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Canon SL-1 Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 10

Camera Operation


Canon SL-1 Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 10

Camera Operation


Lesson Info

Camera Operation

That's the camera that's it folks we've gone through everything on the outside we've gone to virtually everything on the inside and we're practically done but we want to kind of put it all together because now you have all this idea of well I said this and this and this but how do you actually do this out in the field so let's do a little camera operation here he and first off kind of what's your checklist before you go out and shoot pictures what do you need to be aware of? First off, make sure your batteries charged okay? Batteries khun die pretty quickly you want to install and format your memory card so that you have a clean memory card that communicates well with the camera? You want to make sure that you're shooting in raw or j peg or wherever it is that you want that's really the most important menu setting but any of the other menu settings that you've adjusted you may want to go check to me want to check your mind then you just said that all your common settings or where they ...

should be and if you're going to be heading out on a big trip if you're going to be using this camera for some sort of you know important job you want to make sure the sensor is clean so should a test picture maybe a white piece of paper blank sky ah and make sure that there is no dust on your sensor much easier to deal with that where you might have camera stores and repair shops around you rather than heading off into the boonies where there's no one that's going to be able to help you out with the dirty sensor and so just get that straight away and make sure that your camera is ready to go now of all the features in the camera, I'm going to boil it down to what I think are the ten most important controls that you're probably going to be working with on a regular basis for many different types of photography and it's the ones that you see listed here most of these deal with exposure some of them are dealing with focus and there's a couple in there that are just neither one of those so let's set our camera for what I call super simple photography this is where you just wanted to be as simple as possible, but maybe you want to have access to jump in and do something else yourself. And so I would recommend the program mode because it's going to set shutter speeds and apertures for you. And while I'm not a huge personal fan of auto sl, it would be a very simple way because you don't need to worry about anything exposure you could take this camera just about anywhere and get decent pictures in the program mode with auto isil, we want to check your exposure compensation to make sure it's on zero you don't want it on plus three or minus five and so zero is kind of the starting point and you may adjust it if you want lighter or darker pictures metering I'm a big fan of evaluative metering, it does a good job and I think it's going to be great in a super simple mode white balance I would leave this on auto if you have really bad colors you khun shifted from there, but in general the camera does a pretty good job dealing with focusing one shot focus. What it does is it focuses on a subject and it locks in and this is really good for basic photography, so you can focus on your subject and recompose by leaving your finger halfway down on the shutter release. When it comes to the focusing points, all the points is the simple a system because there is just the most options that the camera has to choose to focus on something. Now it does want to focus on whatever is closest to the camera, so be aware of anything in front of your subject that is also in a focusing point and for the drive mode just leaving it in the single mode would be the simplest one press means one picture but my guess is that you're going to want to go beyond what the super simple notice so let's try things old school, retro style. So if you're an old film shooter, you kind of want to mimic how you used your cannon eighty one back in the nineteen seventies. This is how maybe you might like to set it up full manual. You're going to control shutter speeds in apertures, you might choose a shutter speed like one hundred twenty fifth of a second, because that would be a reasonable shutter speed, maybe for doing street photography, let's, say, and for an aperture, maybe would choose an aperture like f eight for the old saying, f eight and be there, it's, just a good middle aperture and your eyes so you're you liked using try x film, so you're going to send it to s o four hundred now, we don't use exposure compensation here because we're in the manual mode and we're adjusting exposure with our center speeds are apertures in her eye. So in the old days on the old cannon eighty one, for instance, they used center waited metarie, and maybe you liked that. Meet a ring system, white balance. We're just going to leave it at auto and keep it simple for focusing if you want to manually focus that's going to be the switch on the side of the lens here so it's a very simple manual switch on the side of lands a f and m, which means you don't need to set focusing points and we go straight over right over to the dr mode and maybe you're going to set that into continuous and you can shoot a series of pictures all at once, all right, let's do some real examples here, okay, first off is a cz this comes up landscape photography all right? So you're at a beautiful national park or great place and you want