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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Fast Start

Lesson 25 of 25

Camera Operation


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Fast Start

Lesson 25 of 25

Camera Operation


Lesson Info

Camera Operation

Camera operation. We've gone through hundred of different features on the camera. How do we actually use the camera out in the field? What are we doing? First off, we're getting ready with our camera. We're ready for a big shoot. We're gonna make sure we have charged batteries, we've got formatted memory cards, we've got our image quality set where we want it. We've gone through and checked to make sure that our cameras have not been left in some funky mode. And if we're taking a trip, we're gonna make sure that our sensor is clean. We don't wanna have a dirty sensor for an important shoot. The other camera has hundreds of features but there is a few basic ones that we really use. It's really these nine basic settings which all have controls on the outside of the camera. On the final two pages of the PDF, that is what is going on here. These are the main settings on the camera. Let's look at how we would set this camera up for different types of photography. The first type of photograp...

hy we're gonna look at is just really simple, basic photography. Almost just giving a camera to somebody who doesn't know what they're doing so they can take very, very simple photos. In this case, I like the program mode. It's fast, it's easy, yet it still allows us to get into the menu system. I'm not a big fan of auto ISO but under the super simple category, it's gonna work just fine. Gonna make sure that exposure compensation is at zero, auto white balance should be good in most situations, focusing with one shot is pretty good for general situations and the focusing area is looking at all 61 focusing points good for basic situations and then the drive mode in single as well. Let's look at a few different types of scenarios. Landscape photography, we have subjects that are not moving that we want lots of depth of field on. Ideally, this is being shot from a tripod. You'll have time to get the exposure set right which is why we would shoot with manual exposure. My first setting would probably be with the Iso to the lowest setting which is 100 on this camera. Chances are you want a bit of depth of field so eight, 11, 16, 22, something in that range. With the shutter speed, that's not nearly as important. It often ends up being a slower shutter speed which is why you often end up needing a tripod. A pretty good second choice on this is aperture priority, setting a similar aperture. White balance at auto unless something just doesn't look right to you with the images you're shooting. You're subjects are not moving so it's the one shot mode. The single-point so you can be very precise about where you are focusing. For the drive mode, you could choose single. You could also use the self-timer there as well if you're using the cable release. The single would work just fine. Next up is portrait photography. Here we're gonna shoot with shallower depth of field. We need to be aware of our shutter speeds for our movement hand holding the camera or our subjects moving around. I prefer to be in manual. I'm gonna often wanna shoot with shallow depth of field, 1.4, two, 2.8, depends on the situation. I want a shudder speed of 125th or faster to stop my handheld movement and my subject's movement if they happen to be moving around a little bit. I prefer to be at ISO 100 but I will raise it if necessary. Auto white balance is good for most of the time. I'll adjust as necessary. As long as my subjects aren't moving around too much, I'll leave it in the one shot mode and I wanna be very precise about where I focus on their eyes so I will choose the single-point auto focus system. And in general, a single shot at a time usually does just fine. Another common type scenario is action photography. Sports, dance, wildlife. Lots of situations where subjects are moving towards you or away from you. Clearly shutter speeds and focusing are gonna be more important here. I do prefer manual exposure. I wanna choose a shutter speed fast enough to stop the action as necessary. This is where lenses that have a 2.8 aperture or faster really come into play and are very handy. I prefer to be at the lowest ISO but I'm always seemingly at 400 or higher. I'm gonna keep it in auto white balance and the important setting in my mind is focusing set on AI servo. This is where it is tracking the focusing towards you and away from you. With subjects like that, you often need a little bit larger of a zone in which to focus which is why I like the zone AF which is a nine point focusing. The other larger ones also work quite well. You'll probably need something more than a single-point on that one. And that's of course where we're probably gonna turn on the high speed continuous and shoot at around seven frames per second. The final one I'll leave you with is what I call basic photography and this is where you don't know what the next shot is and you kind of want to just have your camera ready for the next available good image to come along the way. In this case, I like a little bit of automation. The aperture value mode does a pretty good job at that. I'll probably have my camera set to a middle aperture if I need more or less I'll dial it in as necessary. I prefer to have my camera at ISO unless I'm thinking I'm gonna be under low light or I need faster shutter speeds and I'll bump it up kind of on an as necessary basis. I'll adjust exposure compensation if necessary but I wanna leave it at zero as a default. Auto white balance is pretty good most of the time. Most of my subjects are not moving that fast and so one shot works pretty good. Focusing area, I'll probably just choose the single-point so I can be very precise about where I'm focused at. And a single shot at a time will do me good in that case. Those are also in the PDF. You can take a look at those and put those in your camera bag and review those later on. But if you've made it to this point in the class, I can say congratulations. You are now a Canon 5D Mark IV expert. In case you were wondering, this is part of my fast start series of classes. If you have another camera or you're in the future and you have some future camera, well there's a good chance that I'm going to make a class for that camera. Canon and Nikon, I'm making classes for pretty much all their interchangeable lens cameras but I also have classes for Fuji, Olympus, Sony, and even Panasonic as well. If you want to know more about any particular camera, we have that available in a fast start class. If you are interested in any of my other classes, I do have those up at Creative Live. I have short classes, I have classes on how to choose your first camera, very long classes, classes on nature landscape as well as travel photography. And the one that I think is a good matching class to this class is the Canon lens class. If you wanna know more about Canon lenses, we have a lot on that particular one. Thank you very much for tuning in and get that camera out there and take some great photos 'cause at this point, it's not the camera, it's you. (chuckles)

