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Lesson 27 from: Canon EOS 6D Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

27. Custom Menu

Next Lesson: My Menu

Lesson Info

Custom Menu

Alright, the next major section is the custom menu. And these are very detailed little tweaks in the camera and how they're gonna work. Most people will walk through this once. They'll make a few little settings about how they wanna tweak their camera and then they may never come back into this section at all just because these are just personal preferences in how you like the camera to work so these are grouped into three major categories. The first category deals with exposure. So diving into this, number one in exposure is do you prefer third stops or half stops when it comes to the exposure level increments. So for instance, shutter speeds would be in half stops or third stops, most cameras are in third stops these days so that's what people are used to. So that tends to be the favorite on the market. The ISO speed can be set to third stops which is what most companies have and some people prefer to put 'em in full stops because they just don't need all those incremental settings. ...

They know exactly where they wanna go and they just don't use those third stops. We've talked about bracketing before. When you are shooting bracketing, do you want the camera to automatically cancel the bracketing system after it's been used once? I find this really good because I don't shoot a lot of bracketing, I shoot a little bit of bracketing. And what happens is I shoot a bracket series and then I'm off to go do something else. And I want the camera to just go back to its regular mode. In some cases, some people are shooting bracketing on a very consistent basis and they don't wanna have to go back in and turn bracketing on every single time they wanna do bracketing and so if you do a lot of bracketing, then you might wanna have this one disable so it's automatically turning off on you. The bracketing sequence, normally, it shoots the normal image first, then the darker one and then the lighter one, if you would prefer to shoot the darkest one first or the lightest one first, you can adjust for that in here and I know a lot of photographers prefer to have the darkest one shot first because it looks good and it's clear to see in the computer afterward where did one series begin and where did it end. Where did the next one begin and so it's a bit of a preference of choice here but darker to lighter seems to be a very popular choice so that's the one I'm gonna recommend. The number of bracketed shots so how many pictures do you wanna shoot when you bracket? Kind of a standard bracket is three bracket series. But a lot of people are really wanting to capture a large dynamic range so there's a lot of people who are shooting five or maybe even seven in some cases. Safety shift, alright, this is kind of interesting. This is gonna work in a mode like time value. And what happens here is the camera is backing you up with a safety, in case you do something dumb, it's not gonna let you do it and so I'm kinda torn on this. I don't wanna do something dumb but I wanna do whatever I wanna do and so in this particular case, let's say we're setting a fast shutter speed of 2,000th of a second. Well, we need an aperture of 1.4. Well, what happens if we go to 4,000th of a second? Well, we don't have an aperture in our lens that's gonna work and so normally, the camera would just let it shoot a photo and it's gonna be dark. Maybe it's what we want, maybe it's because we set it at 4,000th, we don't care what it looks like. We just want it at 4,000. What safety shift does is it just simply doesn't allow us to shoot at 4,000th of a second. I think it actually may say that it's shooting at 4, but it will actually shoot it at 2,000, record it at 2,000 and 1.4, now an interesting option is that you can have the camera under option number two, ISO speed where the camera will go in and it will automatically change your ISO to accommodate your needs and I think that might be a better option than changing your shutter speed or aperture. And so you may wanna play around with this a little bit to see what it's gonna do. Normally I would recommend disable so that what you set is exactly what you get. But if you want a little back up, I think ISO speed would be a good way to use this. Alright, next up, exposure compensation, auto, cancel. So when you do exposure compensation, you're making your picture a little bit lighter, a little bit darker. This is a sticky setting which means if you turn your camera off and then on, that minus two or plus three is still set there from before. If you were to turn this on enable what's gonna happen is it's gonna automatically reset to zero whenever you turn the camera off and for somebody who's maybe not as used to the camera, new to the camera, you might wanna turn this on, it's just kind of a nice thing to have to get your reset back to zero but for somebody who's really serious with their camera, they may want to turn their camera off for a little while and turn it back on and have it exactly the way they set it up before. Metering mode, AE lock after focus. And so when you do an exposure lock after you've focused, how do you want the camera to lock in its meter? Do you want it to use a spot