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Canon 7D Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 4 of 20

Mode Dial of the Canon 7D Mark II

John Greengo

Canon 7D Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

4. Mode Dial of the Canon 7D Mark II

Lesson Info

Mode Dial of the Canon 7D Mark II

All right, next up, let's, talk about the mod I'll arguably one of the most important controls on the camera. This is controlling the shutter speeds, apertures and potentially much more on the camera. So let's, get into the mod dial and we will start with the most simple setting on this. This is the a plus this is on often known as thie auto mode on the camera, it is officially known as thie seen intelligent mode. And what this means is that the camera will actually recognize what type of scene you are pointing the camera and make adjustments according tto. Whether it thinks it's a landscape seen or an action scene and for an auto mode that's kind of a nice thing to have, the problem is is that you have very limited controls. Once you I have the camera in this mode, if you dive into the menu system ah lot of the items air grate out orjust invisible and not available to get teo there's a lot of things that you can't adjust on the focusing, and I think anyone who spends as much money as ...

this camera costs and uses it on ly in the a plus mode is just wasting the potential of this camera. This is the reason this is on the camera, in my opinion, is so that you can hand the camera to somebody else who doesn't know how to work the camera so they can take some basic pictures. And so if you're going to hand the camera off to somebody else, great place to put it number one, they're going to get just good, simple basic photos number two, they're not going to be able to get in and mess up your settings on the camera, and so two good reasons for using that. But I think everyone else who wants to own this camera and really get a lot out of it there just way too limited on here, so let's, dive in to the next mode p stands for program. This is where the camera is going to set shutter speeds and apertures just like it did in the scene intelligent mode. But now you have full access to everything in the menu. You have full access to all the other controls, whether they're focusing exposure or otherwise related to the camera, so you have many, many, many more options. And so if you are an owner of this camera and you do want a simple mode, I would say the p is the simplest that you should probably go. Because if you're taking this class, we're gonna learn a lot of ways to tweak the camera and trust me, you're gonna want to tweak it to adjust it for your particular situation. Now the program on this camera the way this built on most all cameras is that it's trying to give you a balance of shutter speeds and apertures so that your shutter speed is in the hand hold a ble rage usually one sixteenth of a second or faster. The camera has no idea what type of photo you're taking it doesn't know what your intentions are or what you're trying to do in the photograph so it's giving you a very generic set of combinations that may or may not be right if you would still like the camera to set the shutter speeds and apertures, but you have more of an idea of what you want to do. You can use the main dial on the top of the camera to adjust the program, which means adjusting the shutter speeds and the apertures at exactly the same time. And so just in here as an example, let me just my eyes so real quickly if I just hold the camera up and pointed around, I'm getting in eightieth of a second at three point five if I said, you know what, I think I need a faster shutter speed, I can turn my dial and get to two hundredth of a second and actually let me see if I can do this on the back of the camera so you can actually see what's going on. So right now, if you could see the back of the camera, you can see I'm getting one sixteenth of a second at f three point to but if I turn the dial and you can see it goes to sleep very quickly and I want to get a faster shutter speed, I have enough to lynn's on here so I could get up to one hundred twenty fifth of a second if I said no, you know what I need? I need more depth of field in this shot. I need to dial it down to f sixteen, I would dial it down to f sixteen and now I'm down at a half second and so I can very quickly change it from one setting to the next. But notice what happens when I go back to the shutter release and I press it again? The camera has kicked back to one sixteenth of a second, so let's say, I want to go faster now. All right, so I'm a one hundred twenty fifth of a second, I'll let the camera go to sleep. I come back to press it it's back down at a sixteenth of a second and so what's happening is the camera is constantly resetting to the basic settee and so if I said it to eleven okay I can take it I can take a photo here very exciting photo of the wall we don't have any props set up and it stays it f eleven until it goes to sleep and then it comes back and then it resets and so if you quickly want to change both shutter speeds and apertures for a shot or two it's pretty quick but it would be really frustrating to shoot an event where you were constantly wanting faster shutter speeds or more depth of field and so that's probably a reason that you won't want to use program any time you are involved in a shooting situation where you're sitting in the same subject over and over and over again and that's where the following modes coming up that will be much much more helpful so the programme mode where would I use it? You know when somebody says hey grab your camera we need a picture of the birthday cake