Canon® EOS 80D Fast Start

Lesson 3/22 - Top Deck: Mode Dial


Canon® EOS 80D Fast Start


Lesson Info

Top Deck: Mode Dial

Alright folks, it is time to get in to the good portion of the class. This is the camera controls, where we're gonna be taking a tour of the camera, and discussing each and all of the buttons and functions on the camera. So let's just start with a few of the basic controls that we'll be using for the rest of the class. Obviously the camera will be turned on. When you do this, the camera does go through a sensor cleaning system, where it shakes the sensor to try to knock off any dust. And so dust on the sensor can be a problem. And this will generally keep it pretty clean. Towards the end of the class, I'll tell you how to clean off anything extra that this automatic sensor does not clean off. Because the camera is battery dependent, it wants to conserve power as much as possible, which means it goes into sleep modes quite frequently, after about six seconds. And so to wake it up, just press down lightly on the shutter release, and that'll wake the camera up, and give you shutter speeds...

, apertures, metering and so forth. So get used to pressing down on that shutter release halfway, just to keep the camera fully active and ready to go. The main dial is on the top of the camera. With your index finger you'll be adjusting this back and forth, and you'll be changing everything form shutter speeds to items in the menu with this. Longstanding feature on a lot of the Canon cameras has been the quick control dial on the back of the camera. And so this is a secondary subdial to the main top dial. And so we'll be using this, once again, for a number of different features. And there is a bit of a joystick right there in the middle. They call it the multi-controller. I might forget that name, multi-controller, and I'll call it the four way controller, or the up-down, or the mouse. It's the way you navigate using for focusing points, as well as through the menu system when you wanna go up, down, left, or right. That's the one to go to. And then finally in the middle is the set button, which is kind of the computer equivalent of the enter key. When you highlight something and you say, "Yes, this is what I want to have activated," you can hit the set button, and that'll work. Now if that quick control dial, or the multi control dial is not working on your camera right now, it's possible that you have it locked. These things can get bumped by people who are handling their cameras roughly, or they bump it with their nose when they hold it up to their eye, or something like that. And so if you don't want these dials to turn, or to activate any sort of function, you can lock this. And so, you can flip that up to lock it, and flip it down to unlock it. And so you might wanna flip it down, so that you have access to these controls now. And then if you need to, you can flip it up when and where you need to. Alright, as I say, we're gonna be doing a tour, and we're starting on the top side of the camera. And so, obviously we're having our cameras on/off. We have our shutter release. Just out of note, the shutter release has a durability of 100,000 firings. And so the camera is expected to last at least 100,000. It could last well beyond it, but that's what they test things to make sure that they can last as long as. And so as I said before, your camera likes to go to sleep, so you need to press halfway down to wake the camera up, but that also activates the autofocus system and the metering system. And then you will press all the way down to of course shoot the photo. Over on the left side is our mode dial, which does have a lock button that needs to be pressed, so that it stays where you set it when you go there. And this controls the shutter speeds and apertures on our camera, and so we need to talk very closely about what's going on here. We're gonna start easy, and get more manual as we go along the way. To start with is the scene intelligent auto mode. And what this means is first off, it's automatic. Camera is gonna set shutter speeds and apertures for you. It will pop the flash up if it's dark. And it's gonna try to judge what you're photographing, based off of a few very simple criteria. And it may or may not get this right. And so you can see the list there of portrait, or backlit, or closeup, or sunset, and if it senses that it's doing one of those things, it'll try to change the parameters to fit that scenario a little bit better. And for somebody who has purchased this expensive of a camera, for somebody who's actually watched this class, I'm gonna say that you're probably well beyond the A+ mode, because there is nothing that the camera is doing that you can't do yourself. And so if you're willing to spend the time to learn how to do the rest of it, you can outperform the camera in this mode. This mode is perfect when you are gonna hand the camera off to somebody who doesn't know how to work the camera, and you just want them to take photos. So if you're gonna ask a stranger to take your photo, this would be a good mode to put it in, hand the camera over, and have them take your photo, and you can be sure they're not gonna mess up the menu system, and there's very little that could go wrong in this case. But I think most of you are watching this class, so that you can get well beyond this mode. So the next mode is the flash off mode, which is exactly the same as the scene intelligent mode with the exception of the fact that the flash will no longer pop up. Despite the fact that this camera is a very sophisticated camera, it is also really, really dumb, and it doesn't understand when it should use flash, and when it