metering system, a center weighted metering system, most people prefer the evaluative metering system but if you prefer to choose a different metering system, you could do so here. So that completes the exposure options of the custom menu. We're gonna dive down to the group two which deals with auto focus now, first up here is tracking sensitivity so if you do a lot of sports photography the next few are very important. In this one, when you are tracking a subject. Do you want it to continue to track the established subject or the new subject, now it may seem like we talked about this before, that was in one of the live view options. This is in standard SLR mode looking through the view finder and so as you are tracking a subject and a new subject comes in between you and your subject, do you want it to go to the new one or not and if you're questioning, you're not really sure about it, well, exactly. There's a lot of different options in here. So tracking a new subject might be good if you're looking for the leader of the race with a finish line, the first person closest to me always wanna be in on that person, that could be a really good thing. With other sports, maybe like tennis or butterfly swimming. You wanna stay with your established subject. Now the reason is for these is that you have your subject but there's occasionally something happening in front of your subject, a tennis racket, a tennis ball or water splashing out in front of your subject. You don't want your camera photographing or focusing on that particular subject, you want 'em on the main subject, not those other little items that are going on. So it depends a little bit on the type of sport, the direction, the lens and the angle of view that you have on your particular subject. Zero is not a bad place to start out in this case and you can adjust as necessary to the minus side or to the plus side. Acceleration and deceleration in tracking. Okay a good question to ask here is does my subject change speeds quickly, no, set it to zero. Yes, one or two so as that subject is approaching you, it's gonna be moving but is it changing in its speed? So for instance, a fixed speed might be auto racing and marathon running, now those of us who are into those particular things will know that it's not exactly a fixed speed, relatively speaking, they're going at a pretty constant speed, they're not stopping and starting like they are in another type of sport like basketball, football or rugby where people will be running a lot one moment and then they'll be stopped in another moment and so this tells the camera how quickly it needs to update the information about moving. My favorite example is the long jump because you got somebody who's not moving at all. And then they're moving at absolute top speed. They jump in the air and they come to a complete stop and so they are rapidly changing in their speed and if you're shooting where they are changing in speed, this will tell the camera, you need to check more quickly for differences in speed change and it will adjust focus appropriately so that you'll get more pictures in focus during that time. Normally you can leave this on zero, adjust it upwards as necessary, auto focus point switching. Another little detailed area for subjects that move around a lot so in this case, it's not so much how fast it's moving towards you or away from you but how quickly it's switching from one focusing set of points to a new set of focusing points. And so if subjects are really moving randomly in the frame, how quickly should these other points turn on and start tracking the subject and so gradual AF point switching where they're at zero where things are not moving around, track and field motor sports. Any type of sport where you pretty much know where the athlete or the subject is going to be. It's not that unpredictable, they're going down a particular course that you can track fairly easily. Subjects that are more random in nature like dance, figure skating, gymnastics and so forth, that's where you wanna have this set onto a higher numbered setting. This may take a little bit of practice and a number of test shots to see what works best for you as with the previous couple of topics that we've had on this auto focus subject, normally, you can leave it on zero and adjust it from there. AI Servo first image priority. So when you're in the AI Servo which is the continuous focusing system, there is a balance of importance that the camera has when taking that first picture. Do you want it in focus or do you want that picture taken right now, in some cases, you can't have both. There's gotta be a little bit of lee way in there. And so while the camera is focusing, chances are it could track that subject all day waiting for perfect focus if you didn't tell it hey, take a photo right now, sports photographers want pictures taken when they press the shutter and so most sports photographers leave this kind of balanced or on the least side of the issue where when they press the release, they get a photo, it may be a tad out of focus. But it's taken at the right time and maybe that tad out of focus won't even be seen with the size of the print that they may be using from it. And so most people leave this as either in the middle or a little bit on the release side. Now on the second image, some people wanna have a