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Canon 7D Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 6 of 20

Backside of the Canon 7D Mark II: Viewfinder

John Greengo

Canon 7D Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

6. Backside of the Canon 7D Mark II: Viewfinder

Lesson Info

Backside of the Canon 7D Mark II: Viewfinder

All right, so let's now dive under the back side of the camera where we have our next big set of controls so the first big button on the left is the menu button and that is going to be kind of whole second half of this class will be going through the menu line item by line item giving you recommendations on each of those but first let's just go through the rest of the buttons on the back of the camera next up the info, but I'd like to say that there's nothing wrong with pressing the info button any time you want, you'll never really change anything significant, but you will change your display so one of the options hitting the info button gives you this general information screen about what's going on on the camera and one of the key things here and I mentioned this earlier is if you have to memory cards in the camera, it will show you how many available shots you have on each the cf card and the sd card in the camera. And so that way you can have to do, you'll have to do a little bit ...

of math to adam both up to see how many total shots that you have left press the input button again and you'll get this horizon line option with tells you if you're pointing the camera up or down or tilting it left and right very handy when you're on a tripod and you're trying to get a level horizon, press it again and you'll get to your basic camera settings, and this is a great one for having on your camera as a default setting, because if you hit the input button or your changing cheddar speeds and apertures, you'll be able to very clearly and easily see what settings you haven't camera. I usually have my camera in this mode when I'm on a tripod so that I don't have to look up on top of the camera, which might be hard to get, too, because it's high up, I could more easily see the screen on the back of the camera, so this is a very handy display somewhat replaces the display on the top of the camera. One of the things is that of the three different view options you have, if you don't like one of them, you can take it out of the options of the cycles, and you could do that by going into setup, menu number three info button display options and uncheck ing the box for that particular display, so you only see the ones that are relevant to what you are doing very large monitor in the back it's, a three inch, one million pixel monitor, which is pretty typical for everything else it's out on the market most of the time you're probably gonna be shooting using the viewfinder this does have a removable replaceable I cop it does have some kind of soft padded cushions rubber they're the cup is replaceable sells for twenty twenty five dollars or so so it might wear out if you use your camera for a long period of time. Up on the top right hand corner is the diop ter this is thie focusing of the viewfinder has nothing to do with the actual focusing of your photographs but if you do want to focus your images you want a good clear view through the viewfinder this is mainly focusing your viewfinder so you can see the display screen and the focusing screen very very clearly so what I like to recommend is adjusting that die doctor so that the lines of information at the bottom of the screen look very clear. If you can clearly read those numbers and the symbols at the bottom of the screen then you have your di achter adjusted properly and I do find that I occasionally bump mind from time to time so if you feel like your eyesight has suddenly gotten worse check your diop ter it's probably just gotten rubbed a little bit so let's talk about what you see in the viewfinder off camera first off the framing that you see in the camera is a hundred percent coverage so what you see is what you're going to get when you line something up against the edge, it's going to be a it gets the edge some lower and cameras are not as high on their magnification percentages, and you're not actually seen everything that you're getting your actually getting a little bit more than you see in the frame, but this case one hundred percent accurate, easy to keep track of the focusing points. We're going to talk a lot more about focusing in an upcoming section, but just to start with right now, the sixty five focusing points are available for you to see in the viewfinder. If you want to adjust when and how many of them you see, you will be able to dive into the very lengthy auto focus customization menu system. And so there are different times when you might see focussing points. For instance, if you just hold the camera up to your eye, will you see it when you're focusing? Will you see it? When it's achieved focusing? Will you see the focusing point? And all of these can be either turned on or turned off in the f point displayed during focus? And so sometimes people want to see focusing points all the time. Some people only want to see him when they're selected. Some people want to see him when they're actually focusing or when they've actually achieved focus, and so it gets to be very picky about what you want tohave in there, and you'll be able to customize it to your liking and there's a few other options in there is first controlling what color they're going to be, and we're going to be going through this mb or fully ended detail as we go through the menu system. But that's just a bit of a preview of what we're going to see next up there's going to be a circle in the middle of the frame, which indicates your spot meet oring area it's a little less than two percent of the frame, and so it's, not a super super tight spot, but it is a fairly tight spot and so that's just indicating where the spot meter is if you have it active but it's always there, the indicator is always there, I should say, not spot meter next up is our level. We saw one just a moment ago on the back of the camera that was phil there's a little bit more visually interesting than this one, but they're both accurate they're both helpful. If you do want to make sure that you have your camera level when you're holding the camera you can turn on this option and there will be a menu setting in the viewfinder display