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Canon Rebel T2i / 550D Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 9

Course Overview


Canon Rebel T2i / 550D Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 9

Course Overview


Lesson Info

Course Overview

so welcome everybody here in the classroom and around the world to a DSLR fast start. My name is John Gringo. I'm a photographer here in Seattle, Washington, and today we're gonna be looking very closely at the Canon Rebel T two I, which is also known as the 5 50 D. This is a really good camera, in my opinion. It is a very, very capable camel camera, and anyone who has it has got the world at their fingertips. As far as I'm concerned, this class, we will be looking at virtually every button on the camera and going through all the menus and talking about virtually all the features of the camera. One of the things that I have found in really looking into this camera is that the designers of this camera have put a lot of features in there that not everyone is going to use. And so we're not able to go into every single feature of the camera. But I am gonna be concentrating on the features that most people use most of the time. I expect today's class toe last about four hours might be a lit...

tle bit longer when we kind of get involved in questions and answers, which always having a fun time answering. And so that would be a good part about class. There is a download available if you are watching this, and this is a handout that I hand out to my actual class, and the first part of it is more designed for you to take notes on just kind of a good place for you to make your own scribbles and scratches and diagrams. But then, later on, at the end of the class, I have a whole set section where I tell you how to set the camera up for different types of situations and kind of give you a good starting point, whether you're shooting sports or portrait's. And that's kind of a handy reminder, and so we'll go through that towards the end of class, so something to look forward to. Well, we have a lot of information to go through today, so let's get this show on the road. We're gonna have ah bit of a switching. We're gonna have some live feeds right on the camera. But we also have my keynote address, which is the power point, because I like to have a lot of visuals to help explain what we're gonna be doing. And so, overall, here's what our plan is for the day. I want to start with a little bit of product overview just to let you know what you have bought into when you have bought in a canon T to I, we will be going through a few photography basics. This is, ah, bit of, ah, problem with this class if you have never taken photography or you don't know that much about photography, and this is your first step into it. In my opinion, this is the best first step getting to know your camera. But if you don't know photography, I'm going to encourage you to learn more about photography. And I have a little bit just so that we make sure that everyone is upto a certain level of understanding on some of the photography basics. Then we're gonna basically be doing an unboxing to the camera. We're going to be looking at all the buttons going from top back front sides of the camera, investigating what all these little buttons and controls air for. We'll take a little break for lunch. Try not to make it too long, and then we're gonna come back and dive into the menu system, and we're basically just gonna go step by step through the menu explaining what all the different options are and whether you need them or not. Probably the most fun is gonna be the camera operation. I like to think of this as the camera test. We're gonna have our students here in the classroom, and I encourage you at home to follow along. And it's gonna be a bit like working with a Rubik's Cube. If any of you have ever played with Rubik's Cube, I'm gonna be telling you to turn this on and turn that off. Set this on your camera. So you're gonna need to figure out how to turn the focus on change your exposure and make all the other changes that you really need to out in the field. And so you are going to us. Your finger's gonna start learning where all those buttons are very, very quickly, and then to end the class off, we're going to talk a little bit about lenses and accessories. There's a lot of things out there thousands and thousands, but I've picked a few, maybe a about two dozen highlight items that I think that you should be aware of and might be interested in in helping support your TT lie or 5 50 d and its operation. So let's go ahead and get started. First off, when you get the camera, you get this great instruction manual and it's got about 260 pages, and I figure if you spend two minutes per page, you're gonna spend about 8.5 hours on it. So how is it possible for us to explain the camera in just four hours? Well, I was thinking I could read just every other page, and that would take up most of the time. But that seems like an awfully bad idea. Ah, so what I've had to do is I've had to go through, and I've had to weed through what's most important and what's not. As I mentioned before, the camera has a lot of capabilities that many people don't use. And ah, lot of those I have found our featured around the fact that this camera is designed for people to use who don't have computers, and I really haven't met anyone who falls into that category yet. But if you didn't have a computer you can print from this camera, you could do all sorts of post processing with this camera. And that's one of the major areas that I'm not going to be talking about today and encourage you to keep that instruction manual handy. Because there is more technical information that we're gonna have. We're not gonna have time to get into today. And so it's a good reference manual for some areas that you want to investigate more thoroughly. Secondly, this is not a photography class. If you're looking for a basic photography class, there are other classes out there, and we will mention those that will teach you photography. And this class is really designed on how to use this one particular camera. There's a lot of general principles that will apply to other parts of photography, but if you find yourself struggling with some of the concepts and reasons that we do things, we're gonna have to kind of move along and you're gonna want to maybe take a class and photography get a book. We have some several good classes here, a creative live that you can download, and we'll mention some of