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Canon SL-1 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 10



Canon SL-1 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 10



Lesson Info


Welcome everybody to the dslr fast start for the cannon sl one sl, standing for super lightweight or small and lightweight. This is kind of an interesting new camera that cannon has brought out, and they're trying to compete a little bit, some newer cameras, and we're going to take a look at some other cameras in a moment here to see how it compares in size. But this is not a review, it's, not a comparison between this and other cameras on the market. This is a how to how to work the camera if you own the camera. If you want to get the most out of your camera and get the best pictures, and so that's, what we're gonna be doing here today, so let me kind of go through kind of exactly what this class is all about, because it's, not a short, little class it's a full length class on this camera, going to give you a little bit of overview about being a part of the whole cannon slr system, we'll go through a few photography basics, and then we're going to spend most of the time going through ...

all the buttons and dials on the cameras and talking about what they are and when you would want to use him and where to set them for different types of situations we will go through the displays to talk about what you see in the viewfinder and on the back of the camera and then kind of the last third of the class we're going to be going through the menu system and it may seem a little tedious, but we're going to be going through it line item by line item so that you could get your camera set up just the way that you want to use your camera and then to end it all off with, we're going to be going through kind of some practice operation of how you would set the camera for shooting portrait ce or sports or landscapes or other things like that because chances are if you bought this sort of camera, not only do you want to get better quality pictures, but you may want to learn a little bit about photography and start taking control of the camera and your photographs yourself. So this is the this is what we're gonna be covering in the class, and I think we're gonna have a good time doing it. All right? So with this camera, you get a fairly hefty instruction manual, and you could spend a lot of time going through that now in this class here, we're going to spend four plus hours going through the camera, and how can I fit thirteen hours of information into four hours? Well, I can't and there's going to be a lot of stuff in that instruction manual that we're not going to be going over. My goal is to teach about all the major controls and how to capture the highest quality images there's a lot of other fun stuff you can do with this camera, you can copy images and you can make him black and white and do creative effects on him and while that's all fun and good, just not going to spend a lot of time on it because it's not critical to taking good images or great images, and so we're not gonna cover everything, but we're going to cover everything that anyone who wants to get the most out of the camera for best image quality is going to want to know. Now. The other thing to realize and know about this class is that this is not a photography one o one class, and if you want to take great pictures, there are basically three things you need to know. Number one you need to know about your subject that you're shooting, whether you're shooting sports or people or anything like that, knowledge of your subject is critical, you need to know your camera very well, and you need to know photography. And this class here is going to specifically focus on this camera. What can this camera do? And how do we work with it? So that's what this whole session is about? All right, so let's, do a little overview if this's maybe your first digital slr. This might be your first cannon camera cannon is a great manufacturer of cameras. They've been around for a very long time. This is their original logo. Their original name was co wanted, and that was their logo. The goddess of mercy. Look at all those hands for pressing buttons isn't that great? Well, cannon started out with thirty five millimeter that's kind of been their mainstay in cameras thirty five millimeter film. They started with little range finders, and they kind of started on the low end. They started making amateur cameras, and then it wasn't until about the nineteen seventies that they started making professional cameras that serious photographers started to use. Now, an important date to know about its nineteen, eighty seven is they introduced their auto focus system, it's called the ceo system, and you can use lenses on this sl one camera all the way back to nineteen, eighty seven anything before that, you don't want to put on your camera. Technically, there are adapters, but they're a pain in the butt to work with, but any of the eos lenses are going to work with this camera so there's a huge line of lenses that you can get for this camera. Their first digital camera came in two thousand and it was just three megapixels and it sold for three thousand dollars and it's amazing that the progress we've made in the time since then and so a little bit about cannon there now the s o one, which is also known as the one hundred d internationally believe it's the kiss seven in japan has some slightly different names. I'm generally going to be referring it to as thie sl one but we know we have a lot of international viewers and it might be marketed as the one hundred d in your area. All right, so what's new what's great about this camera. Well, it is the world's smallest and lightest slr camera and if we compare it to the nearest