We are covering the outside of the camera. We just finished the top deck and we're gonna move over to the backside of the camera where we have lots of features to look at back here. So starting over on the left we have the menu button which is gonna get you to the full list of menu items that we are gonna deal with in the second half of this class, so we're gonna just move right along for right now. Next up is the info button. Now whether you are shooting images or you're playing back images you can press the info button and it will cycle through different screens. We have your general camera settings that you can see here, we have an electronic level, which is kind of like a little flight guide whether you're tilted to the left or tilted to the right. And then this is our shooting function, so we're gonna get into this which looks very similar to our quick menu, so you can see what actively is being set on the camera at this particular time. Now if you don't want all three of those op...
tions or you don't have those three options and you want to have all of them, you can go into the setup menu, and you can turn on and off those three different options that I just discussed. Next up we have a removable eyecup EG, so if this does wear out, which it might wear out with heavy use after a period of time you can go purchase a new one of those, they're around 20 dollars. Be careful with the diopter, this is the focusing of the viewfinder. It doesn't determine how your pictures are gonna come out, but it does effect the focusing of the viewfinder for your eyes. So if you wear glasses you might be able to take your glasses off, adjust the diopter so that you can see the viewfinder properly. What you wanna do is look in the viewfinder, look for the little black etching marks for the focusing frame, for the focusing brackets or for the line of information down below the screen and turning the diopter so that that stays in focus. And just be aware that this does get bumped as cameras go in and out of the camera bag and we're carrying 'em over our shoulder, and so this is likely to change, not real likely, but it is possible that it will change from time to time. Next up is Canon's new standard live view, movie mode dial switch button, and this goes into a lot of different things on the camera. So let's talk in very particular about what's going on here. So first off there is a switch, you can be in the movie mode or you can be in the live view mode. For right now let's talk about the live view, which is for taking still images while you are looking at the back of the camera for composition reasons. And when you do this, first off you can press that info button that we just talked about for either more or less information. And then you can hit the Q button, which stands for quick menu and you can get in, and you can control a whole bunch of features, some we've already talked about, others that we are going to talk about, but you can get to some of the most common settings that you might want to change in there. But the one setting that is most important to talk about at this point is the autofocusing of the camera when you are in live view mode. And once again if I didn't make it completely clear you have to turn the switch for live view and then you would press the button in the middle to turn it on and off. And so normally if you don't shoot movies you just leave it in the live view mode and then you hit the start, stop when you wanna go in and out of the mode. Now back to that autofocus issue. There is a problem with autofocusing when you are in the live view mode. And let me use some of my patented graphics to explain the issue here. All right, so here's how your normal SLR works, remember, we've already talked about this. Well one of the things I didn't mention to you is that the mirror in this camera is a partially silvered mirror, which means that you can see through the middle portion of the mirror, and this allows light through the middle portion of the mirror just a little bit of light so that it hits a secondary mirror which bounces down to yet another mirror, which bounces down to an autofocus sensor and this is how your camera focuses while you are looking through the camera. And so there's a lot going on in there. Now here's what happens when you put the camera in the live view mode. The mirror needs to get up and out of the way so that light can come into the sensor, which is what you're seeing on the back of your camera. Now down there at the bottom of your camera is the autofocus sensor and it's not getting any information at all. And so your camera's normal autofocusing system, the phase detection system in this camera does not work, and so the camera uses a contrast detection system which looks at contrast on-screen and adjusts the focus, and frankly Canon's not real good at this. The other major competitors are not much better. So when you do have the camera in the live view mode realize that autofocusing is not the same as it is during normal picture taking. Now there are three options that you can choose from in the autofocus method. The first one is called FlexiZone AF. You get a bracket, you can use the little controller on the back of the camera to move the bracket up, down, left, and right, and then you would press down on the shutter release to focus. It's not nearly as fast at focusing, but it does work, and it's actually my favorite of the three modes. The next mode is the face detection mode, they call it the face live mode. And this looks for faces, and when you press halfway down on the shutter release will focus on the face. And what it typically will do is focus on the face that is closest or most dominant in the frame. This may work for some people, it's not my favorite mode. The final mode is quick mode and what happens there is the camera