shouldn't. So let's say you're in a big soccer stadium, football stadium, and you're up in the top of bleachers, and it's dark out, because it's a night game. Your camera's gonna wanna pop up the flash, because it senses that it's dark. But, I think all of us realize that flash has a limited distance that it can travel, and it's not gonna light the players up down on the field. And so, that would be a good time to put your camera in the no flash setting. Or if you're gonna go into a museum that doesn't allow flash photography, everything is still automated, but the flash will not pop up. I really think for most photography, photographers should choose individually whether they wanna add flash or not to it. In this case, same as the scene intelligent, but no flash. The creative auto mode is a very gentle playpen, where you're allowed to make some changes to your camera, but not very many. And so you can change the color and brightness of it, the background, the drive mode, and the flash mode. So let's do a little demo. I wanna show you with my camera here some of those controls. And first thing I need to do is flip my camera over to the CA mode. And if you look on the back of the camera, all we need to do to kind of get in and have access, is the Q button right next to the screen. And from here we can use the up-down controller to select the different options in here. And for instance, we're set in standard, and I can either just turn the dial to select some slightly different looks to the image, or I can press the set button, and I can see a list of things, and go through them in the same way. It's the same options. It's just different ways of looking at that information. I can come down, and this is controlling the depth of field, but they call it the blurred background versus the sharp background, and I can once again, I can use the dial for that. We can come down and we can control the drive setting. I can either turn the dial, or I can hit the set button, and we can get a visual list to show us all the options, where we'll talk more about these as we go through the rest of the class, but we have a continuous, and a single drive. I'm gonna leave it here, and I'm gonna press the set button. And then finally, over in flash, we have some different controls with flash. So if you knew you didn't want the flash, you could bring it over here. And we will talk more about this as we go on, but this is also a touchscreen. So you can use your finger to select whatever setting you want on the camera, and then we have a return back there. And so, if you wanted to hand the camera off, maybe to a kid, or a friend who was just getting started in photography, you could put it in this mode, and say, "Have at it, play around." There's really nothing that can go terribly wrong in this mode. But once again, there is nothing that the camera is doing here that you can't do in any of the other more manual modes. And so, we're gonna move on from this one here, because I think there's a lot more fun stuff ahead of us. Alright, next up is the scene mode. And this is for particular scenes. The camera will then know, if you've given it a little bit of direction as to what you are photographing, and let me tell you right now that you are a much better judge of what you are photographing, than having the camera try to figure it out for you. And so in this case, if you know that you're gonna be shooting a portrait, you can put the camera in the portrait mode, and it will start making setting adjustments to the shutter speed, aperture, and potentially other things like metering and focusing, and start setting things up for that scenario. Now once again, if you know what you're doing, there is nothing here the camera is doing that you can't do on your own. But, if you were gonna be doing the state triathlon, and you wanted your friend to take your photos, well I would probably put it in the sports mode, and tell them good luck. Try to get as many pictures as you can. It's gonna be the quickest way of getting good photos for that simple type of scenario. So let me show you on the camera, on how to select these. Let me go ahead and turn my camera over to the scene mode to start with. And in this case, we're gonna go ahead and press the Q button again, which is kind of our shortcut to the menu system, to just the quick menu system. So I can either turn the dial, or you can see how it's highlighted up here, I can hit the set button, and I can get a little different graphic interface for choosing which one I want. Now once again, this is a touchscreen, so I can touch the screen, as well as scroll around and figure out which one that I'm gonna do. And food photography, there we go. And then it tells me a little bit about it. And then I'm gonna press the OK button. We also do have some controls down here for the color tone, as well as the drive mode and the flash mode that we can get into as well. I can hit the Q button to go in and out of that. I can also press the shutter release halfway down, and that always kicks me back into the shooting mode. Anytime you're in a menu, or you're looking at the back screen and you're kind of like, I just want out. I just wanna go shoot a photo. Press halfway down on the shutter release, and it's an automatic, quick exit out of that, into the shooting mode. So that is the scene mode. Next up we have creative filters. Okay, so for all of you Instagram fans who love filters on your photographs, this allows you to do what I call Photoshop in the camera. And so if you wanna have a different version, a different look to your photograph, well this is a way that you can do it in camera, without a computer, without anything else. So, I had to go out and