Quick Menu


Canon® T7i Fast Start


Lesson Info

Quick Menu

The Q button, we've talked a little bit about the Q menu, the Quick Menu, which has kind of the main features that you're gonna want to use on a regular day to day basis in most types of photography. So let's dive into the Q menu. So, top row of this is your basic shooting information. What mode you're in, where is the dial turned to on the top of the camera? We have our shutter speed and aperture information which you'll be using the dials to change, but you can also use on the touchscreen on the back of the camera. You can simply touch any one of these boxes, and then slide and choose a different aperture on the back of the camera. It might be easier to reach, it might be easier to get to, it might be just easier for you to work with in that manner. And of course our ISOs, ISO. So we have our critical exposure information on the top, we have our exposure compensation so we can see if we are over or underexposing. Normally you're gonna want to have this left at zero unless you specifi...

cally want it someplace else. Flash exposure compensation controls the power of the flash, so let me talk about how the flash fires on this camera. It uses a system called TTL flash. It's through the lens technology and it's measuring the light through the lens, and the camera, the computer, is trying to give you the correct technical amount of light for any scenario. And what ends up happening is the correct technical amount of light as far as lightness and darkness tends to be a little heavy handed, and a little too much flash for a lot of peoples' taste. And so a lot of photographers prefer to power down the automated flash by one or two stops for a more natural looking flash. Because for many people, a good looking flash photograph is where you don't even recognize that the flash was used. So as I say, in the TTL system it sometimes overpowers your subject and powering it down to minus one or two or whatever flavor you particularly like is gonna probably help out your portrait photography. So if you do a lot of people photography, you might want to experiment at setting this somewhere around that minus one setting. Some people have it at minus two thirds of a stop, or one and two thirds. It just depends on who you are and the cameras that you're using, and the lenses that you're using, and what you want your pictures to look like. So I would experiment with a little bit of minus underexposure with that. Next row of information, we have picture styles, and this is for JPEG users. It doesn't affect RAW. When you shoot RAW, you get the original information off the sensor without any manipulation. But when you shoot RAW, the camera needs to figure out how to deliver a finished product to you, and it needs to adjust the color, the contrast, the saturation, and some other little details about that particular image. So this is gonna kind of determine the final look of the image, and at first glance you could shoot with all of these and they're all gonna look pretty much the same, but then you start looking at the saturation and the contrast, you'll start noticing the differences. There is a clear difference with the monochrome one, because that's gonna be black and white. Now the interesting thing is that you can go into the info details set, and you can go in and really adjust the look of your images very critically. So if you are shooting JPEG images, and they are not meeting your satisfaction, they don't look good to you. They look too sharpened or not sharpened enough. You can go in and you can adjust them so that they are exactly the way that you want them to look. So it's a great way of getting JPEGs to look just the way you want them to. If you are shooting RAWs, you don't really need to worry too much about this because you're gonna be getting the straight RAW image. The white balance is controlling the color that your images are as far as the type of lighting that you are using. And so the camera doesn't instinctively know what type of lights are around you and what color they are, and sometimes it needs a little bit of direction and help from you as to what type of lights you're working under. And so you can set sunlight, cloudy, shade, or any of the other different modes here, and that's gonna make sure that the whites are white and it's not a different color. Now the lights that we most commonly use that are very different than normal daylight is gonna be the tungsten lights that a lot of us have in our homes. And they're very orange, they have a very warm feel. Traditionally we kind of like that warm feel with lights in our home, but technically from the camera side they're very orange, and so if you photograph somebody they're gonna have kind of orange skin to them. So if you want to correct for that, you would be using the tungsten setting. Now there are a couple other options on the camera. There is an auto white balance setting where the camera will choose whatever it thinks is best, and to be honest with you, auto white balance works pretty well, and so I don't have a problem recommending that. In fact I think it's probably the best place to leave your white balance the most of the time. And if you see a problem you can then manually adjust it. There is also an option for preset manual, and in this case what you would do is you would shoot a white piece of paper, and then you would go into the menu system and you would select that white piece of paper photograph as a calibration for the lighting. So what happens is the camera would study the light bouncing off that paper, and it would adjust the light, adjust the white balance for that color scenario. So let's just say that you were in an office that had mixed lighting. It had some daylight lighting, had some tungsten, also had some fluorescent lighting, and it was a mixture, it was kind of hard to figure it out. You photograph that white sheet of paper, you go into shooting menu number three, custom white balance, you select that photograph, and we'll do a little experiment when we get into the menu section on this we'll do an actual custom white balance, and then you can get a white balance set perfectly for any scenario that you're in. One of the options with the auto white balance is that you can have it fully correct for any sort of warm lighting that you have, so that the whites are truly absolutely white. So if you were trying to photograph something