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Basic Controls: Manual Modes


Canon® T6 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Basic Controls: Manual Modes

All right, let's get up into the more serious manual shooting modes. The Program mode is a mode that sets shutter speeds and apertures for you, and it's very much like the A-Plus Scene Intelligent mode, but it's just setting basic shutter speeds and apertures, and it's not restricting your movements and settings of anything else on the camera. One other thing about all the other modes that we've talked about up to this point is that when you have the camera in those modes, there are going to be a number of features that you are not going to be allowed to access on the camera, because it's trying to keep everything in a very, very simple mode. And now, it's when it really starts opening the doors to creativity and setting options on the camera. So, in the Program mode, the camera sets shutter speeds and apertures, and you can see these shutter speeds by looking through the viewfinder, and at the bottom of the viewfinder is a line of information. And we're going to start on the left with...

our shutter speeds, and then our apertures, then we'll have our light meter, our ISO setting, and then how many frames left we have at that time. And so it's those first two numbers that we're kind of looking closely at. Now, if you turn the top dial on the camera, the main control dial of the camera, you can do something called Program Shift. So I want to show you what that's like on the camera, so let me go ahead, move my camera over to the Program mode, and just as a little side note, I'm going to be showing you the back of the camera, but it looks the same, essentially, on the inside, it's the same information. Now, one of the things that will happen is that this will either not be showing, or it will go to sleep if you don't touch any buttons after a period of time. So for instance, if I turn the camera off, and I turn the camera on, there's no, well, now there is a display. But you can control the display by this Display button right here. And so, I want to show you what's going on, so I'm going to hit that Display button so that you can see the camera's in the Program mode. What shutter speed and aperture, I'll press down lightly on the shutter release, and you can see we're at a 30th of a second, at F3.5. If I take a photo right here, (camera clicks) I'm going to get a decent quality exposure there. Now, one of the things I can do is I can move this dial, I'll hit Display here, so that we can see what's going on, is if I turn this dial, I can change the combination of shutter speeds and apertures. And the thing is, is that I'm always getting a good exposure in this case, but I'm getting different settings on the camera. And so if I wanted more depth of field on this, I could set it with a smaller aperture, which is a big number, like F22, right there... where's our 22, it's not giving me 22 right here. Maybe it will right here, there we go. So I can get a decent exposure right here, it's going to be a one second exposure, so I've got to be really steady, (camera clicks) and we're getting a decent exposure. Not an interesting photo, but just a decent exposure is what we're looking at right now. And so I can adjust, if I said, you know, I just want faster shutter speeds, I would dial it down here and I would get faster shutter speeds. If I want more depth of field, I could set it to an F, a higher F number. And so it's a quick way of making adjustments. But there's a little quirk I want to show you about, and it's, let's say I set F16, right there. All right, now I'm going to let the camera sit for a moment, and it's going to go to sleep. Now, when I come back, and I press the shutter release, it's no longer at F16. It's constantly resetting, so wherever I set it, it wants to reset back to its default setting. And so, for anyone who's going to be shooting something on a regular basis, this could be a little frustrating. And so Program mode is really good when each shot is a little different, or you don't know what the next image is going to be. But when you're really set up and you're trying to shoot several photos of the exact same thing, and you want it to be something different than the standard settings, that's when I would probably be changing out of the Program mode. So let's talk about some of those other modes. Next up is the Time Value mode, and this is where you get to control the shutter speed, and shutter speeds will range from 1/4000th of a second, down to a full 30 seconds. And you'll choose these to stop action in most cases, so you want to stop the action of an eagle coming in to a river, you're going to need a fast shutter speed, like a thousandth of a second. If your camera's on a tripod, and you want to use a slower shutter speed for an artistic effect, you could use one full second, as in this case here. And so there's lots of different shutter speeds which give you a great versatility, and it's one of the most fun aspects of photography, is utilizing all the different shutter speeds available to you. So as I say, this goes between 4000th of a second and 30 seconds, and so let me go ahead and show you on this camera, make sure my camera is in the Time Value