Camera Operation


Canon® EOS 6D Mark II Fast Start


Lesson Info

Camera Operation

Alright, we've talked about all the details of the camera, now, let's kinda talk about it from big scope here. What are the things that are important? First off, when you're going out, on a new shoot, you're going on vacation, you're out for something important to shoot, charge and install your batteries. Make sure you're going with formatted memory cards in the camera. You've set the image quality, the way that it needs to be set, RAW, JPEG, whatever your needs are. You might wanna go through some of the menu items, to make sure that you haven't played around, with your last outing on the camera in some unusual way. If you're going on a big trip, big shoot, you wanna make sure that you got a clean sensor. Shoot a test photo, of a white wall or a white piece of paper, at F22, see if you have any dust specs, that need to be cleaned off. Lot easier to do it there at home, than it is, while you're out on the road some place. The key settings on your camera are gonna be controlled with but...

tons and dials right on the outside. Exposure control, focus control, all of these are really easy to get to buttons, on the outside of the camera. The only one that I need to dive into, is the white balance option, which is in the quick menu, which is still very quick and easy to get to. Here's what those settings have as options, and let's think about how we would set our camera up, for a varitey of different purposes. Let's start with super simple. Let's say we're gonna hand the camera to a friend, or we just wanna have the camera as easy to use as possible, but with the option of going in and making a few changes. The program will set shutter speeds and apertures for us. If you set auto ISO, the camera will set the ISO and have all the exposure settings taken care of for you. I would set exposure compensation to zero, until you need to change it. And white balance at auto, until it doesn't look right. But auto, it'll probably be right most of the time. As long as you're not shooting action, the one shot mode, should work fine, for stationary subjects. For focusing area, auto AF uses the entire 45 point focusing system, not the best for everything in the world, but for super simple operation, it'll be just fine. And for the drive mode, leaving it in single, will allow you to focus on a subject, and recompose, to get a nice shot, simple and easy to work with right there. Let's try landscape photography. In here, we generally want greater depth of field, we may need to make a few other minor adjustments as well, along the way. In this case, I would prefer to be shooting in manual exposure, generally the light's not rapidly changing, and I wanna get consistent results. First item to me, is ISO set at 100. 'Cause I wanna get nice clean information off the sensor. Then I'm gonna set the aperture, so it usually get me a fair bit of depth of field, it'll depend on the situation. Sometimes it's at F8, sometimes it's F22, F11'd be a pretty common setting. Shutter speed doesn't matter to me too much, 'cause I'm usually shooting a static landscape, and I'm shooting from a tripod, which allows me to use any shutter speed. You often end up with slow shutter speeds, when you have low ISOs and lots of depth of field, set like this, so. Tripod is definitely advisable in this situation. While balance at auto is probably fine, you can set it to one of the others if necessary. The subject's not moving, so one shot focus is gonna work. I prefer to be very precise about where I'm focusing, so, I like to use the one point auto focus, which is nice and easy to use. And then I will use the single shot drive mode, or potentially, the two second self timer, if I don't have a cable release on my camera. You may wanna use mirror lock up, as a bonus, or use your camera in the live view mode. Next up, portrait shooting. So here, we're off the tripod, we're thinking a little bit more about depth of field, having a shallow depth of field, so our subject is in focus, our background is out of focus. And, having a little bit faster shutter speed, to stop the motion of us holding the camera, and then, potentially moving around a little bit. Preferred manual exposure, being very specific here, if I want shallow depth of field, then I have a 1.4 lens, I might very well be choosing that. You're probably gonna want a shutter speed of 125th of a second or faster. That's gonna stop your movement of holding the camera, and it's probably gonna stop their movement, as long as they're not moving around too quickly. I prefer to keep it at ISO 100, but I will bump it up, if necessary. White balance can be left on auto, as long as the subject is not moving around too much. You can use one shot, so that you can recompose, for a different composition. For the focus area, using the one point to focus on the subject's face, in particular, their nearest eye. You wanna get that very, very correct, and the one point should allow you do that. And, for most photography, a single shot would be fine, you may wanna have your camera in a continuous mode, if you wanna get a series of shots of them laughing, similing, or doing something else, for instance. Action photography is definitely gonna require some different settings, when it comes to shutter