and this will turn on to let you know that you have tilted your camera now as we get into the menu settings and I get to make my recommendations of where I set things my general philosophy is turned everything off unless you have a reason and you want to turn it on and there's just a lot of things that you could turn on in this viewfinder as you will see over the next thirty seconds here next up you could turn on a grid which is really nice for composition reasons it's good for landscape photography is good for architectural photography some people just like framing with a grid pattern can be very nice and so that's one of the options that you can turn on and off as well next up is something that I was referring to in an earlier section of this class and I'm calling it the heads up display and this is the viewfinder information there are a number of controls that on previous canon cameras all previous candid cameras you'd have to take the camera away from your eye as you're shooting in order to make the change now you can change white balance with confidence knowing what setting you are making keeping your eye in the viewfinder and so you'll be able to see these options if you turn them on and that's of course another setting in the menu the viewfinder display menu and set up number two you can choose which one of these things you see in here and I don't necessarily like to have him all turned on but I do have turned on right now as I'm getting used to the camera and deciding which one of them I really want to keep on and off all the time now one of the more interesting ones is the flicker over on the right hand side there is going to be two different flicker options that you see in this camera well, technically three now that I think about it but two in maine regards to what this is dealing with this camera is the first camera that I have ever seen that can detect the flicker of certain types of lighting systems. I became aware of this when I was shooting gymnastics sometime ago and I was shooting in this very large jim that's basically a large barn and they had a very typical lighting that you might find for a middle or a high school up in the stands and as I was trying to determine what my best exposure wass wanting five hundredth of a second shooting around two point eight trying to figure out what s so I needed and I thought that I had got the camera set up pretty well, but then as I took several photos, some of them were noticeably darker than the others, and I couldn't figure out what it was. For a little while, I thought there might be a problem with the camera. Or maybe there is just a dark part of the gym that I was pointed at. And then I realized, after looking at enough photos that there was nothing wrong with my camera and nothing wrong with what I was doing, the lights were actually flickering during that one. Five hundredth of a second was different than another five hundredth of a second, and what happens is that in a lot of these gyms, they have a light that is not consistent. Our eyes cannot detect it, but when you have a camera firing at one, five hundred through one one thousandth of a second, it can detect these subtle fluctuations. Now, built into this camera is a system that can see and predict the valleys and the peaks of light. When this camera senses that there is a flicker problem, if you have this flicker box checked, it will indicate that there is a flicker problem potential, and you could do something about it if you want to. And there's going to be another place where you can decide to do it, so we'll talk more about this flickering issue. This is just simply a warning that you are in a situation that might have a flicker problem, and so I do highly recommend leaving this check box checked all the other ones kind of depends on whether you use that feature or not, but the flicker one, I think, is very important because you will be getting inconsistent results if you don't address this issue, so we will talk more about flicker throughout the rest of the class. Next up is a general warning. This is the exclamation mark and there's a number of reasons why your camera wants to warn you about something and you can choose what you wanted to warn you about. A serious problem might be is if you want to shoot black and white photographs known is monochrome, this is great to do, and I enjoy doing it in the camera, but I don't want to leave it there all the time. Another option might be the spot meter, as I mentioned before when I talked about the spot meter it's like a sharp kitchen knife it's a dangerous tool if you don't, I know what you're handling and so you can have your camera have this little warning on when you have left your camera in spot metering now, some people you spot me reading all the time, and they don't want to be warned about it cause they know what they're doing. Well, you could turn off the checkbox, uncheck it, and then this will no longer come up when the cameras and spot me eatery so you get to choose what your camera is warning you about. Next is an auto focus status now there's a couple different ways that the camera will let you know that it is working on auto focus or it's achieved auto focus, and this is in the heads up area it's right over your image, and it will just show you if your camera is auto focused on the subject, and this is a visual indication that you've achieved focus. Now, this is preferable to the little beep beep that a lot of cameras will initiate when the cameras focused. I prefer turning the beep off just to be a little bit more discreet about shooting. And so this is a visual q that your camera has focused, but it is in the viewfinder, so there is yet a third option for knowing you have been in focus. Next up, this camera is using a side. Exposure display this is like in the top of the line theo's one d x it is put over here. I'm not sure why, but I think it's just mainly to give it a bit more room and there's a lot of stuff going on in the bottom display, and this just gives it more room to spread out it's also a little bit more into to it of when we talk about under exposure and overexposure, meaning below the exposure line and above the exposure line. So we have our ex scale on the left in the middle is our exposure level, and on the right is our flash exposure level there's a number of ways that you can get into this camera to control flash exposure as well, and so this allows them to put all of