mode, so that we are setting shutter speeds properly. Now, to change your shutter speeds, it's that same control dial on the top of the camera, and you can see the two little arrows next to the shutter speeds, which means that's what we're changing. And so if I set a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second and press down halfway on the shutter release, the camera is giving me an aperture of 5.6. If I was to change it down to a one second exposure, the camera is going to give me F22. If I take a photo, (camera clicks) it's going to be a properly exposed photo. Now, the problem is, a little quirk here, is that if I go too fast, faster than there is an aperture on this camera, the aperture will start to blink at me. So I can set and take a photo at a 1000th of a second. But it's going to be a really, really, really dark photo. So let me come down here, it's still too fast, and it's clearly too dark. And so what I want to do is I want to come down to where it is not blinking, so right about here, I can take a properly (camera clicks) exposed photo. So, be aware of any blinking, and this will be blinking in the viewfinder when you put your eye up here. And so if it's blinking, you need to make some sort of adjustment so that it is not blinking in most cases, so that you don't get an improper exposure. And so that's the, kind of word of warning in the Time Value mode. Next up is the Aperture Value mode, so I'm going to go ahead and switch my camera to Aperture Value. But let's talk about what you can do with Aperture Value. So with the Aperture Value, you can change the aperture to have more depth of field or less depth of field. So landscape shots like this one, that have the foreground and the background in focus, F22 will give you lots and lots of depth of field. If you have a lens that lets in very shallow depth of field, that'd be a lens that goes down to 1.4 for instance, there's not a lot of these lenses. But they can allow you to shoot with very, very shallow depth of field. So, Aperture range will typically between F1.4 and F32. So let's go ahead and take a look on this camera here, and so, you can notice, when I go from Time Value, the arrows are next to the 15th of a second, and as I change it to Aperture Value, those little arrows are now beside the aperture. So by turning the dial, I can change the aperture. And there are so many options for shutter speeds, with apertures there's always seemingly something that's available. So here on this camera, let me get it so I can let in as much light as possible, and I can go down to F3.5, which is a 30th of a second, (camera clicks) and that's a decent exposure. If I stop it all the way down to F22, (camera clicks) the camera adjusts the shutter speed and also gives me a correct exposure. And so this is a very safe mode for playing around. This is kind of my walk around, travel mode, when I don't know what my next photo's going to be, I just kind of set it somewhere in here, and then I keep an eye on the shutter speed, to see if that's appropriate or not. And then I'll end up playing with the ISO and the aperture a little bit, to get the numbers the way that I might want them for any particular shot. But I think it's a fairly manual mode, but it has, it's a semi-automatic mode, is what it is. You have some control, the camera takes over the rest, but there's not a lot of restrictions if you want to dive into the menu or the other controls that we're going to talk about on the camera. So it's a highly recommended mode of mine. Next up, let's talk about Manual photography. So, Manual means you get to set shutter speeds and apertures yourself, and so we're going to turn it over to the manual mode, and then we're going to be able to set our shutter speeds by turning the dial on the top of the camera. Now one of the downsides of this camera, and this is Canon's entry-level camera, and one of the things that it doesn't have that a lot of the higher-end cameras have, is it has a second dial somewhere else on the camera, so that you can change apertures and shutter speeds without having to use the same dial. But this one has only one dial, but it does have a button in the back of the camera called the AV button, little plus-minus on it. And if you press that and turn the top dial, that will control your apertures. At that point, you'll need to be looking at your light meter, to see if your picture is under exposed by one or two stops, or if it's over exposed by one or two stops or more. And probably get that meter needle right in the middle, so that you're getting an even exposure. There's a number of times when you want to do manual exposure. An example would be if you have a tricky lighting situation, so you have some subjects that are really light, and really dark, and you want to shoot around and figure out what the best shutter speed-aperture combo is, and you're willing to shoot a few test shots, this would be a good place to do it. It's also good any time you really want consistent exposure results from one photo to the next. One of the options here is that you'll be able to use a bulb exposure. This is the longest exposure, and it allows you to keep the shutter open as long as you want, to leave your finger down on the shutter release, or your finger on a cable release leaving the shutter open, and so this is an example of a photo with a bulb exposure. It's a two minute exposure, I was trying to get more tail lights of the cars in the shot, and there just wasn't enough cars in any given 30 seconds, but if I left it open for two minutes, I'd be able to kind of collect all that data. So let's go ahead and run through a little example here on the camera, and I'm going to switch my camera over to Manual, so as you can see, we are in the Manual mode. Now, you'll notice that the little orange arrows are around the 125, that's our shutter speed. And so that's how we're changing our shutter speed. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to press the AV button on the back of the camera, and you can see that the arrows have moved over to 5.6. I'm going to set an aperture of F8, and then I'm going to set whatever shutter speed is necessary, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to be looking at the light meter down here, and I want to get it in the center under zero. Now, to the right means it's over exposed, and to the left it means it's under exposed, and so let's just shoot one at two stops over exposed, just to see what it looks like. (camera clicks) And you can see that's a very, very bright image right there, and so let's go ahead and set it down to a normal exposure. (camera clicks) And here we have much better lighting in this particular image. And so, you'll see this, essentially the exact same thing in the viewfinder itself, and so choose shutter speeds or apertures. It depends on what you're shooting as to what's most important, get that set, get the other one set, so let's just say that I wanted to have a shutter speed of a 15th of a second, well I'll set that there, and then I'm going to press in the AV button, and get my aperture set so that it's right there at zero, and then I can get (camera clicks) an even exposure. Now, not every photo needs to be right in the middle at zero. Some are a little bit more, some are a little bit less. But that's a good starting point. And so that is how manual exposure works. So those are our modes, we have lots and lots of automatic modes, modes that are kind of, you know, for practicing and just simple photography. Now, if you don't use all of these, don't feel guilty that you're wasting your camera and you're not using all your features. Most photographers that I know only use two or three modes on their camera. And the more serious photographers are in Manual and Aperture Priority, and maybe occasionally when we want it really simple, we'll throw it in the Program mode, and you know, if we have to give our camera to our cousin, or a friend to take photos, that's when we'll throw it in that Scene Intelligent mode, that full-auto mode, because we don't have time to explain photography to them, we just want them to use it as a point-and-shoot camera, and get some simple basic photos. But the camera has a lot of manual capability, and I would think that once you get into a camera like this, you're going to want to play around with that, and I highly encourage it, because it's a lot of fun. All right, next up on the Top Deck, we have our Flash Up button. So the camera has a built-in flash, and by pressing that button, you will activate and pop up the flash. When the flash goes up and you want it to go down, you just simply push it down. We're going to talk more about the flash as we get into the menu system, where you'll see some of the different controls that we have for adjusting the settings on the flash itself. But if you want it to fire on its own, you can just press that button. In some of the simplistic modes, the Scene modes, the flash will pop up for you, and you just manually push it down when you are done using it. If there's a mode, like the A-Plus mode, it will pop up, and it will continue to pop up, and you cannot force it down. And so you'd have to put it into a mode where it doesn't want to use the flash if you really don't want it to fire. Over on the top left is a speaker, so that when you play back your movies, that's where the sound is coming from. Probably won't need this, but that is the Focal Plane indicator, it's where the sensor is in the camera, there are some technical areas of photography where you might need to measure the distance from your subject to the focal plane, and this is so that you know where it is on your camera.

Class Description

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera is the perfect DSLR if you're looking to move up from taking pictures on your smartphone. This class will give you an in-depth instruction on how to make this transition easily so that you can capture high quality images. John will guide you through the features, menus, and buttons on your camera, giving you the confidence you need to take pictures like a pro. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use the EOS Rebel T6's broad range of light sensitivity settings to take perfect images in any light
  • Master the wireless capabilities so that you can send images to any compatible devices
  • Create high quality videos with full HD quality
If you've just purchased this camera, or are thinking about buying it, this in-depth class will help everyone you love the Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera.