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Canon SL-1 Fast Start

Lesson 3 of 10

Buttons: Back Side


Canon SL-1 Fast Start

Lesson 3 of 10

Buttons: Back Side


Lesson Info

Buttons: Back Side

Let's move over to the back side of the camera the menu button is going to take you into the full list of options on the camera and we're going to be doing this comprehensively later on in the class the info button is a good general button just tow press whenever whenever you want to press a button and not do any real damage, just press the info button whether you're in the playback mode or you're in the live view mode of the movie mode or just general shooting mode and it's often going to show you mohr or less information in some cases it'll cycle through different screens that you can see and so we'll see this a little bit more as we jump into some of the different modes on the camera right above the viewfinder is a sensor that senses how close you are to the cameras a proximity sensor and what it's doing is it's going to turn off the lcd on the back of the camera when you put your eye up to the camera and so may see if this works here, turn my camera around and turn it on so I could...

get my info screen on and so if I hold my finger up in front of it, you can see that it automatically turns on and off which is kind of nice because so that when you put it up to your eye normally you're like looking at information on the back of the camera because this is your main screen when you hold it up to your eye. Now you don't have a bright light right here in your eye and so that's a nice little automatic feature on the camera right to the right of that is a diop ter, and so this is the focusing of the viewfinder. You want to make sure that your phone, your viewfinder is focused for your eyes and what you do is simply look through the camera in what you want to do is press halfway down on the shutter release so that you can see that information line at the bottom of the camera and you want to focus the diop ter so that your eyes can clearly see those numbers or any sort of etchings or marks on the focus teen screen itself that's what you want in focus and so it does get bumped from time to time is it goes in and out of your camera bag, so be aware that this does change, and if you are sharing this camera with somebody else, you'll have to come to a happy medium or change it every time that you pick it up when the last person had it, so just be aware that that is there and it's not adjusting the pictures, just the view through the viewfinder next up is a pretty important but it's actually kind of a dual purpose button does two different things it is the live view button so if you press that button go ahead pressing right now it'll put your camera into a live view mode which allows you to see what the camera is pointed at for simplicity right now it might be best to just put your camera in the program mode and you can put here I don't know that we have a lot interesting to look at here we could look at our background screen here but we'll get to see what the camera is looking at through the viewfinder so let me explain a little bit about how this works so here's a diagram that it's explaining what's going on so light normally comes in through your camera and then bounces up on the mir right? We've already talked about that well the mere in this camera like most sl ours is a little unusual is it is a partially silvered near which means that lets light through a part of the mir all right? The reason it does this is so that a little middle light comes through hits a secondary near behind the first mirror and bounces the light down to an auto focus sensor and this is how the camera focuses when you normally hold the camera up to your eye and press halfway down on the shed a release now, when you put the camera in the live view mode, watch what happens the mere needs to get up and out of the way the shutter needs to open so that light can get back to the image sensor at this time. The normal auto focus sensor in the camera is getting zero information, so your camera doesn't know how to folk. Yes. And so what happens at this point is the camera takes the image that is on the sensor itself, and it looks at the contrast level. And this camera does have some additional it's got a very fancy, you might say sensor that allows it to focus itself it's not as fast and it's not as good it's better than many of the other candid cameras that are available on the market today. But it's not nearly as good as normal, focusing so let's talk a little bit about the life if you've no so you press the live you button and you are in live view. You know, one of the things that you can do is by pressing the q button on the back of the camera, which is called the quick control, but and in the live view mode, it's going to give you the options for going in and making a bunch of changes on your camera, and we're going to be talking about these different modes as we kind of go through the rest of the class here. But this is a short cut to changing things that you would most want to change for the most part when you're in the live view mode. Now, if you do want to focus the camera in this mode, you'll do so just like any other time by pressing down on the shutter release halfway, you can see some brackets in there, the area that it is looking for focusing and focusing is a big deal. We've been talking a lot about exposure, but we're going to talk more about focusing over the next little bit, and so the camera has a number of different options for focusing, and under the a f method, we have faced tracking where the camera will look for faces and can detect the face and focus on the face. It has something called flexi zone f, which is a fairly large bracketed area that you will you can focus on there's, thirty one different points, there's nine different zones. It's pretty good for a general focusing system for