do a little test on this. And so one of the options they have is a grainy black and white option on it. And as you get into many of these options, there will be kind of a low, a middle, and a high setting that you can set depending on how intense you want that particular effect to be. So for soft focus, we have low, standard, and high, depending on how much we wanna soften up our image, for possibly a portrait photo. We have our fake fish-eye look here, which is looking quite unusual. I don't think I've ever seen the Space Needle quite look like that before. If you are a fan of Diana or Holga cameras, or many other of those little, very inexpensive film toy cameras, we have different versions, mostly dealing with the color of the image. We have a fake miniature look, which is blurring out different sides. To be honest with you, it doesn't work too well on the vertical image that I shot here. It works a little bit better with the horizontal image. And I think I see my first mistake in this class, and that is not the miniature effect on the right hand side. That's is a highlight tone. I forget the exact name of that. It's a painting option. We do also have an HDR option, and there are different looks that we can get that is playing around with the lightnesses and darknesses of our subject in there. And so all of that is in the creative filters, and just as a side note, this is only shooting JPEG images. It is not shooting raw images in here. So if you are one of the more serious shooters shooting raw, you may wanna shoot raw plus JPEG, so that you can get an original raw, but then you can play around and have some fun with the JPEG's as well. Okay, let's get into the more serious stuff here. Alright, so P stands for program, and this is where the camera is gonna set shutter speeds and apertures for you. And it's a little like the A+ mode, but it leaves all the other options. In the A+ mode, and the flash off mode, and the other modes that we've talked about up to this point, there's a lot of what I like to call child safety locks that are turned on, that will prevent you from making any harsh mistakes. But also prevents you from going in and controlling the actual features of the camera. And so now the program mode is setting shutter speeds and apertures, which you can see in the viewfinder, on that bottom row of information along the left and right side. And so there's a couple of things that we can do that are kind of interesting. The first thing is called program shift, which allows us to change shutter speeds and apertures simultaneously, back and forth. Now, if we get to an area where there is a potential problem, one of the things you'll notice is that things that are not working well will give you a blinking sign to tell you that something is not looking too good. So let me show you- well actually let me tell you one more thing, and then we'll do a little demo. The back dial on the camera has finally come into play here, and this will be used for exposure compensation. So, exposure compensation allows you to make your photo either darker or lighter, with a minus or a plus compensation. And so this is working in stops, either one stop lighter or one stop darker, and you can go up to three stops in either lighter or darker options. And this is something that you'll use in the program mode, and we'll also have for use when we get to the next modes, the time value mode, as well as the aperture value mode. And so if you're shooting a mode, if you're shooting in one of these modes, and you're thinking this picture looks a little too dark, or a little too bright, just turning that back dial is the simplest way to make that work. So let me show you on my camera here, a little bit about what's going on. I'm gonna flip my camera around to the P mode here. And straighten up here. And so if we just look on the back of the camera, you can see that I am getting a hundredth of a second, and at F5.6. Now if I said, "You know what, I really think this scene deserves an F stop of F16," I can set it here. And I can take the photo. Alright? So it's at F16. Well let's just watch the camera for a moment. And it fell asleep. Okay, this is what the camera does in order to conserve battery power, but I go back and I press the shutter release, it's gone back to 5.6. Well now I gotta go back, and I gotta change it to F16. And if I let it sit for too long, it goes to sleep again. Well actually that was F20. In any case, I come back. The camera is constantly resetting back to kind of a default setting in the middle of the road. And so it's not real good for when you wanna have consistent shutter speeds, or apertures, for any length of time. But it's great if you said, "Oh hey, I just need to make a quick change, and I wanna shoot it here for one shot, or I wanna come back and I wanna shoot it someplace else." And so, for a way to store your camera in the camera bag, program mode is nice, because you can just pick it up and shoot the photo. Now, using the back dial for exposure compensation, you'll see right below the shutter speeds and apertures, you'll see that indicator moving left and right. And if it's not working for you, here is probably why. Let's let the camera go to sleep. Now, if I turn the dial, nothing moves, because the camera has fallen asleep. Press down halfway on the shutter release. It wakes the camera up and I can start making those movements. If it's not moving, you might wanna check the lock button down here. Because the lock button will prevent it from moving at altogether. You can see that's why it says lock down there. So I can come down here, unlock it, and move it back and forth. And so normally, I'm gonna wanna leave this at zero. But if