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In this course, photographer and author Ben Long details the features, controls, and options in the Canon 5D Mark III digital SLR. The course begins with an overview of what a digital SLR is and takes a tour of the camera's basic components. Ben then discusses the camera's basic operation: changing lenses, navigating the menus, shooting in automatic mode, reviewing and managing photos on the camera's LCD screen, and transferring photos to a computer.
Next, the course introduces more advanced exposure options: program mode, exposure compensation, ISO adjustments, and more. After Ben briefly defines each option, he shows how to adjust it using the camera's controls.
Ben also discusses white balance options, advanced metering and autofocus controls, flash, live view, and video shooting. The course ends with a chapter on maintenance, including sensor- and camera-cleaning and care tips.
Starting on the second page of the autofocus tab are a bunch of functions for customizing the autofocus capabilities of your Mark III. We're not going to go through all of these in great detail. I'm going to call out some particularly useful ones. You can find explanations of all of them starting on page 94 of your manual. First off, we have AI Servo 1st image priority. If you've used servo focus at all, you know that sometimes, after you've half-pressed the shutter button to start servo tracking, when you press it the rest of the way, the camera won't necessarily take a picture of that moment.
If it's in the middle of searching for focus, or if it doesn't think it's got an image that's in focus, it simply won't shoot. If I open this up, I can see that by default, servo focus is set to try and balance between when I press the shutter button, and when I may have focus. In other words, when I press the button all the way down, it's going to go well, okay, he's pressed the button, but, well, okay yeah, I mostly got focused, I guess I'll take the picture. There's no guarantee that it's going to actually take a picture. If I skew this over here, I'm giving release priority.
That means if I press the button, it doesn't matter what the camera is doing, it takes a picture. So I may not get a picture that's in focus. If I put it over here, what I'm saying is, when I press the button, don't take a picture until you have found focus. I'm going to pop back out here, and I have something else called 2nd image priority. This allows me to set priority for when I'm burst shooting. If I'm burst shooting with servo tracking, I can opt for more speed, which means I'm going to end up with images that may not be focused, or I can opt for only shooting when the camera has achieved focus.
There is a similar command over here on the second page called One-Shot autofocus release priority. This does the same thing when I'm working in One Shot mode. When I'm not servo tracking, I can say, I absolutely want you to take a picture; I don't care if you're in focus, or I can say, no, no, don't shoot until you absolutely have focus. This is the default mechanism here. If you're shooting a rapidly changing scene, and you're thinking that focus maybe isn't so super critical, then you could change this. Most of the time you'll probably want to leave this right here. Moving on to the next page; couple of possibly useful things here.
First of all, Selectable AF point. I can change the number of points available. If you find that 61 is too many, because it's too granular, maybe the camera is going so fine that it's selecting things regularly that you don't want, you can try to narrow the number of points; you can reduce them. In some ways, that's going to make the autofocus less accurate. In other situations, it might make it more accurate. If you never use servo tracking, or if you certainly don't need the level of servo tracking detail that the camera provides, you can come here to Select AF area select mode, and turn off any selection modes that you never use.
So, for example, maybe I do a little servo tracking, so I'll keep an expanded autofocus area mode, but I never get so detailed that I'm dealing with the cases, and that kind of thing; I'm just going to turn that off. I'm also going to turn off the zone autofocus mechanism; that's far more detailed than I need. So now when I'm cycling through all of my different autofocus modes, they are two less that I have to go through. If you never use anything, but the spot area focuses, the single point autofocus mechanisms, maybe you want to turn off the rest of these.
That can make it much easier to change between the two of them. Notice that you can't turn off the default autofocus selection option. When you're ready to cycle through from one area focus selection method to another, as you've seen, you first press this button, and then you press the multi-function button back here. If you'd like, you can set that to a different control. You can set it to the main dial, rather than that button. Finally, a couple of other options you may want to play with. You can change the way that autofocus points are displayed using these two options right here.
If you have very, very fast lenses, like a F1.850 mm lens, or a 1.2, you might want to try the Autofocus Microadjustment. This allows you to fine tune the autofocus for those particular lenses. Now, this requires some very particular kind of targets that you need to measure off of, so you may not actually have what you need to do this. You can find out more details about how to use this feature on page 104 of your manual. Also, a company called Michael Tapes Design offers a product to help you do this; a thing called LensAlign.
You can find out about them at michaeltapesdesign.com. So there are a lot of options here to play with, and there are a lot of ways of tweaking the autofocus system to get it not only more reliable for the way you shoot, but also to improve the interface. So you're probably going to want to spend some time looking at these different options.
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