that was color sensitive, you might be photographing fabric or paints that need to be represented as accurately as possible. You'd probably want to have that on AWB W, auto white balance white, so that the whites are absolutely white. If you just leave it on normal auto white balance it still allows a little bit of that warm color through, and so if you're shooting family photographs in your living room, and you have tungsten lighting, you might want to leave a little bit of that warm light in there with the standard AWB setting, so it depends on what you're shooting and what you're wanting out of your photographs. The next setting is an ability for you to adjust the white balance even beyond all the different settings that we just talked about. So if you want to make very small incremental adjustments to it, you can do so here. To be honest with you, most people don't need this, most people never go here. I hope you never need to use this. I've not needed to use this myself, but if your white balance that you chose for tungsten or fluorescent isn't enough or it's too much, you can make a tweak for it here, and so you can adjust it further if you need to. Next up is something called Auto Lighting Optimizer, and there are a number of modes throughout the use of this camera, and we're gonna see more of these, where in the JPEG modes, the camera is gonna go in and just adjust your JPEGs just a little bit, tweak them a little bit so that they are better, or at least what the camera thinks is better. So what it's doing in this case is it's gonna try to take a photo like this, which might have important subjects in the shadow area, and it's gonna try to lighten up the shadows, because a lot of times the shadows are a little too dark and we want to see into the shadows. It also will control the highlights so that they don't get too bright as well. And so I do like what it's doing here. I mean this is what I would normally do in post production myself manually. The problem is is that if you just leave this turned on, not all images look better. Some images look better with really strong contrast to them, and so it really depends on the types of photographs you're shooting, and what you're doing. Now it's not doing anything you can't do later on. And so if you want to do this, you can do this later on, and so for many people they might want to leave this turned off. For some people who have it working for the types of photographs they're using, you might want to leave it on the Low or the Medium setting, the standard setting. You probably don't want to leave it on the High setting unless you've really tested it and know that it works for your type of photography. We have our built-in flash settings, so we can control whether the flash is gonna fire or whether it uses its commander mode to trigger other flashes, and so you'll need other flashes on the camera for that to work of course. The AF operation, I don't think we've talked about this yet. This is really important. When you are photographing in the normal viewfinder mode, the camera is gonna focus on a subject, and it's gonna stop, at least in most cases, and this is where you get to control that, so let's take a close look at the AF operation. So the standard mode that the camera is in is what is known as one shot, which means the camera will focus once. It'll find a solid steady subject, and it will lock its focus on that subject. The other option is for subjects that are moving, which is with AI Servo, so for continuous moving subjects, sports and action photography, this is where the camera will look for sharpest focus, and it will continually adjust as that subject moves closer to the camera. And this is perfect for sports photography. The one that I don't recommend that I'm not a big fan of is AI Focus, which stands for Auto Intelligent Focus. And this is where the camera chooses for you what it's going to do, based on what it sees happening in the viewfinder. Now it doesn't have as much information as you do, and you're gonna be able to make a much better choice deciding whether something is stationary, or is this subject more likely to be a moving subject? And so I recommend either choosing one shot or AI Servo. I've found that AI Focus sometimes gets confused with subjects that move and stop, or maybe it didn't catch onto something. I've photographed runners where the camera will look at the grass and say the grass isn't moving, and it throws it into the one shot mode. And so I'd be very careful about that AI Focus. Normally my camera is set to one shot, and then when I shoot sports in action it goes into the AI Servo mode. Focus area, this is the button on the top of the camera, and we are gonna be seeing items for the second and third time as we dive into the menu system. As I mentioned before, there are certain features that have buttons on the camera itself. We may see them in the Quick Menu and we may see them again in the full menu itself, and so if you need to adjust this feature, the quickest way is with the button on the top of the camera, but you may want to access the back of the camera. You may want to use the touchscreen for instance to be able to make these adjustments, and if you do, it is available. Next up is the metering mode. This controls how the light is read entering into the camera, so let's take a closer look at the options available. First up is the evaluative metering. This uses 63 different zones and it does a really good job under mixed and unusual lighting. So this is actually what most people who shoot with Canon cameras leave their camera in all the time. It does a really good job on a wide variety of situations, and it's by far the most versatile of all the choices. Sometimes you want to be a little bit more precise about reading the area in just one region of the photograph. Partial metering will do that, and if you want to read say someone's face, just the light bouncing off their face, this would be a good choice for that. If you want to be even more accurate there's a spot metering system only using 3.5% of the viewfinder area, and so a subject that has a very light or dark background might be better read using the spot meter. And it also has the most traditional meter which is the center-weighted average which is just kind of a big fat blob right there in the middle. Very simplistic system, it's how a lot of the cameras had light meters back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and