Top Deck: Mode Dial (Auto Modes)
All right, folks. It is time to get into the good stuff, the meat of the class, you might say, and so we're going to get into the camera controls, and really go through the camera, top to bottom, discussing all the different controls, what they do, and how to operate them. First up, turning the camera on. We have an Off/On switch that also has a movie setting, and so On is for taking still photos, and then the little movie camera is when you want to shoot movies. Now when you do turn the camera on, the image sensor in the camera has a self-cleaning sensor unit, which will try to knock dust off the sensor. Now it is still possible to get dust that sticks onto the front of the sensor, and will show up as black specks in your photographs, and I'll talk about how to clean that, later on. In the menu settings, we´ll have a way and a place to manually clean the sensor. You will need some accessories to do that, but for the most part, the camera does a very good job keeping that image sensor ...
clean. Shutter release, obviously, for taking photos, waking the camera up. Now this camera has the Main Dial on the top of the camera. Canon cameras in general will have their main control dial right on the top of the camera, just behind the shutter release, and so if something needs to be changed, that is probably the go-to dial to work with. But what separates this camera from the other Rebel cameras is that you have a dial on the back of the camera. This has been a hallmark of higher-end Canon cameras for about 25 years. It's the back Quick Control Dial. And so if you have two things you need to control like shutter speeds and apertures, we'll have the main dial doing one and the quick control dial doing the other. Sometimes they do some things differently, sometimes they do the exact same thing, and just gives you the option of using two different dials, whichever ones you want to use. Now, on the dial on the back of the camera are also four push buttons, up, down, left, and right, and so we'll be using this to navigate throughout the menu and the different options on the camera. In the middle of all that is another button called the Set button. This is kind of like the enter button on your computer, so anytime you've got something highlighted, and you want to select it, to say "This is the way I want the camera to operate," you're going to go up, down, left, right, and hit the set button to activate that particular function. All right, the shutter release for taking photos, obviously. When you press halfway down, it activates the metering system, and it activates the auto-focus system, if your auto focus is turned on. But it also wakes the camera up, because the camera likes to go to sleep, because it wants to conserve battery power. And so if you just let the camera sit for awhile, it's going to go to sleep, and if you want to wake it up, you just press halfway down on the shutter release. If you're in the menu and you've been messing around in the menu system, and you're like, "I'm done. I just want to get out of the menu system," press halfway down on the shutter release and it kicks the camera back into the shooting mode, and out of the menu system. And so, that halfway position is very important. And then obviously, pressing all the way down to take a picture. On the top left of the camera is the Mode Dial with a Lock Button, something that's kind of newer on a lot of the Canon cameras is that Lock Button, and so that's to guarantee that your camera stays in the mode that you want it to be in. And so to turn this dial, you often have to use two or three fingers to press down on the Mode Dial, and then press down on the Lock Button to turn the Mode Dial. And this is going to control how the camera operates its shutter speeds, apertures, and sometimes many, many more features. And so let's take a closer look at the Mode Dial. We're going to start out with the simplest of the modes, and this camera has a number of automatic modes, and a number of more manual modes, and the options that are available to you will be very different between these two sets of modes. So as I say, we'll start off with the simplest of these modes, which is known as the Scene Intelligent Auto Mode. And this means that the camera can intelligently decide what sort of scene the camera is pointed at, and so it will automatically make some adjustments. Now, from kind of a long-time photographer point of view, I'd have to say that the adjustments that the camera makes are very subtle, and so it's not making radical adjustments. It's just kind of slightly tweaking the camera a little bit for more of one type of photography versus another, and so there you can see the list, Portrait, Backlit Portrait, Close-up, Sunset, Spotlight, and Dark, that it can kind of recognize and start making adjustments for. And so there's nothing you need to do. You put it in the A plus mode, point the camera, and shoot away, and you should be fine. Now, my hope, and my guess, is that if you have taken the time to watch this class, you are going to want much more than just using the A plus mode on your camera. This is a mode that I think for a lot of you is going to be the perfect mode when you hand your camera off to a friend or relative or stranger to take a photo, and you just want everything to be as simple as possible for them. There's a lot of child-safety locks that the camera puts on, so that you can't make a lot of changes when it's in this mode. Now there are a few changes that you can make, and so on the back of the camera is a Q button called Quick Menu, and we're going to talk a lot more about this as we go through the class today. And so if you press the Quick Menu, it'll allow you to change a couple of features, the Drive mode and the Built-in flash. And so let me just show you on my camera real quickly what that's going to look like and how to navigate that. So I do have my camera in the A plus mode here, so we're going to keep it very, very simple to start with, and then on the back of the camera we hit the Q