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Most people have used a self-timer on a camera. You know, you balance the camera on a rock or something, and you point it at your friends, and then you set it off, and you try and run back, and get in the frame, and look natural before the camera takes a picture. To use the self-timer on the Mark III, you need to have the camera stabilized somehow, so that means either putting it on a tripod, setting it on a table, or a rock, or whatever. Next, you need to activate the self-timer, which you do with the Drive button, and I'm just going to, because it's the second item listed, the one on the right, I'm going to turn the command dial to get over to here to one of my self-timer options; either the 10 second self-timer, or the 2 second self-timer. I'm going to go ahead and set it on the 10 second self-timer.
And now I would frame my shot, make all my exposure decisions, and so on, and so forth, and then I'm ready to take my picture. I half-press the shutter button to meter, and focus, and once I'm ready to go, press it the rest of the way, and now its starts counting down. So you can see the countdown timer going off here; it's beeping. As it gets closer to finishing, within two seconds, the beep goes faster, and then it takes the shot. So that's the 10 seconds that I have to run around, and get in front of the camera. Obviously, that's only going to be 2 seconds if I switch to the 2 second timer, and there you're just going to hear the fast beep, see the countdown, and then it's going to fire.
Now, if you're doing a self portrait, odds are, there's not going to be anyone behind the viewfinder here, and without your head there to block light, light can actually come into the viewfinder, bounce around off the pentaprism, and possibly create flare inside your lens. Now, you should have gotten one of these with your camera; it's a little piece of rubber that threads onto the strap. It's got these little brackets here with holes that you can thread your strap through, so that you always have it with you, and if you notice, it's got a little grooves in here that can fit on over your viewfinder, if you just take the viewfinder cap off.
So I can, in theory, thread that over there. Now, with that there, I'm not going to get any light in through here, and I'm going to be able to get around and shoot without worrying about flare in the lens. And then this just slides off, and this comes back on. Now, we're showing this to you now as I kind of standalone thing. You can actually leave it on your strap, and still get that slid over there. You don't have to take your strap off, and unthread this, and all that kind of thing. One thing to know about using the self-timer is that autofocus happens normally.
In other words, it happens at the time that I half-press my shutter button. So if I was doing a self-portrait right now, and let's say I was going to stand 10 feet in front of the lens, and behind me, way, way back there in the distance was, say, the Eiffel Tower, if I'm not standing out there right now, when I focus, it's going to focus way in the distance. When I then run, and stand around 10 feet in front, I'm possibly going to be out of focus. So what I usually do is to tilt the camera down, focus on a point on the ground, and switch the camera over to Manual focus; that will lock that focus back in.
Then I can tilt the camera back up, start my self-timer, run around and get in the shot, and I should be in focus. If you're feeling a little cautious about that, you could opt for a deeper depth of field, go for a larger aperture number, and then focus isn't quite so critical. So, once you're done using the self-timer, be sure to set it back to whatever it is you normally shoot in, because it's a real drag to get out and have something happen right in front you press the button, and not get a picture for 10 seconds. So that's the self-timer. Very full featured, very easy to use, and a really handy thing for capturing self portrait, or for reducing camera shake when you're working in a studio, or in low light.
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