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The viewfinder display

From: Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)

Video: The viewfinder display

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 it allows you to have a very bright clear view of your scene. Your Viewfinder also provides you with a tremendous amount of status information as we'll see. Now in the Rebel, the viewfinder eyepiece cover here is removable. You just squeeze the edges and pull it out like this. This allows you easier access for cleaning the viewfinder eyepiece and it allows you to swap in other covers.

The viewfinder display

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 it allows you to have a very bright clear view of your scene. Your Viewfinder also provides you with a tremendous amount of status information as we'll see. Now in the Rebel, the viewfinder eyepiece cover here is removable. You just squeeze the edges and pull it out like this. This allows you easier access for cleaning the viewfinder eyepiece and it allows you to swap in other covers.

You can get an eyepiece cover that comes out farther to give you a more shaded viewfinder, you can also get a right-angle eyepiece which can be useful if you're doing macro work, down low, things like that. To put it back on, you just slide it back into place here. Now, on the top of the Viewfinder is the diopter control. If you wear glasses, you might be able to adjust the diopter to compensate for your prescription which will let you shoot without your glasses on. Now, I say might, because if your eyes are too bad, you won't be able to adjust the diopter far enough to get the Viewfinder back to full sharpness.

Note that it's possible to bump the diopter control. So if you ever think, well, my camera just really isn't auto-focusing very well, check the diopter and make sure that it's set to No Correction. You can tell when it's set this way, because there's this extra flat part on the edge of the knob. You want that to line up with the middle line between the +/-. Now, when you look through the Viewfinder, you'll see a number of focusing spots superimposed over your images. These spots light up when you auto- focus to indicate where the auto-focus mechanism has chosen to focus.

The big circle here in the middle of the Viewfinder shows the size of the spot meter. Now below the Viewfinder are a lot of status readouts. These let you know certain things about the camera state such as when you've locked in focus. But more importantly, they let you keep track of your current Exposure Settings. So from left to right, you'll find the AE Lock Light, That's Auto Exposure Lock Light which lets you know when you've locked the exposure using the Exposure Lock button. The Flash Ready Light indicates when the flash is charged and ready to fire, and flash charging begins as soon as the flash pops up.

The High-Speed Flash Sync Light shows when you're set for high-speed syncing with your flash, while the FE Lock Light shows when you've locked flash exposure. Flash Exposure Compensation lights up when you've dialed in any amount of Flash Exposure Compensation. Next comes the shutter speed readout. Now normally this will only show a single number which represent the denominator of the shutter speed. So if you're shooting at say 1 1/25th of a second, you'll see 125 here, a 4 will indicate 1/4th of a second.

But once you drop below a quarter-of-a -second, the display will change to a seconds and fractions of a second readout. So if you see this, then you're shooting at 1 and 1/3rd seconds. If you see this, then 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 shows the amount of exposure compensation that you've dialed in. Each of the numbers represents one full stop, and by default, the lines between each number are 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 two stops of exposure compensation than the display shows. When you do, the Compensation Indicator will scroll up the scale, and a little arrow will appear to indicate that your compensation has gone beyond two stops. As you change Exposure Compensation, the shutter speed and aperture displays will update to show the new exposure values that your Exposure Compensation has defined. When you're shooting in Manual mode, that same exposure level readout works more like a light meter.

when the indicator is at 0, then the camera is telling you that you've got a good exposure. If the indicator goes above or below 0, then the camera is indicating that you have over or under-exposure. Now you're still free to use any settings that you want. The readout is just there to let you know that the camera thinks that the metering is off. Next comes the ISO Indicator, which simply gives you a readout of your current ISO Settings. If you're coming to digital directly from film, you may wonder why in the world would you want to have a constant display of ISO? But remember with a digital camera, you can change ISO on every shot which makes it a third exposure parameter that you have control over.

Directly beneath the ISO label is an indicator that shows that you activated Highlight Tone Priority which you'll learn about in the Custom Functions chapter. Next comes an indicator that shows if you've dialed in any White Balance Shift and below that is an indicator that shows whether you've activated the Monochrome Picture Style. The Max Burst indicator just shows you a number, and that number tells you how many pictures the buffer can hold. As you shoot quickly, that number will go down, indicating that the buffer is filling up. If the number gets to 0, the camera will stop shooting until it's had time to empty out the buffer, at which point the number will slowly go up as the buffer empties.

