Know your body, light and lenses
Understanding your kit beyond the basics
6 Mode du jour
THE Mode dial dictates how your camera shoots. Manual (M) gives you full control of the aperture and shutter speed; Aperture value (Av) and Time value (Tv) enable you to set the former or latter respectively, with the camera automating the other. Program, Automatic, Creative Auto and Scene modes are automated. Bulb mode enables exposures greater than 30 seconds, while you can save your frequent settings to a Custom mode.
7 The ins and outs
DISCRETELY PLACED on your camera body are a number of inputs and outputs for various connections. Depending on your model you can find a USB port to connect to your computer (to transfer files without removing the memory card), microphone jack, headphone jack (to monitor audio levels), HDMI port (to connect to a display for viewing your images), cable remote shutter port and a studio flash unit port.
8 Crop factor
YOU MAY have heard camera sensors described as APS-C or ‘full frame’. The Canon EOS 6D, 5D and 1D series use full-frame camera sensors, while series such as the 100D-800D, 7D, 80D use an APS-C sensor that is ‘cropped’ in size. This affects your lenses’ focal length; to get the ‘full frame’ field of view, multiply the focal length by 1.6x (the crop factor). So, a 50mm lens would be an 80mm equivalent on an APS-C body.
9 To infinity…
WONDERING WHAT the infinity symbol means on your lenses? Essentially, it’s the opposite of shooting with a narrow depth of field; focusing to infinity achieves the widest possible depth of field, to get as much of your image in focus from foreground to background. This is useful for landscape and night photography, once you’ve calculated (or Googled) the right hyperfocal distance.
10 What’s the meter?
WHY BUY a light meter when your camera has one built-in? Because a handheld meter is a far more accurate way of exposing your pictures. A light meter takes an
incident reading, which measures the light that actually hits your subject. Your camera meter takes a reflected reading, which measures the light that bounces back off your subject. As explained last issue (page 52), your camera meter compounds this by telling you to expose your pictures at 18% grey – try photographing a black cat in a coal shed or a white dog playing in the snow to see what we mean! Use a light meter to take an empirical reading of natural light, flash, or even multiple flash units, and get perfect exposures every single time.
Get to grips with all the different modes so you’re not left out in the dark
Handheld incident meters give you an empirical measurement of light; Canon camera meters do not