but in any 30 second span of time there wasn't as many taillights as I had hoped for. And so I put the camera into a Bulb mode where I shot for about two minutes, so that I could get more taillights in the shot. And so, the Bulb timer is for any sort of image over 30 seconds in length. And so, the way Bulb works is that when you press down on the shutter release, it opens up the shutter and it stays open as long as your finger is on the shutter release. And then when you remove it is when it stops, and so you have to stand there with your finger on the camera for two minutes. Now that is a terrible technique because you would be moving and vibrating the camera, and that is why they make the timer remote control, and there's a couple different models of these I'll talk more about. So you use the cable release to trigger it, hold it. Now these actually have a lock so you don't have to physically hold the button in on the camera to do it. And if you wanted to do these long exposures, this is how you had to do it in previous generations of Canon camera. But now Canon has added a new feature in this camera, and this is gonna be in the menu, and it's called the Bulb Timer, and this is an introduction to something else in this class, is I'm gonna give you shortcuts. Because I know some of you watching at home are saying, John he just keeps on talking, I want to go in and I want to make this change right now. So if you dive into your menu system on shooting page tab number four, there's something called Bulb Timer. And there you can set a specific amount of time. One minute, two minutes, 10 minutes. However long you want for the Bulb Timer, so you don't need to buy that cable release anymore. You can still use it if you want to, but if you do want to do a five minute exposure, dive into the menu. You've got to have the camera in the Bulb Mode. You dive into the menu, and then you set the Bulb Timer for five minutes, and that way you don't have to touch the camera, you're not touching the camera while it's actually shooting. Now just as a general recommendation, leaving a digital sensor turned on for a long period of time is A, gonna cause noise problems, and B, might damage the camera if you left it on long enough. If you did a 10 hour exposure pointing your camera at the sun, that could be a serious problem on your camera. I would recommend keeping your bulb timings to 15 minutes and shorter. I don't have a specific, there isn't a listing in the Canon as to when it explodes on you, or something like that. But I've had very poor luck doing really long exposures with a digital sensor. The longest that I've personally gone is about five minutes. I've seen people who've gone 15 minutes, but anything beyond that is just really pushing the limits of what our sensors can handle, and they heat up too much in that period of time. But it's great for those one, two, three, four minute exposures that you want to do. C1, two, and three, are custom modes that we get to go in and customize how they work. They can be manual, they can be aperture priority, time value, program mode, and they can have a whole bunch of other features that are added into them. You can have specific metering and drive modes set in. You could have specific focusing systems built into each one of these modes. A common system would be for instance maybe a wedding photographer who has C for their main chaotic wedding activity, kind of a little bit of action, things moving around, but maybe C2 is more of their portrait mode where they have a little bit more stability in their setup, and people aren't moving around as much. And maybe C3 is for nighttime work. Another one would be a landscape photographer who has C1 for working off of a tripod. But they're also into bird photography so they set C2 for birds in flight. And they have different focusing systems, and different shutter speeds and ISOs set so that when they simply flip it to one of those, they can get good pictures very, very quickly. And so, like if you were a mom or dad and you wanted to take pictures of kids, I would probably set like C3 for chaotic kid activity, where you have it set to like ISO 1600 and focus tracking for them moving around. So anytime you just want to throw it into something where you can get decent pictures in the most chaotic situations, you can just throw it in that mode and have everything set and ready to go. Now if you want to do that, what you do is you set the camera up exactly the way that you want it to work and then you dive into the menu system, set up page number five, Custom shooting mode, and you register that to either C1, C2, or C3. And there will be some more specifics and we'll talk more about this when we come back around to this going through the menu system. And so, highly encourage you to figure out what's important to you. What are some things, some safe setups that you would want to use on a regular basis? And dial those in and customize your camera.