little higher standard for making sure that it's in focus, depends on what the balance is between getting the photo and getting the photo perfectly in focus. And so in this case, you're probably fine not making any adjustments right now until you do a bit of sports photography and see how the camera performs and then coming back to this to see if you wanna tweak it to fit your needs a little bit better. The AF assist beam firing, there's a little light that will fire if the camera needs help focusing under a low light, I'm not a big fan of this because it's irritating to any subject that you point the camera at and it's not very effective over a very large range. You have to have something really close to the camera for this to work, now you can also have it trigger the remote sensor on the external flash. And so that'll send an infrared beam that you can barely see, you can see it turns on on the flash and it's gonna help the camera focus and that can help over a greater distance but once again, this can be very disturbing to your subject so if you're gonna be photographing a person speaking in front of a large audience, it's gonna put a bright light on them that may not look good. And so this is the type of thing that you probably wanna disable, Lens drive when AF impossible. So when you have one of these bigger lens, you can tell the camera to stop focusing once it reaches the end of the focusing cycle and tell it not to search back and forth, with a normal lens, it searches back and forth because it's a relatively short range of those lens going back and forth to focus. With a big telephoto lens, there's a much bigger change from near focus to far focus and that can take a really long time and so a lot of people with the big lenses will set this to stop focus search and then they will just manually get it close to the mark and then auto focus again. There's a number of different methods that you can focus on that pinpoint, single point, group point, wide point, all points, if you don't wanna use one of those, you can uncheck these boxes here. The AF area selection method. Normally you would press that AF button on the back of the camera and the press the AF selection button right near the shutter release but if you want, you can use the main dial to turn and adjust the settings so it all depend on what button or dial you want to use to make those setting changes. Orientation linked AF point, this one's pretty cool. Let's say you have those right hand points selected. When you turn the camera vertically, those right hand points are now on the top of the frame because that's the orientation of the frame. If you wanna use 'em separate, you could choose a specific set of points when you are horizontal. And then when you are vertical, a different set of points so that you can keep your subject on the same side of the frame roughly even though you're in horizontal or vertical positioning. And so this is something a lot of photographers would like, it doesn't work well if you are shooting straight up or straight down but I think it does work well for a lot of different types of photographers. Initial AF point, AI servo AF. So when you go into the all point servo mode, which point do you want it to choose? And so you can choose initial which is good for focusing on different subjects or you could choose manual, good for focusing on the same subject and so in this case, auto, the camera will choose the same point in initial. It'll choose the last setting from the 40, when you were in the 45 point auto focus setting, manual keeps the same setting you have for single or expanded so if you're in the far left and single, you switched it to all points, it would stay as that same point as the starting point of all those 45 points. So I think the manual AF point is a good option for most people, color tracking is where the camera will use the metering sensor to look for color and try to use that as additional information for tracking your subject. And so this is potentially more information that will help your camera focus more accurately in tricky action situations, it's a relatively new technology that has not been fully refined and perfected and so there's a lot of serious sports photographers who don't trust this and found that it doesn't work as predictably as their standard system that they've been working with for many years, for people who are not as familiar with the focusing system in the camera or they're not used to using it in their camera, this system can help them focus in many cases and so if you're an armature sports photographer, yeah, this might help you out in getting a few more pictures in focus than out of focus, if you're a serious professional, it changes the formula in how the camera works and it may start operating differently and it may take a little while to adjust to this new system. We are likely to see more of this in the future, as this technology gets more and more detailed and is able to do more and more. There is not a lot of performance difference you're gonna see right out of the gate. There's nothing that you see going on in the camera. This is all kind of processing power happening behind the scenes and so for those of you into sports photography, probably the best advice is give it a try in both cases. See which one you like, AF point selection movement. Alright, so