Skip to main content

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Fast Start

Lesson 5 of 25

Viewfinder Display Overview


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Fast Start

Lesson 5 of 25

Viewfinder Display Overview


Lesson Info

Viewfinder Display Overview

Okay, folks. We're taking our walkthrough of the outside of the camera. And it's time to continue along the way onto the backside. So, we have a lot of controls. The working end of the camera you might say. We have a new high res LCD monitor on the back of the camera. And in case you're wondering how much of a difference that high res makes, if you use one of the Hoodman or Zacuto loops on the back of the camera, on previous cameras, like the 5D Mark III or the DSR Mark II, when you look at the back of the camera through a loop you can count pixels. On this it's virtually impossible to count pixels because they become tighter and smaller in there. Now, we also have a touchscreen so that you can now activate a lot of controls. And we'll talk more about this as we get into the camera. On a side note, I'm not the touch guy. I don't like the touch because I look at the screen and I hate fingerprints on it. And so, I've gotta keep my cleaning cloth out and clean it off a lot. But it is incr...

edibly convenient in a variety of functions of the camera. So, it's not that I don't use the touchscreen, but I do use it. But you get to use it wherever you want. The thing is is that they implement it in this camera in many, many different areas. In playback, in shooting video, in going to the menu, in entering your name into the camera. And so, it is a very valuable feature, and it's great to see that Canon has it finally included on one of their cameras of this level. You're gonna be spending a lot of time with the viewfinder cause that is how you're gonna get the best performance of the camera for most types of photography. Take note that there is a diopter which is a focusing adjustment for the viewfinder in the upper right hand corner. And you wanna look through the viewfinder and look at the line of information down below and make sure that that is sharp and clear to see. And that's the proper setting. Now, it does get bumped from time to time. And so if you think that you're suddenly going wacky in your eyesight, just adjust your diopter and chill out. Cause that's probably the only problem. Now the Eyecup EG is replaceable and removable. It's got that kind of soft rubber that works up nicely against your glasses or against your forehead. Just pinch both sides to release it. They do make a special one that is an anti-fog one. So, if you're a sports photographer or landscape photographer, and you're outside and it gets fogged up, they do have on that's has a special coating on it that resists fogging up. And that sells for about 45 bucks. The standard one is a little less than $ if you do wanna upgrade that eyepiece. Let's talk about what you see in the viewfinder itself. So, the frame that you see in the viewfinder is 100% accurate. So, you are getting exactly what you are looking at in the frame. Next up is our auto focusing points. We're gonna talk more about focusing in a few minutes. But right now, there are 61 focusing points. It's gonna show them to you in the frame. There is a place in the menu system where you can go in and control which points are displayed for you. For some people, they wanna clear out the clutter and they don't wanna see any focusing points at all. You can turn them all off if you want. Or you can leave them all on. And we'll talk more about that as we get into the menu sections with auto focus. There is a spot metering that we talked about before. And there is a little circle in the middle of the area that is 1.3% of the area where it's concentrating it's reading when you are using the spot metering. There is a built in level that helps you determine if you're tilting the camera left, right, up, or down. And this is something that can be turned on or off by diving into the set up menu number two, something called viewfinder display. And then you can go simply turn the checkbox to either see that or not see it. We also have the option to have a grid which is great for architectural, landscape work. Sometimes people just like it for compositional reasons. And this is all thanks to the fact of, I believe it's called the intelligent viewfinder two in this camera, where it allows to have all this LCD information. And a lot of the mirrorless cameras out on the market have ... One of the big selling marks of mirrorless cameras, in my opinions, is the heads up style display right on the viewfinder of what you're looking at. And now Canon as added that into an SLR camera. And so, this stuff is really, really nice. I don't like turning it all on. But there are bits and pieces that I do turn on from time to time depending on what my needs are. Here's one area that really has expanded from the Canon 5D Mark III is the viewfinder information. There is tons of information, I'm not gonna go through every bit of this here, a lot of this are modes that we've already talked about. But there's a number of other settings that you might have turned on or off in the camera, and you wanna know about that. You can see it heads up right there in the display. So, just for instance, when you go into change the drive mode, and you press the drive button on the top of the camera, you will see your drive options come up as you cycle through them. And then when you release the drive button, that goes away unless you specifically have this turned on. So, it'll always turn on when you're changing it. But you can choose whether you wanna have it turned on all the time. Now by default, I don't like this stuff because it is clutter on my composition. And I like to have as clean a viewfinder as possible. But it's nice to be able