How to use a Canon camera: Beginner tips and tricks

Charlie Osborne/ZDNET The primary time I dealt with a Canon digital camera, I admit, I used to be a bit overwhelmed.  Whereas in recent times, smartphone and mirrorless cameras have rocketed in picture high quality and value, the DSLR remains to be a well-respected and fashionable instrument within the palms of lovers {and professional} photographers. … The post How to use a Canon camera: Beginner tips and tricks appeared first on Ferdja.

Jun 6, 2023 - 05:00
How to use a Canon camera: Beginner tips and tricks

Multiple Canon cameras on a surface.

Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The primary time I dealt with a Canon digital camera, I admit, I used to be a bit overwhelmed. 

Whereas in recent times, smartphone and mirrorless cameras have rocketed in picture high quality and value, the DSLR remains to be a well-respected and fashionable instrument within the palms of lovers {and professional} photographers. Paired with the suitable lens or settings, you may rework a probably uninteresting, uninspiring photograph into one thing worthy of being on show in your house.

Nevertheless, as with many merchandise, there is a studying curve and you may’t run earlier than you stroll. Many people will spend months, and even years, perfecting our pictures recreation — however this is a step-by-step information to turning into acquainted together with your Canon DSLR digital camera. 

Additionally: One of the best cameras 

Canon by means of the ages

Based in 1937, Canon has developed an enormous vary of cameras all through the a long time. Canon’s predecessor started engaged on Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane-shutter digital camera, the Kwanon, in 1934, and since then, Canon has transitioned from shutter cameras and cine-cameras to compacts, digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs), and now, mirrorless designs. 

Movie has moved to digital, whereas mounted and fundamental lenses have advanced to interchangeable lenses. Connectivity is king. Whereas mirrorless cameras are on the best way to outstripping DSLRs and will sooner or later ship them to the legacy pile, they continue to be a favourite for skilled photographers.

Canon’s vary now contains entry-level fashions appropriate for newcomers, such because the Insurgent collection, and extra superior units for professionals, together with the Mark vary. The corporate additionally producers well-respected lenses, such because the L-Series

Relating to pricing, entry-level Rebel DSLRs could be picked up for as little as $470, whereas a premium Mark VI, with package, will set you again over $4,000. 

Additionally: One of the best cameras for newcomers

Find out how to use a Canon digital camera: The fundamentals

Once you first decide up a Canon DSLR or different mannequin, you need to remember that the settings, controls, and overlays will differ barely relying in your product. We might be exhibiting examples utilizing a Mark III, however the fundamental premise of most Canon cameras is identical. 

We might be exploring learn how to change a lens on a Canon digital camera, the essential settings you need to turn out to be acquainted with, and what shutter velocity, publicity, aperture, and ISO ranges imply in your pictures pursuits. 

Professional tip: It is best to take into account buying a camera harness if you are going to be working occasions. It solely takes one slip for the one that you love digital camera to hit the deck and disrupt the fragile parts inside. On the very least, decide up an acceptable digital camera bag with padding to guard your system.

Find out how to change the lens on a Canon digital camera

Closeup of the side of a Canon with a hand pressing a button.

Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Budding photographers want to have the ability to deal with their lenses nicely to guard them from harm and ensure that their digital camera physique is ready to correctly join. 

Lenses will include each a back and front cowl to guard them from mud and unintentionally being scratched. Maintain the entrance cowl on for now and gently loosen the again.

In your digital camera, there might be a button close to the lens slot. You have to to push this button down and maintain it whereas slowly rotating the present lens away from the button.

You would possibly really feel resistance whenever you’ve turned it far sufficient. Pull out the lens, launch the digital camera button, screw on the again cowl of the lens, and set it apart. 

Canon lenses often include a white or pink dot. It is best to match this dot with the dot additionally, you will discover in your digital camera, which exhibits you learn how to align the lens and digital camera physique correctly. Insert the lens and rotate it towards the button. It is best to hear a click on when the lens has been correctly put in. 

Professional tip: By no means use clothes, towels, or moist wipes to scrub your digital camera lens. You possibly can trigger everlasting harm to the fragile glass, resulting in scratches and picture distortion. As an alternative, use a microfiber fabric or cleansing wipes developed for cameras, or a lens pen

Additionally: One of the best digital camera telephones

Settings you need to know

When somebody first picks a digital camera, whether or not or not it’s a compact, DSLR, or mirrorless, many newcomers will begin with an “computerized” perform for taking pictures. Automated features permit the digital camera to adapt its settings and make the choice on how a shot ought to be taken, slightly than the consumer taking artistic management.