basic life view shooting. The next is what's called the flexi zone which is just one small point that you get to move around for somebody who knows what they're doing and knows what they want in focus. The flexi zone is probably the best system to use because you could be very precise about what you're choosing. There was a fourth mode called quick mode, and what this does is it drops the mere down it focuses using the traditional focusing system and then brings the mir back up. It makes a lot of noise, it's it's a little distracting it is very quick, but there's a lot of things going on. One of the things I don't like is that when you're looking at the back of the camera, you can't see what the camera is focusing on at that moment in time. So that's not a a big favorite of mine? I'm not a big fan of the face tracking mode. It does a pretty good job picking up faces, but sometimes when you have two faces or multiple faces, you want to choose one focusing distance. And so my recommended setting here is either the flexi zone f or just the plain old flexi zone small box and you don't have to worry about changing these right now, but to change him you would go into the menu setting under a f method and you could change that and so for very basic shooting the flexi zone, a f with the large brackets or, if you know a little bit more about where you're going to be focusing, choosing the smaller point and so that's choosing where in the frame you are focusing. The other aspect to focusing is whether the camera focuses and stops or continues to focus on a subject, and what's best depends on it. That subject is moving, and so there is a continuous autofocus mode where the camera will continually adjust, focusing forward and backward, trying to keep your subjects in focus. Now the problem with this camera is that it is a poor substitute for a real video camera just does not do a great job tracking subjects that are moving back and forth. And so if you are shooting sports, I would first off not recommend live you at all the fun. Hoaxing it's not fast enough and it's not as fast as the other normal system within the camera, and so for the continuous f I tend to want to leave it disabled because for shooting in the live view mode, it just is not fast enough for most type of action and so that's kind of my general thinking on where that should be said, we will come back to that when we get into the menu setting as well. Now, one of the other things that you can do if you want to is you can flip the switch on the lens to manual focus, and you could magnify in on your subject using the little magnifying glass buttons over on the right hand side. You can see one is labeled as a plus, and one is labeled as a minus. You can zoom in on your subject and focus manually and that's a bit more that more advanced system of focusing. But it is a good option for anyone who doesn't mind manually turning the focus ring on the lands now very closely related to live you is the movie mode, so if you want to right now, flipped the switch on the top of your camera up into the movie mode, and that button on the back of the camera now has become your record button. And so there it is. So if you want to start recording, what you do is you press the button once your camera will start recording, and then you press it again to stop. Now, as far as focusing it's, not a camcorder and it's not great for focusing, we do have some of the same type of options available for focusing in the movie mode. We have faced tracking, not a big fan of that. The flexi zone a f with kind of the big brackets, which is a pretty good, simple system, and then we have the flexi zone with the smaller bracket area, which is good for people who want to be more precise about they're focusing. Once again, this will be changed in the menu setting, and when you put the camera in the movie menu, you have a slightly different option when you go into the menu system and so they'll be separate autofocus, those choices that you could make for live view and movie moz, we also have the choice between continuous focusing turning the movie surveil auto autofocus enabled or disabled, and I think the fact that the camera is just so slow to focus I would leave this disabled, and we will cover this again when we go through the menu system, and if you did want to, you could manually focus. And for anyone who wants to shoot movies with the camera, if you're kind of ah, if you're a film student and you're going to use this camera, cause it's the best camera you can get, you can get some very nice video out of this camera, but I would highly recommend manual focusing you can zoom in check, focusing with the magnified buttons on the back of the camera manually focus your shot before you start recording record your shot, however long that may be and stopped recording and then re focus for the next shot. And I know it's a little bit cumbersome it's not a great substitute for a video camera, but it's kind of the best that where we are right here with this, cameron and I will let everyone know who does know about it. Cannon has recently introduced a higher in camera called a seventy d seven zero d that has a revolutionary new focusing system that is going to be, well, let's. Just say it's about five times faster than this one, so it's significantly better than this one. So there are better cameras that will be coming out on the market for this. Now, as far as exposure goes within the movie mode on the camera, you have basically two options. Well, because you have three options, you have em for manual aperture time value program are all program modes where the camera is figuring out shutter speeds and apertures for you, but you can still have access into a lot of the menu settings and everything else that you might choose on. That exposure dial is essentially a scene intelligent auto mode, where the camera is looking at the scene and just trying to figure out what's