The buffer can hold more JPEGs than RAWs, so the maximum number will vary depending on which format you're using. Finally, on the very right side is the Focus Confirmation Light. When you half press the shutter button to focus, this circle will light up to indicate that the camera has metered and locked focus. Now, please don't worry about remembering all of this stuff right now. Exposure Settings are the critical readouts that you need to understand right now. The other status options and lights will become obvious as you learn about those specific features.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)
Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)

88 video lessons · 22005 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. What is an SLR?
      2m 39s
    3. How to use this course
      1m 53s
  2. 22m 33s
    1. Basic camera anatomy
      2m 39s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      2m 36s
    3. Batteries and media cards
      2m 44s
    4. Powering up
      2m 38s
    5. Menu navigation and factory defaults
      4m 1s
    6. Setting the date and time
      1m 31s
    7. Setting the language
      1m 7s
    8. Formatting the media card
      2m 48s
    9. Holding the camera
      2m 29s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Setting Auto mode
      4m 14s
    2. The viewfinder display
      5m 31s
    3. The LCD screen
      2m 15s
    4. Autofocus basics
      2m 38s
    5. Lens controls
      1m 17s
    6. Flash in Auto mode
      1m 26s
    7. Image review
      2m 28s
    8. Image playback
      1m 34s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. What Program mode does
      1m 57s
    2. Exposure compensation
      2m 15s
    3. Metering revisited
      1m 57s
    4. Changing ISO
      2m 51s
    5. Program shift
      2m 30s
    6. Image format and size
      4m 21s
    7. Creative Auto mode
      2m 20s
    8. The Info button
      1m 17s
    9. The Quick Control button
      1m 46s
  5. 6m 21s
    1. Manually selecting a focus point
      2m 33s
    2. Focus modes
      1m 19s
    3. Manual focus
      2m 29s
  6. 7m 30s
    1. Auto white balance
      1m 54s
    2. White balance presets
      2m 7s
    3. Manual white balance
      3m 29s
  7. 8m 56s
    1. Drive mode
      3m 16s
    2. The self-timer
      2m 19s
    3. Remote controls and Bulb mode
      3m 21s
  8. 19m 38s
    1. Metering modes
      2m 19s
    2. Exposure lock
      56s
    3. Aperture Priority mode
      2m 50s
    4. Depth-of-field preview
      2m 11s
    5. Shutter Priority mode
      2m 23s
    6. Manual mode
      2m 46s
    7. Auto exposure bracketing
      2m 34s
    8. Auto lighting optimizer
      1m 59s
    9. Peripheral illumination correction
      1m 40s
  9. 18m 0s
    1. Metadata display
      3m 2s
    2. LCD brightness
      52s
    3. Rotation
      1m 4s
    4. Rating images
      1m 43s
    5. Applying creative filters
      2m 6s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      3m 26s
    7. File numbering options
      2m 51s
    8. Creating folders
      48s
    9. Copyright information
      2m 8s
  10. 4m 55s
    1. What is a scene mode?
      1m 8s
    2. Scene modes and image formats
      3m 47s
  11. 6m 34s
    1. Fill flash
      1m 2s
    2. Flash exposure compensation
      1m 52s
    3. Red-eye reduction
      1m 36s
    4. Night Portrait scene mode
      2m 4s
  12. 6m 59s
    1. Picture styles defined
      2m 7s
    2. Selecting a picture style
      1m 38s
    3. Adjusting predefined styles
      2m 20s
    4. Monochrome picture styles
      54s
  13. 13m 53s
    1. Activating Live view
      4m 42s
    2. Focusing in Live view
      5m 31s
    3. Aspect ratio
      1m 35s
    4. Live view's drawbacks
      2m 5s
  14. 12m 55s
    1. Configuring and activating video
      5m 17s
    2. Focusing
      4m 6s
    3. Exposure control
      2m 11s
    4. Movie playback
      1m 21s
  15. 15m 6s
    1. Custom menus
      2m 11s
    2. Custom functions
      1m 31s
    3. Exposure level increments
      1m 0s
    4. ISO expansion
      1m 8s
    5. Long exposure noise reduction
      1m 9s
    6. High ISO speed noise reduction
      1m 46s
    7. Highlight tone priority
      1m 53s
    8. AF-assist beam firing
      56s
    9. Mirror lockup
      1m 17s
    10. Shutter/AE Lock button
      2m 15s
  16. 4m 37s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      1m 4s
    2. Operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 9s
    3. Firmware updates
      1m 24s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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