Set your Canon up to be the best it can be with these simple, yet effective tips and tricks
01 Choose a picture style
Canon’s Picture Styles are different bundles of sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone that can be applied to your photographs. Despite some of them sharing similar names to your camera’s Scene Modes, they’re simply effects that are applied to an image and don’t play any role in controlling other settings. For instance, choosing the Portrait Picture Style adjusts the colour tone and reduces the sharpness to produce softer, flattering skin tones; it has no effect on exposure, focusing and drive mode. You can tweak the Picture Styles on the camera and even cook up your own unique style recipe using Canon’s Picture Style Editor.
02 image quality
For the best quality images, you need to shoot Raw files, although these can take a bit longer to save to the memory card and they need processing before you can share online or print them. For easier and quicker sharing, choose the highest-quality JPEG. You can also record Raw files and JPEGS at the same time, although this will fill a memory card faster.
03 avoid dust
Dust on your camera’s sensor will appear as dark blobs on your pictures. To avoid dust and other particles getting into your camera, avoid changing lenses in windy conditions, and angle the camera down when you remove and fit them. Did you know that you can fit the camera’s body cap and the lens’s rear cap together to keep their insides free of dust too?
04 Keep it clear
IF everything looks a bit fuzzy through the viewfinder, it doesn’t always mean that your camera’s focusing system is on the blink. EOS DSLRS from the 200D upwards feature a diopter adjustment wheel behind the rubber eyecup. This allows you to adjust the sharpness of the viewfinder image.
It can be easier to judge the effect if you look at the display rather than the image as you make adjustments.
05 My Menu
select one of your camera’s Creative Zone modes – M, Av, Tv or P – and you unlock more menu options, including the green My Menu tab. This lets you save a range of your frequently used settings in one place, so you can quickly access them at any time. Your camera may allow you to save several pages of My Menu options, and change the Menu display setting so that the green tab is the automatically displayed first when you press the MENU button.
06 Reviewing images
you Can change the amount of information displayed on the camera’s screen when you play your images by repeatedly tapping the INFO or DISP button. Choose your favourite information screen (we’d go for the histogram screen) and this will be the default view when you next press the Playback button. Also, make sure you have Auto Rotate activated in the yellow Set-up Menu, as this means you don’t have to rotate the camera to view vertical images.
07 Beep off
Make your photography less intrusive by turning off the focus confirmation and timer beeps in the red Shooting menu. The only time to leave it on is if you’re using manual focus – the camera will beep when it detects that the subject is sharp.
08 Firmware updates
Canon releases firmware – software that ensures your EOS functions correctly – which you can upload to your camera. You can check which firmware is installed on your camera in the yellow Set-up menu. Visit the Canon website to check if there are any updates – you’ll need to download the firmware to a memory card, put this in your camera and follow the instructions on the firmware screen. Or, connect your camera to your computer and use EOS Utility to check and update the firmware.
09 set button
the SET button has no function when you’re taking pictures. You can assign a function to it in the Custom Functions menu – look for Assign SET button or Custom Controls. The options available vary between cameras, but it can be useful to assign the depth of field preview function on those EOS bodies that lack a button. Another option is to have SET give you instant magnification when reviewing.
10 Control the camera
tapping the Q button brings up the Quick Control screen where you’re able to adjust camera settings without having to dip into the menus. Although you can select an option and press SET to open a separate screen for each option, save time by highlighting the function and rotating the main dial to make an adjustment. This shortcut doesn’t work for shooting mode, Custom Controls or White Balance Shift/bracket.