so forth, but the evaluative metering is gonna be your best all around metering system in most situations. Although they do give you these other tools if you do want to play around with different ways of metering. Next up is our drive mode, so this controls what happens when we press down on the shutter release. We've looked at this a little bit but let's take a little closer look. So normally when you press down all the way on the shutter release, it's gonna take a single photo for standard basic photography. When you are shooting things that are happening quick and you don't know the best timing of a subject, or you want to get a series of shots, there is a high speed and low speed shooting at six and three frames per second. Then finally there is a series of self timer options. The first of them has an option for using the RC-6 remote switch. It's a 10 second delay, or you can use the remote switch. We have a two second delay which works really good if you have a tripod and you don't have any sort of remote with you. Then if you're doing group shots or for any reason why you might need multiple shots with a self-timer, there is the self-timer continuous where you can select between two and 10 images. And if you're doing a group shot, what I would do is I would set the camera up in the self-timer continuous, and I would set it for between maybe four and six shots, and you've got 10 seconds to run around and get in the photo yourself, and what happens if you shoot one shot is somebody is always blinking on that one shot. But when you shoot four or six shots, somewhere in there, you're gonna probably get at least one of those shots where everybody is looking, smiling at the camera, at least hopefully. So it's a good way that you don't have to run back and forth to the camera to reset the camera to keep doing shots for those group scenario situations. Then finally one of the most important features on the camera is the image quality setting. So when you shoot a photo with the camera, how does it record that image to the memory card? We have the option of JPEG images and RAW images, so let's look at the options. We have a lot of JPEG options. Large, fine quality is gonna be where most people are gonna want to have it if they want to get the best quality JPEG out of the camera. The camera shoots in smaller 11 megapixel and six megapixel sizes for anyone who knows that they have an image that they just don't need in 24 megapixels. Not every photo needs to be 24 megapixels, and so if you know you have a smaller size need, you can set it to the smaller size. Now the safest protocol really is to just shoot in the largest size and resize it later according to your needs. But if you know you need it at the time you're shooting it, you can do it right in the camera. So there are two options you'll see between either the smooth curve or the little stair stepy curve, whether it's a high compression and low compression. So it's the same resolution, but it's throwing away color information when you get to the high compression, and the file sizes will be a little bit smaller, and you'll be able to fit more pictures on a memory card. Next up, most important one is RAW. RAW is the original information coming off the sensor. It gets recorded into a RAW format which Canon calls CR2, and so you'll get these CR2 files. The downside to the CR2 files is that you need special software in order to see and work with them. Now the camera comes with free software that'll do it, and there's lots of other popular software that'll work with it, and in fact a lot of the operating systems from Apple and Microsoft will be using software that will be able to read the RAW images, and you can work with them to some degree, but there are many programs that you have to have special software in order to work with them. And so what the serious photographs do is they shoot in RAW because it's the original information. They make their little adjustments to their photographs, and then they make a JPEG copy of it and send that out to wherever it needs to be. Whether it's to a client, a friend, or posting it on a website of some sort. They'll make a JPEG that's appropriate size, color, saturation for that scenario, and then if they need it again they'll go back to the RAW and they'll make a different JPEG for something else. So if you have time and you want to make the perfect image, you want to shoot in RAW. We also have the option of RAW plus a large JPEG. I normally don't like shooting in this mode because if you have a RAW image, you can create a JPEG image. The reason that you would choose RAW plus JPEG is if you need a JPEG right here and now. There might be a situation where you're shooting an event and you want to keep the RAW images for yourself so that you can work with them later and make perfect copies, and images of that scenario. But you also need some JPEG images right away because somebody wants to upload them to the website right away so that people can see that event very, very quickly. So that would be a good option for shooting both, but if you have RAWs, you can make your own JPEGs later if you have the time and are willing to put the effort in to making them. So for a lot of people, it's just gonna be shooting straight RAW to get the best quality information off the camera. If you don't have the right software, you just want to keep things simple to start with, I would go with the large JPEG, and then for the special scenarios, shooting RAW plus large would be another option. So that is our Quick Menu, and so a great way to get in and change those most important features into the camera.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But trying to understand the manual can be a frustrating experience. Get the most out of your new Canon T7i with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features.

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this Fast Start class, you’ll learn:

  • Learn about the best settings for the new 45-point AF system including several customization options
  • Expanded new video options including "Time Lapse" and "Movie Digital Image Stabilization"
  • 15 custom setting options for personalizing your camera

John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This Fast Start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Canon T7i settings to work for your style of photography.


Jeff Sun

sunilkumar Khatri