I wanted to do a manual bracket series, I'm gonna shoot a picture at minus one. I'll shoot one at zero. And then I'll shoot another one at plus one. And we'll take a quick look and see how much difference we see. So here in our studio, that is plus one. That's zero. And that's minus one. So minus one, zero, and plus one. So, great way for quickly, easily making your pictures brighter or darker. And as I always say, the most important thing to know about exposure compensation is reset it back to zero when you are done. And so you do have to be a little bit careful with that dial, and that's why some people might prefer to have that lock turned on. And then they'll unlock it and make changes as needed. So that is program shift and exposure compensation. Next up is TV, time value. You get to choose exactly how long the shutter is open. So if you're gonna be shooting something like say an eagle grabbing a fish out of a river, then you're gonna want a fast shutter speed, probably, to stop the action. You could choose a fast shutter speed. In this case, a thousandth of a second, and you could let the camera figure out the aperture system on it. And so this can be very handy for certain types of action, where you are trying to get a very specific shutter speed. But let me give you a quick little demo here in the classroom. I want to show you the potential problem with this camera, is that ... Let's get a decent setting here on the lens. I'm gonna choose something very reasonable, like a 60th of a second, okay? And I'm gonna go ahead and take a picture. And do we get a decent result? Yeah, we got a decent result. Now let's just say I decide, for some crazy reason, that I wanna set a really, really fast shutter speed. Oops, I wasn't even in the right mode. Let's get to time value, and try this again. So let's go to 60th of a second, shoot a photo. And now I'm gonna decide, I wanna shoot at the top shutter speed possible. You remember that blinking that I told you about? See that F5.0 blinking? That means the camera does not have a wide enough aperture for this picture to come out. But I'm gonna do it anyway. Camera's not gonna stop me. It gave me a warning. And let's look at the decent picture. And let's look at the one that's clearly too dark. So the problem with shutter priority in my mind, is anytime where you have chosen a really fast shutter speed and you get this blinking aperture, you better be paying attention to anything that blinks, because if it's blinking, you're not gonna get a decent exposure. So here at, let's see, 200th of a second, we're gonna get a decent exposure on that one. And so be careful if you are using the time value mode about choosing too fast a shutter speeds. If there is a case where you really want to use the time value mode, I would highly recommend looking at auto ISO, which is something we'll be talking about very shortly. Using the two of those together work pretty well. But time value on its own is a potential disaster for somebody who's not too sure about what they're doing, and they're not careful about watching the controls in the camera. Alright, next up is one of my personal favorite modes on the camera, which is aperture value mode. And this is where you get to choose the aperture according to your depth of field needs, but I also can sometimes choose it, kind of looking towards shutter speeds as well. And so if you know that you need lots of depth of field, you have something in the foreground that you want in focus, and you have something in the background that you want in focus. Then that would be a good time for choosing F22 for instance, and just letting the camera pick the shutter speed, because in a photo like this, with the camera on a tripod, the shutter speed doesn't really matter. It could be any shutter speed you want. But the aperture is critical in its setting here. And so, you set the apertures by turning the top dial. You can once again turn the back dial for exposure compensation. And let me just give you one extra little demo here in the class. And I'm gonna change my camera over to aperture value. And the thing about aperture value, is that most apertures are fairly limited. In this case, the lens opens up. We'll go wide angle here. It has a maximum aperture of 3.5. I can shoot a photo. Make sure I can get onto something that's in focus here. I'm gonna have to look through the camera. Okay, there we go. And so we'll get a decent exposure there. And if I wanna change the aperture all the way to the other end of the extreme, I can shoot a picture here, and it comes out. And so there's really no setting as to where I will get a bad photo. Now I do need to be careful about where my shutter speed is, so that I'm getting a decent shutter speed that I can hand hold. What number? Well, maybe around a 60th of a second. It depends on a number of variables. But that's a little bit better system than the time value mode in my mind, because there are so many different shutter speeds the camera can choose. It's a limited number that you have here in aperture priority. And one of the things, compared to the program mode that we talked about earlier, is let's say I choose F8, and I let the camera go to sleep, after about five seconds. And I come back, it's still at F8. So this setting stays there as long as you have it set, and will only change when you turn the dial. And we'll simply adjust shutter speeds according to the light needs of that particular scene. And so this works really well, in my mind, for a lot of people, is just to leave the camera in aperture priority, or the aperture value mode, and then just do some subtle adjustments with the aperture according to your depth of field needs, as