Now that you have an understanding of the essential buttons, features, and controls on your Canon DSLR camera, you can take a deeper look at the controls found on your camera. In this video, Richard Harrington demonstrates how to set the important camera menu settings for your Canon DSLR camera.
- Depending upon the exact model camera you use, menus will vary pretty greatly from one model to the next. The more professional a camera, the more options it tends to have. So we're going to take a look at a pro body here. Now what you might notice if you're using a camera that's not quite as high end as the 5D, it might have less features, but they're all still generally the same. I'm going to walk you through some of the more important menu items, but I would suggest that you take the time to dig in to the camera menus and continue to play with them.
Also we'll see some of these menu settings as we start to shoot with the camera a little bit later in the course. To start, let's press the menu button. You'll notice that the camera is arranged into several pages. For example, across the top we have different categories and as we move through here, you'll notice how it switches. This gives you different settings depending upon the purpose. For example, the auto focus modes, our playback modes, setup modes and different fine controls here that we can really dig into and then lastly, the ability to set up your own favorite items.
Let's go ahead and start on the first tab here for a moment and obviously things that matter right away are the quality of the images. You'll notice, for example, you have the ability to change both the RAW setting and the JPEG setting. We'll talk more about this later, but you can decide which formats to shoot. For example, I can dial in just RAW without JPEG and press the set button. And other features here including how images are reviewed after shooting. Does the camera make a noise when shooting? For example, let's go ahead and get a shot.
Then you hear the beep versus if we turn that option off. No beep. Now let's go back to a more professional setting, but that's important to note. As I change modes, you may see less options in the menu. For example, scene intelligent auto mode greatly reduces the complexity of the menu, but when I get into modes like aperture priority, time value, et cetera, you might notice that the settings change.
Let's go to the next page. The ability to adjust the sensitivity of your camera is very important. This is the ISO. You'll notice here that we can refine what the ISO we're shooting with. The higher the number, the more sensitivity, the more noise in the camera. Usually somewhere between 800 and 3,200 is about as high as you should go depending upon the model of camera. Press the menu button to go back. Choosing a color space is important.
For example, I prefer to use the wider gamut Adobe RGB, which gives more accurate color. Our next page here is picture styles. These affect the JPEG, but also get embedded in the RAW if you're using certain software that supports it. You could pick from a wide range of styles depending on how you like to shoot. You can create your own styles and others. We'll talk more about picture styles later. For now, I'll set this to standard.
Let's go over to the next page. You'll see options for timers such as delays when shooting. You have the ability to adjust the aspect ratio of the images. For example, if I was shooting mostly for use in film or a slide presentation, I might choose 16:9. And our next page here gives us different types of silent shooting when shooting in live view mode for quieter shutter. Now let's go to the next page. Here, you see quite a bit of different types of settings for shooting.
These allow you to adjust the auto-focus methods and you'll see a range here depending upon what it is you're capturing. Now we'll talk more about auto focus later, but when shooting things like sports or indoor activities, having different types of tracking and focus is important. You could decide what's going to be more important when shooting, for example. Is it more important to lock on focus before taking the shot or keep shooting even if it might be a little more soft? We have the ability to decide what happens here with manual focus and other controls that really affect the autofocus here.
Is it tracking? Is there face recognition? And a lot of different choices. Now this is the more professional 5D model so it's going to have a ton of autofocus options. Different types of shooting professionals, people shooting a wedding versus people doing product photography need a lot of different options that normal people might not need. Having the ability to change the shooting style gives them those controls. Now if you're using a point and shoot camera, you might not see as many choices, but the core concepts are the same.
Let's go back into the menu and our next tab is about playback. We'll explore playback more a little bit later, but this allows you to decide how the files are processed, is there any changes or transfer to the images, are you doing any ratings or development settings and do you want to see warnings on the camera? For example, I like to see highlight alerts. So let's enable those. I want to see where the autofocus points were set and I like to see an overlay of a three by three grid for the rule of thirds.
We'll have the histograms show the full color value and that looks great. Let's go ahead and get a shot. And we'll check the playback. You'll notice there are some of our options. For example, I see the blinking highlights indicating the areas that are a bit hot. I see the rule of third composition grid and I also see where focus was set on this particular image, dead center.
Let's make a slight adjustment here. In this case, let's just adjust this down so it's slightly underexposed and I'm going to move the focus point to this closer globe. Now let's check playback. Notice no blinking highlights except for one little spot on the top of the globe where it's picking up a bright light here in the studio and I see a different focus point.
So having these controls can be quite useful. Alright let's go back into the menu. We're not going to go through all the settings, but I want you to be familiar with some of the other ones that might matter to you. The setup menu is where you really control what happens here with the camera itself as far as its operation. This allows you to control things like how are the files named or numbered when they write to the memory card. How long until it powers off? For example, 30 minutes is a long time. You're going to burn through a lot of battery. I'll set this to two minutes of activity so the camera saves power and I could adjust options here like the brightness for shooting in different conditions.
You'll notice, for example, that you can control this for different lighting conditions or manually adjust things. These are all options we'll dig into more a little bit later, but that's the type of settings you'll find under setup. This includes things like the language being used, the time zone, whether or not you have touch controls on the camera. Settings for video recording, controls over the ports and GPS, et cetera.
The next tab is really the fine details. You may not have these advanced controls on a camera, but if you do, you're definitely going to want to be in one of the professional shooting modes like manual, aperture priority, time value, things like that. In this case, what you'll notice is incredible details over things like how does it handle exposure when you're adjusting things for brackets? How many brackets does it capture? What's the order? These are all things for shooting things like HDR.
You can adjust the shutter speed range. Notice, for example, I can really control the maximum and faster shutter speed. For example, if I was shooting under certain types of lighting for strobe lighting, I may have to adjust the shutter speed so it'd properly sync with studio strobes. And as you see, lots of choices. What's overlaid in the viewfinder for playback? Do you want to see confirmation before it erases an image? Do you want certain metadata added to your files? For example, I can actually enable metadata here and it's going to put in basic information about the file.
And lastly is the custom menu setting. We'll talk more about this later, but this allows you to add your own favorite items here so that your favorite items are quick at hand and are stored. You can go through and grab your own items that you want to use and put those onto a custom menu so it's quick and easy access. You'll see here that that's now actually added and I can continue to build that out. As you can tell, there's a lot of choices in the camera, and these are going to make a lot more sense as we get familiar with the camera and explore different shooting styles.
- Reducing camera shake
- Shooting in scene modes
- Shooting in live view
- Changing ISO and exposure in programmed auto mode
- Using Autofocus
- Focusing manually
- Shooting in burst mode
- Switching between metering modes
- Shooting HDR images with exposure bracketing
- Setting custom white balance
- Shooting panoramas
- Recording video
- Controlling your camera with a smartphone
- Sharing images with the Canon Camera Connect app