Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's on the Menu?

Welcome back, Volks! Autumn in Hohenfels is really starting to pick up, moving us faster and faster to winter. Let’s hope it’s not as rough as last year!

Today we're going to start a multi-part investigation of the camera menu. Since most of us shoot Canon, I’m going to use my camera’s menu for this series. I’ll break it down into the pages of my camera menu, but most cameras either have the same or similar menu settings. Some of what we discuss you may not have, and you may have some I don’t. For the purposes of this article, it’s assumed you have set your basics. I hope you’ll follow along in your manual and with your camera.

Press the menu button, and you should be on the first tab. It has a camera symbol with one dot. Your settings are Quality, Red-Eye on/off, Beep, Release shutter without card, Review time, Peripheral illumination correction, and Flash control.

The Quality selection allows you to choose your resolution. I shoot RAW, but you can select your desired resolution. You should be able to select RAW, RAW+JPEG, or JPEG and select the JPEG resolution. Since I shoot full Resolution RAW, I selected the RAW ICON and saved the setting by pressing the menu button.

The Red eye on/off is just what it says. Since red eye is caused by flash that is too close the lens and along the same axis, selecting this to on causes a series of pre-flashes to be emitted by the pop-up or on camera flash. Since we NEVER use the pop-up flash, and most on camera use of a flash should be from bouncing the light, you can leave this off.

Beep allows you to set the camera so that focus will beep, as will timer functions. It’s your choice!

Releasing shutter without card should be off. Having this turned on can lead to some serious disappointment when you’re out shooting. No card, no photos!

The review time sets how long the LCD displays the image after shooting.

Peripheral illumination control, if available, allows the camera to append data to the image that allows for the lens’s light drop off at the corners. Your lens has to be registered in your camera. If it is, setting this will allow corrections to be made by the camera. A good idea to have on. You can register and check which lenses are registered using your EOS utility.

The last control on this tab is the Flash control setting. This is a power full setting. When selected there are more settings available. Let’s explore them!

First up is Flash firing. If this is set to disable, not even an external flash will fire. Maybe you should enable this one!

Next is built in flash function. Unless you have the EOS 7D and use it to control off camera flash, or you use your pop-up, this should be disabled.

Then we have External flash function settings.

You have your flash mode. ETTL, manual, multi flash, TTL, automatic, and manual external flash settings. If your flash is mounted to your camera’s hot-shoe, E-TTL is a good choice to start.

Next is Shutter Sync. Selecting first will fire the flash when the shutter curtain begins to open. Setting it to second will fire the flash once at the start of the exposure and again right before the end. It only works at speeds slower then 1/30.

Then is FEC, or flash exposure compensation. This allows you to adjust the flash output to either brighten or darken the flash exposed areas.

E-TTL II should generally be set to evaluative

Unless you are using a Canon 580EXII or a 7D, the wireless function should be left alone.

Finally, there is the clear all flash settings function. Do you really want to clear your settings?

We’ll be exploring more settings in another post. I hope this has been of some help to you. Reading your manual will give you all you need in the menu areas and operations of your particular camera, so check it out!

Enjoy your week and enjoy the autumn colors, scenes, and events ahead. Keep shooting, and capture that masterpiece! Don't forget to share your pics and questions by posting at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page, or by commenting here!

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