Photo Basics


Canon® EOS 80D Fast Start


Lesson Info

Photo Basics

Alright so this section on photo basics, to be honest with you it doesn't deal with this camera specifically, we just wanna cover a few basic concepts, shutter speeds, apertures, and sensor size real quickly 'cause I know there's a lot of people who use this camera who are stepping up from Rebel cameras that they really didn't fully get into in a manual mode or people stepping up just into a more serious camera for the first time. So let's talk about some of the concepts of this camera. First off, this is a digital single lens reflex camera. We have high quality interchangeable lenses and there's a wide variety to choose from, from wide angle to telephoto and many ones in between. So as light comes in through the lens, it will pass through an aperture that can vary in size and control the amount of light coming in the lens, and so this is our first way of controlling how much light gets to the sensor in the camera. We're gonna be working with our F stops or our apertures and as we clos...

e our apertures down we'll be letting in half as much light with each setting, or if we open it up each one of these settings lets in twice as much light. And so this is the first of three different ways of controlling the brightness and the amount of light coming into our camera. So beyond controlling the amount of light, this also controls the depth of field or how much is in focus in any particular shot. As you can see in this example up at the top of the screen and the bottom of the screen, our ruler is very out of focus and as we change these apertures stopping it down, we are getting sharper and sharper focus both on the top and the bottom and our depth of field is growing. And so this is a great creative tool that we can use for different types of shots, whether we're shooting portraits which are often at shallow depth of field or landscape nature shots which are at great depth of field. So that's all goin' on in the lens. Now as the light gets into the camera, is where we get to the reflex portion of single lens reflex. Reflex means there is a mirror in the device that bounces the light around, and so this is bouncing the light upward so that we can see what's going on on the focusing screen. Now in order to see the focusing screen we have the light bouncing around through the prism system, and out the viewfinder. So that's what you're looking at when you hold the camera up to your eye, you get to see whether the lens is in focus, out of focus, set at wide angle, telephoto, or if you've left the lens cap on it. Now when it's time to shoot a photo, the mirror gets up and out of the way before the light starts heading back to the image sensor but it still has one stop gap to get through and that is the shutter unit. And there is a first curtain and a second curtain, so what happens is the first curtain is blocking the sensor, opens up, lets the light through and then has the second curtain dropping down and this makes sure that each pixel is exposed for exactly the same amount of time and then the entire shutter unit needs to return to its start position so that it can be ready to fire the next shot. And this camera will do that at about seven frames per second. Now that shutter speed is very important for controlling the amount of light, but also the action stopping ability of the camera. So for subjects that are moving really quick you might need something like a 2,000th of a second. For fast human action, 500th of a second is a good number to kind of keep in mind as a rule of thumb. For general action not too fast, a 125th of a second works pretty good. Once we get below a 60 we start seeing a lot of blurry when it comes to subjects that are moving pretty quickly, whether it's at 30 or an eighth of a second people walking are going to be blurry. And if you wanna shoot mountain streams and waterfalls and things like that, one second will get you that creamy, cotton candy look in your water. And if you wanna do nighttime photography you'll be using things like 30 seconds where you can get out and do light panning and photograph stars and all sorts of interesting things at night. So one of the more interesting things about all the different cameras that are available today is the different sensor sizes that are put into these cameras, and so that has a lot to do with the capabilities of the camera, its lenses that it uses, the size, the weight and the cost of the camera itself. And so the sensor in this particular camera is one of the larger ones out on the market, but not the largest that is for sure. Kind of the notable size is the 35 millimeter film full frame sensor, because it was so popular for so many years it kinda became a standard and is still a standard these days in the way we talk about lenses and so forth. And so in order to have smaller size cameras that were less money, they developed smaller size sensors and so this camera is using an APS-C sensor which has a crop factor of 1.6, which means when you put a lens on this camera it looks 1.6 times more powerful than one put on a full frame camera. It's a bit of a telephoto crop you might say. One little note for those of you who like to use the camera strap that comes with the camera to make sure it doesn't really come loose from it's whole system, you wanna make sure the tail gets tucked in on the underside as you go through that strap adjuster. For holding the camera, there is a correct way and an incorrect way and if I can show you with my camera right here, I know a lot of people will pick up their cameras and they'll just grab the lens with their left hand like this, and notice the thumb is on the bottom side. And it leaves their elbow kind of out in the wind and so a better system is to put your thumb in the upward position holding the camera like this, which gets your elbow a little bit more into your torso and it gives you a little bit steadier hold on the camera when you put it up to your eye. And I found that just holding it properly can enable you to shoot at one to two stops slower in shutter speeds, and so technique is important and do it right, remember that thumb up is the good way to hold your camera. Throughout this class we'll be talking about many different options on the cameras as far as setting the camera automatically or manually. And sometimes it's very convenient to let the camera do it automatically but it's always good to know how to do it manually. If you have the time, you're willing to put out a little effort and the knowledge of understanding how that system works, and being able to kind of free flow, go back and forth between auto and manual is gonna give you the most versatility. And so understanding how things work manually will enable you to use them automatically with confidence that it's working in the way that you want it to. So this is just a little bit of photo basics for you. If you are interested in more information on this, my class fundamentals of photography, is one that you might wanna take a look at. It's a lengthy class for anyone who really wants to get in and really learn just about everything about photography. It's a class that will get you into lighting and composition and lenses and everything else that you would wanna talk about in photography.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Canon EOS 80D with this complete step-by-step walkthrough 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:

  • How to use and customize the menus
  • How to understand and use the autofocus system for great photos
  • How to incorporate video into your shooting using the 80D’s advanced video capabilities.
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 Canon EOS 80D’s settings to work for your style of photography.


Ashley McCarrick

I bought an 80D so I could have a good all-around DSLR and I was thrilled to see that John just did this class. This is my 3rd class of John's and it was just as great as the others. I now understand what each of the menu settings means and which ones are the best for me. John is an excellent instructor, no matter what your photography skill level is. Thanks, John!

Justin Brodt

Awesome class!!! First watched "How to choose your first DSLR camera" and decide on the Canon EOS 80D based on my needs and what I want to accomplish in the future. I have ordered the camera but have not recieved it yet but I still watched the class. Even though I didn't have the camera in hand I feel that I have a good understanding and feel for it already. The class is very informative and I would advise it to anyone who plans to or has purchased this camera. Great job John!!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

Scott Ace Nielsen

I just purchased my Canon 80D and also this course, and I am so glad I did. It is truly a perfect virtual owners manual that I can watch any time. John Greengo is am awesome presenter and this is the second course of his that I have purchased so far. ..Well worth the cost, thank you!