Choosing a Creative Zone Exposure Method

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You'll find five methods for choosing the appropriate shutter speed and aperture within the Creative Zone settings. Just spin the Mode Dial to choose the method you want to use. Your choice of which is best for a given shooting situation will depend on things like your need for lots of (or less) depth-of-field, a desire to freeze action or allow motion blur, or how much noise you find acceptable in an image. Each of the EOS 40D's exposure methods emphasizes one aspect of image capture or another. This section introduces you to all five.


The Automatic Depth-of-Field exposure mode is a handy method to use when you want to maximize the range of sharpness in your image. The camera actually selects an f/stop that will allow as much of the subject matter you've framed as possible to be in sharp focus, and then applies the shutter speed necessary to provide a good exposure at that aperture. The disadvantage of this mode is that you relinquish control over shutter speed, f/stop, and focus distance (which makes A-DEP a bit more like a Basic Zone scene mode than a true Creative Zone mode). You might end up with the required depth-of-field, but a blurry photo because the 40D has selected a shutter speed that's too slow for hand-holding!

A-DEP performs its magic by examining the nine autofocus points in the viewfinder to discover the nearest and farthest objects in the frame. Then, it chooses an aperture and focus point that supplies the required DOF (if possible) and sets the appropriate shutter speed. The focus zones that can be rendered in sharp focus will flash red; other zones that can't be included in the focus range remain black, as shown in Figure 4.7. Press the DOF button on the front of the camera to check the range of focus, if you want. This mode won't work under all

Figure 4.7

A-DEP mode can provide automatic depth-of-field for many types of subjects.

Figure 4.7

A-DEP mode can provide automatic depth-of-field for many types of subjects.

conditions, for example, with flash or if you're using manual focus. The viewfinder provides you with status information:

■ Flashing red AF points. Shows the subjects covered by the DOF range set.

■ Blinking aperture indicator in viewfinder. The desired DOF range cannot be set because the subjects are separated too widely for sufficient depth-of-field at the smallest available aperture.

■ Blinking 30 shutter speed in viewfinder. Illumination is too dim to provide requested DOF at the current ISO setting.

■ Blinking 8,000 shutter speed in viewfinder. Illumination is too bright to provide requested DOF at the current ISO setting.

Because of the limitations of A-DEP mode, I don't favor it. However, it's fun to play with and may come in handy in certain situations, especially when you're shooting quickly and don't have time to manipulate depth-of-field manually.

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