this in one area. So there are no numbers in here, but even exposure is going to be right in the middle. You're going to be able to see third stop increments, for instance, up to three stops overexposed or two stops under exposed. It'll be pretty clear is to whether you are letting in too much light or too little light, ideally for a normal exposure photo, it will be just one dot that'll be illuminated right in the middle of that scale, all right, so let's jump into the bottom display the ladies did led display in the bottom of the camera. This is where most of our shooting information has always been in cannons. And this is where it continues to be for most of this camera as well. And so let's. Just take a look at this. Go left to right. We have our battery level. This is a very crude indication of how good our battery is. There's a much better indication in the menu system that I'll be showing you. Oh, on the back of the camera is a star button. This means auto exposure lock. And when you press this button in, you will see this lock in for about six seconds. And this indicates that you have locked the exposure. You might use this if you are photographing a person standing beside a very bright window where the window is throwing off the exposure. So you point the camera oh, to the inside of the house or the room or wherever you happen to be. You lock in your exposure, and then you recompose it, bringing in some of that window and that bright light that would normally throw off the exposure. Next up, we have our little lightning bolt that indicates that the flash is up and ready to fire. And then a few different flash controls. We have a high speed sake now. Earlier in this class, I told you that the top shutter speed was one to fiftieth of a second and that was a little white lie. The camera can actually fire at a faster shutter speed, but you do need to have the right type of cannon flash mounted on the camera. And that flash needs to be in its special high speed sync mode and the flash can no longer fire it's automated tl system. You have to fire it manually, so there is a way to kind of over shoot that to fiftieth of a second, but it is under very limited situations that you can actualy make use of that, but it is technically possible. Next up is something called flash exposure lock. One of the things that you can do when you have an ad on flash attached to the camera is you can have the camera fire a pre flash so that it contest there reflectivity of your subject to see how much power the flash actually needs when it takes the photo. And this will be more accurate than just doing a straight shot of your subject and so that's one of the options when you have additional flash unit's on the camera. Next up is our flash exposure compensation there is the button on the top of the camera that controls this feature and if you recall I recommended setting a minus one exposure which means this warning indicator is going to be on all the time so this is one thing not to be too worried about this is a common change that a lot of photographers make in their photography so expect that to be on in many cases next up we have our shutter speeds or general information and then our apertures so that's our main exposure information that we're going to be looking for we then have our exposure indicator down here and this is mainly for exposure compensation letting us know if were underexposed overexposed and if you do want to do a plus two or minus two and program or aperture priority that's where you're going to see it the meter over on the right hand side of the frame that is going to be used for manual exposure and there is no switching and no changing of these meters at this time next up is a little something called d plus this's highlight tone priority and I'm going to explain this as we get into the menu system it's where the camera will go in and adjust the exposure levels or the dynamic range of your images to something that it thinks is a more pleasing photograph and we'll talk more about that we then have our s o speed and our number of images in the maximum burst how many pictures can you take right away this number is going to vary according to what uh what size of images you are recording whether they're j pegs or raws or raw plus j peg or what size draws or what size j pegs but this lets you know how many pictures you can shoot in a burst in a row now on this camera it is virtually unlimited when you select j pegs I think they have classified as one hundred and thirty shots you can shoot in a row which well I guess that's only thirteen seconds of continuous shooting but that still seems like a awful lot of shooting in thirteen seconds if you select raw it's currently twenty four but you might be able to squeeze out twenty five or twenty six depending on if you have a faster memory card if you shoot raw plus j peg you're likely to get about a night teen shot burst of images and what this means is it's nineteen shots you can shoot right in a row and with a camera that shoots at ten frames a second that's one point nine seconds and after that period of time the camera's going to slow down because it doesn't have any more internal ram memory in which to store the photos it has to actually download them to the memory card which is going to be a little bit slower process, and how slow it's going to depend on how fast of cards you have and how fast the cameras can store that information, which actually varies a little bit from image to image. And then finally, we have another focus confirmation, so we had one f up in the bottom right hand corner of the frame, and I prefer to turn that one off because I prefer to have as little overlapping my view of my subjects as possible and there's a little green dot down here that will turn on when you are improper focus and a neat little tip is that if you do want to manually focus this focus, confirmation works in manual focus as well as auto focus, it does look at what is in the focusing points, you still have to have a subject within the focusing points, but you can actually use that in manual, focusing for confirming that your subject is in sharp focus. So a lot of things going on in the viewfinder, you probably don't want to turn everything on its going to be a bit overwhelming in there, so, as I say, probably by default, it's better to turn everything off and then turn things on as you want to experiment or use them in particular.