going on and the best shutter speed aperture in combination for you on this so if you are interested in using this in the movie mode a couple of other notes toe to let you be aware of there was a maximum four gigabyte file size on this so if you record a very long video it could on lee go thirty minutes and it'll stop recording at that time if you record more than four gigabytes of information it will immediately start another file which will be exactly one after another so you may have to combine those two in a video editing program next up there are a new set of lenses and I have one here on this camera if you get a shot of the front of this, you'll see that it actually says on it s t e m and what this is is it's a very quiet focusing motor it's a stepper motor and they different types of motors in lenses to do different types of things with video you need a lens that focuses very smoothly from point a to point b back in the days of just still photography we didn't care about how you got from a to b all we wanted to do is get from a to b as fast as possible but now with video we wanted to be a very smooth focus and these cameras tend to be a little bit smoother in there focusing systems when shooting in the live view mode or in the movie mt and so a lot of the kit lenses now r s t e m lenses, and so you there's not a lot of those these lenses out there, and they tend to be a little bit smaller, the more basic lenses so that you can shoot video and still get reasonably good focusing on it. Another thing to be aware of is that any time that you are in the movie mode, you can still take a still picture because this is primarily a camera for taking still pictures. Just press down on the shutter release and you can take a still picture any time you want. So that's a lot of the tips on the movie mode and let's, maybe check in, see if there's a quick question or two that we can address there always are of acme, eighty three is asking, can you turn off the sound? And I'm assuming that's in regards to wall you're in movie mode and recording, right? Yeah, the only time that you could record sound is when you are recording a movie and yes, you can turn off the sound. You can also manually control, control the sound level so you can have it automatically control, or you can go in manually and set it at a specific point. All right, let's, go back to the back side of the camera and over on the what we call the right hand shoulder of the camera is your focusing points, but and this is really important for choosing focusing points. You're going to press this button and that is going to activate the focusing points, and there are nine different focusing points in the camera, and the next thing you need to dio sometime in the next six seconds is change the points by turning them main dialogue in the camera or by pressing the cross keys in the back of the camera. And so you may want to flip your camera back into the regular camera, move out of the movie mode just under on, because that button won't work that, and you can see what you're doing either on the back of the camera or on or in the viewfinder itself. So if you hold it up to your eye, you know you're pretty good. If you don't even need to take the camera away from your eye, you just do this all in the viewfinder itself, and the options are all points or you can choose one of the points now I do want to kind of visually explain what's going on with these focusing points, he's focusing points ends. Our how the camera focuses that sounds really done but that's what it is and so some of these focusing points are what are known as horizontal line sensors, which means if a vertical line is going through that little box it doesn't understand what's going on it needs to have a line that hits both of these little focusing sensors in there and so the way it realizes there's a line as if it's a broken line it's out of focus in it it's the lens to focus the horizontal line. Some of the sensors in this camera are on ly looking at vertical lines and see if you have a vertical line running through it. It will know how to direct the lens to get proper focus on the camera, so just be aware that you need to point your camera and get in those brackets something that has a contrast the line in some cases horizontal in some cases vertical so let's talk about which ones are which so the ones on the top and bottom are vertical a f points. So if you have a vertical doorframe running right through the middle of your picture it's going to be very easy to focus on the ones on the left and right are looking for horizontal lines like ah horizon line, for instance could be very easy to pick up and the one in the center is a spy special one because it's across type sensor which is looking for both vertical and horizontal and when it comes to focusing points there's two things that are important one is accuracy making sure that it is in focus and the other thing is that it is very quickly acquiring the information and getting the lens to focus and the one in the center is a especially precise with lenses that air to eight or faster so there's kind of a second level of precision that's going on in that one. So the easy thing to remember here is that the center one is the best choose any one you want, but the one in the center is more sensitive to different types of light, different types of contrast. And so if you were going to choose just one for performance alone reasons I would choose the single one and remember to adjust the points you could press the focus point button on the back of the camera and then change it either with the main dial or the arrow keys in the back of the camera and so it's very easy to choose from one to the other. Now you can choose any point you want. I tend to kind of go to two basic options for basic photography. I like to leave it on the single point in the middle because it's the most sensitive I could pick up things very quickly