button, and we've got to wake the camera up. Hit the Q button, right there. Actually I have it in line view, which I did not want. Hit the Q button, okay, so here's the Drive mode. We can go back and forth from the Built-in flash to the Drive mode, so if we want to change the Drive mode, we'd hit the Set button, and then we can choose from these different modes, and we're going to go through the specifics of these modes, but basically we have a couple of self-timer options, we have a continuous option, and we have our single shooting mode. And it's even going to give us a little information about what's going on down here, and then we can press the Set button. We can come over here to Built-in flash. We can press the Set button here, and we have a few different options for flash, which we will talk more about as we get into the class. And so in this mode one of the things that you will notice is that if it's dark out, the flash will automatically pop up, which is one of the things I find the most irritating, is that when you push it down, it goes back up. And so, that is why we have the next mode that we're going to talk about, so let's go back to the Keynote, and move forward to the next mode which is the same thing. This is also a scene intelligent mode. The difference here is that the flash will not pop up, and so if you were going to give your camera to a friend or relative to go shoot photos in a museum that did not allow flash photography, I would put it in the Flash off mode. That way you know the flash is not going to pop up, and nobody's going to get in trouble and their camera confiscated or anything. And so if you go into the Quick Menu, you will be able to control the Drive mode on the camera as we saw on the previous mode. Next up is something called Creative Auto. And in this mode the camera will allow you to have a little bit of creative control over what you can do on the camera, and so we can control the color and brightness, the background blur, and once again we have control over the Drive and Flash modes. Let's go back to the camera, and take a look at what we're going to be doing in here. And so I'm going to put it in the CA mode, and hit the Q button here, and so over here we have Background blur. And so I can hit the OK button to go in here, and if I want a sharp background, and for those of you who already know about shutter speeds, apertures, and depth of field, if, let's see if I can get this set up in here, and so if you'll notice at the top here, the camera is choosing F11 at a fiftieth of a second. Well I'm going to go back into the Quick Menu, and I am going to go to a blurry background, and let's see how that changes things. So now we're at F4 and a sixtieth of a second, so what it has done is it's chosen a wider aperture to give us a shallower depth of field, and so we can go into the Quick Menu, and we can play around with this. We can turn it off. I'm not sure what it's going to do here, so it might give us something kind of in between. And so in this case, well, it's popping up the flash, and giving us F3.5, and so if you want to control the blur of the shot, you go into the Q, and then you can control it here. And this is a little bit like aperture priority, for those of you who are experienced with these cameras. You don't really get specific control over a particular aperture, but it does give you the slightest simplistic mode of controlling that on the camera, and so something about this camera is that there are some easy options for people who maybe haven't taken a photography class, that this camera allows you to get into, but then you can also get in and more seriously control things manually if you want. So we'll get to all of that as we move through this class. Next up is the Portrait mode, and so if you know you want to take a portrait, you can put it in the Portrait mode, and it's going to give you a little bit shallower depth of field. It's going to fire the flash if the light is low, and it's going to do a little bit of work on the file to give you a slightly softer skin look. Now if you want to go into the Quick Menu, you can control the overall brightness of your image. You also have control of the Drive as well as the Built-in flash. So let me just show you what the brightness is going to look like on this one, so let me put it into the Portrait mode, hit down on the shutter release halfway to wake the camera up, hit the Q button, and over here under the Brightness mode, if I wanted to, I'm going to kind of go extreme here, so I'm going to set it all the way to the darker side, and let's just zoom in a little bit, and I'm going to slide into Live view just to make sure that I'm, let's get in a little bit tighter right there. Okay, so we're going to take one picture darker, at least I think this one was darker. Did I get it locked in? I did get it. Let's do a normal brightness one here. Now I am not actually shooting a portrait, so this doesn't really help this scenario that much, and now we'll go brighter, and then we'll review these three photos and see how they look, and so when I play these back, which is right here. This is our brighter one, our normal one, and our darker one. And so this is a very simplistic way of controlling the brightness, and this is working exposure compensation, for those of you who are familiar with that. It's right down here. You can see it's making some changes plus two and minus two, and we'll talk more about exposure compensation in a moment, but this is the simplistic way of doing it, without all the jargon and photographic terminology, and so for people just getting started on the camera, this is kind of an easy way to just get in and make those simple adjustments. Next up we have our Landscape mode, which will give us great depth of field by stopping down the aperture. It's not going to fire the flash, because generally the landscapes are so far away the flash is not powerful enough to reach them. We can also control the brightness in the Drive mode by going to the Quick Menu here. Now while we're right in the midst of these scene modes, I do want to stress one very important point, and that is when you have your camera in the scene modes, the camera is tweaking the settings to do one thing or the other with your camera. It is doing nothing that you cannot do yourself in many of the other modes on the camera, so whether it's manually programmed or aperture priority, you can do everything the camera does. It's not doing anything magical that you can't do on your own. It's just a simplistic, easy way to get there very, very quickly. Next up, we're going to have a Close-up mode. That's what the little tulip is for here. And so it's going to give us moderate depth of field. It'll use the flash if necessary, and we can go into the Quick Menu to control those few basic settings that you might want to have control over. Action photography, sports, is very different. We need faster shutter speeds. We need a focusing system that can continually adjust for the changes of our subject, and so our camera will automatically be put into that mode, and we can go into the Drive mode and put our camera into Continuous so that we can shoot a whole series of photos very, very quickly. And so that might be a good, recommended way of operating the camera. From here, we go into the Special Scene Modes. And this is because the camera's dial is not big enough to have room for all the scenes that you might want to have access to, and so one of the little sales points on any camera at this price level is, How many scene modes does it have? Well, this camera has four on the dial, but it's got a bunch more that you can get into by pressing the Quick Menu on this one. So let me show you on the camera real quickly. Let me first take my camera and put it into the Scene mode on the dial on the top of the camera. I'll then hit the Q button, actually hit down on the shutter release halfway, hit there on the Q button, and I'll choose the scene that I want. And so there's a little bit of information here as to why you would want to set it to one particular type of setting or the other. And so it's going to tweak the camera once again for these type of modes here. Handheld night scene is going to try to give you a little bit faster shutter speeds. HDR actually shoots a multiple series of shots, three consecutive shots, so you've got to make sure the camera is very steady in this mode here. And so select whatever you think you need here, and then press the Set button. We'll have other controls for the brightness, the Drive mode, as well as going in and controlling the flash. And something I'll talk more about but I know some of you are anxious to jump ahead, yeah, you see that little X up there? That means you can press that with your finger. So, this is a touch screen. You can do all of these settings by touch if you want, and so we can return. That'll get us back to the previous screen. So we'll talk more about that touch screen as we go through the class and so forth, but for the most part, there are some additional scenes that you can access in here. And those can be accessed when you have the camera in the Scene mode up here on top. Okay, next up we have these overlapping circles, which look like filters, and this is the Creative Filter, so that you can go in, if anyone is into Instagram filters, or Photoshop, and you want to kind of do something unusual and unique in a photograph, this is probably not where you want to take your family reunion photograph, or any sort of very important photograph that you just want a straight document of what that subject is. This is about going in and having some fun and doing something a little different, so let's go and take a look at what a normal JPEG looks like, and then some of the different modes that we can have. And so black and white, great different aspect of photography. I love shooting black and white images, and we have three different versions, a low, standard, and high of a grainy black and white, so if you kind of want to emulate what it looks to shoot with black and white film, you got three different options right here in the Creative Filters. This will be more likely used on a portrait, a soft focus portrait. The camera will automatically give a soft blur, a little different than a focus blur, and so it has a unique look to it, so that could work for a portrait shot. And then I guess maybe for all you skateboarders out there, we have the fish-eye effect, so if you don't want to go out and buy a fish-eye lens, but you like the funky look, you can do it here at three different standards. We have a miniature effect, which blurs out sides or portions of your image. It actually works a little bit better with horizontal images. A water painting effect which has different levels that you can do here, which just gives you a completely different look. Might be kind of fun to do a portrait with this effect on. And then we have a toy camera effect, which adds a strong vignette, which is that darkening of the corners. Might add a little bit of a funky color depending on what you want. Kind of looks like it's a half-broken old-fashioned camera in some ways. We also have HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range, and this is where the camera is going to shoot multiple photos, and so you do have to be careful about holding the camera steady or using a tripod, and what it's trying to do is it's trying to let in more light in the dark areas, yet still control the highlight areas, so that you have a wide exposure range when you do this. Now, the little warning sign that you see up on the top of your screen there, you might see from time to time in the class, and this is letting you know that when you are in the Creative Filters mode, it is recorded as a JPEG, which is a more basic file format than the RAW format. We'll talk more about these file formats as we get into it, but even if you have the camera set to RAW, to get that original information, it's going to switch over and record a JPEG when it records a picture using Creative Filter options on that, so just be very aware of that.