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Lesson 8 from: Canon 1DX Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

8. Viewfinder

Lesson Info


We are in the midst of our camera controls, going around describing all the buttons and features and displays and so forth, and we have a question that's come in, so let me read the question and then I'll see if I can answer the question. So, when you were changing the shutter speeds, only the vertical indicator was moving, what's the difference between the two indicators and why doesn't the horizontal indicator move when you are adjusting the shutter speeds? Well, I'm not sure if they were asking this when I was in the Shutter Priority or the Manual Mode, but if we wanna take a look on the back of my camera right now, you can see that I am in the Time Value Shutter Priority Mode and I can change my shutter speeds. And nothing is moving, but if I exceed the limit, I go to too fast of shutter speed, this indicator over here is indicating that the final picture will be too dark by two stops. Let's take a look and see what that looks like. So, that picture is dark by two stops, but the re...

ason the middle one's not moving is that is my exposure compensation. I can adjust this by two stops as well, and so, in this case, I will take it over to two stops here and if we compare these two photos, they should look the same. Well, a different focus on 'em. One was taken at 1/1000th of a second, 2.8, the other was taken at 1/250th, at 5.6. And so, the back dial has direct control over this horizontal setting and this one was just kind of if I went too far beyond that particular setting. Now, I'm gonna try this, I haven't tested this. I'm gonna put this in the Manual Mode and you'll notice that we don't have that Exposure Compensation setting there. In theory, we should have it there with the Aperture Values system, but it's, in this case, that's doing exposure compensation. Shows us with both and in this case, we don't have a limit to run past with Aperture Priority, which is the reason why I prefer it to Aperture Value or Aperture Priority. So, I think that answers your question, is that we were in the Time Value Mode and it's showing us when we are running past the edge of what the camera can handle because there's a limit to number of apertures on any given lens. Okay, so it is time to continue along the way in camera controls. We are working our way over to the backside of the camera now. We have a number of different displays, we have our little Rear LCD which is gonna be showing us our frame numbers and a bit about where our files are being stored. We have our LCD Monitor of 1.62 million Dot screen there, which is very high-resolution screen, and I wanna talk about the Viewfinder that you actually look through 'cause that's how you spend a lot of the time working with this camera, with your eye up to the Viewfinder. To start with, the frame that you see in there is 100% accurate, and so, if you wanna line something up right on the edge, that's where it's going to be in the final photograph. We're gonna talk more about the Auto Focus Points in an upcoming section in just a little bit, but it will show you the active focusing points that you have selected in the camera, and you can change how these are viewed. There's a number of viewing options and we'll be discussing these when we get into the Autofocus Menu later on in the class. There's a little circle in the middle and that is showing you the Spot Metering area. A very tiny area, I think I said it was 1.5% of the entire area, and if you want to link that with the Auto Focus Point, you can. This is something you can't do in other Canon cameras, and so, if you wanna have focusing and metering on the same area, you can link that by jumping into the Custom Function Menu and setting that up. There is a Level that will show you whether you are tilting the camera forward, back, left, or right, and that's something that you can turn on and off as well by jumping into the Setup Menu and activating or deactivating that particular feature. Another visual option you'll have is a Grid pattern. Some people like this who are doing architectural photography and they wanna make sure things are lined up or you wanna make sure that you have a level horizon in your photograph, or some people just like it as a background for compositional reasons, so that, once again, can be turned on and off in that Viewfinder Display in the Setup Menu. There is an additional group of Viewfinder information on the bottom and this is part of the new Intelligent Viewfinder in this camera. It's also in the new 5D Mark IV as well as in the 5D S and SR, and this is saving photographers a little bit of time and a little bit of hassle because in previous days, I remember shooting with cameras, when I've got the camera up to my eye like this and I wanna change a setting like the focusing or the ISO, and so, I would have to bring the camera down here and then adjust the setting on the camera and then hold it back up to my eye. Now I can just simply press the button and I can see that feature coming up in the Viewfinder and turn the dial. So, it's a little bit bridging that gap with a mirrorless camera. One of the things that I like about some of the mirrorless cameras that are out on the market is that when you look through the Viewfinder, there's a lot of information that you get that you can look at right there, that you don't need to take the camera away from your eye to change. And so, if you wanna change the white balance, the drive system, the focusing, the metering, the mode of the camera, you don't need to take it away from your eye if you know where those buttons are, and so, that should make things just a little bit quicker and a little bit easier for you to change in the field. There is a Flicker Warning that you can turn on. If you are shooting under fluorescent lights and it's causing a flicker problem that may result in some problem in the exposures of your image, you can have this warning turned on. Now, this is something I've got a great example for you in the Menu section on turning this whole Flicker thing 'cause it's kind of new in the cameras right now and it does an amazing job. And so, if you wanna just have a warning so that you can know about it and then go in and make an adjustment, you can do that or you can have the camera automatically take care of it and it won't even warn you about the flicker problem. So, more about that coming up. There's also a Warnings here, and there's just a little warning that comes up and you can choose why this might come up. And so, some of the reasons that you can choose is, potentially, let's say you have the camera set to shoot black and white or monochrome, and any time you shoot monochrome, that's up and it's something that not everybody does for a long period of time, and so that would be a good warning to have. Whether you've made a notable adjustment for the white balance, whether you have the camera set in Spot