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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.
As we've discussed, one of the great advantages of an SLR is that you actually look through the same lens that exposes the sensor. This gives you a very accurate viewfinder, and that allows you to have a very bright, clear viewfinder. Now, the viewfinder eyepiece is surrounded by a cover, and it happens to be removable, which allows you easier access for cleaning, and lets you swap in other covers and accessories. To remove it, you just pinch the sides and lift straight up, and it just slides off there, and you can see it's slotted around here, so now you could put on a different type of eyepiece cover.
You might put on, like, a right angle viewfinder, so if you do a lot of macro work, that can be handy. The back of your manual will show a lot of different accessories that can go here. But as I said, it also makes it easier to clean this out if it gets dirty. To put it back on, I just slot this in, it only goes the right way, and push down until it clicks. If it's seated properly, then it won't lift up without being squeezed on the sides. On the top of the viewfinder is a diopter control; that's this little wheel here. If you wear glasses, you might be able to adjust the diopter to compensate for your prescription, which would let you shoot without your glasses on.
Now, I say might, because if your eyes are bad enough, then you won't be able to adjust it far enough to correct the viewfinder back to full sharpness. Note that it is possible to bump the diopter control; it just rotates one direction or another, and you just dial it in until you can see okay. If you bump it, though, it's going to make your viewfinder blurry. So if you ever think, boy, my camera really doesn't seem to be focusing very well, check the diopter, and make sure that it's set to no correction. You can tell when it's properly set, because there's this little flat mark on it, which lines up with this white line right here.
When you look through the viewfinder, you'll see focusing indicators superimposed over your image. These indicators light up when you autofocus to indicate where the autofocus mechanism has chosen to focus. The circle in the middle of the viewfinder shows you the size of the spot meter. Below the Viewfinder are lots of status readouts. These let you know certain things about the cameras state, such as battery strength, but more importantly, they let you keep track of your current exposures settings. Now, I'm going to walk you through these, but don't worry about remembering all of them yet, because we'll be revisiting them as we look at each relevant feature.
So from left to right, you'll find the battery meter, the AE lock light, which lets you know when you've locked exposure using the exposure lock button. The flash ready light, which indicates when the flash is charged, and ready to fire. The high-speed flash sync light, which shows when you're set for high-speed syncing with your flash. The FE lock button, which shows that you've locked flash exposure. Flash exposure compensation will light up any time you've dialed in any amount of flash exposure compensation.
Obviously, these last few settings are only relevant if you have attached a flash to the camera; there's no flash built-in to the Mark III. Next comes the shutter speed readout. Now, normally this will only show a single number, which represents the denominator of the shutter speed. So if you're shooting at 1/125 of a second, you'll see 125 here. A 4 will indicate one fourth of a second. Once you drop below a quarter of a second, the display will change to a seconds and fractions of a second display. So if you see this, then you're shooting at one and a third seconds.
If you see this, you're shooting a 15 second exposure. To the right of the shutter speed readout is the aperture display; this is simply the current f number. The exposure level indicator serves a few functions. In most modes, it's going to show you the amount of exposure compensation that you've dialed in. Each of the numbers represents one stop, and by default, the lines between are each a third of a stop. Positive exposure compensation is to the right; negative is to the left. Note that you can actually dial in more than three stops of exposure compensation.
When you do, the compensation indicator will scroll off the scale, and a little arrow will appear to indicate that your compensation has gone beyond three stops. As you change exposure compensation, the shutter speed and aperture displays will update to indicate the new exposure values that your exposure compensation has defined. When you're shooting in Manual mode, the exposure level readout works more like a light meter. When the indicator is at 0, then the camera is indicating that you have good exposure. If the indicator goes above or below, then the camera is indicating that it thinks you have over or under exposure.
You are still free to use any setting you want, of course; this is Manual mode. The readout is just there to let you know how your current settings are metering. Next comes your ISO indicator, which simply gives you a readout of your current ISO settings. If you're coming to the digital world directly from film, you may wonder why you'd care to have a constant display of ISO, but remember, with a digital camera, you can change ISO on every shot, making it a third exposure parameter that you have control over. Directly beneath the ISO label is an indicator that shows that you've activated highlight tone priority, which you'll learn about later.
The max burst indicator shows a number indicating how many pictures the buffer can hold. As you shoot quickly, that number will go down, indicating that the buffer is filling up. If it gets to 0, the camera will stop shooting until it's had time to empty images out of the buffer, at which point, the number will slowly go up. The buffer can hold more JPEGs than RAW files, so the maximum number there will vary depending on which format you're using. Finally, on the very right side is the autofocus status indicator, and the focus confirmation light.
When you half press the shutter button to focus, this circle will light up when the camera successfully meters, and locks focus. At that point, you can press the button the rest of the way to take your shot. Again, don't worry about remembering all of this stuff right now. Exposure settings are the critical readouts that you need to understand. The other status options will become obvious as you activate these specific features.
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