and you just want to get a simple basic shot really quickly that's a perfect time to throw the camera in the p mode when you're on vacation and you're walking down the street and you have no idea what the next shot is going to be throw it in the p mode make a quick shot if you see something that you're really going to get engaged in then you can start moving to the other mouths so let's move into those modes oh can you have a question? I do have a question so I shot in pee mode for a pretty long time when I was just beginning that's very good of you to admit you know why not why not so my question is on the way that I would think through it was always I would set the so and then let let it do the rest so are we going to talk at all about sort of isos and how you would choose what I so to keep it in or do you have something in mind? Well well we're definitely going in when we look at the esso options but I love strange analogies okay so s so to me is like when you wake up in the morning and you decide what you're gonna wear for the day and one of the most important thing is what you're gonna wear for the day is what the temperature is outside and for photographers it's how much light is outside so if it's cold out I'm going to wear a lot of clothes if it's warm out I might wear shorts and a t shirt and with the camera I'm thinking about how much light of my dealing with um I'm going to go out and shoot a football game in bright sunlight, okay? I'm gonna probably be it s a one hundred or two hundred maybe four hundred if I'm going to be going in teo ah market that's undercover in the shadows and I'm shooting low light I'm going to be bumping the so up to four, eight and sixteen hundred depending on my lens in the situation and so yes I do decide I s o first and then I figure out shutter speeds and apertures and so I s oh really comes first but that's not what we're talking about first, but we will get to that in the class thank you so the shutter speeds and apertures that I was showing you on the back of the camera are available in the viewfinder. We'll talk specifically about what you see in the viewfinder but just as a quick note it is the first number on the left that is your shutter speed and it's the number right beside it that is your aperture and so you want to be taking a look at those and you want to be able to make these adjustments as you hold the camera up to your eye you don't want to be having to move it away from your face to look at the numbers and then bring it back up to your eye it's much more efficient just a look in the viewfinder see what the numbers are if they're not appropriate, turn the main dial and you will see the numbers change now you can also use the back dial or the quick control dial to adjust the exposure, so let me just show you why you might want to do this normally your camera is trying to capture a correct even exposure and what that means is not too bright not too dark, but sometimes the camera is misled by bright objects or dark objects and you well, you want the camera to take care of the exposure you would just like it to be a little lighter or a little darker so in the programme mode in the modes that we're going to be talking about the time value an aperture value mode you can turn the back dial to shoot a minus or darker photo you where you can shoot it in the plus side, which is going to make it brighter than average. You can actually go up to five stops brighter or five stops darker. I don't know that I've ever gone more than two stops in either direction, but the camera is available to do that and it will do so in one third stop increments, so if you don't want to go one stop, you'll actually have to click the wheel one two, three clicks and so let's, uh, do a little little live demo here on that, and so if you look on the back of the camera, you'll see right below the shutter speed and aperture is this minus tow plus range and if we turn the back dial weaken, go minus one stop minus two minus three and we can keep going all the way down to minus five we can turn this all the way up to plus five and then back down to zero. And so one of the key things that you want to pay attention is when you are shooting in the programme mode is to make sure that indicator is right at zero for general shooting unless you specifically wanted someplace helds. A very common problem is people don't know what this dial does and they just leave it at minus three and all of their pictures are very, very dark and they don't know what's going on and so as a default, you want to leave that in the middle. Now we'll talk about this lock dial down here, but if you do wanna lock the dial, it will prevent the exposure compensation from working. So if you think I'm going to bump that all the time, you can lock that and it won't be a problem, but for this class let's, leave this unlocked so that we can make those adjustments and if you're ever wondering how does it make the picture lighter and darker? Well, as you can see is I change it to minus it is using faster shutter speeds and a smaller aperture and as we let in more light it's letting in a light for a longer period of time for more shutter for a longer shutter speed and it's trying to it's changing the aperture as well so you can see exactly what it's doing right above it so it's very clear about what's going on ken a you have a question did that go upto plus five? Yes, yes so this camera goes all the way up to plus five and minus five, which is just ridiculously over exposed I mean, I've never used anything beyond too okay, I mean three seems kind of expanded but you know, it's one of those little marketing things our camera goes to five so even though you'll never use