Class Description


  • Leverage the new customized viewfinder and quick menu options for superior customization
  • Use and understand the new 4K video recording with frame grab and Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Use Wi-Fi with NFC and GPS for remote operation and location tagging
  • Understand Canon camera features that cross over to several Canon EOS models
  • Control the camera from the biggest tools to the smallest details


The Canon® EOS 5D Mark IV is a workhorse Canon camera, hauling features from the 30-megapixel full-frame sensor to the 4K video and 7 fps burst speed. But the 5D Mark IV’s long list of features is just money wasted if you don’t actually know how to find them and put them to use. Skip the floundering through menus and join photographer John Greengo exploring the camera’s many features, from customizing the camera to understanding dual-pixel autofocus.

This class is designed for the photographers using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, from those just pulling it out of the box to photographers that just haven’t found all the camera’s features yet. The class can also serve as an in-depth look if you’re not yet sure if the EOS 5D Mark IV is the best Canon camera for you.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is considered one of the best Canon cameras on the market -- but it's no Canon Powershot, which means a big learning curve. The latest updates bring tools that may be unfamiliar even for photographers that previously used an older Canon camera, with several firsts across the entire 5D series. The dual-pixel autofocus allows for small focus adjustments after the fact -- but only if you shoot with the right image format and work with the right software. The 5D Mark IV is the first Canon digital camera to incorporate FlexiZone Multi autofocus, a new setting inside the powerful updated dual pixel CMOS AF system. The updated viewfinder has new warning signals and custom controls. And of course, there’s that new 4K shooting.

This Canon camera class covers the camera from understanding the controls to customizing the menu.

What's packed in this Canon camera Fast Start? Learn the vital information in less time than it takes to analyze the menu -- and have more fun doing it too.


Individuals who own or are considering purchasing the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV


John Greengo has led more than 50 classes covering the in-depth features of several different DSLR camera models and mirrorless options, including Fast Starts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic. The award-winning photographer is one of the most celebrated CreativeLive instructors, leading classes covering a myriad of topics, including the previous Mark II and Mark III 5D cameras. Greengo has used the 5D series since the first 5D. He's led photographers through the ins and outs of advanced options like the EOS 80D and EOS 7D Mark II to entry-level Canon Rebel cameras like the Rebel T6i and T6.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV


  1. Class Introduction

    Just how wet can you get the dust and drip-resistant 5D Mark IV? Besides the Canon EF lenses, what lenses work well with this camera body? What about third-party flashes and batteries? Greengo walks through some of the biggest questions for the 5D Mark IV in the class introduction.