returns to the normal shooting mode, which means it returns to the mirror down, focuses, and then brings the mirror back up. It is very quick, but it's disruptive because you can't see what you are doing because the mirror it moves down, and you would have to look through the viewfinder and so it changes, it's a little discombobulating in some ways, but it does work pretty quickly, but it's hard to get the focusing brackets exactly on target, and so I prefer the FlexiZone of any of these three, but actually my favorite is to just manually focus. And this is what most people who are serious about using this camera in the live view mode is they just manually focus. One of the options to help with the manual focusing is the magnify button. You can use the magnify button to zoom in and really check a portion of the image that you are looking at and you can move that area around so that you can manually focus very, very accurately. When you are shooting live view there's a couple of reasons why you might wanna do it. I like using it from a tripod, so that I can stand back a little bit further, and I can zoom in and check to make sure that focus is 100% accurate, which is how landscape photographers are checking to make sure they have enough depth of field, and that their subjects are exactly as sharp as they want 'em to. You can also use it handheld, just to get the camera in an unusual position. And this will immediately bring up the idea of using the phone as an external monitor, and that's where things can get a lot of fun, and we're gonna talk about that a little bit later. Now the other side of the coin of live view is the movie mode. To get it into the movie mode you flip the switch down to the movie and it will instantly go into the live view mode. To start recording you would press the start and stop button on the back of the camera. And so that's what initiates and stops the recording. You don't have to keep your finger on the button. You just press it once to start, and once to stop recording. So you are recording in what's called a .movie file, which is a very common format that's easily accessible, easily downloadable, and available for use on a lot of different video programs. You do have a maximum limit of about 30 minutes of recording time. If you do shoot four gigs it will start a new file and you'll have these two files which can be combined up to 30 minutes in length. One of the nice new features about this that it brings from the 5D mark three is there are two different compression rates for the video, there's ALL-I, which is a larger, higher quality file, and IPB which is a smaller file. If you're a mom or dad just recording the kids goofing around you probably can use the smaller file size, it's still HD resolution, it's still looks fantastic. If you are shooting in a professional nature and you're using an editor whether it's you or somebody else that is getting into a high-end editing program and you're making very specific cuts with your program you might wanna be going to the ALL-I, which is the largest file that you can get out of this camera. So anyone who's really serious the ALL-I, the more basic user, just more simple, basic video you can leave it at IPB, and there's a big file size difference, so you can waste a lot of space or you can use a lot of space depending on what your priorities are. Next up is you do have different resolutions the camera shoots in full HD, which is 1920 by 1080. There are smaller resolutions if you don't need that size of file or you just don't wanna use up as much space, but that is one of the options that we'll see as we go through the menu settings. You also have different frame rates, anywhere from 24 all the way up to 60. And we can go in and change those according to the desires. Normal video is at 30, Hollywood shoots their movies at 24, and you can also shoot at 60, but it's limited as to exactly what you can do in there at 60. Now to get in and change these settings you're gonna see this in the menu setting, don't worry, we're gonna get in there and do this ourselves, but if you wanna jump ahead there is a movie setting mode that you can go into. You do have to have your cameras in the movie mode to get to this menu mode, be fully explained later on. Can't stress enough that the focusing is a bit of an issue in here, and so the idea for most people shooting video is to focus ahead of time and then shoot the video whether it's manually focusing or autofocusing, that's up to you, but focus ahead of time, don't try to focus while you are recording. It just tends not to wanna look so good. And then you can shoot a still photograph at any time you want. Now the down side to shooting a still photograph is that you are gonna get the 16 by nine aspect ratio, you do not get the three by two aspect ratio which is normal, but this is primarily a still camera, and you can shoot a still picture anytime you want. Now we've just gone through a lot of things on live view and movie mode so this might be a good time to check back in on questions 'cause this usually generates a lot of questions.
Yep, here we go, John. So one question, "For shooting in live mode "do you have a certain size flashcard "that you would recommend for shooting?"
Well, not in conjunction with live view or anything here, but just jumping ahead to that memory cards right now, 32 gigs is kind of the sweet spot, where it's the cheapest per gigabyte of information, and that seems to change about every 18 months. And so whatever is the cheapest per gigabyte is usually my favorite size to choose. I typically am not the type of person who's gonna spend 500 dollars on a memory card because I know it'll be 20 dollars in about three years. Unless I really, really need it.
Good, Douglas Gothib asks, "Can you shoot a still while recording video on the 6D?"
