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Figure 3.29

Each C. Fn. screen has from three to seven settings, represented by the numbers at the bottom of the screen.

Available settings

C. Fn. currently selected

Current setting of ' the Custom Function above

Custom Function category I

Name ofcurrent Custom Function

C. Fn III: Auto focus/Drive Lens AF stop button function

0: AF stop

3: AF point: M->Auto/Auto->ctr 4: ONE SHOT ^ Al SERVO

Scroll bar appears when more than five options are available

■ Function number. The function number appears in two places. In the upper-right corner you'll find a box with the current function clearly designated. In the lower half of the screen are two lines of numbers, from 1 to 7 (or 1 to 3 with the C. Fn II Image category). The currently selected function will have an orange line above it.

■ Available settings. Within the alternating medium gray/dark gray blocks appear numbered setting options. The current setting is highlighted in blue. If more than five options are available, a scroll bar appears at the left, and you can use the Quick Control Dial to scroll down to the hidden option. When you've highlighted the setting option you want, press the Set button to select it, then press the Menu button twice to back out of the Custom Functions menus.

■ Current setting. Underneath each Custom Function is a number from 0 to 5 that represents the current setting for that function.

■ Option selection. When a function is selected, the currently selected option appears in a highlighted box. As you scroll up and down the option list, the setting in the box changes to indicate an alternate value.

In the listings that follow, I'm going to depart from the sometimes-cryptic labels Canon assigns to each Custom Function in the menu, and instead categorize them by what they actually do. I'm also going to provide you with a great deal more information on each option and what it means to your photography.

Custom Function I (C.Fn. I): Exposure

This is the Custom Function category you can use to set the increments for exposure and ISO, define bracketing parameters, and other settings.

C.Fn I-01: Size of Exposure Adjustments

Exposure level increments. This setting tells the EOS 40D the size of the "jumps" it should use when making exposure adjustments—either one-third or one-half stop. The increment you specify here applies to f/stops, shutter speeds, EV changes, and autoexposure bracketing.

■ 0: 1/3 stop. Choose this setting when you want the finest increments between shutter speeds and/or f/stops. For example, the 40D will use shutter speeds such as 1/60th, 1/80th, 1/100th, and 1/125th second, and f/stops such as f/5.6, f/6.3, f/7.1, and f/8, giving you (and the autoexposure system) maximum control.

■ 1: 1/2 stop. Use this setting when you want larger and more noticeable changes between increments. The 40D will apply shutter speeds such as 1/60th, 1/125th, 1/250th, and 1/500th second, and f/stops including f/5.6, f/6.7, f/8, f/9.5, and f/11. These coarser adjustments are useful when you want more dramatic changes between different exposures.

C.Fn I-02: Size of ISO Sensitivity Adjustments

ISO speed setting increments. This setting determines the size of the "jumps" it should use when making ISO adjustments—either one-third or one full stop. At the one-third stop setting, typical ISO values would be 100, 125, 160, 200, and so forth. Switch to the one-stop setting, and ISO values would be 100, 200, 400, 800, and so forth. The larger increment can help you leap from one ISO setting to one that's twice (or half) as sensitive with one click.

C.Fn I-03: Whether ISO 3200 Is Available or Disabled

ISO expansion. Ordinarily, only ISO settings from 100 to 1600 are available. The ISO Expansion function is disabled by default to prevent you from unintentionally using ISO settings higher than ISO 1600. If you want to use the ISO 3200 setting, it must be activated using this Custom Function. I've found the noise produced at the ISO 3200 setting on my EOS 40D to be quite acceptable under certain situations. That's particularly so with images of subjects that have a texture of their own that tends to hide or mask the noise. Figure 3.30 is an example of this type of shot. It was taken in the waning light just before dusk, and although there is a fair amount of noise in the brickwork in the building, even at this extreme enlargement the multicolored speckles are not objectionable. (The entire frame is shown in the inset.)