it, our camera goes I'm sure somebody's found a good use for it. I just I haven't used it in my photography all right, so moving on with the class so that is the programme mode with exposure compensation and that exposure compensation is going to continue to work exactly the same way in the next two modes the next mode is tv stands for time value, not television. Now you may have noticed that the main dial the top dial on the camera now has a slightly different function it controls the shutter speed and so you can select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to set the erect the correct aperture when I say attempt, it will do its best, but if you don't have the right aperture it's still going to allow you to shoot a photograph and so if you choose a reasonable shutter speed like a sixtieth or thirtieth of a second, chances are your camera will have the correct aperture if you choose a shutter speed that is faster than your lens and the light will allow, your camera will blink the aperture at you, which is an indication that the aperture is not appropriate for what you're trying to do and you will get a dark photo, but you will still be allowed to take a photo, and this is one of the reasons that time value is not one of my favorite modes, it's, because you can very easily make mistakes here if you're not careful about what you're doing, it could be a very good and valuable mode, but you do have to be very cognizant of what you are doing one of the more advanced ways of using time value he's with the feature that we're going to talk about in a bit called auto sl, where the camera will figure out the for you this would work very well, perhaps for, say, a bird photographer who is not only photographing birds in flight out in the sun, but also photographing them as they land in the shadows of a tree and there are very different shutter speed needs and lighting conditions between those two scenarios, but they happen one right after another, and so in an auto eso situation, that's going to have another factor that's going to come in and kind of, uh, take care of those problems when there isn't enough light for the shutter speeds that you were hoping for. And so that combination works pretty good, but for the most part, if I'm shooting sports, I usually know the type of lighting that is going on in that situation. If I'm shooting birds in flight, usually they're flying in a general area that has even lighting, whether it's cloudy or sunny, it's one or the other, I would prefer to be in manual, so I try to avoid time value if I can at all costs it sze just there for some special purposes in my mind, next up is aperture value. So now the top dial has changed in function to control the aperture, so that main dialogue is kind of our primary dial from most of our features. Now with aperture you khun set any aperture you want and there's a very, very good chance that the camera is going to have a shutter speed that is appropriate for that light level with your lens and that is simply because there are so many shutter speeds from which to choose from a thousandth of a second down to thirty seconds and so aperture value is one of the most popular moz when it comes to serious professional photographers most of them on lee used two modes on their camera that is full manual and aperture priority very few professional serious photographers use anything other than those for very much of the time aperture value is a very good mode when you wanna have some flexibility but you want some assistance as well. So for instance, if I'm leading a photo tour and I'm walking down the street and I don't know what I'm going to shoot next it could be a car driving down the street it could be a portrait it could be some other sort of action event that's going on leave my camera an aperture value leave the aperture set to maybe two eight or f four five six depends on the situation depends on the lens and then I will quickly hold the camera do a quick check on the shutter speed what is my shutter speed if it's not appropriate, I'll change my aperture to make it more appropriate and shoot the shot and so it's very quick to go if I do need just to raise the camera and shoot a picture immediately, the camera is at a reasonable shutter speed for whatever might be happening it's very seldom that you suddenly need lots of depth of field and that's why I'm keeping it at two, eight or four or something in that range right there and so that's a good walk around, keep your camera in the camera bag setting so that when you pull it out of the camera bag, what's it ready to dio almost anything right away. So that's apatow priority and like time value of program that back dial will do exposure compensation if it is not locked it's just by turning the dial, but make sure that indicators in the middle kind of has a default setting next up is full on manual, so now we're going to be controlling our shutter speeds on the main dial and our aperture control on the back dial. So now we're employing both dials on this camera. This is where you will not want to have that back dial locked because you're going to need control with the aperture, so in order to set this properly, you're going to need to be ableto see the light meter in the camera and the light meter unlike my display actually comes up over on the right hand side cannon has done something that has made some people very happy and some people very upset they've moved the light meter to match the canon eos one d x camera which has the light meter over on the side of the camera right side is you look at it on they've moved it from the bottom over here when it's in manual but when it's exposure compensation it's dan alone along the bottom