Canon Tutorials: 24 DSLR Tips for Getting More From Your EOS Camera

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     You are here: Home » Photography Tutorials » Canon D-SLR Skills » Canon Tutorials: 24 DSLR  tips for getting more from your EOS camera

    Canon Tutorials: 24 DSLR tips for  getting more from your EOS camera

     Your Canon EOS camera is packed with sophisticated features and functions that make the technical side of photography a breeze. But how many of these do

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     you use regularly? Do you know which settings give you bags of control, but ensure you grab high-quality pictures with zero fuss? Are you using all the EOS camera short-cuts that make photography fast and fun?

    For this essential Canon tutorial, we’ve put together 24 expert DSLR tips that will make sure you’re not missing out on some of your Canon camera’s biggest

    tricks. From setting up your EOS camera to streamlining menus and matchingthe right shooting mode to the right subject, there’s a stack of advice for Canon photographers of all abilities to take away and start shooting like a pro with  your EOS camera, whatever it may be.

    Tip 1: Raw + JPEG

    We always bang on about shooting RAW files, as they enable you to make lots of  edits without degrading picture quality. JPEGs are less tolerant to editing, but they’re often perfectly usable straight from the camera. Choose the RAW+JPEG

    setting (under ‘Quality’ on your Canon camera’s first Shooting menu) for the benefits of both: JPEG for speed and RAW for back-up. Bear in mind that as  you’re doubling up on each picture, memory cards will fill up faster; you can reduce the resolution/quality of both RAW and JPEG files on higher-end EOS bodies like the 60D and 7D, so capacity becomes less of an issue.

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    Tip 2: Highlight Alert

     Your EOS camera’s Highlight Alert ‘blinkies’ give you an at-a-glance guide to areas of an image that are likely to be overexposed, enabling you to reduce the exposure before taking another shot. Highlight Alert is an optional feature that can be switched on and off through the Playback menu (you can also do this

    through the Quick Control Screen during playback mode if you’ve got an EOS60D). The flashing highlights warning is visible in both the full-screen preview and the array of information screens, although they disappear if you zoom in.

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    Tip 3: Tone it down

    If pictures that look fine in-camera seem a little dull on your computer screen, it’s probably because the brightness of your EOS screen is set too high. To calibrate your LCD, take a test shot using the Standard Picture Style and best quality JPEG setting. Copy this to your computer, without deleting it from the

    memory card, and open the file in Photoshop. Now press Play on the cameraand compare the two images. If the image on your EOS appears lighter or darker than the one on your (calibrated!) computer monitor, use the LCD brightness scale in your Canon camera’s Setup menu to adjust it.

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    Tip 4: Let’s get it AF-ON

    Half-pressing the shutter release to lock both autofocus and exposure is a simple system that works. So why does Canon put a separate autofocus button on the back of many of its EOS DSLRs? Because operating AF independently of  metering and exposure can be useful. Take action photography, where the

     AF-ON button lets you switch off focusing if a subject is temporarily obscuredby an object. It’s handy for portraits too; you can focus on an off-centre subject, then take your thumb off AF-ON to recompose without the focus shifting.

    Tip 5: View clipping in colour 

     As well as using the brightness histogram to help you judge exposure when reviewing a shot, you can call up a set of more precise RGB colour histograms. Digital images are created from the three primary colours of light – red, green and blue – and the RGB histograms enable you to check if any of these colour channels are ‘clipped’. As with the brightness histogram, if data falls off the left or right of the graph, that channel is clipped, and picture detail – in a bright red

    coat for example – can be lost. Note that these histograms reflect in-camera settings; if you shoot RAW, you’ll capture more highlight and shadow detail than indicated.

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    Step 1: Call up the RGB histogramsStrongly saturated subjects, such as this rose, can often cause one of the colour channels to blow. To check if it has, repeatedly press the INFO or DISP button during image playback until you reach the RGB histograms screen.

    Step 2: Spot the problem channelYou can see that the brightness histogram for our shot indicates a good exposure, but the red channel is clipped. The

    histograms are different shapes, but that’s down to the relative colour mix and brightness of the image.

    Step 3: Adjust the exposureYou need to ensure that detail in the most important colour channel isn’t overexposed or underexposed. As red was most important here, we reduced the exposure and shot again. It’s still ‘clipped’, but more detail is retained.

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    Tip 6: Highlight tone priority 

     As the name suggests, Highlight tone priority (HTP) prioritises detail at the right side of the histogram, preserving up to one stop of extra detail in the highlights for optimum brightness without underexposing the rest of the

    picture. HTP is disabled by default, but it’s a useful feature to enable (via theCustom Functions: Image menu) when photographing high-key scenes, such as sunsets, snowy landscapes or a bride in her wedding dress. It’s in these situations that highlights could typically ‘blow’ and lose all their delicate detail. HTP has a subtle effect though, and one trade-off of using it is that you can’t select the lowest ISO setting while it’s active.

    Tip 7: Bracketing

    Taking a series of shots at different exposure values – aka ‘bracketing’ – is a

    tried and tested way of guaranteeing that you capture at least one usable picture of a scene in tricky lighting conditions, particularly if you’re shooting  JPEGs. Sometimes a slightly darker or brighter take on a subject can be more aesthetically pleasing, too. Although you can take a sequence of exposures manually, your Canon camera’s Autoexposure Bracketing (AEB) feature offers a much more efficient route. The bracketing options are identical on most Canon cameras, enabling you to shoot three frames with bracketing of between +/- 1/3 to 2 stops, applied in 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments. The 60D and 7D offer an increased bracketing range of up to +/- 3 stops.

    Step 1: Select the incrementSet the exposure level increments in the customfunction menu – you get a choice of 1/3 or 1/2 stops (1/3-stops offer more accuracy). Next, scroll to the Exposure comp./AEB setting in the shooting menu, and you’ll see this screen.

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    Step 2: The compensation optionIn Av, Tv and P mode you can set both exposure step size and exposure compensation, so the sequence will be centred on the exposure compensation that’s applied (useful if you’re likely to want to under- or overexpose a scene).

    Step 3: Choose the bracketing orderIn addition to controlling the exposure step size you can als