you get to select 45 different points and they are way off to the one hand side but you wanna get around to the other side. What do you have to do, well, normally you would have to press the button over and over and over again to get it all the way over to the other side. But with the continuous option, you can just wrap it around from one side to the other and it'll be a little bit quicker getting from one side to the other. It's a little bit of a time warp worm hole theory and it's quite nice when it works on the camera. AF point display during focus and I'm not gonna go through the exact details of these because they get a little nuanced but we have five different options. And in general, the option at the top that they are more visible at the bottom, they are less visible. And so do you wanna see those focusing points all the time, when you're focusing, when focusing is achieved and for the most part the selected constant is gonna be fine for most people but if you wanna see it more or less, they'll be some other options in here. View finder display illumination, so the flames, the flame, the frames, the af focus points will light up in black under bright light conditions and they'll line up in red when you are in dark light conditions. And it will automatically switch back and forth according to the brightness level in the view finder. And this works out pretty well for most people. But if you want them always illuminated in red, you can set this to enable. If you don't ever want them in red, you can set them to disable. AF micro adjust is going to deal with the exact focusing of your lens to make sure that they achieve perfect focus. Now this is gonna get a little detailed and you're gonna have a number of little boxes in here that you're gonna need to dive into so you would hit the q to register any particular lens, now let me explain the background to the problem here and that is that with an SLR, it's estimating the distance to the subject and it's not always right. Sometimes the camera is gonna focus a little in front and sometimes it's gonna focus a little in back. And that's just because it needs a little tweak between the camera body and the lens and so if it does need that little tweak, what photographers will do is they will use a focus target to focus on. This is what's supposed to be in focus. And then they'll use another device in order to measure whether it's in focus or whether it's front focused or back focused. Now you can buy professional products like this Lens Align to focus on a subject and see how far forward or behind it's focusing. Now I use a very simple method of just using a ruler and a yardstick and I focus on the ruler and then I see on the yardstick whether I'm in focus or out of focus so I checked on of my lenses. And I got the following results as I adjusted my settings from minus 20 to plus 20 on this focusing adjustment. This micro focus adjustment and you can see that zero is not exactly perfect, it's a little bit off. I would say that somewhere around plus four or maybe plus five is where my camera needs to be to get perfect focus, now in order to make this change, what you wanna do is you're gonna need a whole big set up here. You're gonna need your camera and all your lenses. You're gonna need to be able to have everything to set up to take a very, very sharp picture, tripod, cable release, I use a ruler and a yardstick for measuring what's in focus. You wanna set your camera up to get high quality images with very shallow depth of field. From there, you're gonna unfocus the lens. Let the camera focus on the subject and then you're gonna check it to see if it's actually in focus. If you shoot with lens that have very shallow depth of field, in general, that is gonna be lens that are two eight and faster so whether they're zoom or prime doesn't really matter but if they shoot with very shallow depth of field, it's something that you're probably gonna wanna check on the camera and so this is something that requires a little bit of time. I would probably set aside an hour of time to get everything set up to check a few different lens. Now which lens need to be checked, which ones don't? My general feeling is that any of the f four lenses are probably gonna shoot pretty close to the mark and be within there, you can check all of the lens. That's perfectly fine but it's those fast ones that really need, that 85, 14, 12, the 135 F2, 3028, a 70 to 200 2.8 and even with those 70 to 200 2.8's, one of the nice things is you can get a wide setting set as well as a telephoto one so it could be slightly different. Lenses can have slightly different variances according to the wide angle and the telephoto setting. So if you find that you are getting consistent problems with the focus meaning that you're focusing in front consistently or focusing behind your subject consistently, that's when you need to fix this problem. If you just occasionally get random focused stuff, there's something else going on there. It's the consistently front focused or consistently back focused items that are gonna be a problem that can be addressed by this micro focus adjustment. It's not something I recommend to people who are brand new to cameras who are not sure about what they're doing, you're gonna wanna really take a close look at this before you make any major changes to the