Yes you can, but there are some severe implications. So if you are shooting a video, let's say I'm doing a pan across the room here, and right as I get to my chat host I wanna shoot a picture, so what's gonna happen is I'm shooting a video, video, video, video, I shoot my still picture, and then I continue shooting video, the camera will take those two video clips and it'll splice them together, and there'll be this one second gap that will put the still photograph I believe after the video. And so it stays continuous in the video playback, but there is a gap in there. And for teaching photography it's been really fun because I've been able to shoot video, take the picture, and you can see what happens before and after the shot, which is kind of fun. So yes you can do that, but one of the things that does irritate me is that you get a 16 by nine wide aspect ratio when you're shooting that still photograph. So that was the live view and movie mode. Next up we have the autofocus on button. Now normally most people leave the shutter button activated for focusing, so you press halfway down on the shutter release, the camera focuses. But there's a lot of photographers who prefer what's called back-button focusing, and this is using a button on the back of the camera in order to focus, and to separate taking pictures verses focusing and I was dragged kicking and screaming into this, I didn't want to do this, and I was kind of forced to do it, and I ended up liking it quite a bit. And so I typically when I focus I'm gonna use the AF-On button on the back of the camera. Now in order for this to really be effective, you need to go into your custom controls and turn off the focusing on the shutter release, we'll talk a little bit more about this later because what happens then is you control focusing with the thumb and shooting pictures with the forefinger. This is really nice if you're trying to put subjects off frame. I'll focus on them with the back button, I'll move the camera off to the side, and then just take pictures whenever I want without having to recompose and refocus. And so it's a bit of a more advanced technique and it does take a little getting used to. Don't think I'm just gonna put it in AF-On and everything's gonna be fine. There's a little bit of initiation phase. I would say it's the equivalent of normally you're in a left-hand drive car switching over to a right-hand drive car. It's just a little different where everything is. The main thing is it's not gonna be good for a real beginner because they're gonna forget that the AF-On button is in the back, and so there's two buttons controlling the camera, but it's a real good option for intermediate or advanced users. AE lock, this is for locking the exposure. When you press down on the shutter release and you move the camera around when you're in a program mode, time value, or aperture value mode the camera is constantly reading the light and adjusting shutter speeds or apertures. If you wanna lock a reading in you would press this in to lock it. It'll hold there for about six seconds. And then it will reset, so you have to be a little bit careful whether it's locked in or not, and there is a little indicator at the bottom of the viewfinder that tells you with that little asterisk whether it's turned on or not. And then we get to a very important button, not that those aren't important, but this one's maybe more important, the focusing points. And focusing points are a big issue about how the camera performs, focusing is one of the most important things you do in a camera because it is something that cannot be fixed later. So let's talk about the focusing points on this camera. So we have 11 focusing points, and this was one of the disappointments when this camera came out that it didn't have more than 11 points because the 5D Mark two had nine, and the new 5D Mark three has 61, and this didn't seem like it was that much of an improvement over it. So in any case for controlling the points what you wanna do is you wanna press the focusing point button first to activate the focusing points, and then you will either turn the main dial or the multi-selector in the back of the camera or the back dial for changing which one of the points is selected, and sometimes you have to use a combination of dials to select which area that you want which particular individual one. Now the basic choices that you could choose is you could choose all of 'em or you could choose any individual bracket that you want. You cannot choose a group of two or three or four. It's either 11 or one, that's the only options you have on this. Now there is something that will link which point you pick to which direction you turn the camera which I think is a really cool feature, and I'm gonna show you an illustration as to why this is so cool, but this is really good for somebody who wants to have two different points selected depending on if the camera is horizontal or vertical, and that's gonna be in the custom functions group number two, number seven within there if you wanna jump ahead and get that figured out right now. Now a little bit of basic information on how cameras focus. Within these brackets are sensors, which are looking for contrast, they're looking for lines. Some of these are horizontal line sensors, yes, they're a vertical line, but they're only looking for horizontal line, and even if a vertical line runs straight across them they can't see what's going on. And so they're looking for horizontal lines, and if it's a broken line it'll focus the lens and fix the problem. This camera has vertical line sensors in it, which are specifically looking for out of focus vertical lines, and it will tell the lens on how to focus to fix that problem. And so as we talk about some of these brackets you might hear something referred to