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Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

Working with focus points and metering


From:

Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

with Ben Long

Video: Working with focus points and metering

Now that we've gone over exposure modes, I would like to return for a moment to the subject of focus points, because there's something you need to know about how exposure behavior changes as you start manually selecting focus points. Consider this scene that I have here. I have this dark film projector over here; these light flowers over here. I have the Mark III set to automatically select a focus point, and I am set for evaluative metering. So I'm going to just take a picture here, and let's take a look at what I got.
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  1. 10m 29s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 28s
    3. A note for 5D Mark II users
      50s
    4. Using this course
      1m 55s
  2. 35m 44s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      5m 28s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      4m 3s
    3. Examining batteries and media cards
      8m 35s
    4. Powering up
      1m 49s
    5. Exploring the menu system
      2m 53s
    6. Clearing all settings
      2m 5s
    7. Setting the date and time
      1m 55s
    8. Setting the language
      1m 42s
    9. Formatting the media card
      3m 4s
    10. Holding the camera
      4m 10s
  3. 25m 6s
    1. Setting Scene Intelligent Auto mode
      1m 28s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      5m 51s
    3. Touring the LCD screen and the status display
      2m 22s
    4. Exploring the top-mounted control buttons
      1m 42s
    5. Autofocus basics
      5m 7s
    6. Metering basics
      1m 42s
    7. Reviewing images
      2m 59s
    8. Working with image playback
      3m 55s
  4. 39m 32s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      41s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      5m 2s
    3. Using the lock switch
      1m 21s
    4. Revisiting metering
      1m 43s
    5. Changing the ISO
      2m 14s
    6. Looking at ISO speed settings
      4m 36s
    7. Exploring long exposure noise reduction
      2m 53s
    8. Exploring high ISO noise reduction
      1m 40s
    9. Using program shift
      2m 11s
    10. Exploring image format and size
      3m 59s
    11. Using the Info button
      2m 4s
    12. Examining level and grid display
      3m 45s
    13. Using the Quick Control screen
      1m 35s
    14. Setting the color space
      1m 25s
    15. Configuring multiple media cards
      3m 24s
    16. Using the feature guide
      59s
  5. 23m 15s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 25s
    2. Selecting autofocus areas
      3m 54s
    3. Exploring other autofocus options
      3m 44s
    4. Customizing servo auto focus
      4m 49s
    5. Exploring autofocus custom functions
      4m 50s
    6. Using manual focus
      3m 33s
  6. 10m 31s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 48s
    2. Exploring white balance presets
      3m 7s
    3. Using manual white balance
      5m 36s
  7. 10m 47s
    1. Exploring Drive mode
      4m 52s
    2. Using the self-timer
      3m 38s
    3. Using remote controls
      2m 17s
  8. 52m 26s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 26s
    2. Using exposure lock
      1m 22s
    3. Working with focus points and metering
      3m 47s
    4. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 0s
    5. Using the depth of field preview button
      2m 40s
    6. Using Shutter Priority mode
      3m 26s
    7. Using Manual mode
      3m 27s
    8. Using auto exposure bracketing
      6m 3s
    9. Exploring Bulb mode
      2m 34s
    10. Working with the Auto Lighting Optimizer
      1m 40s
    11. Correcting lens aberration
      2m 46s
    12. Exploring Highlight Tone Priority
      2m 25s
    13. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      7m 5s
    14. Creating multiple exposures
      6m 25s
    15. Using the mirror lockup feature
      2m 20s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Modifying LCD brightness
      3m 27s
    2. Rotating images
      2m 36s
    3. Using the playback grid
      42s
    4. Enabling AF point display
      1m 18s
    5. Rating images
      3m 4s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 40s
    7. Using Quick Control during playback
      1m 17s
    8. Exploring file numbering options
      2m 43s
    9. Creating folders
      1m 10s
    10. Changing file names
      3m 12s
    11. Adding copyright information
      3m 29s
  10. 7m 57s
    1. Defining picture styles
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring predefined picture styles
      2m 1s
    3. Adjusting predefined picture styles
      1m 56s
    4. Working with the monochromatic picture style
      2m 0s
  11. 22m 28s
    1. Activating Live View
      7m 16s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 32s
    3. Focus manually in Live View
      1m 25s
    4. Working with aspect ratio
      2m 33s
    5. Exploring other Live View options
      3m 36s
    6. Reviewing the drawbacks to using Live View
      2m 6s
  12. 12m 16s
    1. Shooting video in Auto and Program modes
      6m 39s
    2. Shooting video in Priority or Manual modes
      3m 35s
    3. Exploring movie playback
      2m 2s
  13. 13m 0s
    1. Exploring custom modes
      5m 38s
    2. Using the custom menu
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring custom controls
      4m 26s
  14. 8m 57s
    1. What are custom functions?
      35s
    2. Working with exposure level increments
      1m 34s
    3. Bracketing auto cancel
      53s
    4. Changing the number of bracketed shots
      1m 5s
    5. Changing ISO speed setting increments
      1m 34s
    6. Exploring the Live View shooting area display
      40s
    7. Enabling safety shift
      2m 6s
    8. Clearing all custom functions
      30s
  15. 8m 16s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      3m 12s
    2. Using the Battery Info command
      1m 45s
    3. Looking at operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 3s
    4. Getting firmware updates
      1m 16s
  16. 15m 10s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      5m 31s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      5m 11s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      4m 28s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
5h 23m Beginner Nov 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is a DSLR?
  • Attaching lenses
  • Powering up and down
  • Formatting the media card
  • Holding the camera
  • Shooting in the Auto and Program modes
  • Changing the ISO
  • Controlling autofocus and white balance
  • Using a self-timer
  • Working with the exposure control options
  • Activating Live View
  • Shooting video
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear
Software:
5D Mark III
Author:
Ben Long

