Before you begin to take photos and videos with your Canon DSLR camera, it is a good idea to start by taking a quick look at some of the essential buttons and controls on your camera. In this video, Richard Harrington gives you a tour of the buttons and controls that you may find on your Canon DSLR camera.
- Let's start by getting familiar, with some of the key buttons, and dials on your Canon Camera. Remember, your camera might be different, slightly. So if you don't see an exact match, be sure to check your user manual. But let's talk about some of the buttons you'll likely see, and what those buttons do. We'll start on the top of the camera. On the left here is the Mode Dial. Now you may need to press the button, in the center to release it, so you can turn the cameras mode. Each letter or symbol corresponds, to a different shooting style.
In the center of the camera here is the Hot Shoe. This is where you'd attach an Off Camera Flash. Your camera may also have a built in flash, that's located here. This particular camera does not. You'll notice a series of buttons. You may have buttons that do dedicated functions, or you might have a Multifunction Button. In this case we have buttons that do things, like set the White Balance, which controls how the camera calibrates its color.
Or a Drive Mode Button to control, how it actually does things like Autofocus or Burst Mode. We have another button here, for adjusting the sensitivity of the camera with ISO. And a button that presses to light this window up. So for example, when I press this, you'll notice that the display lights up, making it easier to see the camera settings, if I was shooting in a low light environment. Now there are different buttons here, for example the Multifunction Button.
This button is widely used to control things, like switching between different operations, with button presses. We also have our Shutter Release Button here, which controls triggering the camera to take a picture. On the front we have our Main Dial. This allows us to make adjustments, to camera settings depending upon the mode that we are in. Let's go ahead for example to Manual Mode, and you'll notice that that's adjusting my Shutter Speed.
Now this may also be referred to, as the Quick Control Dial, which you can use on the back of the camera. So not all cameras have this button. Sometimes you'll use the controls on the back. You may also notice some symbols here right across the top. This includes options for doing things, like Back Button Focus, switching different Autofocus Modes, etc. Now these buttons may seem a little overwhelming, I'm just giving you a quick overview of their purpose.
You're going to learn more about each, in context as we shoot. Let's go to the back of the camera. Now the back, let's start at the top. The Menu Button. Pressing this will bring up the menus, where you can make several camera changes. We'll be exploring these in much more detail, throughout this course. Next to it is the Info Button. Pressing this tells you information about what's happening. For example, depending upon our camera mode, we can see different settings.
Here I'm getting a Virtual Horizon, to help with leveling the camera. Or the ability to see all of my settings quite large. Now depending upon on your camera, this may be a touch screen. However on this professional body, this is not a touch screen, rather it's just a simple display. So the ability to tap and make changes, may or may not available. We have a Start Stop button to control Live View. We'll talk more about this later, but you can go into Video Mode, or Photo Mode and then press to invoke the LCD display.
Other settings allow us to access additional controls, such as Picture Styles to change effects. Doing Bracketed Exposures or High Dynamic Range Photography. Other buttons allow you to assign ratings, Zoom In to check details or Play Back Images on your camera, as well as Erase them. We'll explore all these features a bit more later. When you're working with menus or camera settings, you may find yourself using, the Command Dial here to make changes.
Notice I can easily scroll through settings, or navigate here between them using a small joystick. This makes it easy to find, advanced settings within the menu. If you're in Standard Shooting Modes, you may also find yourself using the quick menu. This will allow you to simply, select something that you want to make, a change to right here on the back of the screen. For example switching from Single Shot, to a High Speed Continuous Burst Mode, or a Low Speed Mode.
Then just press the Quick Menu Button to exit. The use of the Quick Menu Button is exceptionally useful, when quickly changing settings. Now there are a variety, of additional buttons you may encounter, but the most important ones back here are, Menu, Info, Live View, your ability to navigate, and use things like the Quick Menu, and the Control Ring, and Playback, and Delete for Trash and Image Review.
Alright, let's go to the side of the camera. Now your camera likely has some ports on the side here, that you can open up and access. And what you'll see here are a variety of options. This particular camera has a USB Connection, which can be used for transferring data, and an HDMI Port for video shooting. There's also likely a second panel here, let's just open that up, there we go. And you'll see additional controls, in this case these are useful, for adding things like headphones or microphones, for recording audio while shooting video.
Now let's move to the front of the camera, there's very few controls here. The one that's most important is this large button here. Pressing this will release the lock on the Lens, so you can twist this and swap a lens. Which is something we'll explore in a moment. And there's also a small button here, that can be programed for a variety of features, that's really easy to reach when shooting. For example if I've got the camera in hand here, it's not a big deal to reach around, and just press that button with another finger, and a lot of times that's assigned, to things like Dept of Field, Preview, or other advanced options.
Now all of these settings will make a lot more sense, when you see them in context, for getting a particular task done. But remember, be sure you have your camera manual handy. You may see for example, that you don't have a Top Control Dial, or that the Quick Menu Button, or Multifunction Button is extremely important to you, because you're missing some of the dedicated buttons, that the Pro Cameras have. But don't worry, every Canon Camera is essentially the same, there's of course small subtleties, and advanced features that are useful, but the core controls are available on every camera.
How you access those controls though, might be from a Dedicated Button, or from a Multifunction Button, that you have to press to choose and select an option, and then you can modify it.
- 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