Meter, which can be a little dangerous if you don't know that you have it set, and you can also do it if you have changed the image quality with their One-Touch Image Quality option. And so, you get to choose why this might come up to come up and warn you about what you're doing. There's also a little AF Status down here that lets you know that the camera has achieved focus. The camera has a little beep that beeps when it's in focus, which can be a little annoying to subjects and other photographers and people around you, so if you wanna turn that off, you can still have a visual confirmation right on-screen so that you're very sure that you got the right focus. And then down along the bottom, we have our LED Information Line which is gonna give us our critical stats about what we are doing with the camera. So, going from left to right real quickly, it's gonna show us our Exposure Mode, it's gonna have a little asterisk which matches up with the asterisk on the back of the camera, we'll talk about in just a moment, but that is the Auto Exposure lock indicator that we have locked the exposure in. If we have a flash attached, there's a number of modes that you might see about the flash. It's charged and it's ready to fire, whether we've locked the exposure on the flash, or whether we're using it in a special High-speed Sync Mode where we're shooting at very fast shutter speeds with that particular flash. Then we will have our main controls, which is our Shutter speed, our Aperture, and our Exposure level, which we will also see in the top and on the back of the camera if we press the Info button. We have the remaining number of shots, it does have a limit of !, and so, if you have a large memory card or you have your camera set to a lower-quality image setting, you're gonna probably just the 1, and you actually have a number that's much greater than that. The D+ is indicating that the camera has a mode it turned on called Highlight tone priority and this is where the camera is trying to protect highlights, but it does limit how you can shoot the camera and where you can set it in the ISO setting. It's something that I don't recommend using in most situations, but we'll talk more about that when we get to that section in the menu where we turn that on and off. And then, of course, we have our ISO setting, and finally, we have a little green confirmation dot that lets us know that our camera has achieved focus. The little arrows below it indicate the camera is working to achieve focus, but it's not quite there yet, and so, yet another confirmation of good autofocus. And so that's what you see on the bottom. This also has a display on the right-hand side of the camera for additional information. We have our Battery Information, which style of format we're recording to the memory cards, JPEG or RAW. The Maximum Burst or Buffer is the number of images that you can shoot in any one burst, and the camera is very, very fast at it, but there is a limit sometimes on what that number can be, and so, you can see what that burst number is right there. That's how many pictures you can shoot at 14 frames a second at. And then above that, we're gonna have an Exposure Scale and there's gonna be two lines next to it. One is your standard Exposure Level, this is your normal light level, and then there is also a Flash Exposure, so if you wanna do Exposure Compensation, for instance, you wanna do a minus one Flash Exposure, but you wanna do plus one in the Ambient Exposure, you're gonna see those two indicators in slightly different areas over there on the right-hand side. So, that's what you're looking at in the Viewfinder of the camera. The Eyecup is replaceable, it's possible that it might get worn out. They do also make an Anti-Fog one which is less likely to fog up under wet or very humid conditions. If you deal with that, you may wanna take a look at that little accessory. Now, if you take this off by pinching it on the sides, there is a Diopter behind it which will adjust the Viewfinder of the eyepiece. You wanna be able to look through the Viewfinder and see those lines of information that we just talked about so that they are very, very clear. If they're not, you can adjust the Diopter, hopefully, to fit your eyes so that you can clearly see what you're camera is pointed at and what it's focusing on. It has nothing to do with the final image, it's just the view through the Viewfinder for your eyes. On the top right-hand side is a little lever or lever that you can flick if you are using the camera in a Self-Timer Mode. If you wanna take a look at the back of my camera real quickly, you can see that when I shut this eyepiece here, it's got a little door. Maybe I can even take this off so you can see it even better. And so, it blocks the light coming in here and this can be important any time that you are shooting photos in Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, or Program where your eye is not up to the Viewfinder. See, normally your camera is designed to read light coming through the lens with light blocking this because your eye is right up to it, and so, if your eye is not up to it, light could leak in there and throw off your exposure meter. And so, for self-timer shots or cameras mounted in certain positions where you're gonna have the camera in Aperture Priority, you definitely wanna keep that flipped up right there.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Canon® 1Dx Mark II Recommended Settings
Canon® 1Dx Mark II Fast Start Class Slides

Ratings and Reviews

Joe Berkeley

I quite enjoyed John's course on the 1DX mark ii. To be frank, I should have taken it 122,000 shots ago when I bought the camera. I learned quite a bit. There were only a few occasions when I thought my cranium could explode. But I walked away from the course with some great tips and in the grand scheme of things, the money I invest in education is always more valuable than the latest and greatest camera strap, lens, or bag. It will probably take a few months for all of the information to sink in but I'm feeling good about what I learned and the price I paid for it. All in all, a good value.

Fred Innamorato

John does a great job as usual. He provides so many visual aides and demonstrations which really helps you understand how to operate and set up your camera. His step by step explanation of the entire menu and each tab is excellent. In addition to his many photography tips and instructions. What an excellent class and a great value for all the detailed instructions provided. Much better than the manual you get in the box. Plus you get to watch this as many times as needed. I highly recommend this course and all of John's other classes.

Ian Sherratt

Great video. Loved the clear explanations, great views and mixture of video and slides. I’ve read a lot of manuals and books on settings and use of various Canon cameras but this is the first time I’ve really understood the full range of functions.

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