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Canon T6 Fast Start

Lesson 18 of 18

Camera Operation Settings

John Greengo

Canon T6 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

18. Camera Operation Settings

Lesson Info

Camera Operation Settings

Alright, the final section here is camera operation. We have gone through hundreds of different features, options, and settings in the camera, but on a regular day-to-day basis, there's really only a handful of things that we're gonna change and worry about on a regular basis. So what do I worry about when I want to go out and shoot? I want to have a charged battery, I want a nice, clean memory card with lots of space available, I want to make sure that my image quality is set where it's supposed to, I want to make sure that my menu settings are set right and so I'll take a look through there if I've done anything funky with the camera recently, and then I might want to make sure, if I'm going on a big trip, that my sensor is clean, I don't have any dust on it. I'd rather deal with that at home than dealing with it on the road. Once I've done those things, I'm ready to hit the road and start shooting photos. The key settings on this camera are gonna be the exposure mode. Where is that ...

set? And if you are controlling some of the features yourself in the exposure mode, you're gonna have your shutter speeds, right on top, apertures, you gotta press the aperture button and the main dial on the top of the camera. We have our ISO setting direct button on the back of the camera. Exposure compensation uses the same button as aperture priority, but in different modes. We have our focusing area and our focusing mode with two different buttons on the back of the camera. Our white balance and our drive mode with direct buttons on the back of the camera. So most all the controls of the camera are gonna have direct buttons on the back and you don't need to dive into any of the menus, but you can in many cases if you want to. So here are the main features that I play with when I am out shooting photos, and so let's talk about different types of photography, we'll start with just super-simple, basic photography. If I wanted to have the camera set up in a very simple mode but a mode that I could still get in and make a few changes, so I don't want to throw it in the fully, fully automatic mode, I'm gonna put it in the program mode, which sets shutter speeds and apertures, and I can still get into the menus and play around if I need to. I'm gonna set my ISO at auto, which automatically takes care of all of the exposure needs for me at that point. I'll make sure that my exposure compensation is set at zero. Auto white balance does a great job most all the time. The focusing mode is in one shot, which means it focuses once, it figures things out, and then it stays there. For focusing points, all the focusing points, it uses all nine focusing points and it's whatever is closest, so I do need to be a little bit careful, but it has a wide range that it covers and it's gonna do a pretty good job under most basic situations. And then most of the time, I'm just shooting a single shot at a time, and so single drive mode is gonna work just fine. So that is the super simple operation, like if you were gonna hand the camera to a friend and you wanted it to be really easy for them to work with. Let's look at landscape photography. Our subjects are not moving around. We want lots of depth to field and shutter speed is not too important. So in this case, I like to be in manual cause I like to be able to take a lot of photos and have them very consistent in their brightness levels and so in order to do this, the first thing I'm gonna set is a low ISO cause I want the cleanest, best quality image off the sensor, and I want lots of depth to field, so I'm gonna set an aperture of f/11, f/16, f/22, something in that general range. The shutter speeds are gonna be a little bit slower when I stop the aperture down, and so that's why a lot of landscape photographers use tripods or at the very least, you're gonna need to be very steady about holding that camera. We don't use exposure compensation cause we're in the manual mode. In white balance, auto white balance should do a good job. If it's not doing it right, then you change it to sunny or cloudy or whatever it needs to be. The focusing mode, our subjects are not moving around, so the one-shot mode, focus and stop is gonna work fine. The focus area, I like using one point, and I can be very specific about where I want the camera to focus and so I'll use the focusing point in the middle in most cases cause it's the most sensitive and I'll figure out where that needs to be and then that's where I'll focus. The drive mode, we have a couple of options. We can shoot with the single mode, but if we want to make sure that there's no vibrations on the camera and we're using a tripod, the two-second delay timer would be a good option there. So that's our landscape mode. Now, as I mentioned before, the PDF that comes with the class has the entire menu on it and it also has all of these recommendations, as well. And so you don't need to copy these down, you get them with the PDF that comes with the class. Next up, for portrait photography, here, we're a little bit more concerned about our subject's movement, and so we're gonna want to have a little bit faster shutter speed. We often want a shallower depth to field so that the background is blurry, but our subjects are sharp. In this case, I once again like to be in manual photography so I can get consistent results from picture to picture. In this case, I would probably set a wide-open aperture so I could get that shallow depth of field. I would set a shutter speed of 125th or faster to make sure that I'm stopping the motion of my subjects who might be moving around a little bit. And I would prefer to have the lowest ISO possible, but I'm willing to compromise if necessary on this. White balance at auto is gonna be fine most of the time. As long as my subjects aren't moving towards me or away from me, one shot will work just fine. I want to be very precise about the focusing, so I'm gonna use the one point mode and then gonna focus on their face, and in particular, I want their nearest eye in focus. And for the drive mode, single