Top Deck: Flash & Focal Plane


Canon® EOS 80D Fast Start


Lesson Info

Top Deck: Flash & Focal Plane

Okay, we have a built in flash, we have a hot shoe for adding on additional Canon flash units, and just over on the left side of the camera, we actually have our flash button that pops the flash up, but also enters into the flash mode as well, and so flash first and foremost has a limited distance. We can illuminate subjects in the foreground right in front of us, let's say a couple of meters, 10 feet, 15 feet. It's not gonna be good for thing more than about feet away as far as the built in flash. One of the best places to use a built in flash is in people photography. When you're shooting under natural lighting conditions, that's quite nice, but adding a little bit of fill flash to add a little glimmer to the eyes, to fill in those shadows, can really help out a lot of portraits, and so if you are doing people photography that's fairly close on a bright sunny day, we get some pretty intense shadows. The built in flash, provided that you're close enough, can really fill in those shad...

ows so that you can see your subject more clearly. And so, highly recommend experimenting with the different flash modes. The camera does have a red-eye reduction mode that can be turned on and off. There is also the option for hooking up wireless Canon flash units that the built in flash will tell the other flashes when and how much to fire. Fill flash is any time the camera normally doesn't need flash for it's general exposure, but you want to add it, and I think it's one of the most valuable uses of the flash. Slow-Sync and 2nd Curtain Sync are simply shutter speeds that work with, or flash synchronization that works with slower shutter speeds. The 2nd Curtain Sync, synchronizes the flash with the 2nd Curtain, the trailing shutter, so as to get interesting blurry motion in any sort of subject that's moving around in the frame. There is also the option for using Multi-flash. So you can have the flash fire multiple times during one exposure for some creative options. And the top shutter speed when using any type of flash is 1/250th of a second, so whether it's the built in flash or the external flash, if you're wondering why can't I get to a faster shutter speed, is that is the limit... Time. That's the maximum amount of time that the shutter units are completely free of blocking the sensor unit on the camera, and that is your fastest shutter speed. If you are interested in a more powerful flash, 'cause the built in one does have a limited amount of power, the 270EX is not gonna give you much more power, so I can't say that I really recommend it. It's kind of duplicating what you already have in the built in flash. The next step up is the 320. This one gives you a little bit more power. It gives you some bounce capability, and it gives you a little hot light for video light. So if you want to use video, then it'll give you a little bit of light. It's not very powerful though, I gotta be honest with you. I think for most people who said that they wanted more flash power out of this camera, you would want to look at the 430EX III-RT. The RT stands, means that it has a radio remote, which means it can communicate with other flashes through radio transmission, which means it can go through walls and cover much longer distances than the built in system that is currently built in to this camera, which is more of a visual line of sight system, and so the 430 I think is a really good one. It sells for about 300 bucks in most places. If you were shooting professionally, and you needed more power, or you needed a faster recycling time so that you could shoot more rapidly. Flash shot to flash shot. Think a graduation with students grabbing their diploma and walking off the stage every three to five seconds. That would be a case where you would need a lot of flash power. And so, that would be the 600, which is quite a bit more expensive. For any of these flashes, for improving flash photography, I would highly recommend looking at their off shoe cord. This allows you to have a full line of communication between the flash and the camera within about arm's reach. It's gonna get you about three feet, maybe one meter as you stretch that coiled cord out, and so it'll allow you to get the camera and the flash separated, and in a slightly, more interesting positions for better lighting on your subject. So, the flash button on the left will pop the flash up, but it will also give you a shortcut straight into the menu system, and we're gonna be going through the built in flash settings as we get into the menu system, but if you want to get there very quickly, press once to pop the flash up, and then once more to dive into the menu system, and you can start making changes to the flash. For instance, the exposure compensation. You can power the flash down a little bit, for a more natural look. And there's a variety of other settings, and we'll be going through that in more detail in the second half of this class in the menu settings. Finally, on the top of the camera, there's a little funky symbol, looks like Saturn or a UFO. That is the Focal Plane of your camera. If, for some reason, and this is highly unlikely, that you ever needed to measure the distance from your subject to the focal plane. If you got really into macro photography or cinematography for instance with some of the cinema lenses, you can measure that distance and use that information in setting up the camera and or lens information, but that's something that you'll find on all cameras, and it's just letting you know exactly where the sensor lays within the camera.

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!