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You can customize a lot of the controls on your Mark III, and to see a list of which ones, just go into the menuing system. Go to the second page of the custom function category, and down at the bottom, you'll find Custom Controls. If I come in here, I get this screen, which looks pretty complicated, but it's actually fairly simple. I've got a diagram of my camera, with the current selected control highlighted. This is the list of the controls that I can customize over here. So this first one is the shutter button; I can see that highlighted right there. Let's take a quick look at what the other customizable controls are.
There is the AF-ON button, which is right back here, the AE Lock button, which of course, is this one highlighted right here. The depth of field preview button, which is around here on the front. You can see it highlighted right there. Something that you may or may not have; the Lens AF stop button. That's going to be on my lens over here. The lens that I'm using doesn't have one, but you can see that Canon is indicating that if I did have one, it would be right there. The M-Fn button, which is right here; that's the Multi-function button right in front of the command dial. The Set button, which is this one right here. The Main Dial; my dial on top here. My Quick Control Dial, which of course, is this one back here, and finally, the Multi-controller.
So even these three controls can be customized. Now, each of these controls gives you a different set of options to assign to them. So, let's start by looking at the Shutter button. I'm going to select that, and hit the Set button, and you can see that by default, it is set the way that you're probably used to it behaving, which is that when I half-press it, I get Metering, and AF start. I have the option of changing it to Metering start, or AE Lock. I am going to put it on Metering start. I'm going to show you a different way of using your camera; one that you might find pretty useful.
Now I'm going to come down here to the AF-ON button; that's this button right here. And before we get to it, I want you to realize that when I'm holding the camera, I've got my forefinger here, and my thumb is just right here on this AF-ON button. So, with that in mind, I'm going to leave it where it's set right now, which is to be the same as the Shutter button was originally, which is Metering and AF start. I have other options, though; these are different than what I had on the shutter button. I've got AE lock, Auto Focus stop -- if you're ever in a situation where the lens starts grinding back and forth, and is slowing you down, because it can't lock focus, you could set this button to just cause it to stop doing that.
I have a Flash Exposure lock, I've got AE lock, and I can set it to no function at all. But I'm going to leave it where it's at right now. Now, with the camera configured this way, what happens is, when I press the shutter button, all I get is a meter reading. Let's go ahead and come on out of here. So all I get is a meter reading. There is no actual focusing happening. To get focus, I have to press this button. So I have separated my metering and focusing operations. When I press this, I get focus and metering, but when I press this, I override the metering.
This is great for times where you're shooting a lot of pictures of something at the same distance. Maybe you're shooting a landscape, or a portrait, or something, and you're doing a lot of subtle recomposition. You only have to focus once, but you can keep metering as you take shot after shot. So a lot of people really prefer working that way. Let's look quickly at some of the other things you can do, because as I said, a lot of these buttons have different functions that you can assign to them. The AE lock button can be configured with the same options as the AF-ON button. The depth of field preview button gives you a lot of different options.
I've got depth of field preview, I have Auto Focus stop, AE lock, switching from one shot focus to servo focus, turning image stabilization on or off, switching to a different autofocus function, changing the quality settings; there's just all sorts of things I can do. I can bring up my level. So you're probably going to want to dig through all of these different customization options, because there are a lot of different things that I can do with everything from the wheels, to the buttons. So you can really get controls that you find yourself regularly using that might be buried in a menu up on top of the camera into a button that allows you to activate them on the fly, whenever you need.
So dig through these; see if you can find changes that you might like. If you Google around on Mark III custom controls, you'll find a lot of discussions and forums of different configurations that users have used, and you might get some ideas there for some other ways of configuring your camera.
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