  2. Photo Basics

    If this Canon camera is your very first DSLR, pay attention to this quick crash course on camera basics, like how a reflex camera works, the difference between a full frame CMOS sensor and an APS-C, and exposure basics. If you're not scratching your head at the terms aperture and shutter speed, then go grab a coffee or skip this four-minute lesson.

  3. Camera Controls: Mode Dial

    Jump into the camera's controls with an overview of the digital SLR camera's control scheme. Then, explore one of the camera's most important controls, the mode dial. Learn the controls from C1 to Av, along with features like bulb mode and exposure compensation.

  4. Top of Camera Controls

    The top of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a rather daunting slew of controls. Greengo walks through why that control seemingly did nothing (hint: there's a unique-to-Canon active button), how to control two features with a single button, and the six main controls that are going to determine if you nailed that image quality or if that exposure and white balance were all off.

  5. Viewfinder Display Overview

    A quick look in the viewfinder displays most of the vital shooting settings, but with Canon updating the intelligent viewfinder options, even seasoned Canon photographers may not know exactly what icons are there and what they mean. Learn what's in the viewfinder, what viewfinder tools you can customize, what viewfinder warnings to look for, and yes, how to get that viewfinder looking sharp (it's not your eyesight, it's the diopter.)

  6. Play Back Menu

    Sure, clicking that arrow button to move through the photos you shot is easy, but what about using dials to flip through images quickly, new touchscreen controls, or rating images so that same rating pops up in Lightroom? Learn it all with the nitty gritty on the play back menu.

  7. Live View & Movie Modes

    A DSLR's autofocus system functions in an entirely different way when using the Live View on the LCD screen instead of the optical viewfinder -- Canon's solution to the slower autofocus performance in Live View is the Dual Pixel CMOS AF. That dual pixel system delivers several of the camera's biggest features, so Greengo takes students out on a real-world shoot to demonstrate how to use the feature, what Dual Pixel CMOS AF can really do, and what it can't so you don't wind up looking at soft photos. The same feature is also essential for shooting video.

  8. Autofocus Options

    The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has more than one way to focus --- the tour of the camera continues around back, where Greengo walks through the different autofocus options and how to adjust each one quickly. Learn not just what each autofocus option does, but what the camera will default that focus to in each scenario.

  9. Quick Menu Overview

    The quick menu saves you from digging deep into the camera menu. The quick menu also creates easy touchscreen access to a number of different controls, including file format, how those images are saved to the SD and CF cards, and picture styles.

  10. Left & Right Sides of Camera

    Advanced digital cameras like the 5D Mark IV tend to have several ports -- so what is each one for? Greengo walks you through the different ports, along with making sure those CF and SD cards are compatible and ready to shoot.

  11. Bottom & Front of Camera

    The bottom and front of the camera are often overlooked in most guides -- but that's where features like the depth of field preview and the option to add an accessory to plug the camera in the wall to shoot time-lapses for days are hiding.

  12. Canon 5D Mark IV Lens Options

    The Canon 5D Mark IV can use any EF lens -- but what lenses are the best options? Greengo walks through the lenses with high-end features to match the high-end body.

  13. Shooting Menu Overview

    The camera's menu is where much of the customization options come in -- and much of the confusion. Greengo walks through the shooting menu basics.

  14. Dual Pixel RAW Demo

    A missed focus is traditionally one of the mistakes that simply can't be fixed in post -- but Canon's Dual Pixel RAW can. See a shoot using the feature, an edit, and learn how to use Dual Pixel Raw.