to take a landscape shot what's kind of going on here is that you have a lot of depth of field, everything is in focus, you might be working off of a tripod, but there's nothing really moving everything's pretty stationary and in a situation like this here's, how I kind of make my settings to start with, I do like using manual exposure, you'll see that is a very common theme here, next up I'm going to want to make sure that my eyes so is as low as possible I also one hundred that would be my first setting and then I want a lot of things in focus so I want to choose a lot of depth of field f eleven sixteen twenty two thirty two those all might be pretty good choices depends on some other factors and as far as the shutter speed, I'm not really concerned about that in many cases you need a very slow shutter speed which requires the use of a tripod and so if you have a tripod you can shoot at any shutter speed if your hand holding you need to be a little bit more about more aware of where that shutter speed is and that you can properly hand hold the camera we don't need to worry about exposure compensation because we're in the manual exposure mode we're going to keep things simple and leave the meat arena at evaluative and we're going to leave white balance on auto and then for focusing we're going to be on one shot we're going to choose something to focus on and be done with focusing nothing's moving we don't need the servo mode here for focusing points we want to be pretty precise about what we're focusing on so we're going to choose the single mode in this and finally we have a few different options we can choose a single shot or self timer remote and this is potentially where you might want either the wireless or the wired remote from cannon so that you're not touching and vibrating and moving the camera while it's shooting with a slow shutter speed next up let's try something a little different portrait photography so the idea here is that you have a subject that's moving potentially not fast but a little bit you're moving because you're not on a tripod and you want shallow depth of field so you want your subject in focus and you don't really care about the background in fact he would like it out of focus so in these modes where I have a chance to shoot a subject for maybe several pictures I prefer to put my camera in the manual mode that way I can make the settings and they don't change on me you could do it pretty quickly in the a v mode and that would be a good second choice beyond manual here but I'm goingto kind of walk you through the manual setting the first thing I want to do is I want to open up my apertures why does it go goes to give me the shallowest step the field and then I'm gonna want to choose a shutter speed that's fast enough to stop the action of my subject in many cases that's going to be around one hundred twenty fifth of a sec and maybe a little faster and I would prefer to have my eyes so is low it's possible but if I am under low light conditions I might raise up that I so a little bit and then we're going to go ahead and just leave our evaluative metering and our auto white balance on for most of these situations for focusing, I prefer one shot where I focus on the subject as long as they're not moving towards me or away from me, I can just lock it off on them, and I want to be very particular about making sure their face and in fact, their eye is in focus, and so I'm going to choose just the single point in the middle, because that is the most sensitive one, and when I'm shooting portrait's, I'm often shooting in the continuous mode because people's gestures and facial expressions change, and that way I can just hold down on the shutter and get several pictures at that very near to the same moment. And so that's my portrait set up, okay, let's, get some action in. So if we're photographing something that's moving towards us and away from us, the two critical things we need to think about is shutter speed to stop the action and focusing of the lands. And so we're going to be making some drastic changes here doing the action mode any sort of action that is in an area that I can kind of identify and work with for several shots I like to be in manual so I can set my shutter speeds and apertures and they stay exactly there you could use the aperture priority mode or the time value modin in the situation as well and they might be a second choice after manual in this case, the key thing is that you want to have a fast enough shutter speed for human action five hundredth of a second for other things maybe even faster so a good fast shutter speed and you're going to probably need to leave that aperture pretty wide open. This is where having a fast lands lends it opens up too two point eight or faster becomes a real benefit, you know? Ideally I would like to be a tie so one hundred but the reality of the world is with that fast the shutter speed in the typical light you're going to get to work with, you're probably going to need I s o four hundred maybe higher if you're in a poorly lit gymnasium, you might be a twelve thousand eight hundred it's quite possible leave the meter in had evaluative leave the white balance at auto and the focus is one of our most important changes here is to a I surveil this is the mode where the camera continually adjust focus as subjects moved towards you and away from you and it's very difficult to keep a single focusing point on your subject that's moving around, and so I highly recommend just goingto all points it'll just give you a bigger bracket toe work with tio capture that action and the drive mode, of course, will be