well as keeping an eye on your shutter speeds. Alright, the manual mode. And so this is great for any situation where you have tricky lighting. It might be extra light, or it might be extra dark. I think manual is good for any time you're gonna be taking a series of photos under the same lighting conditions. You can figure out what shutter speed and aperture you want, and then as you take picture after picture after picture, you get consistent lighting results back. And so if you are gonna be using manual exposure, you're gonna be looking at your shutter speeds, your apertures, and you're gonna be looking at your light meter, because you're gonna wanna see if you're underexposed, or overexposed. So take a look where the indicator is, either on the minus side. It might give you an arrow that's way off to the side, which means you are more than three stops underexposed, or potentially more than three stops overexposed. And a good place to start is with this in the middle, but that isn't where it necessarily needs to be all the time. So let me go ahead and show you that in camera, right now. I'm gonna make sure I flip my camera over into manual, so that we can see what's going on. And let's just say that I wanted to shoot at F8, and so what I will do is I will change my F stop setting to F8. And not even looking through the camera, I'm not too worried about composition right now, I can see my light meter says that I am two stops overexposed, so I will turn the top dial until it gets down to the zero setting right here, which happens to be one 60th of a second, and I can go ahead and shoot a photo right there. I can take a look at it and decide, well, maybe I want it a little lighter, maybe I want it a little darker. I'll take this one, and, we've got a big white wall there, so I'm gonna make this one two thirds of a stop brighter. So you can see I'm not quite up to the one, and it moves around a little bit, just as light changes, as the camera might potentially move a little bit. And so I'm gonna take another photo here. And so let's take a look. This is the one that I think looks a little better. It's a little bit brighter. And this one's a little bit darker. This is the even exposure. And this one is two thirds of a stop brighter. And if I was gonna be shooting a large number of photos in here, it'd be nice that all the photos were consistent in their brightness, their shutter speeds, and their apertures. And so, anytime you're taking a large series of photos, and the light's not changing, I would highly recommend shooting manual, and learning how to use that, because you'll get consistent results from shot to shot then. Next up is the bulb mode, and this is really an extension to the manual mode. The manual mode will give us shutter speeds from one ... What is our top shutter speed here? Forgetting off the top of my head. It's 8,000th of a second, down to 30 seconds, and if you wanted to go longer than 30 seconds, the way bulb works, is as long as you press down on the shutter release, it leaves the shutters open, and exposing the sensor to light. And so if you wanted to leave it open for 45 seconds, or a minute, or two minutes, you just leave your finger down on the shutter release. And you'd probably wanna have one of the cable releases for that. An example for a bulb shot is here in Rome. I wanted to have a lot of car headlights, taillights I should say, in the shot. And there wasn't enough traffic in any 30 seconds for me to do so. And if I did a two minute exposure, I would get more cars driving through, to get more lights on the street. And so, it was necessary for me to leave the shutter open for longer than 30 seconds. And a bulb mode allowed me to do that. Now if you do wanna get in and have some controls on the bulb, I do have a shortcut. And throughout this class going forward, I am gonna be giving you shortcuts, because I know there's a lot of very smart viewers out there who know exactly what they wanna do, and they see me talk about something, they wanna go in and make that setting right now. And so if you do, you'll jump into the menu section, the shooting section number four, and look for bulb timer, and you can go in there and start making adjustments for the bulb setting on your camera. You can choose how long it stays open. And so you'll be seeing these shortcuts throughout the class. And then finally we have C1 and C2, and these are custom modes that you get to program, to be whatever you want them to be. So for instance, if you kind of like the idea of aperture priority, but you were very specific about which metering mode, and which focusing system, and which drive system you wanted to use, you could program the camera. You would set the camera up exactly the way that you want it to be, and then you could go into the menu system, and you could have your camera memorize your camera settings as either C1 or C2. So you can pick two of your favorite setups, so that you can quickly jump back and forth between two common systems that you like to go back and forth to. And this works really good for people who are switching between two very different styles of photography. A good example would be the nature photographer, who's out photographing a landscape, but they also like to photograph wildlife, which is moving around, which requires different shutter speeds and different focusing systems. And it might take several button presses to make all those changes. But if you program them into one and two, they can be done as quickly as turning that from one to two. So, good system for anyone who does something that's very different on a regular basis. So that is our mode dial.

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!