and I know some of you had questions about whether you can move it from the side two down below and you can't and so maybe that's a change that they can make in the future with the firmware upgrade but it's not a part of this camera as the initial offering from canada and so you'll be looking over on the side to see if that light meter is over exposed or underexposed and you'll be adjusting either shutter speeds, apertures or isos in order to get that indicator in the middle of that light meter settee and so it's a pretty simple process we're not going to go through it in full detail here but what I usually do is I usually am setting whatever is most important first whether it's shutter speeds or apertures said it to what I think is most important for that situation and then I will work on the other one and get it to the right spot or I will just get it as close as I can t even in that light meter out and then if I need to jump overto s o to make up the difference I will often do that we'll talk a little bit more about that at the very end of the class when we talk about the camera operation and how I would set the camera for sports or portrait or other situations kind of how the priorities work in that regard next up we have a bulb mode on this camera and this is this is actually a first time at least that I've ever seen it on a candid camera so the camera has the maximum shutter speed of thirty seconds and there's no reason why it can't go beyond it and so now we have a bulb mode on this camera so if you want to set the camera for thirty one seconds or sixty seconds or twelve seconds or any number of whole seconds you want you can set the camera to do this and so this means that you no longer have to purchase the expensive cable release to do nighttime photography you could do it right in the camera, set it up to do a two minute and thirty second exposure jumpin program it and have it open and close automatically for two minutes and thirty seconds or whatever numbers you want to put in there now how do you actually do this? Well first you have to put it in the bold mode and the second thing in aaron everyone's so why on this class I'm going to show you a shortcut on where to go in the menu system because I know you're watching this on tape and you can stop the tape and you could jump ahead and play around and something else with the camera to go make the city but in the shooting section the fourth tab over there is a bulb timer where you can go in and set the very specific time that you want to set for a nighttime shot for instance and this is a nice little feature it saves us a little bit of money and hassle from getting that cable release out of our bag in order to set it up and just a nice little additional feature that was one of those about time cannon but it's something that a lot of other come camera companies have not done so kudos to cannon for actually doing it next up is our c one two and three settings and these are custom settings that allow you to quickly change to your customs set up the way that you've programmed the camera to work so let's imagine a scenario of a nature photographer that likes to go out for a hike and take nature photographs but they're also interested in birds in flight and it just so happens that birds in flight happened in the same location as nature shots but the set up for the camera on how you would shoot those photos is completely different the focusing system the aperture, the media ring system, perhaps motor drive all of these things take time to go in and change each of these individual features. What you can do is set the camera up in your landscape mode your favorite landscape what shutter speed? What aperture do you want? What motor you in with focusing system metering all the other menu functions that we're going to go through set everything up the way you like it to work when you're shooting landscapes you would then dive into the menu let me give you the shortcut here the shortcut is setup menu number four custom shooting mode and you would register those to any one of the three custom modes of abel then you go back to the camera and you reset your camera the way you would for birds in flight and you program that into a different custom vote and then when you come back to the camera and switch it back and forth between those two let's say c one and c two you can instantly change dozens and dozens of potential features between one setting and the next and so if you were commonly working between two similar scenarios that are very similar well, the scenarios could be as far apart as you want, but you're constantly going backto a landscape birds in flight, for instance, or maybe you're shooting sports and you have c one set to your sports mode, but when the players take a time out and they're standing around and you're trying to get parts of him, maybe a flip it over to the sea to mode and you can come up with his many different options and changes as you can to these one, two and three settings on here beyond these one, two and three, there is some further kind of secret custom modes that you can add into this camera that I'm going to explain this. We get towards the very end of the class because you got to know about how all these other things air set up, but there are other shortcut buttons that you khun ad as additional custom boats onto the camera, but three is the most that I've seen on any other cameras, so this camera has a lot of ways to customize it. And so those could be very, very helpful once again if you are frequently going back to similar environments and you need to quickly make a lot of changes to fit those types of needs.

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.