  15. Shooting Menu Options

    Did you know you can fix a lens vignette on every JPEG photo taken with that lens by just adjusting one setting? Walk through the full shooting menu controls to find the hidden gems alongside tools you'll recall often.

  16. Timelapse Video Demo

    Thanks to a built-in intervalometer, the Canon 5D Mark IV can shoot time-lapses in-camera without accessories, unlike the Mark III. Learn how to use the new feature and see that intervalometer in action.

  17. Live View Shooting

    Live view can be an excellent tool -- especially when you have all the controls. Learn how to get the screen to show an accurate exposure, work the touch controls, and more.

  18. Movie Menu Overview

    The movie menu is hidden until you activate the right settings -- learn how to bring that menu out of hiding and what all the movie options mean.

  19. Auto Focus Menu

    Many photographers don't realize that, besides the autofocus modes, you can tweak the way your camera autofocus decides what to focus on. Learn how to tell the camera what subject is most important and how fast that subject's motion changes for a much more accurate autofocus.

  20. Playback Menu

    Don't skip the playback menu -- here's where you can transfer images from one card to the other, rate photos for faster culling later, and more.

  21. Setup Menu

    Every new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV owner should spend some time in the setup menu configuring the camera to their preferences -- Greengo walks you through what's what, from setting up the CF and SD cards to customizing the screen.

  22. GPS Demo

    The 5D Mark IV has a GPS built-in, which can geotag all your photos by location. The settings are key to accessing the feature -- and turning it off for locations that you don't want to be shared.

  23. WiFi Demo

    Wi-Fi is another first for the 5D series -- and opens up possibilities for easily sending images to a smartphone or tablet as well as turning your phone into a remote control.

  24. Custom Functions Menu

    Two photographers shooting side-by-side with the 5D Mark IV probably won't share the exact same settings -- the custom functions menu is tailored to the way you shoot. Customizing this menu allows you to tackle things from setting limits on exposure settings to customizing the physical controls.

  25. Camera Operation

    Camera settings vary wildly based on what, exactly you're shooting. Here, Greengo walks you through several different scenarios and how best to set the 5D Mark IV to tackle them.


Ralph Somma

I was reluctant to purchase this course because I already have the Instruction Manual that came with the 5D Mark IV and am committed to reading it in it's entirely. Nevertheless, after watching a preview of the course, I decide to buy it so I could view it at my leisure, pause and rewind it as needed. I am so glad I did. John Greengo's teaching method is clear and concise. He presents the material in a way that makes it interesting and enjoyable to learn. His effective use of visuals and demonstrations makes understanding every important function of the 5D Mark IV a breeze. I look forward to implementing what I've learned, his recommendations and tweaking the camera's settings to suit my own needs and preferences. Now as I trudge through all 600+ pages of the manual, I'm confident I will more easily grasp the camera's 100+ settings and can always refer back to the course if necessary.


First I have to say that I wanted this camera before it was even released. I had taken some of John's fast start courses and I had some questions regarding this camera vs. the 5D mark III and 7D mark II that I was using at that time. I emailed John and got an "out of office/out on location response". I put it out of my mind assuming that when John Greengo was back in the office, he'd have hundreds of emails waiting and my little question would get lost in the shuffle. I was delighted to receive a response a few weeks later. I was even more delighted when he released this fast start course. I did end up buying the 5D mark IV (love it) and had a pretty good handle on using it. This class opened up some new doors in how to use all of the features and customize things to suit my needs. I can never recommend John's classes enough. He explains things in an easy yet technical way that is useful to both beginners and seasoned photographers!

Byron Bastian

I have never watched one of John's courses, I have watched many videos trying to learn info regarding the new 5D Mark 4 Camera. I learned many new important features available with this amazing camera. John rocks as an instructor, his ability to teach in such informative way was very helpful. I would recommend this coarse to anyone looking to better understand this camera as well as to learn more about photography in general.