shot should be good for most situations here. So that is my portrait setup. Let's try some action photography. So this is where you have subjects moving towards or away from you. We're obviously gonna need to change the focusing system. We're gonna need faster shutter speeds and we're gonna probably wanna take a series of shots. If you can do it in manual exposure, I like it because then you get very consistent results. And so in this case, probably the first setting is a fast-enough shutter speed to stop the action. It depends on what you're shooting, but it's probably gonna be 500th of a second or faster. This is where having a lens that opens up to f/2. is really gonna pay off. Not all lenses have this, the more expensive ones do. If you don't have this, you just do the best that your lens can handle. The ISO is undoubtedly gonna need to be higher than 100. It generally is gonna be at 400 or higher, depending on how dark the environment is that you're working. We'll keep it in auto white balance unless it needs to be changed. The focusing mode, big change here, AI Servo. This is the continuous focusing mode where it contracts subjects moving forward and away from you. For focusing area, all points is gonna be a lot easier to work with, it's very hard to keep a subject that's moving quickly in one particular bracket area, and so all points will do a better job at tracking that action, and when we don't know when our best shot's gonna be, that's when we shoot a continuous series of pictures. The camera can shoot at three frames per second for a number of shots, depending on whether you have RAW or JPEG set. And so that would be the way to capture action photography with this camera. Alright, we're gonna end with basic photography. This is where I would have the camera set up and I don't know what my next photo's gonna be. It could be this, it could be that, I just want to be ready for anything on the camera, and this is where I like to use a little bit of automation for some help. And this is where I like aperture value, which could've been used for many of the other previous modes that we're using for much of the same final results. And so I'm gonna choose it here because it's very quick and easy to work with. I'm gonna choose an aperture that's relatively wide open and I can adjust it from there as necessary. I will be keeping an eye on my shutter speeds to make sure that they're appropriate for my hand-holding of the camera and my subject's motion, as well. I'm gonna prefer to keep my ISO at and I'll bump it up when and where necessary. I'll keep an eye on my exposure compensation at zero, I'll change it if necessary. I'll leave auto white balance cause it does a great job, change it if necessary. Focus mode in one shot unless I know that I'm gonna be shooting subjects that are moving around, but most of the time, I'm shooting stationary subjects. Focusing area, I like to be very precise, so I'm gonna leave it in the one point focusing. And for the drive mode, I usually just need one single shot at a time, and so I'll leave it in the single mode. And so that's how I have my camera set up when I just am not sure about what my next photo's gonna be. Alright, if you've been following along, I can say congratulations now, you are an expert on the T6, or the 1300, if you're somewhere else in the world. And so hopefully that will get you going with your camera and get you set up the way that you want it to work. A few other final notes here for you. This is a fast start class, if you are interested in other fast start classes cause you own another camera or you have a friend who has a different camera, if there's an interchangeable lens camera and it's a pretty popular camera, I try to have a class on it. And so there are lots of different classes out there, I think we have about 43 or 44 of them now and more en route and on the way, and so if you need an in-depth class on a camera, this is where you're gonna find it. If you are interested in any of my other classes, I have a great little three-hour starter kit class if you want to learn the real basics of photography nice and quickly, that's a hugely popular class. I also have a free class, How to Choose Your First DLSR, and if you want to figure out choices on what are the different cameras and what to look for, take a look at that class. If you want the full kit and caboodle when it comes to photography instruction, I have a 27-hour lecture series with the fundamentals of photography. I have a couple of other classes on specific topics, nature and landscape photography, travel photography, and I have a class specifically on Canon lenses, so if you want to make the right lens choice and you want to learn more about lenses, I have a whole great class on lenses. And so you can take a look at those, find them at Creative Live, you can look up John Greengo and you can find all my classes on there, as well. So there we are, folks. We've made it through. Thank you very much. Take that camera out there, enjoy it, have fun. It may be the entry-level camera, but there's a lot of great things that you can do with it. Thanks a lot. See you in the next class.

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.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Canon T6 Recommended Settings

Canon T6 Keynote A

Canon T6 Keynote B

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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May Brown

Thank you so much John Gringo!!! This class was fantastic!! I have learnt so much about my camera an setting it up properly to use!! I am so grateful for taking your course. I will be looking into the starter kit soon!! Thank you also for the pdf manual!!! I'm so excited!! Its like you turned on a light out of darkness with my Canon Rebel T6 Camera!! God Bless you!

Myrta Rivera

I learned so much about my canon camera in this course. John is an excellent teacher because he shows you and demonstrates the functions of the camera so you can really understand it. I feel so much more knowledgeable about my camera now and feel more confident to take better photos. Thank you John!!!


This class was great! I've had my Canon Rebelt6 for a year and a half and now I finally feel like I know how to use it! He does a great job reviewing all of the functions of this camera.