to have some of this here. Now, one that's a little bit different is the exclamation mark because that can be turned on or off but you can also control what it's warning you about. It's a general warning. For instance, if you have your camera in the black and white mode. You can say turn it on if ever I leave my camera in the black and white mode because that's something really important I want to know about So, we'll talk more about customizing that when we get into the custom functions, page three, Displays in Operations. And so all of these can be turned on or off. So, you can just go click a checkbox that, hey, you know what, I always wanna see what metering system I'm using. You can check that box off. Going into set up number two, viewfinder display, and totally customizing your viewfinder to your personal needs. And then finally, at the bottom is our LED information. And this is the most critical shooting information when you are taking photos. The auto exposure lock button we'll talk about here in a moment. Locking our exposure with the little thumb button on it. There is a number of controls when you have a flash attached and you have various things either turned on or turned off. Or modes set with the flash that lets you know what mode it's in. Then we have our basic exposure information, our shutter speed, our aperture, our exposure level. If we have our camera with exposure compensation turned on. Remember I've warned you about leaving this turned on all the time. This is that little warning. When you see that in there, that means your camera is either overexposing or underexposing everything. And so, you wanna be very careful if that's turned on most of the time. We'll have our ISO setting. And then we're gonna talk more about this highlight tone priority. This is where Canon's software will go in, take an image that you have taken, and start tweaking with the tonalities on it. The brightness, the contrast, and the shadows. And this isn't something that everybody wants but some people do. And that's why there's a little warning. I'll show you some examples in an upcoming section. We have our remaining shots which is the total number of shots left. And then we have our focus confirmation. And the circle indicates that it has achieved the focus. The little arrows below it indicate that it's working. And so, it's kind of the "I'm working here. I'm trying to do it." And then when it gets the circle there, that means it has confirmed the focus. So, that's what you're seeing in the viewfinder itself. With the camera, on the strap, you get this little black piece of rubber. And in case you've wondered what that is for, you need to take off the eyecup EG, and you put this little rubber cover on it. If you are not behind the camera when you are shooting with it in a normal photography mode, not movie mode, not live mode, it blocks light coming in the viewfinder. If you are shooting in aperture value, time value or program, light coming in through the viewfinder may throw off your meter and give you an incorrect exposure. And so, you need to block this off. If you were to, say, mount your camera ... Let's say you were shooting a rocket launch, and you have to mount your camera out in this bright field, and you're gonna leave it in aperture priority but the sun might be coming up right behind it with bright light shining through the viewfinder itself, that could throw off your meter. And so, most people would just put some black gaff tape on it. But if you have your strap there that's what this little rubber piece that is part of it. That's what it's for. All right, working our way around the buttons on the back of the camera. We have our menu button which dives into the, oh I don't know, there's about a 150 different items in here. And we're gonna spend the whole second half of the class exploring what the menu is. And so, we're gonna check this box, and we're gonna come back to this later. Next up, is the info button, and what that does is it brings up information. And as I like to say, nothing and no one is ever hurt by pressing the info button. And so, if you wanna see more or less information, just press the info button repeatedly to cycle through the different options there. One of them is kind of cool. It's the custom quick control screen. And this is where you get to customize exactly what you see and how big it is. And so, this is something Canon has been adding on their last couple of cameras. And it's really nice because, I said from the outset, I love to customize things and tailor them just the way that I want them to be. And so, in the second half of this class, section number three, where we go through the set up menu, I'm gonna go through and I'm gonna show you how to set up a custom control screen and how to get it tailored just the way you want it to. But by pressing the info button, you'll just cycle through these. If you said that camera settings just has information I'm not interested in, you can uncheck that in the info button display options and you won't have to look at that when you cycle through. But start with, I say, turn them all on and see which ones you use and which ones you don't use. All right, this top button is gonna get my award for the least used button on my personal camera. So, this is a short cut to three particular features, picture styles, multiple exposures, and HDR photography. We're gonna talk about all of these in the menu system because they have their own listing in the menu system. But this is a shortcut to that button, and Canon, if you're listening, I know you're not, but if you happen to be listening, please make this programmable. Let us decide what we wanna do with this button. Because I know a lot of people who just don't use this button very much. But it's a shortcut if you do use it.

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.