those this week along. So let's get started with the product overview. And I just want to let everyone know what they're getting into when they buy a cannon camera and a T two in particular. First off Cannon is one of the most respected names when it comes to digital cameras. It's a Japanese company. They've been specializing in optical products for quite some time, their most notable probably for their cameras. They have consumer professional, they have video cameras, and they also have a very large department with office products, printers, scanners, things like that and they as well as that. They make their own imaging chips that go in the cameras. There are other companies that have to source out for other companies to make chips on. Canon makes their own a little bit on. The history of Cannon will keep this extremely brief. We have Ah, they started in 1933 and they came out with their first range finder camera. Uh, and it got off to a rather slow start. The war, definitely World War Two kind of slow down, slow down the progress of what they were doing in the consumer field. But it definitely picked up in 1959 when they introduced their first SLR camera, and we'll be talking about what an SLR is here. Very soon, they brought out their first professional camera, the F one in 1971 and then in 1987 is Ah, is kind of a big year for candid because they switched from their manual amount to their autofocus mount. And if you have a current canon camera, you cannot use camera equipment back from the 19 seventies. It will not mount. It doesn't have the electron ICS and won't work. And so there was this big break date and a lot of people with cannon were very upset because the whole thing switched over. But Canon wanted to design a system for the future, and it was, I think, a good move. It was a very tough move for them to make, but it was a good move overall, Uh, then again in night Excuse me. In 2000 they came out with their first digital SLR was the D 30 and it had three megapixels and sold for $3000. Compare that with what you've bought here in the rebel, which is typically going to sell with a lens for less than $1000 has 18 megapixels. So we have come a long ways since then. Next up, the system that you have bought into the Canon SLR system is a complete full range of cameras from entry level two, top of the line professional cameras. And so, as you grow us a photographer and it is possible to outgrow a rebel as nice as it is, there are cameras that are much higher in that offer, more features. And so, if you're getting into photography, canon is a great way to get into it because you have lots of room to grow. Some of the very best photographers in the world are using canons so they lenses that you start investing in. All the other accessories are fully compatible, and you could just work your way up the ladder if you need be. One of the best parts about Canon is they have a fantastic range of lenses. They have over 50 lenses that will do just about anything that you can imagine. So a Once you get into photography, you'll start coveting different lenses, and there's never enough lenses in the camera bag or the camera bag sometimes gets too heavy when you do have it filled with all the lenses that you want. Finally, they also have a very good flash system. So if you need to add light to your situation, they have a great set of macro flashes and on camera flashes, as well as being able to hook up to studio lights and so forth. So you have got yourself into a very good system that is fully compatible with a lot of things out there. Now. The T two I itself eyes about second from the bottom, I would say in their entry level, they do have one camera that is below it, in price and in features as far as the history of the T two I in itself, the way the cannon likes to work for this camera is they came up with a really good design quite some time ago, and then they would tweak it about every 12 to 18 months, slightly improving it. And so it has gone through several generations and we're in about the sixth generation of rebels right now, and each one has gotten a little bit better. Either they've added more megapixels. They've added better user controls or a variety of features to make it a better camera. So it is a very highly refined camera at this point. Next up, we're gonna we're gonna unbox our camera and take a look at what you get when you buy a standard kit. So what we have here today is we have the rebel T two I and a basic kit lands of in 18 to 55 with image stabilization. And so we're gonna go ahead and open this up and just real briefly, some of the things that you get in here is the warranty cards, and you do not need to fill these out and send them in. They're just kind of most. For your reference of what the serial numbers are, you had get software so that you can look at raw images if you want. There are other programs that you can do this with, for instance, like adobes light room, which is my personal favorite one and then, of course, you have the instruction manual, which, as I said, is very important. But we're gonna go for the good stuff first and foremost. We got the camera right here. And I'm just gonna kind of take out some of the most important things and create a mess on the desk. Set this aside. So first and most importantly, we have the camera right here, and it does not come with lens attached. We have the lens over here. Take off some of the raffi. This is like one of the best parts. About only you can when you get that the new box. It does. If you like cars, it can. It has a new car smell, and it's got that near camera smell. And so we're about these accessories here in a moment. And so Teoh, take off the lens cap. There's a release right here. You compress. Take off the rear lens cap. We're gonna match up the white dot and the white dot on the camera, which I can show maybe to the overhead camera. Mount it like that and we'll take the lens cap off. I'm not gonna worry about the lens caps for here. You get a camera strap. You can touch that. Later you'll get a battery charger, hopefully suitable to the country that you live in. You're gonna get some Avie court so that you can plug it into traditional TVs and high definition TV so you can have slide shows on those TVs. And then, of course, you were going to get the battery that we have secretly charged yesterday. So we have it full power for today, and so it mounts in here. You'll notice that these new batteries and they one of the aggravations that I have is that they keep changing the batteries from