competitors the canon rebel, the big brother you might say and no one ever thought we would say that the t five I would be a big brother to anything it's quite a bit smaller, twenty five percent lighter and smaller, yet it maintains the same image quality and a lot of the same functions and I wanted to bring out the big big brother comparison this is the cannon five d mark three and I know from a lot of the other creative life workshops here. This is probably the most popular camera for the instructors at creative live there's tons of people who do portrait photography and just love this camera and just look at the size difference between those two it's just amazing how small they've been in to take it. Now they do have a different size sensor in there and we'll talk about that in a little bit but there's a big size difference but what canan is really trying to do is compete with the marylise cameras the likes of something like a panasonic gh three or we got a bunch of them out here. Let me pull out a few of these cameras. We got fuji xy one and then the smallest of this little group here is a sony any x six. So as you can see in this group here we have a variety of different size cameras and there's just more and more of these choices the's days and it's kind of amazing because you know that the canon has a much bigger sensor at least fairly bigger than the panasonic. So when he actually has a sensor that's bigger than this one so it's kind of hard to tell what size sensor versus what size camera there's a lot of options and while a small camera is great, the other factors you want to consider when buying a camera is how it feels in your hand and ultimately what bag do you put it in? Because that essentially is the size of the package that you're worried about so something to consider so I thought it was fun to be bring these out. I also brought these out for another secret mission of mine and that is I have a bunch of new care camera class is coming up on the panasonic gh three the fuji x e one and the sony any x six and so you can look for these classes over the coming months from creative live here and of course, I already have a five d mark three camera on the books right now, that's available. All right, so let's uh, kind of take these off the table, I think because we're going to be focusing specifically on the sl one. Say goodbye to those guys and we'll talk about it later. And what else do we have to talk about on the cell? So one. So, as I said before, it has the exact same image sensor as the t five I and so for image quality reasons there's really nothing that's holding you back with this camera it's just a cz good as several of its older siblings, you might say and they've been able to retain most all the features. I think for a mom and pop type user or someone their first time into photography, or maybe a student or even a kid with photography, this camera is going to have more than enough features to really keep you occupied for quite a long time. They have taken off some of the buttons and some of the controls compared to some of the higher and cameras. It makes it a little bit simpler to use there's less less button pressing for some of the main operations. Now you do have to dive into the menu to get to some of those other ones, but there's good shortcuts so that you don't have too much button pressing to navigate around that system. So that's what's going on with this particular camera now being a part of the canon eos system, one of the great things is that there is a huge range of cameras that all share a common lens mt. So if you decide to upgrade at some point in the future from this camera, you could take your lenses and put him on another candid camera and that's. The other great thing is that you have so many choices and lenses, and so pretty much anything that you want to do with this camera, they probably make a lens for it. We also have a very good flash system, so the camera has a hot shoe where you mount flashes onto it so if the built in flash is not powerful enough or not versatile enough for what you want to do, then they probably make something for that now as far as where the rebel sl one lines up with their lineup of cameras it's pretty near the beginning level it's their basic slr camera there is an ceos in which is a marylise camera and we'll talk about the mere in this camera in just a moment and so it uses some of the same lenses but there's some complications that were not going to go into right now this one the advantage of it is that you get to look through the lens while you are shooting pictures and it's the smallest camera it's the most basic and the least expensive of the group. Now as far as kind of the heritage of this particular camera, the digital rebel siri's has been going on now for about twelve years and they have forget how many models but about twelve different models and this is very much based on it they've also taken some of the technology from the eos em they're marylise camera and they've combined it into one camera one of the things you will find when you go through the instruction manual on this camera is a lot of warning it's about what not to do with the terror camera and it seems like they could just put one little page and they're in bold letters that say is don't be stupid with it on, so I think you'd probably be fine with that. There are a couple of valid questions that people have one aboutthe waterproof nous of it and one about non cannon accessories as faras waterproof nous this camera does not have the whole ring seals and water protection of hiring cameras like the new seventy d or a seventy or a five d mark three or something like that and so you do need to be careful with this camera if you are going out in rain or any sort of very wet conditions if it was