Class Description

The Canon® 7D Mark II is a complex and powerful camera – learn everything you need to know to get the most out it in this Fast Start with John Greengo.

Through engaging visuals and easy-to-understand lessons, John will provide you with a complete introduction to your camera’s features and functions. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate and customize the menus
  • Use the 65-point autofocus system
  • Take advantage of the video capabilities
  • Make use of your customization options.

If you are considering investing in the Canon 7D Mark II or want to get the most out of the one you already own, The Fast Start Canon 7D Mark II tutorial will empower you with all the information you need.


Kanoelani Patenaude

I am a pro photographer in my dreams, where I know the in's and out's of my camera; however, reality proved differently, as real life would tell you, I was a deer caught in headlights just looking at my new 7D Mark II. I am a photographer enthusiast without the skills, but a lot of love for the moments one, or the profession/hobby of it can capture. I mostly shoot my husband, friends, and community surfers in the lineup, and of course, my children, who rarely sit still. Thus, I switched from Nikon to Canon, venturing on the 7D Mark II for the grand reviews of how stellar of camera it is for action shots (surfing, and kids, this was a no brainer). That said, and overwhelmed with the way beyond my skill set, but noted desire and aspiration to grow, I made the purchase, and sought help rather quickly as I wanted to feel confident with what I was utilizing to capture the best memories possible. I came into this CL course knowing the "on/off" button, and "auto" shoot mode. I came out of the course feeling like the pro in my dreams, and ready to shoot manual. John's teaching style is on point, and his detailed visuals are a huge plus. So impressed, I purchased, John's photography starter kit, and was even more blown away. My first shots post that course, I thought were great for my first educated shoot, and shockingly, I even received and email from one of the sponsors of the surfers I captured, asking if they could use my image for their sites and publications. Not bad for a newbie. Though, my intent was never a business purpose, I did not know if I should charge a small fee, or give it for free. I don't mind free as it's not my business, yet I don't want to ruin it for any photographers in town doing the same thing that are charging. Perhaps another course to help me with that. I highly recommend courses by John Greengo! Thank you so much, John!


I bought my 7D Mkii the week it was introduced as an upgrade to my old 20D. I immediately noticed what a huge step up it was and to be honest was a little overwhelmed by all of the options and customisations available. In the year I've owned it I've managed to pick up a lot but I still felt there was a lot in there that I wasn't making the best use of. John's course has filled in the missing pieces and I now feel a lot more confident that I will be able to get the best out of this amazing camera.

J.R. Link

John's coverage of the Canon 7D Mod II was excellent. It helped immensely in understanding the myriad of choices available in this camera. I would recommend this course to any user of the 7D Mod II. camera. The only comment I would make is that it might be helpful if John didn't assume that we all are sports photographers. Some hints for other types of photographers would be a great addition to an already excellent course.