as a 2.8 horizontal line sensor, and what that means is that it's only looking for horizontal lines, and it needs a lens with an aperture of 2.8 for it to work. You might hear about a sensor that is an f4 vertical line sensor. It's only looking for vertical lines, and it needs to have a lens of f4 or faster. Now the best of these would be a 5.6 cross type sensor. Cross type means it's looking for both vertical and horizontal lines, and f5.6 means it works with all lenses 5.6 or faster, and right now all of Canon's lenses are 5.6 or faster and so ideally I would like to have a camera that has all cross type sensors that are all good at 5.6. So let's take a look at what we have in this camera. The focusing points, the four to the left, and four to the right are f5.6 horizontal points. So they work with all lenses from Canon, but they're only looking for horizontal lines. F5.6 vertical points are at the top and bottom and these are only looking for vertical lines. Now the focusing point in the middle is a cross type point, and it's got a couple extra things going on about it. First thing is it is good down to EV minus three, which is I believe the best of any Canon camera on the market. In fact I believe it may even be the best of any camera on the market today. So if you are looking at focusing under low light conditions, you're a wedding photographer, you work event photography in dark night clubs or things like that then you wanna autofocus the center point on this is phenomenal. It can focus on a dark night with just moonlight illuminating your scene, and so that's with the EV minus three is, that's a level of light that it can read. The 5D Mark three for instance is EV minus two. Many cameras are EV minus one. The other aspect to this center point is that when you use a lens with a 2.8 aperture or faster, like a 2.0, 1.4 it employs a special high precision aspect to that focusing point. Which is actually necessary when you get to these really fast aperture lenses. There's a couple of things that we're not gonna get totally into here, but behind the scenes what's going on when they make the sensors they can make them either focus really fast or really accurately. And this center one kinda has both going on. It can do the fast part, but then with this high precision it gets very, very precise about exactly where the lens was focused at. And so if you do have one of those fast, like a 70 to 200 2.8 lenses you're really getting exceptionally good performance from this sensor in the middle. Going along with this there are a number of ways to customize the focusing, we'll talk about this more when we get into the menu system. For anyone who wants to jump ahead you can control the tracking sensitivity, which would be for sporting events as well as acceleration and deceleration, both of these for sporting type action photography where you're tracking subjects back and forth. It's not the best action camera in the world for tracking subjects back and forth because it only has 11 points, and they're not cross type sensors. It's just the center point, but this is an exceptionally good portrait or landscape camera because the center point is what most people use most of the time. It's just not real good for the action photography. And so that's what you also wanna look at for doing this. And this might be a good time to stop, check in on questions for autofocus issues 'cause there's a lot of questions about that I imagine.
Yes, I always know that I have a ton of autofocus questions. So let's see here. There was a question from Bob in the U.K. that asks "Can you lock the AEL?"
Can you lock the AEL, you can, let me just do a quick, little test. Throw my camera in aperture priority, and if I press the AEL it stays locked in for a little bit, and the camera resets after six seconds. You could customize how quickly the camera shuts down 'cause right now the camera's instructed to go into a sleep mode after six seconds. We could leave that on longer and by default that would leave the auto-exposure locked on for a longer period of time. And there's one other thing, let me see if I can go adjust something really quickly, gonna go in, see if I can make, I think I can make it stay locked on, gotta wait for at least six seconds here, so sorry about killing time, and I come back and it resets itself. I don't think you can do it longer than before the camera wants to go to sleep on its own.
Okay, cool. And then from VR, "Does the autofocus work "when you're shooting video with STM lenses?"
Yeah, so I'm gonna talk about STM lenses in a moment, but they're lenses that are a little bit quieter for focusing while you're shooting video and so the STM lenses, first off the regular Canon lenses are, oh this is gonna be a great soundbite here, Canon lenses are terrible in autofocusing while in the movie mode. The STM lenses are slightly better than terrible, but they have not worked into what I would call very good. It's a matter of opinion, but it's well known in the industry and there are some serious people using 5D, 6Ds to shoot professional quality video and in virtually all cases they're just manually focusing before they shoot the video, and then they shoot the video. And in some cases they're using special devices to focus while they're shooting, but they're doing it all manually. Any commercial, any documentary, any movie of a serious nature, they are not gonna be using autofocus while they're shooting video. It's okay if you wanna do that with your stuff, but just realize that it's not the ideal system for that, it's not the way the whole system was designed, and there's all sorts of technical issues we're not gonna get into about why that's so, but it is.
Okay, and then Terri asks, "Is the 6D autofocus 11 points better than "the 5D Mark three 61 specifically for wedding photography?"