raining, I would say get your shot but get it quickly and be done with it. You don't want to stand out in the rain for a long period of time if you do need to be out in the rain, I would either get a friend with an umbrella or get one of the rain covers that you could buy from aftermarket manufacturers just to keep a rein directly from landing on the camera. The second thing is using non cannon accessories and that goes four lenses flashes, batteries, memory cards, there's a lot of things that you can plug into the camera and in real quick general thinking I would prefer to stay with the cannon flashes after market there are are available. They're less money, but flash is one of most complicated areas of photography, and the cannon system is really nice, so I would stick with the cannon flashes. Canon's got a lot of good lenses, but occasionally there's a really good lands from takina tamar on sigma and sometimes some of the other manufacturers as well. And so I wouldn't hesitate about putting one of the other lenses on it's not going to damage your camera. There may be one or two special features that you may not be able to make use of, but they're very small, in my opinion, a cz faras that memory cards you should be able to use just about anything. We'll talk about those a little bit later and I would probably stick to the cannon battery. It's powering the camera. They make a good battery. That's. Not that much money. Now, let's, make sure that your camera is ready for today's class. So you want to charge and install the battery? So hopefully you've done that on your camera. I did that on my camera last night. Charge the battery up takes about an hour and a half. And the number of shots you get depends on some factors but around four to five hundred pictures if you do use the live view option where you're looking at the screen on the back of the camera it's going to cut down quite a bit on that number down to maybe one hundred fifty images because that's consuming quite a bit more power and hopefully you've attached bland's I have put on one of my favorite little lenses which is thief forty millimeter pancake lands and you can see that that is just a super super tiny lands and it's going to be a nice little short telephoto lens on this one it's not the standard kit lands but it's the one that it it seemed right to have on this camera the smallest slr camera from canon and their smallest lands so go ahead and turn your camera on there's a switch right on the top of the camera for that and you can turn you know this really kills me to say this turn your camera to the auto mode with a little a plus on the top of the camera and you could go ahead and just pick camera and press the shutter release take a picture on and take a picture of laura over here and just make sure that your camera's working if not this is a good time to go address that if your batteries not charged go go charge the battery so the cannon sl one is a single lens reflex camera and that means we have one lens on the camera high quality lands there are different types of lenses like wide angle lenses and telephoto lenses that have different angles of view. Inside the lens is an aperture and this aperture allows you to either open or close. Some doors you might say is far is controlling the amount of light coming in the lance if we take a look from this view as you can see, we are stopping our aperture down that's the term we use and every setting we make on this is letting in half assed much light as we open up the aperture we're letting twice a cz much light with each of these aperture openings. And so this is the first way that we control how much light we let in the camera and that is one of the key things what a camera does is controlling the light. The other thing that the aperture does is it also controls the depth of field how much is in focus in the photo on the right here you can see how shallow the depth of field is. Those red hash marks indicate the front edge in the back edge of focus and you can see as we change the aperture to these larger numbers which happens to be smaller, openings were getting more and more depth of field and in this case we're maxed out at f twenty two that's as much depth of field as we can get in the lens and so there's a lot of things going on in the lens of the camera as the light comes into the camera this is the reflex portion the reflects indicates that there is a mirror in the camera and the mirror is there so that the light can be bounced upward onto a focusing screen and from there it is bounced up through a prism system so that you can conveniently see out the viewfinder the camera exactly whatthe lenses pointed at and this is one of the big advantages of this camera over some of those smaller marylise cameras is that when you are looking through the viewfinder you are actually looking through the lens of the camera it is bright it is sharp it is easy to see whether it's bright out or it's dark out you're using basically all the benefits of your own eyes with the with the added benefit of the particular linds you can see if your picture is in focus or out of focus filter effects that are on it as far as the viewing experience for a photographer it's really the best that is available on the market today but if you want to take a picture you need to get that mere up and out of the way so that light can come on back to the image sensor in the camera, and so the image sensor is a huge deal on cameras these days. We'll talk a little bit about those mohr in just a moment now, before the light actually gets back to the sensor, there is one more gate it must pass through, and that is the shutter unit. Now the shutter unit shutter curtain is it has been called is usually for metal blades that move very, very quickly. There is a first