■ 0: Off. The ISO 3200 setting is locked out and not available when using the ISO button or menu options.

■ 1: On. The ISO 3200 setting (which shows as H—for High on the status panel) can be selected.


Be aware that if you've activated Highlight Tone Priority (described later), ISO 3200 will not be available even if you have enabled ISO expansion. When viewing the shooting information displays, including on the LCD panel and viewfinder, the 0s in the ISO speed will be shown in a smaller size (for example 16oo instead of 1600) as an indicator that Highlight Tone Priority has been activated.

Figure 3.30 This enlargement shows that noise levels can be acceptable even at ISO 3200.

C.Fn I-04: Whether Bracketing Is Cancelled Automatically

Bracketing auto cancel. When Auto Cancel is activated (the default), AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) and WB-BKT (White Balance Bracketing) are cancelled when you turn the 40D off, change lenses, use the flash, or change memory cards; when Auto Cancel is deactivated, bracketing remains in effect until you manually turn it off or use the flash. When Auto Cancel is switched off, the AEB and WB-BKT settings will be kept even when the power switch is turned to the OFF position. The flash still cancels auto exposure bracketing, but your settings are retained.

C.Fn I-05: Order in Which Bracketing Changes Are Applied

Bracketing sequence. You can define the sequence in which AEB and WB-BKT series are exposed. For example, if your bias preference is set to Blue/Amber, the white balance sequence when option 0 is selected will be: current WB, more blue, more amber. If your bias preference is set to Magenta/Green, then the sequence for option 0 will be: current WB, more magenta, more green.

■ 0: Exposure sequence is: metered exposure, decreased exposure, increased exposure (0, -, +). White balance sequence is: current WB, more blue/more magenta (depending on how your bias is set), more amber/more green (ditto).

■ 1: The sequence is: decreased exposure, metered exposure, increased exposure (-, 0, +). White balance sequence is: more blue/more magenta, current WB, more amber/more green.

C.Fn I-06: Overriding Your Preference in Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority Modes

Safety shift. Ordinarily, both Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes work fine, because you'll select an f/stop or shutter speed that allows the 40D to produce a correct exposure using the other type of setting (shutter speed for Av; aperture for Tv). However, when lighting conditions change, it may not be possible to select an appropriate setting with the available exposure options, and the camera will be unable to take a picture at all.

For example, you might be at a concert shooting the performers and, to increase your chances of getting a sharp image, you've selected Tv mode and a shutter speed of 1/250th second. Under bright lights and with an appropriate ISO setting, the 40D might select f/5.6, f/4, or even f/2.8. Then, in a dramatic moment, the stage lights are dimmed significantly. An exposure of 1/250th second at f/2 is called for, but your lens has an f/2.8 maximum aperture. If you've used this Custom Function to allow the 40D to override your selection, the camera will automatically switch to 1/125th second to allow the picture to be taken at f/2.8.

Safety Shift will make similar adjustments if your scene suddenly becomes too bright; although, in practice, you'll find that the override will be needed most often when using Tv mode. It's easier to "run out of" f/stops, which generally range no smaller than f/22 or f/32, than to deplete the available supply of shutter speeds, which can be as brief as 1/8,000th second. For example, if you're shooting at ISO 400 in Tv mode at 1/1,000th second, an extra-bright beach scene could easily call for an f/stop smaller than f/22, causing overexposure. However, Safety Shift would bump your shutter speed up to 2,000th second with no problem.

On the other hand, if you were shooting under the same illumination in Av mode with the preferred aperture set to f/16, the EOS 40D could use 1/1,000th, 1/2,000th, 1/4,000th, or 1/8,000th second shutter speeds to retain that f/16 aperture under conditions that are 2X, 4X, 8X, or 16X as bright as normal daylight. No Safety Shift would be needed, even if the ISO were (for some unknown reason) set much higher than the ISO 400 used in this example.