in the continuous mode so that you can fire off four frames per second and kind of as a additional setting. You might want to consider choosing j peg here, because you can shoot so many more pictures more rapidly than you can in raw. That buffer size is only about seven or eight in raw and it's upwards of around thirty or more in j peck, and so if you do a lot of sports shooting, probably j peg might be the better option in that case. All right, how about maximum sharpness? You have a subject that is not moving, you have a subject that doesn't have a lot of depth of field to that particular image, and you just want everything as sharp as possible, and you'll see that this is very close to the landscape photography. We just don't need the depth of field in this case, so manual mode is good. You can be precise about choosing your apertures in your shutter speeds, but first I would set one hundred I so because that is the best setting on your sensor an aperture in the middle of the range around off eleven for many lenses is going to be the sharpest aperture on your lands. Why? Well, you should watch my fundamentals class because I go into all that we don't have time for that right now, and as far as the shutter speed, if you're trying to get maximum sharpness, you should be working on a tripod and you can shoot it any shutter speed you want them, we're gonna leave the meter in and white balance at those evaluative and auto settings for focusing. We're not focusing on moving subjects, so one shot would be fine, and we want to be very precise of where we get our focus, so we're going to choose the single point and for the drive mode, we have our same options again of using the single and that might be with one of the cable releases or using the two second self timer, and we could even throw in the mere lock up that we just learned about. All right, one final one to go here we are basic photography. This is where you don't know what your next picture is going to be, so who knows what your next picture is going to be? You want to be ready for anything and yes, folks, I will use just a hint of automation here so aperture priority is a good quick mode to use, and what I typically do is leave my aperture pretty wide open like f four that will give me a pretty fast shutter speed if something happens suddenly, I could just point my camera at it and it's going to be doing a very good job of picking a good fast shutter speed. Now, depending on the light, I will start with my camera and I saw one hundred as the light levels go down if I walk into a dark marketplace or sunsets than I might start bumping my eyes so up to be ready for that situation, but I'll start it off one hundred hoping for the best you might say I want to keep an eye on my exposure compensation so that I have this at zero and I'm not over exposing or under exposing on a regular basis unless I intended meter and I'm going to leave that evaluative and white balance on auto for focusing I like the one shot mode, right focus, lock it off and keep it locked in there and I want to be very precise, so I'm going to use the single point and for the drive mode single or perhaps continuous here it would also work quite nicely so at this point, folks, I could say congratulations, you are now an sl one or one hundred d expert I shouldn't certificate we all need a certificate and downloadable certificate for going through the entire class. I love it well, I don't own this camera, but I feel like I could pick it up and immediately start shooting now it's a very easy camera to use and it's just nice to get all that stuff dialed in. Great what? We had some questions coming in there towards the very end because, like the last minute questions as you're going through all these great custom settings guest ninety five zero one for asked the basic photography settings. Is that how he would leave it when you put it away at the end of the day? So you always have a place to start from. So you know what you're working with? If you need to grab the camera and start shooting fast, they said that really nicely. So yes, e yes, I agree with that. All right, take guys wondering it does l servo servo drain the battery faster? Uh, did that, uh, it's insignificant canned it's critical to getting action shots? So it's not really an option it's kind of like does turning the camera on drain the battery? Well, yes, it does, but it has to be done in order to get the shot and so yes, but I wouldn't worry about it, okay? Cool another question about the battery this one is from a c m eighty three in arizona if my camera is on and I don't touch it for a while will the battery drain it will drain just if you just said it on the table right there it'll it'll slowly lose power over a period of time how fast it loses power is somewhere on the range of one percent per day so it's not a huge factor if you don't take it out and shoot with it for several weeks but if you don't shoot with the camera for a year it's probably just going to drain on its own and so one percent per day is a very general rule of thumb number okay cool we're going to go to some basic general questions that look if that's ok from I s o fifty they asked what's the number one reason to choose this camera over another similarly equipped camera the small size that's that's the big thing if you just want small lightweight I know there's a number of people that either have smaller hands or maybe they might have back issues and even I have a photographer friend who had got so bad they could not shoot with any slr camera just because the strain is too much for what was going on on their shoulders and so just