model to model. The latest generation has the greatest safety innovations, which is that you can't actually touch the contacts. And so that's why this little bump is here on the outside and they can only go in the camera one direction, and it's not working that direction. So it's gonna go in the correct way. All right, so that the lens cap off turn the power on and we need one other thing. And that's the memory card and this. So I have a memory card handy. We're gonna install the memory card, and we'll talk specifically about the memory card. What type and sizes and so forth later. And so let's just make sure this camera is working, and I'm gonna go ahead and take a picture of our students. All right? Pretty good picture to start, and I didn't even do anything. So who says maybe we don't need a class? She would just all go home right now. No. Okay, so let me clean some of the stuff off the desk because I like to have clean desk. All right, so that is some of the basics that you're going to get in there. The probably the most important thing is to keep that instruction manual out in handy for the first couple months of use. You know, even I who? No, these cameras pretty well, we'll go through the instruction manual page by page once in a while, usually only once or twice. But I want to try to pick up something that I didn't know about. It's often handy to go through the instruction manual at first just to familiars. You're right. It's good to go through the instruction manual first just to familiarize yourself with the camera. But then after you've had it for a few months, go through it again and dig for that next level down. So with the care in handling of the camera, there is a lot of warnings, and some of those warnings are things like Don't drop it. Don't get it wet. Don't get it too hot. Don't take it apart. Don't leave it by a giant magnet. Don't store it with lots of corrosive chemicals. Don't handle the power plug with wet hands. Don't fire the flash and someone driving a car don't use around flammable gas. And don't swallow the battery. Wow, I can't believe you just thes air. All really warnings in there. In general, you don't want to be stupid with the camera. It's obviously a somewhat fragile Elektronik device, but the question that people most have is what is this? This camera is not waterproof. Do not get it wet. What does this really mean? Well, the camera is made of plastic, and if plastic it's water on it. That's not a major problem. The problem is, is that in between the buttons and dials, if water gets in, there could potentially get to the electron ICS and it could cause a problem. So if I was to very, very carefully placed a very large drop of water, I could potentially disable this camera If this was my camera that I spent my own hard earned money on and it was raining and I really wanted to get a shot, I would not have a problem going out in the rain and taking a picture. I wouldn't leave it out in the rain. I'm not gonna leave it out on the deck all night in the rain. I'm not going to stay out in the rain for three hours shooting it. If it is raining, I'm gonna probably try to keep it under an umbrella, cover a raincoat and then take it out when I take pictures. There are also rain covers. If you're gonna be exposed in the rain frequently that you can put over it so they can be used. I think in a light rain without a problem or with snow, it's just don't get excessive with it because the camera may shut down. And if it does shut down due to being what? What I would recommend is airing the camera out. What you would do if you got it wet. Issue would take the lens off. You would take the battery out, leave the battery door open, open the memory card and let air circulate around it. Don't take a hair dryer and try to blow it dry. Just let it circulate dry. Many times when that happens, the camera will come back to life and it will be fine just cause it dried out. In some cases, it may need to go to the factory to get fixed. The other little warning is Canon is not liable for damage if used with non cannon accessories. Well, I have a non canon accessory already in this Cameron. This is my memory card can. It doesn't make memory cards. They do testament. Make sure, and there's generally not gonna be a problem with any of the memory cards. But lenses, flashes, wireless remote batteries, memory cards are all things that you're gonna be connecting up to your camera. And Canon does not want to be held liable in case something damages your camera and it is possible if you had something I don't know what I have rarely ever seen it. It's possible that something could damage your camera. And so in general it's good to stick with cannon accessories and products. But sometimes there's other products that work very well. There are other brands of lenses tomorrow in token, a Sigma Zeiss that make lenses that worked perfectly well with the camera. And, uh, you will get great great images from, But occasionally the camera can't communicate with the lens in some of the features that you'll see that we get into in the menu section. And it can't perform certain function certain functions simply because it doesn't have that communication that it expects with the canon lens. So I don't have too much of a problem hooking up non canon accessories when it comes to lenses. I do like cannon flashes on cannons. I think flash is a very complicated system, So with a T T l system, I would stick with the cannon flash with the batteries. The cannon batteries have all the right chips in them so that they communicate properly. They're a little bit extra. I tend to cite on the safe the caution side and stick with the cannon batteries with memory cards, anything that fits in their will work fine in general, so preparing the camera for taking pictures and this is kind of be the brief section. So to start with, you want to charge the battery for a couple of hours. We've already attached the lens, so we're good for that. We've installed the battery and we have installed the memory card and we've got a camera turned on, and I encourage students here in the class to make sure your cameras turned on lens caps off. Had this may be the last time you ever hear me say this, but turn your dial to the green auto mode and go ahead and just take a picture and it's not super bright in here. So most people's flashes air popping up because that's what happens in the green automatic mode. And so I just want to make sure that everyone's cameras working and you're able to fall along as we move. Move on to this