There’s nothing mistaken with this, as at the start, you need to get pleasure from taking photographs. Nevertheless, as you progress, studying learn how to benefit from your digital camera’s capabilities by transitioning to guide choices can enhance your ability set and the pictures you are taking. 

On most trendy Canons, you can see the settings under.

Handbook, computerized, and extra on the principle Canon wheel

Closeup of main Canon wheel.

Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The principle wheel, and variants thereof, can look complicated at first look. Nevertheless, the principle ones you may be keen on are Auto and Handbook to start. 

  • A+: Scene clever auto will permit the digital camera to mechanically select the entire proper settings for a shot. 
  • M: Handbook mode. {Most professional} photographers will use this to fine-tune the digital camera settings they need for publicity, together with ISO, shutter velocity, and aperture. 
  • Av: Also called Aperture Precedence, this lets you set a shallow or deep depth of discipline by deciding on a particular F-number. Primarily based on this, the digital camera chooses the shutter velocity. 
  • Television: Time worth or Shutter Precedence — through which the digital camera will management your aperture. You choose the shutter velocity.
  • P: Controls shutter velocity and aperture mixture for you, however you management all different settings manually.
  • C1/C2/C3: Discovered on some Canon DSLRs cameras, these customized features permit customers to program the settings they need to be used later — and they’re notably helpful for saving time with occasions or videography. 

Some Canon cameras can even have dials for turning flash on and off, for portrait and shut up modes, landscapes, sports activities, meals, night time shoots, and extra. 

Sample of what the dial would look like on a Canon camera.


Main settings to recollect

Back of Canon camera showing picture of forest trees.

Charlie Osborne/ZDNET
  • Q: The Q button stands for fast. You’ll be able to change fundamental settings without having to dive into the principle (and in depth) settings. For instance, when you have Auto set, it is possible for you to to alter the file format and timer choices. Nevertheless, when you have Handbook enabled, you may adapt settings together with the shutter velocity, aperture, ISO velocity, publicity, white steadiness, timers, and extra. 
  • Set: While you’re making modifications to settings, clicking the ‘set’ button will register your preferences. 
  • Data: In case you see an ‘data’ button in your Canon, deciding on it offers you a brief abstract of your present digital camera settings. For instance, white steadiness, publicity, and noise discount settings; how a lot house is left in your storage card, and on some fashions, a show exhibiting a suggestion for the angle your digital camera is positioned at in your subsequent picture. 
  • Single or steady taking pictures: Discovered on a primary wheel subsequent to the viewfinder, beneath Q, or by urgent your primary Menu button relying on the age and mannequin of your Canon, you may choose your taking pictures mode. You possibly can select single pictures or steady taking pictures. For instance, clicking the principle ‘shoot’ button will take one picture, or should you preserve stress, you may create a burst of pictures. Needless to say steady bursts can take longer to course of, and so you might have to attend just a few seconds earlier than the second burst. 
  • Self-timers: In the identical settings space, you will discover an choice for setting a delay between pictures. This may also help you preserve the suitable shutter velocity and keep away from touching the digital camera. Delaying pictures on this manner avoids potential distortion. 

There are just a few phrases you need to turn out to be acquainted with when you’re beginning out on the earth of pictures. 

  • Aperture: A digital camera’s aperture lets gentle in and its dimension is recorded with f-stops or f-numbers. 
  • Shutter velocity: The shutter velocity determines how lengthy a digital camera’s sensor is uncovered to gentle (publicity time). Typically, you need larger shutter speeds for movement/motion pictures. 
  • ISO: ISOs could be set to alter how delicate your digital camera is to gentle. A better ISO is for larger sensitivity, and a low ISO setting reduces sensitivity. 
  • Publicity: Publicity is how a lot gentle reaches a digital camera sensor. The visible information gathered, in the best way you need, is an accurate publicity. 
  • Bokeh: Bokeh is the blurry background impact you usually see in skilled photographs. This may be achieved with lenses or through the modifying course of. 
  • Depth of discipline: Depth of discipline is the space between the closest and furthest objects which can be nonetheless sharp. You possibly can change this by tweaking your aperture settings or by switching lenses. 
  • Burst: Burst modes are used to concurrently seize pictures in fast succession. You possibly can use this mode to seize a bride strolling down the aisle, for instance, however there could also be a subsequent delay in taking pictures as they’re processed. 
  • RAW: RAW is a file format — like JPG or PNG — which photographers usually choose. Pictures are usually not compressed and so these supply pictures save a whole lot of data. Throughout modifying, the extra data, the higher. 
  • Noise: Noise is the time period used to explain distortion in pictures that may seem as specks or grain.

The stay viewfinder

Live viewfinder feature of Canon camera.

Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

One other setting that may be notably helpful whenever you’re beginning out is the stay viewfinder. Discovered by clicking a small icon exhibiting a digital camera physique (within the Mark III’s case, on the high and beneath begin/cease), this offers you a stay feed of what the digital camera sees. You possibly can then regulate your publicity (usually by means of a dial on the top-right of your Canon) accordingly.  

Additionally: One of the best digital camera equipment


The visible information gathered whenever you take an image, in the best way you need, is an accurate publicity. To attain the suitable consequence, there are three settings you need to pay explicit consideration to and experiment with. 

  • Shutter speeds: Your shutter velocity determines how lengthy the shutter stays open whenever you take an image — and, subsequently, how a lot gentle is allowed to succeed in the sensor. Shutter speeds are set in fractions of a second; for instance, 1/2 signifies that the shutter might be open for half a second (and that is thought of sluggish), whereas 1/5000 is one five-thousandth of a second. As a normal rule, the upper the second quantity, the quicker the shutter velocity. Sluggish shutter speeds are higher for low-light circumstances and night time pictures, whereas larger shutter speeds ought to be used for daytime, stay, and motion pictures.
  • Aperture, F-numbers: Expressed in fractions (or F-numbers, also referred to as F-stop), the aperture is the part of your lens which permits — or shuts out — gentle. Aperture could be altered to alter the depth of discipline because it determines the sharpness (or blur) of a picture, resembling defining an object and blurring the background.
  • ISO: ISO refers to your digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to gentle. In easy phrases, the upper the ISO, the brighter the image (setting permitting), and the decrease the ISO, the darker the picture. Premium Canon cameras could have a variety of ISO 100 as much as 102400, though sometimes, you can see cameras have a variety of between 100-1600.

Ideas and methods

Now that we have coated the fundamentals, try just a few further ideas under for taking advantage of your Canon digital camera. 

  • RAW: In case you can, at all times shoot within the RAW format. RAW offers you a picture containing much more data than compressed picture varieties resembling JPG. You possibly can at all times make a replica of your pictures and compress them later to scale back file sizes, however you may’t flip a JPG right into a high-quality RAW-resolution file. 
  • Viewfinder: On many trendy Canon DSLRs, when you’ve the stay viewfinder enabled, you may nonetheless choose ‘Q’ to alter extra settings — and, subsequently, see the leads to actual time. 
  • Grids: Take into account enabling your digital camera’s grid choice when you’re beginning out. This may also help you learn to steadiness your pictures till you may handle by eye alone. 
  • Lenses: In case you’re selecting between a physique or lenses, usually, lenses ought to take up the majority of your funding. Whereas a digital camera physique is vital, lenses provide versatility on the subject of taking pictures. Lenses can embody mounted choices (nice for avenue and portraits), zoom (for honing in on topics), telephoto (lengthy focus), fisheye (huge angles), macro (shut focusing), and extra. 
  • Modifying: As soon as you have discovered learn how to use your digital camera successfully, take into account taking the subsequent step: studying learn how to edit your pictures to deliver them to the subsequent degree. I like to recommend Adobe Lightroom. 

If you wish to transcend your smartphone and dip a toe into the world of pictures, you do not want a digital camera that has each characteristic recognized to civilization. Typically, the huge vary of Canon cameras and lenses on provide could be intimidating (in addition to their worth factors), however the vendor does now provide entry-level cameras that are an excellent start line. 

As a newbie, it’s possible you’ll need to keep away from the extra high-end fashions with the steepest studying curves — such because the Mark vary or EOS R’s — and as a substitute take into account choices together with the Rebel T7 or a Powershot compact camera.  

Whereas upgrading a digital camera physique may give you an improved burst fee, battery life, really feel and grip, or an enhanced viewfinder, lenses are what you need to take into account upgrading first. Lenses provide extra versatility and management over your pictures and include a wide range of choices — mounted, zoom, fisheye, telephoto, and extra. Nevertheless, you will not at all times get one of the best consequence out of your lens in case your digital camera physique is struggling to maintain up.

Each Canon and Nikon dominate the pictures panorama. 

Neither could be thought of the favourite of all photographers as these firms are carefully matched, and each provide an enormous number of cameras and equipment for execs and newcomers. Nevertheless, typically talking, you may anticipate cheaper entry-level DSLRs from Canon (such because the Insurgent collection), and cheaper lens choices from Nikkon’s vary. 

Each firms, alongside their rivals, are rumored to be shifting away from DSLRs altogether in favor of mirrorless merchandise. Will probably be fascinating to see whether or not they stay neck-and-neck within the coming years. 

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