and when you do that, let me put my camera into the single point mode in the middle do change this over here under the normal mode on the camera. What will happen is that when you focus on something halfway, it'll figure it out it'll give you a little chirp chirp hear that and it stays locked in and you can move the composition around because you don't always want your subject in the middle of the frame you want to focus on it and you want to move it a little off to the side perhaps. And so this is a very simple system for that, however, when I am shooting sports it's really hard to keep that little tiny point on my subject that's moving erratically around, perhaps in which case I prefer to go toe all points, and so the more random your action, the wider area you would like to choose. Now, if you do choose all nine focusing points the way that these work is if they land on subjects at different distances, they're going to choose whatever is closest to the camera. So if we're working with our live camera here, I believe the focusing points there might hit this camera or the front of the desk depending on where the focusing points it before they hit me, which means I might be a little out of focus and the focus would be up here and that's, not what a good photographer would want to do in many situations. You want to choose exactly where you're pointing the camera for sports photography? Sometimes you just need all focusing points, because the subject's moving so erratically, so all focusing points for sports and erratic action for stationary subjects and basic photography, I would go with the single point from time to time I could see putting it off to the side or top and bottom. If you're going to be shooting a subject that's off center that you're going to be doing many different pictures with, and you don't want to focus, lock and recompose every time you shoot a picture, and so there's a couple of different options, depending on the types of photography you want to d'oh right below that button is what is known as the meter lock button. If you have your camera in let's, say, a program mode time value mode aperture value mode, you'll notice that if you hold the camera to your eye and you kind of pan around the room, the shutter speeds and apertures will constantly be changing and that's, because your cameras constantly reading what the current light level is coming in the camera, if you want a lock that in what you would do is just simply press this button in with your thumb once, and it will lock it in for a short period of time with c about six seconds, so you've got to be fairly quick about it unless you're holding down on the shutter release and so it's, just a quick way to lock the meter in. It depends on what modes you use. If you use manual metering, you won't use this at all. When would you use it? Well, here is probably the best example of it. You want to take a picture of a sunset and you want the sun in the photograph, but the sun's really bright and it's throwing off your exposure, you point the camera a little away from the sun, just get the sun out of the frame a little bit, press down on the shutter release, get your shutter speed in your aperture, and then you press that a meter lock to lock that exposure and bring the sun back into the photograph, and take your picture and that's a way to kind of lock your exposure in from just to the side of where the sinus and so that might be a reason for using it depends on how you use your camera, there's a lot of ways to adjust the exposure, and this is just one of those ways now, one of the cool things about this cameras are there's a lot of things that you can customize in there and in set up menu number three you can get in and you can switch the functions of these two buttons. Some people find that they are using that meter lock quite a bit for photography's and it's, just a little far down on the shoulder of the camera, so they want to switch the dial so they compress the other dialogue so you can really customize the camera for doing that. One of the things that you could do with the meter lock button is completely change the function of it and have it control focusing. So if you want to focus from the back of the camera, you can get in and do that, and that would be done in set up menu number four, custom function and number six we'll get to it in the menu and you can have that little ass trick button on the back of the camera control focusing on the camera and that way you focus with the back thumb and you take pictures with the front and there's, a lot of more advanced photographers that prefer separating, focusing and taking pictures in this manner and so it's a bit more of an advanced system, I don't recommend it to the new new photographer but it is an option if you use that same feature on some of the higher in cameras which is kind of nice to have on this camera. Next up we have our aperture value and exposure compensation button on the back of the camera so let me show you what this is doing and this is going to be for the program mode for the time value mode for the aperture value most so this is where the camera has some control over sever speeds and apertures and if you want to make your picture a little break brighter or darker what you can do is you would press in on this button and as you are pressing in on the button you have to keep your finger on the button in this case and I'll turn my camera around here so that we can see it is we can go under exposed which would be the minus side or we can go to the plus side and overexposed and so you can see on the kino we have a picture dark middle and brighter and this is just simply bracketing our exposures in the field to make sure that we get exactly what we want some subjects are a little bit lighter than normal summer darker than normal in this case gives us an in camera option for adjusting our exposure it's pretty quick and easy if you go up