Working with focus points and metering

Now that we've gone over exposure modes, I would like to return for a moment to the subject of focus points, because there's something you need to know about how exposure behavior changes as you start manually selecting focus points. Consider this scene that I have here. I have this dark film projector over here; these light flowers over here. I have the Mark III set to automatically select a focus point, and I am set for evaluative metering. So I'm going to just take a picture here, and let's take a look at what I got.

It's not any kind of photographic masterpiece, but it is well exposed. Notice that I have not overexposed the flowers, and I have got a little detail here on the projector. I don't know where it chose to focus; I am assuming it chose to focus over here. If it was choosing wrong, then I might want to override that, and manually select a focus point. So I'm going to do that now. I'm just going to get in here, and change my focusing mode to let me pick a single focus point that's parked right there on the projector. I'm still in evaluative focus mode, and now I'm going to take a shot.

Okay, this is very different. Look what's happened here. My flowers are all blown out now, and my projector is much brighter. Even though I'm in evaluative metering, I am no longer getting a true evaluative metering of my scene. Instead, the metering is being weighted to the focus point that I've picked. In other words, I've got something akin to a center-weight focus, but one centered around the focus point that I chose. So it's chosen to meter here, and it's done a good job of bringing out a lot of detail.

In the process, it's overexposed my flowers. Most of the time, this is not going to be a problem. I typically shoot, most of the time, with a single focus point in the center of my frame, and so I'm most of the time shooting with center-weight metering, and it's never really turned out to be a problem. In an instance like this, though, it is a problem, because the meter, in metering properly for this, is overdriving my flowers. So what can I do? Well, there are a couple of things I could do. I could, after putting my focus point on the dark projector, just assume that things are going to be overexposed on the flower, and I could choose to dial in some exposure compensation to try to make up for it, and that has brought back a little bit of detail.

Far easier than that, though, is to just go back to where I was before; put it back on autofocus point selection, which gets me back to a true evaluative metering. The takeaway here is that when you are manually selecting a focus point, no matter what your meter dial says here, you're not actually getting an evaluative metering that is analyzing the entire frame; you are getting a metering that is biased towards the focus point that you're centered on. Now let's look at spot metering. If I switch my meter over to spot metering, which is, of course, going to meter off of one tiny little area. That area is always measured in the very center of the frame; it does not follow focus point. So that effect that I just got by accident before, I cannot intentionally get; I cannot actually move a focus point around to somewhere else, and spot meter off of that point.

Spot metering and center-weight focus metering are always going to happen in the middle of the frame. So, if you're now suddenly worried that you have a lousy autofocus, and a lousy metering system on your camera, don't. As I said, most of the time this is not going to be a problem. It's only in rare instances like this situation that I've got here where you might run into this issue, and in those instances, you can either make up for it with the exposure compensation, or actually just throw the camera into autofocus select, and trust that it's going to do the right thing. I think you'll find that 99% of the time, it will.

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