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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 basic camera components. Ben then discusses the basic camera operation: changing lenses, navigating the menus, shooting in automatic mode, reviewing and managing photos on the 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 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.
By default, your camera's ISO range goes from 100 to 25600, but your Mark III is actually capable of shooting at an even wider range of ISOs. However, most of the time you'll probably just stick to auto ISO, simply for the ease and flexibility of shooting that it provides. That said, you might want to tweak the auto ISO functions to tailor it to the ISO range that you like. You can adjust all of these from a single menu item. In this second page of my shooting menu, I have something called ISO speed settings, which is a single menu option that gets me a bunch of different ISO related controls.
First of all, I can simply set my ISO speed. We get a menu of all the possible ISO speeds here. It's probably the least convenient way to set ISO, but it's there if you happen to find yourself on this menu page when you need to set ISO. Below that, though, things get more interesting. ISO speed range let's me set the range of my ISO settings. By default, they go from 100 to 25600. I'm going to go into this item, and I can change my Minimum here. So the first interesting thing about this option is I can actually change my Minimum to something lower than 100.
L50 means that I can actually have this really nice, slow ISO. If I'm shooting in bright daylight, this is the way of shooting and absolutely guaranteeing that I'm not going to have any perceptible noise. So that's what that's there for on the bottom end. The other thing I might do here, though, is let's say I'm going to be shooting in low light for a while, but I might be changing things up between, say, ISO 400 and ISO 1600, and I want to be sure that I don't accidentally bump it down below 400. So I could just bump up my Minimum there, and then when I'm using my top mounted ISO control, I wouldn't have to worry about accidentally getting my ISO set too low.
Take that, and spin the wheel to come over here to Maximum. By default, the cameras maximum ISO is 25600, which is amazingly fast. And yet, it can go a little more amazing. I can crank it up to 25600, 51200, 102400; so I have these higher options available. The reason that I have to explicitly turn those on is that they're pretty noisy, so Canon is kind of telling you that, yeah, the camera will work at 51000, but its higher noise then we're willing to sign off on, basically it's what they're saying.
These are some things you are going to want to experiment with on your own to decide if it is an acceptable amount of noise to you. In a pinch, I think it's better to be able to get a shot than not, and these ISOs definitely give you the ability to capture still motion in really low light situations, and honestly, they yield less noise than I have had on older SLRs at much lower ISOs. So fiddle with those, see what you think about them, and you may want to change the Maximum setting. Conversely, if you decide already that ISO 25600 is too noisy for your taste, or even that ISO 6400 is too noisy for your taste; you can bump the Maximum down to wherever you want, so that you accidentally don't stray into an ISO area that you don't like.
I'm going to leave mine set on the default there, and come down here, and say OK. I can also change my Auto ISO range. Auto ISO, of course, tries to automatically pick an ISO, and again, if I'm a person who doesn't like shooting over, say, ISO 3200, I can bump this down to 3200, and now auto will not choose an ISO faster than that. And of course, I can do the same thing on the Minimum if I want to constrain the minimum ISO when it's making an ISO choice.
Finally, when I'm shooting in auto ISO, I can also specify a Minimum shutter speed, because of course, when I'm shooting an auto ISO, my camera might still be picking a shutter speed for me, depending on what mode I'm in. If I'm shooting fast motion in, say, low light, I may want to make sure that shutter speed doesn't dip below 1/125, for example. So I could set that, and now that would be factored into the auto ISO settings, so it knows that it can't drop shutter speed below that, which means it's an going to err on the side of higher ISOs.
So these are all ways that you can custom tailor the ISO setting on your camera. If you are coming from a film world, you're going to be facing a very different relationship to ISO, because ISO in the digital world is a third parameter of kind of equal weight alongside shutter speed and aperture. So it's really nice to have these controls to be able to customize ISO exactly the way you like.
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