speeds, and focusing. I sill prefer to be in manual, so that I can get a consistent set of results from one shot to the next, in this case, shutter speed is one my primary concerns, I'm gonna wanna be at 500th of a second, or faster, depdnign on the action. You'll probably want a lens, that has an aperture of 2.8 or faster. And I would ideally like to be at ISO 100, but the reality is, is that with these very fast shutter speeds, you're gonna end up with a higher speed ISO. White balance at auto should be fine. Auto focus needs to be changed to AI Servo. This is where the camera will track focus of the subject forward and backward. Very important setting there. Focus area, I would probably use the zone, or the large zone, it depends on the size of the subject in the frame, and how erratically they're moving in that frame. And the drive mode, I'm gonna be in high speed continuous, so that I can get a series of photos, 'cause I don't know when the best moment is going to be, and this will give a chance at six and a half frames per second. Finally, for basic photography, where you don't really know what your next shot is gonna be. Here's where I prefer a little bit of automation, and I like using the aperture value mode. I'll set a middle aperture, maybe around F five, six, a little bit on the faster side. Which should give me a faster shutter speed, and I'll pay attention to that, as I move from subject to subject. I'll start the ISO out at ISO 100, bump it up as I get into lower light, or I need faster shutter speeds. I'll keep an eye on the exposure compensation, keeping it at zero, unless it needs to be changed. White balance at auto should be good at most situations. Most of my subjects are not moving action shots, so I would set them at one shot, but I'll jump 'em over to AI Servo, if necessary. The one point auto focus allows me to very accurate, in what I want in focus. If they start moving, well then, I need to go back, to action photography settings. And then, in the drive mode, I'll probably have the camera set in single shot. And if I need multiple shots, I'll just press down on the shutter release a number of times. So that should get you set up for you basic photography, pretty well. So, there you go folks. That is your 6D Mark Two class. If you through this far, I think you're probably an expert in that camera. So, get out there and enjoy that camera. It's definitely a very good camera, you're gonna get some great photos with it, I guarantee it, guarantee it. Now, if you are wondering about other cameras. Yes, I do have classes on other cameras. This is part of a large series of camera classes we have here at Creative Live. I have classes in Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, and even, coming up very soon, Leica cameras. And so, if you have camera, you want instructions on it, you can always check back here. We're gonna be adding more and more to these classes as time goes on. If you are interested in other classes that I do, I have a short, quick class. The photography starter kit for beginners, it's a few hours in length, gets you up and out the door, real quickly, with the basics that are important. If you wanna dig into the details, and really learn more about photography, my fundamentals is a much more in depth class, where we get the time, to really dig into all the different features and attributes, and things you can do with a camera and photography, and it's a lot of fun, 'cause we really, as I say, we dive in deep on that one. I do have a couple of other specific classes, the nature and landscape class, the travel photography class. As I mentioned earlier in the lens section, I do have a couple of lens classes, one for Canon and one for Nikon. And I would say, a lot of people think, lenses are very simple. But there's actually a lot going on, and these classes will help dig into the details and tell you everything that's important to know. If you wanna connect with me, you can go to my website,, I'm also on Facebook and Instagram, would love to connect up with you there.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But trying to understand the manual can be a frustrating experience. Get the most out of your new Canon EOS 6D Mark II with this complete step-by-step walk-through 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:

  • Utilize the 6D Mark II's feature set for Vlogging
  • Customize the deep menu to fit your specific needs

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 Nikon D7500’s settings to work for your style of photography.


a Creativelive Student

Always enjoy all of John's classes, but especially this one since I've decided to upgrade from my previous 6D. Awesome camera and this one is so much quieter than the older one. Thank you for explaining things in terms and ways that are easy to understand!


This course covers the controls and menu features of the EOS 6D Mark II in extremely comprehensive yet understandable detail. John Greengo is a polished presenter with a very real depth of knowledge which he manages to put over in ways that mere amateurs can comprehend. I would thoroughly recommend this class to anyone who already owns or is about to purchase a 6D Mark II. I purchased the class during the first 15 minute break after only watching one quarter of the full presentation.