Class Description

Join John Greengo for an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Canon Rebel T2i (known in Europe as the Cannon EOS 550D). With a hands-on introduction to your camera's operations, detailed instructions on how all the menus work, and instruction on how to shoot great photos with this specific camera model. Workshops for other DSLR camera models listed below in the resources list.


  1. Course Overview
  2. Photography Basics
  3. Button Layout

    Get an in-depth guide to all of the functions and features found in the buttons of your Canon Rebel T2i DSLR camera.

  4. 4a. Menu System part 1
  5. 4a. Menu System part 2
  6. Camera Operation
  7. Lenses & Accessories
  8. Q&A
  9. Next Steps



This is a great class. I bought a Canon T2i (used but in great condition) for my wife (I have a Canon 60D), and this class has been good for both of us. It served as a great learning class for my wife to move from a small point-and-shoot to her T2i DSLR, and for me -- well, what can I say. I thought I knew all about my camera, but this class proved I do not! I learned a great deal here beyond just the T2i specifics. I like the clear concise delivery of the subject material. Everything is organized in such a way to be able to digest each section before moving to the next.

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this class. I've had my T2i for a while now, but I've only used it sporadically because I didn't understand many of the functions. The few times I referenced the manual was like listening Charlie Brown's teacher....LOL. John is really great at explaining things simply. I watched his Fundamentals class live and it was awesome. I'm hoping to add that to my collection one day.


This was the best tool for me, as I am new to the world of semi professional photography. This is a great starting point before moving on to greater concepts. Understanding your camera is a must, and the switch to Manual shooting now is not as intimidating after this viewing this tutorial. I will definitely pursue his other classes.