Top Deck: ISO and Flash
Next up is the ISO. This is the sensitivity of the sensor on the camera. Now, the native sensitivity, the natural sensitivity of the sensor is a rating of ISO 100. And when you have it set to 100, you're gonna get the cleanest, best information possible. But there are times that you need faster shutter speeds, and you need to let in less light into the sensor, but you need the sensor to boost that signal and give you the same brightness, or the appropriate brightness on the final image, and you can do that by raising your ISO. So usually you're doing this in situations where it's dark and you need a faster shutter speed. So I always like to take a look to see how good is this camera shooting at different ISOs. So, with my standard little test subject, I shoot it at ISO 100, which will give you the best results, and that's where you want to leave the camera as much as you can. But the honest truth is that 200, 400, are all very, very clean. We're starting to see a tad bit of noise at I...
SO 1600, but it is incredible clean here. And the camera will go all the way up to 51,200, and there you can definitely see a lot of noise and there's a lot of color noise going on there where it's getting these color splotches. Does not look very good, so I would recommend trying to keep your camera at around 6400 and below. Usually the top two settings are pretty bad, 12,800 is not terrible, but I would try to always keep the ISO as low as possible, so this is an important third factor in your photographic exposure. There's apertures, shutter speeds, and ISOs. Now if you're wondering why you can't get your camera to ISO 51,000, is that you have to go in to setup menu number four, custom functions number two in that, and turn on your ISO expansion that allows you to get up to 51,200. There's a good chance you'll never need it, but if you do want to be able to do that, you need to go into the setup menu and kind of turn off that little lock that is currently on that little feature of the camera. Next up, we have an LCD light. This is the only Rebel camera, or it's not really a Rebel, I shouldn't call it a Rebel because it's the 77D, so this is one of the things that separates it from the Rebel cameras is that it does have that LCD panel on the top for some quick information. In dark environments, you can just hit that little light, and you can see your shutter speeds, apertures, and a few other bits of critical information very easily right there. We have a hot shoe on the top of the camera, as well as a built in flash. Over on the left side of the camera, we have a flash button that performs about three different, two different functions. Number one, it pops up the flash. If you recall back in the auto modes, like the Scene Intelligent mode, the flash will pop up automatically on its own. In Program, Manual, Time Value, Aperture Value, if you want flash, you're gonna need to pop it up yourselves. You press the button once to pop it up, but then you'll press it a second time so that you can start changing the flash modes that are available. So let's take a look at why you'd want to use flash. When you have a subject that's relatively close in front of you, flash will be effective then, so for a portrait, it's gonna add a little bit of fill light to the eyes, a catch light in the eyes can really help a portrait sparkle a little bit more. Fills in the shadows, especially under bright light situations. You may not think about using your flash under a sunny day, but that is a great time to use it, especially if your portraits's, if your subject's face is in the shadows. Now, there's a number of different modes that the camera has. Red-eye Reduction, you can use off camera flash, as well as a couple of other specialized modes. The Slow-Sync mode, that is using slower shutter speeds to let in ambient light in the background. The 2nd Curtain Sync is like a Slow-Sync mode, but it synchronizes the flash with the closing shutter rather than the opening shutter, so that you can have interesting effects with subjects that are moving. Fill Flash is when you are forcing the flash to fire even when the camera thinks it doesn't need it. The camera will be fooled by perhaps a very bright background, thinking, oh I don't need to use the flash. And you can force the flash on, and that's probably one of the most effective ways of using the flash. The top shutter speed when using flash is 1/200 of a second. So, the shutter needs to be completely clear of the sensor when it's opening, and that's the longest, or the fastest shutter speed that you can have in that. Now, there's gonna be a bunch of flash controls that we're gonna talk about when get into the shooting menu number two, and so we will dive further into this in the menu section of the camera. There's a number of speedlites available, but built-in flash has a guide number of 12 in power, so it's not real powerful. Canon does make a very small 270 that is, well it seems like it's quite a bit more powerful, but I would probably stick to the built-in flash for simple basic needs. The 320EX is kind of interesting because it has a video light that is a hot light, so if you're gonna shoot video with the camera, and you want a little bit of a fill light for shooting video, that's a good flash option. I think for people who need more power on a regular basis, the 430EX would be a great option, because it is quite a bit more powerful, offers you the ability to bounce the light, and is probably more than enough flash for Rebel camera. They do make a professional flash, the 600EX, which is gonna have more power, faster recycling time, and a number of other special features. And if you do want to get great flash photographs, one of the key things is getting the flash off the camera. If you want to keep things simple, and automated, you can use the OC-E3 off shoe cord, and that's gonna sell for around $70 or so. And that's gonna allow you to put the flash, the external flash on a bracket, or hand-held, it's also good for macro work. So if you are gonna get into flash photography, there's a lot of difference accessories, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Alright, there's a little symbol over to the right hand side. If for some reason, you ever needed to measure the distance from your subject to the focal plane on the camera, that is where the sensor is in the camera. There's a good chance you'll never need it, but they always put it there in all the cameras, and that's what it's for.