that lighter weight smaller size okay cool lens for me asked what's the biggest gotcha! You found with this camera the thing that I might get tripped up with and miss that I should be careful of oh anything like that and I think you miss no it's it's a tight little package I mean the gotcha that I was going to go for, but they were directing, but I'll go there anyway if you've got big manly and it might not be comfortable for you toe hold I know everyone wants a small camera that they can take with them really easily, but it also needs to be comfortable in the hands and that's. Why it's really nice to have a camera store to go into that just kind of you could put it in your hands and go? Does this feel right for me now? They position you know, even the shutter release button in the dialogue on the camera pretty comfortably so I don't know like hands a fairly average and they feel pretty comfortable on here and so it's one of those things, if you're thinking about this cameron, you don't have it you might want to get your hands on it to see how comfortable fields and again john gringo, you are reading the minds of the internet because sea to sky nbc says so smaller is it uncomfortable there any battery groups or other accessories available toe bulk it up for people with larger hands no there isn't so they do not have a vertical grip like for this camera like they do many of the other cameras it's it's what it is there might be some other aftermarket company that I'm not aware of at this time but nothing that I know of okay great another great question of course from sam cox in colorado is the sl one a good starter camera for getting into the cannon family is it very similar in operation and in the menus to the big boy canon cameras it definitely is and so this is canon has had a bit of it it's a bit of a challenge because they make their official entry level camera and there's kind of in this race with nikon and other manufacturers to have more and more features and they've been adding and adding and adding and more and more and more and then all of a sudden it just like this is too much and so they have to come up with a new model that's kind of underneath it goes back down to the basics and so for anyone just getting into photography this is it's a great start for it because you start getting into the candid lenses and then you can upgrade and add lenses and so there's so much you can do with it and the viewfinder experience with this is really nice compared to the elektronik view on a lot of cameras okay great lens mac is wondering how it john compare the sl one to the olympus omd e m five mira less cameron so the olympus marylise camera is a very nice little camera and the olympus camera is going to have much smaller lenses and so one of the gripes about this camera is that yeah, the camera smaller but the lenses aren't any different lenses of the same size as always and so you could take the olympus and you could put three or four lenses and put it in a really small bag and you couldn't do that with this camera the olympus has a reasonably noticeably smaller size sensor which means it's probably not going to be a cz good under low light conditions and so this camera is going to be a better under low light it's also going to be better with action because the olympus is just not good with action at all and so the olympus would make a pretty nice travel camera. I think this would probably make a better overall family camera or general purpose camera great good points ok question from lens mac because you were talking about the size of the camera and you know your hand size it makes a big difference could you please demonstrate how you would hold the sl one while shooting and vertical mode? All right, so let me take off my tripod here and so for horizontal be like this and some people like to go down I would prefer to go up I don't like having my arm here but there's just nowhere for it to go down here are least not is comfortably and so depending on your left eye, don't be it's easier if you're right I'd to focus like this and this is a very comfortable way okay? And len's max says that they're from georgia so thank you. All right, last question john uh steve are safe farris again in chicago is asking a side sorry through a huge ferris bueller won a place in chicago so does louis ever? All right, cool. So ok, now that we got that other way aside from an extra battery, a memory card, a remote and a tripod, what are some essential accessories? I should have to use this camera you gotta have a cleaning cloth. Oh, it's gotta have a cleaning baath nearby and there's a variety of them. And so just a little pocket cleaning clock that's the main thing that a battery in a memory card and even if you don't, I plan on going to a second memory card because you never think you'll fill up the first one every once in a while and it's not this camera but just in general there's a corruption issue and your camera like says I can't do anything. Insert a new memory card because it's having a problem, the memory card. So just having that back up every card, even if it's small like these these days, thirty two gigs is a pretty common memory card that you'll buy. For a camera like this, you'll get more than a thousand images. But having, like, a backup for eight gate card that you know, you don't have to spend much money on just a little overflow. So it's, kind of like, if you have a a a truck and you got that little gas can in the back, you got an extra gallon of gas toe. Get you out of the woods, just in case. It's. Kind of nice to have.

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!