curtain and a second curtain, so the first curtain will slide open. It will let light in on the sensor for a particular short period of time, usually and in the second curtain will come down and close off the light, making sure that each pixel is exposed for exactly the same amount of time. And then the mirror returns so that you can see what's going on and the shutter unit returns back to its starting position for the next picture. Shutter speeds are important for controlling light as well. We can choose very fast shutter speeds for stopping action, so if you want to stop a bird in flight, you'll need a pretty fast shutter speed, maybe something around one two thousandth of a second for stopping human action, you'll probably need something around one five hundredth of a second. Kind of a normal shutter speed, you might say, is around one hundred twenty fifth of a second, so in this case, stopping some camels walking in the desert, when you start getting to slower shutter speeds, you can get blurriness, and generally you don't like blurriness, but sometimes blurriness coming kind of cool, kind of interesting in this case, a thirtieth of a second and some horses racing. Now, this picture was taken with or on a tripod, and you can see because the bridges sharp, but you can see the people are blurry because they're moving, and I'm only at one eighth of a second, and you can start using some pretty slow shutter speeds, like one second for interesting effects, with waterfalls and rivers. That's a good shutter speed if you like that, but you gotta have your camera on a tripod for that. And then, if you want to get really creative out at nighttime, you could do long exposures like this thirty second exposure down in death valley, you can see the stars and that's, a flashlight spinning around, and so you can do some really fun creative effects with these types of cameras in long shutter speeds. Now, as I said before, the image sensor is a huge part about the camera and that's, one of the main things to compare on campus today if you're out looking for a camera one of the first few questions should be what size sensor is in the camera and there are a lot of different cameras on the market and there are a lot of different sensors sizes and they're kind of grouped into some different categories and there's about six or so that are very, very common categories there's a lot of very small cameras that have extremely small sensors and we're not going to really concern ourselves with those today this is using one of the larger sensors on the market now the easiest one to understand is based off of thirty five millimeter film for many reasons thirty five millimeter film was the most popular standard of film for about sixty years and it was very convenient when we switched from film to digital to have a sensor that was exactly the same size as film because then we could take all of our lenses put it on our new cameras and everything was exactly as it used to be and so there are some cameras out there that have full frame sensors in this they have a crop factor of one point o which is a very fancy way of saying it's the same it's thirty five millimeter film and those sensors are fantastic but they're also pretty expensive and they make the camera a little bit bigger and so there has been a a variety of smaller sensors that have come out with one in this camera is called in a p s c sensor and it's a little bit smaller by a factor of one point six. And so if you were to put a lens on from a full frame camera, it would crop it by a factor of one point six, which is how we get that number. And so it's got a good size censoring it, I think good enough for most mom and pop and beginning photographers. If you want to be the world's greatest wedding photographer, you probably want to have a full frame camera. If you want to shoot sports and you want to shoot under really low light conditions, the full frame cameras going toe have some advantages, but this allows you to have a camera that's, much less money and much smaller in size. And so I think it works very well in a camera of this nature. Now, since we are going through just a couple of basic photography things here, one of the things you want to make sure that you get right is attaching the strap on your camera. And I noticed a number of people doing this incorrectly, so if you look at this illustration, the key thing here is that you want to have that. Tail end going underneath that little strap adjusters so that pressure is keeping it down so that strap does not come loose. You don't want to be dropping your camera, so make sure that you have your strap attached properly. Another little real basic item here is holding your camera. Go ahead and pick your camera right now, put it in your hands and just notice how you're holding it. Is your thumb on the top of the camera or in the bottom of the camera? If it's on the bottom of the camera that's not the right way to do it. What you want to do is you want to have your thumb on the top of the camera, and if only there was some way to remember the thumb on top is good, and the thumb on the bottom is better there's got to be a good way that you can remember that, and if you're wondering why that's important it's, because when you put your thumb on the bottom of the camera, it brings your elbow up kind of high. When you put your thumb on the top, it brings your elbow kind of right down by your tarso, where you can keep better stability on it, and when you have some of the longer lenses, you're able to support the lens in your hand and make adjustments with your fingers. And so it's. A better technique. And if you watch all the pros, they are all using this to same technique. So look like a pro, not an amateur.

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!