on the ski slopes a lot you're going to be in the plus side if you're in dark caves you might be on the minus side and so it's just a real quick way of changing the exposure number one most important thing about exposure compensation is this reset it to zero when you were done because it's sticky it stays exactly where you left it and so every once in a while I will use this feature and I'm always quite sure to go back and check a soon as I'm done that it is back at zero because that's kind of the normal starting point for your camera so good way of changing exposure when you're in those semi automatic modes well, we have our cross keys on the back for navigating the menu and the focusing points we've been dealing with that we have our cue set button which stands for quick menu and we're going to go through that after our break coming up and the set button which will be using in the menu setting quite a bit and if you want to you can go into the menu and you can customize exactly what the set does normally it doesn't do really anything in particular other than go to the q menu but you could have it go direct access to change image quality to change flash exposure compensation you can turn off the lcd you can have it turn the menu on if you would prefer to just press it with the thumb button rather than then up on the left shoulder or you could have it have control of the s o speed so there's a lot of different controls that you can automatically have that go in there and do all right down on the bottom right is the card light as your camera is writing information to the card that light will come on it's basically just a little bit of a warning to you not to take the card out of the camera because it's busy working at that period of time d'oh time for a couple questions salute excellent first one of his photos by deb who's an idaho she asked was the advantage to back button focus. He said pros use it wondering why back button focusing allows you to separate focusing and taking a picture. What happens is a lot of pros like to have interesting opposition in their photographs and so they don't want their subject in the middle of the frame, but they like using their center focusing point and so let's just imagine that I have a subject right here in front of me and I focus with the back button on their camera, the camera and I get the distance set now as long as my subject doesn't move as faras towards me or away from me and as long as I don't move closer or further away, focusing his set it's done don't have to worry about anymore. Now I am free to think about composing, so I want him in the left or you want him in the right. Where do I want him? And I can wait. I could take my hand off the camera and I can shoot when ever I want as many pictures as I want now. Normally, the way the cameras come out of the box, this is how it works. I have to focus on my subject halfway and I have to leave my finger halfway down until I take the picture. Because if I lift up and press down again, it's going to refocus. So this just allows you a little bit more creative freedom in order to do that. But on the negative side you gotta press two buttons and for some people that's, one button too many and so it's something that takes a little get getting used to and it took me a while to kind of get one over by it. But now I would never switch back. And so it's something I like quite a bit, but it takes a little while to get used to that, I think, for the beginner. It's, maybe not the best thing to do, because suddenly they'll just go around and start taking pictures, and they're all going to be out of focus and high forgot to focus because he got a press that button in the back of the camera. Good tip. All right, another one from lens mac. How do the auto focus points work when you're holding the camera and vertical shooting position? Do they reverse eyes that relative to the orientation of the sensor itself, so the focusing points you choose do not change, no matter how you hold the cameras. So if you choose the focusing point over here that rotates with the camera, you might say, and so you're not necessarily choosing something on the right or left. You're just choosing a specific bracket point, and it stays with the rotation of the camera. There are fancier cameras that will adjust according to how you're holding the camera vertically and horizontally. This one doesn't do that, so the next one up is on the back of the camera, the little blue playback button down there at the bottom, you'll notice that there are a bunch of buttons on the back of the camera that are labeled in blue, and they have to deal with playback. And so if you want to play back an image that you just took, you will, of course, just hit the little playback arrow down there that we'll show you the last image that you took right next to that is your garbage can button, so if you I don't like your picture and you immediately want to get rid of it, you could hit the garbage can button, and when you do do that, what you'll need to do is you'll need to hit the garbage can, and then you'll need to use the tab key to go over to the erase function and then hit the set. But so there's, actually, a couple of steps that you have to take in their toe actually delete an image. Once you do delete an image, it is gone. And while it's ah, I don't want, say, it's gone forever it's very difficult to get back. If you do accidentally delete an image, you can take your card to pay, maybe a camera store or an image rescue. A place you can also buy software yourself to rescue that image because when it's deleted on the card it's not really deleted on the card it's file directories erased it's kind of the phone book equivalent of having a number that you don't want to call anymore and you simply cross it out it's still kind of there but the camera doesn't access it s so do be careful with that now up on the right hand corner of the camera you'll