way your camera's set up. Alrighty, the third big category is custom menu is operation and others and so we got a few other things in here, I told you about the warning symbol in the camera so in that case, here's where you get to check off what you want the camera to warn you about when it's turned on and I leave all of these turned on because I don't normally use these and so I wanna be warned if I am using these by some chance. You can get very picky about the dial direction in the camera so as you are turning the camera, as you're changing shutter speeds or apertures, which direction do you want the camera to turn to get to faster or slower shutter speeds and or apertures. Personal preference, most people don't need to reverse it but some people just prefer it to go the other direction. The retracting lens on power off. There are many lens that, not many, there are a few lens that extend out when they're shooting and when you turn the camera off, it's nice to have the lens completely retracted into the camera unless you want to turn the camera off and get the camera focused back exactly where it was before. So most people are gonna be fine leaving this on enable. It'll be a little bit easier so when they unmount their lens and they put it in their camera bag, it's not in that extended form. We've talked a bit about this, the custom controls. This is where you get to go in and customize the various different controls on the camera. There's a number of buttons and dials that you can change the function of, I'm not gonna go into each and every dial, into all the different operations that you can change. But I would definitely recommend going in and taking a look at what the options are and seeing what you can do to adjust the camera to fit your needs. Remember this is how you set your camera up for back button focusing by going into the shutter release option which is on the top left of this menu system and turning off the auto focus of the shutter release and making sure that the af on is left on auto focus so that you can get your camera on auto focus. In fact, let me just do a quick demo for that for you right here and now 'cause I know a lot of you wanna know how to do that and so let's just do it right here. Alright, we need to get over to our custom controls. Let's get up to the right tab, I'll hit the q button. The q button, by the way is a nice little shortcut for going from one tab to the next. We're going down here, operations to others. And I'll jump over here and so if I wanna set my camera up for back button focusing, I'm gonna come here to where it has the shutter release. I'm gonna press the Set button and I'm gonna have it activate the metering system but not the auto focus system and now I'm gonna hit Set. Now the back button is set to Auto focus which is what I want and I wanna see a little thing here. One of the things here is you can set this second button to auto focus as well so you can get auto focus with the AF on button and the asterisk button over here. And so now when I focus, when I press this button to focus, let me just get this so you can see my shutter release, but when I press the shutter release up here, the lens does not focus, back here, let's see if I can get, I probably don't have it in the right focusing mode. But this will allow it to focus in the back, either one of these and actually it would help if I had my camera in auto focus, don't ya think, yeah, I think so. And so you can see on the front of my camera right up here, that when I press the back button, it focuses. But when I press the shutter release, it doesn't focus and so it doesn't care about it being in focus here and so I can shoot photos with any composition I want and just focusing back here and so that's what a lot of people have their cameras set up as and I recommend a lot of people do as well. It just gives you more control when you're shooting photos about what's in focus and what the composition is. Alright, that should complete our custom menu there. So lots of little options to tweak the camera exactly to your needs.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Canon EOS 6D Mark II - Recommended Settings
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Keynote Part 3
Keynote Part 4

Ratings and Reviews

Warren Gedye

John, this is my second class of yours I'm taking on Creative Live. You are a very unique and articulate instructor. Your knowledge, understanding and experience in all matters photography is astounding! You have certainly fine tuned the knack in imparting your deep knowledge in such a palatable way! Your slides are magnificent, simple and concise and caters directly to your audience. I can only imagine the hours upon hours of time spent making these valuable slides. I look forward to many more of your courses!

a Creativelive Student

Always enjoy all of John's classes, but especially this one since I've decided to upgrade from my previous 6D. Awesome camera and this one is so much quieter than the older one. Thank you for explaining things in terms and ways that are easy to understand!

Tim Rogers

Thanks for a very useful course John. Not to get out and enjoy the new toy. Wish I had done the similar course for my previous camera (60D); will be recommending it to the person I am giving the camera to.

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