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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.
When we were shooting in Scene Intelligent Auto mode, you got to experience the Mark III's automatic autofocus point selection feature. So, when I half-press my shutter button, it analyzes my scene, decides that the camera on the left is the subject, and automatically picks points on that camera. So when I take that shot, that camera is in focus. Now, with deeper depth of field, I could possibly get both cameras in focus, but that's where the Mark III has chosen to focus.
When I switch to another mode, such as Program, things get a little bit different. By default, Program mode does not opt for the automatic focus point selection. What's great about automatic focus point selection is that if you're shooting a rapidly changing scene, and you're working quickly, autofocus point selection can keep you from having to worry about whether you've got your subject in focus. There will be other times, though, where you will want control of which focus point the camera uses, either because you don't have time to worry about whether the camera is got it right, or because the camera is choosing the wrong focus point; it's getting it wrong.
So when you switch to Program mode, the camera defaults to choosing only the center focus point. Watch what happens when I autofocus here; it chose that point right in the dead center. It's always going to choose that point, by default, in Program mode. This is what Canon calls single-point AF mode. Now, in this case, it's not working really well for me, because the center point is not actually on either camera. It's not on my subject. There are two things I can do at this point. I can either move the camera to put the focus point where I want it, half-press the button, and then reframe, or I can simply manually choose another focus point.
I can use the multi-controller, the quick control dial, or the main dial to move around amongst any of the Mark III's 61 autofocus points. So I'm going to do that now. I'm going to manually change the focus point, so that it's no longer in the center. Instead, I'm going to choose one of the focus points on my leftmost camera over there. So the way you do this is you press the AF point selection button. That's the one right here, and you can tell, this icon now, it might make a little more sense to you. It's supposed to be a frame with a bunch of little autofocus points in it.
When I press that, inside my viewfinder, all of the focus points, all 61 of them, light up in red. My status display, meanwhile, shows me that I'm in Selection mode. So I'm going to use the multi-controller here, and I'm going to just move this over to the left until I've got a focus point lit up on the camera; on the place where I want to focus. Now, again, I could also use either dial to move focus points around. I'm just going to half-press the shutter button, and now any time I half-press that's the point it's going to focus on.
Now I can take my shot, and that camera is in focus. Let's go the other direction, and focus on the other camera. So again, I press my AF point selection button, come over here, and I'm going to go up a little bit. So that puts me right on a nice contrasty part of that camera. I'm going to half-press to autofocus, take my shot, and now that camera is in focus. Any time I move the focus point, I want to be very careful to always put it back somewhere, usually in the center, someplace where I'm going to expect it to be, because it's very easy to forget to change it, go into a different shooting situation, and end up coming home with a lot blurry photos, because the camera is focusing in the center when you expect it to be focusing in the center.
This is a really handy feature any time you're locked on a tripod, if you're studio shooting, if you're landscape shooting. You probably won't use it so much when you're handheld shooting, and later in this course we will see why, as we walk you through the focus and reframing technique that I mentioned earlier. There are a lot of other ways of configuring the focus points in your camera, and we're going to look at those in the rest of this chapter.
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