notice that the little blue magnifying buttons that we did talk about briefly earlier allows you to zoom in and zoom out on a photograph now on my camera here in front of me I don't have a lot of pictures that I've taken on here and I think I have one picture of laredo on here and so what you'll see on this picture on the back of the cameras I can zoom in and then I can use the cross keys to move around up, down left and right and see how close we can zoom in on that it's good picture of you right and we can zoom back out and if you zoom if you keep do me now you can see multiple images and you can go all the way back tio where you might see it almost one hundred images and so just keep zooming out and zooming in on your images for different playback options on that you know, of course, we're going from image to image, you can use the tab on the back of the camera, the little multi controller to go backward and forward, and if you have a lot of pictures on there, you can use the dial, the main dial up on the top of the camera and it jumps you ten images forward or ten images backward, and one of the things that you can do is you can go into the custom in you and you can change with that dial on the top of the camera does rather than jump by ten images, you can have it just move a single image at a time one hundred you could have a jump between images on different dates and different folders. You could jump between movies and stills or images that have been rated by stars at different levels, and so you can really customize that dial in the playback options. So those air kind of all the different things that you'll be using, the other additional one that's not in blue but still works is the info button and I'll do this live here on the camera in front of me, let me play back my image of we're right here, and if I press the info button, you can see what file number it is, what shutter speed and aperture was chosen for that image and if I press it again, you'll get the pistol graham here and the history graham is something I explained in my fundamentals of digital photography class, and we're not going to get into now, but you can see other settings about how the camera was taken well, here's a color hissed a gram and then back to the full image and so just keep hitting the info button on the top of the camera to cycle through different screens. Okay, next step, what do we have on the back of the camera? We have the q button, so the quick control is a shortcut to some of the more popular menu settings that you might want to get to, and so we'll take my camera here, right here in front of me, you'll see the normal display on the back of the camera here, and when we press the q button, we have a little orange box and we can navigate around, up, down and left and right to get to these different features and you'll see there's a little pop up window with some helpful information about what setting that is and then weaken dive into one of those settings and we could make a change if we want now we're going to talk about all these settings here in due course, and so we're not going to get into all of them right now. But this is just a quick way to go in and change some of the more common settings on your camera, so it's a nice short cuts so that you don't have to dive in to the full menu on the camera now something that is kind of unique to this camera that's not on a lot of cameras, as you see on the key note here is that this is a touch screen, so when you're playing back images, you can use the screen as kind of the way you would use your phone for pinching ins zooming in, you can scroll through images, you can select images by tapping on them and magnifying them, and so I'll do that in real time, on the camera, here in front of me, and so I'll play back my image of the right, and you can see I can just take this image and I can zoom in, zoom back out just by pinching, and if I had more images on here, I could scroll through images you can see how you can just swipe to scroll from image to image, and so it depends on who your wrist, whether you like a touch screen or not, I'm not used to it on a lot of cameras because there are very few cameras that have that, but you, if you're used to phones where you use that interaction quite a bit. You can do that. And so there's. No reason why you have to use it or not use it. It's. Whatever your choices, you know, one of the things that you can do is you can go in and control the touch screen. For instance, if you don't like it, and you keep touching it, and it does something that you don't like, you can actually turn it off. And you can also turn up the sensitivity of it so that if you're using lightweight gloves, you can use the screen as well with gloves. So just be aware that that's another option. We'll see as we get into the menu system.

Class Description

Join John Greengo for an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Canon® Sl-1. 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.


  1. Introduction
  2. Buttons: Top Deck

    John Greengo provides a detailed guide to the buttons and functions found on the top deck of your camera.

  3. Buttons: Back Side
  4. Buttons: Sides, Front, Bottom
  5. Lenses
  6. Displays
  7. Menus: Shooting
  8. Menus: Playback, Setup, and Custom
  9. Camera Operation
  10. Next Steps



It's a great class for people that have a long attention span, tons of time and understand greek. I wish I'd bought a plain point and shoot camera as I apparently don't understand camera speak. I'm a get right down to it kind of person. It is a great class, it's just not for me because I don't understand any of it.


John is a great teacher and I learned so much more by taking the course as opposed to reading parts and pieces of the owner's manual. Thanks for teaching me about my camera.

Julia Ensign

Learned so much from this class and the photography beginners kit, now on to fundamentals! Can't wait!