No, I don't think they're better, I think 5D Mark three is better. The only exception to that is this 6D is good down to minus three EV. The 5D is good to minus two EV, which is a very subtle difference, and technically it is better, but having a Mark three and knowing how to use it, and when I say know how to use it knowing exactly where to point that bracket in order to get the focus, you're not gonna have problems with it. All right, the playback button, obviously hit this to playback the last image, and don't forget to go back to the info button to hit that for more information 'cause that'll pull up extra information about the shutter speed, aperture, and other things that you might wanna know about that particular image. If you turn the back dial on the camera that'll change to the previous picture, and if you use that dial up on the top of the camera you can jump 10 images if you want. And then if you want to check the focusing the magnify button that we saw earlier you can zoom in and see how sharp your images are. Now you notice the playback and the magnify are in blue, things in blue tend to relate to things in playback, and you'll see that garbage can button we'll talk about down there at the bottom is also in blue. And so when you magnify you can zoom in and out with the top dial on the camera, the main dial. One of the nice things about this camera is that you can go in and you can customize how much the camera magnifies when you press the magnify button I'm gonna show you why you wanna do that when we get into the menu section, but in that third part of the menu playback you can get in and control that aspect of it. And of course you wanna delete that particular picture you can hit the garbage can button and go through the protocol of saying, yes, that I do want to select and delete that particular image. When you are playing back an image you can also hit the Q button and the Q button is gonna go through and give you a whole bunch of options and we're gonna talk about all these options more as we get into the menu settings, but you can go through, and you can protect an image, you can rotate it, you can give it a rating, so just press the Q button and this is kind of new, and this is a little different than the 5D Mark three or the Mark two, so this is kind of new things that Canon is doing, giving you more options when you play back a feature. So there's a lot of options in that quick menu which we're gonna talk about here right now. So the Q button stands for the quick menu and the reason the Q button is on the camera is that if you go into the menu setting there is about 100 items in the menu, which is a lot of items to sort through when there's usually only a few things that you need to get at, and so what they have done is that they have put a quick menu. And I kinda call this Quickie Mart if you know the Simpsons, it's the local Quickie Mart, you're not gonna find everything, but you're gonna find just those essentials in life like Twinkies and beer. Just the things that are most important, you find them here in the quick menu, and so we're gonna talk about that a little bit more carefully in displays. Just some other things so that you know what's going on in the camera. When the camera is writing information to the memory card the card light will be on. What you most definitely do not want to do when that light is on is take the memory card out of the camera. And so just let the camera write the information and work with the card. The lock switch for right now, keep it over to the left so you have access to all the controls, we're gonna be able to go in and go into this custom function group number three, number three within that, and you can choose what you lock when you flip that to the right 'cause you can lock the top dial, the back dial, or the multi-controller on the back of the camera. And depending on how many buttons you accidentally hit you can customize the camera for the way you might want to lock it up.
John Greengo is an award-winning photographer specializing in outdoor and travel photography. Shooting for over 3 decades, John has developed an unrivaled understanding of the industry, tools, techniques and art of photography. When he's not traveling for a new shoot,
There’s a saying in golf that it’s the swing, not the club, that counts. I’ve found that true in photography, where the most artistic photographer I know uses a Canon Rebel and an old film camera. His stuff wins awards and gets chosen for big exhibits. As recently as this past summer (2017) he told me he MIGHT upgrade to the camera this course covers, the 6D. Not the newer 6D Mark II — this one. If he gets it, I hope he takes this course.
Is this course relevant in 2018, six years after the camera came out? To me, it is. I’ve read the hype about newer cameras — and they sound great — but I like the idea of seeing if I can do more with the 6D in my bag. And this course has already helped with that, really explaining the options and techniques for focusing, techniques I’ve started using and that have impacted how I composed some shots.
The teacher, John Greengo, is the guy I’d want to meet behind the counter at a camera store. He knows the camera inside-out and upside-down. In this five-hour class, he takes you through every button, dial, and menu option — judiciously skimming past things less likely to be useful and focusing time on the key stuff. He’s a smart teacher and this is a smart class.
Other examples of things he spent time on that caught my attention: How to adjust this camera and shoot remotely with an iPhone. How to use "mirror lockup" to keep the camera still at slow shutter speeds. How to update firmware.
If you another camera and John Greengo offers a Fast Start course for it, my guess is you’ll find it worth your time.
John's style is fun, personable and professional. While I've used the 6D for a short while, it was comforting to learn a few tricks and short cuts. Also the preferred settings information was useful. Feel more confident that I will get better shots and be able to make adjustments more quickly. Don't expect any tips on situational shooting; lighting, composition etc. This is an in depth look at the 6D options, set-up, preferences and nice explanations for the choices. John's presentation was easy to understand, well paced and arranged with excellent graphics. One thing that may have been missing... the C1, C2, C3 set-up. This is a little different than the 7D. Recommended.
This was an awesome class. This helped me so much in learning my camera better. I am so impressed with all of John Greengo's classes. His level of detail in going over the functions of equipment and cameras is so awesome.... he always gives the best UNBIASED information.