■ 0: Disable. Turn off Safety Shift. Your specified shutter speed or f/stop remains locked in, even if conditions are too bright or too dim for an appropriate exposure.

■ 1: Enable. Safety Shift is activated. The 40D will adjust the preferred shutter speed or f/stop to allow a correct exposure.

C.Fn I-07: Flash Synchronization Speed when Using Aperture Priority

Flash sync. Speed in Av mode. You'll find this setting useful when using flash. When you're set to Aperture Priority mode, you select a fixed f/stop and the EOS 40D chooses an appropriate shutter speed. That works fine when you're shooting by available light. However, when you're using flash, the flash itself provides virtually all of the illumination that makes the main exposure, and the shutter speed determines how much, if any, of the ambient light contributes to a second, nonflash exposure. Indeed, if the camera or subject is moving, you can end up with two distinct exposures in the same frame: the sharply defined flash exposure, and a second, blurry "ghost" picture created by the ambient light.

If you don't want that second exposure, you should use the highest shutter speed that will synchronize with your flash (that's 1/250th second with the EOS 40D). If you do want the ambient light to contribute to the exposure (say, to allow the background to register in night shots, or to use the ghost image as a special effect), use a slower shutter speed. For brighter backgrounds, you'll need to put the camera on a tripod or other support to avoid the blurry ghosts.

■ 0: Auto. The 40D will vary the shutter speed in Av mode, allowing ambient light to partially illuminate the scene in combination with the flash exposure, as at right in Figure 3.31.

Figure 3.31 At left, a 1/250th second shutter speed eliminated ambient light so only the flash illuminated the scene; at right, a 1/60th second shutter speed let the ambient light supplement the electronic flash.

■ 1: 1/250th sec. (fixed). The camera always uses 1/250th second as its shutter speed in Av mode, reducing the effect of ambient light and, probably, rendering the background dark.

Custom Function II (C.Fn. II): Image

C.Fn II-01: Reducing Noise Effects at Shutter Speeds of One Second or Longer

Long exposure noise reduction. Visual noise is that awful graininess that shows up as multicolored specks in images, and this setting helps you manage it. In some ways, noise is like the excessive grain found in some high-speed photographic films. However, while photographic grain is sometimes used as a special effect, it's rarely desirable in a digital photograph.

The visual noise-producing process is something like listening to a CD in your car, and then rolling down all the windows. You're adding sonic noise to the audio signal, and while increasing the CD player's volume may help a bit, you're still contending with an unfavorable signal to noise ratio that probably mutes tones (especially higher treble notes) that you really want to hear.

The same thing happens when the analog signal is amplified: You're increasing the image information in the signal, but boosting the background fuzziness at the same time. Tune in a very faint or distant AM radio station on your car stereo. Then turn up the volume. After a certain point, turning up the volume further no longer helps you hear better. There's a similar point of diminishing returns for digital sensor ISO increases and signal amplification as well.

These processes create several different kinds of noise. Noise can be produced from high ISO settings. As the captured information is amplified to produce higher ISO sensitivities, some random noise in the signal is amplified along with the photon information. Increasing the ISO setting of your camera raises the threshold of sensitivity so that fewer and fewer photons are needed to register as an exposed pixel. Yet, that also increases the chances of one of those phantom photons being counted among the real-life light particles, too.

Fortunately, the EOS 40D's sensor and its digital processing chip are optimized to produce the low noise levels, so ratings as high as ISO 1600 can be used routinely (although there will be some noise, of course), and even ISO 3200 can generate good results if you've opted for ISO expansion to make that rating available.

A second way noise is created is through longer exposures. Extended exposure times allow more photons to reach the sensor, but increase the likelihood that some photosites will react randomly even though not struck by a particle of light. Moreover, as the sensor remains switched on for the longer exposure, it heats, and this heat can be mistakenly recorded as if it were a barrage of photons. This Custom Function can be used to tailor the amount of noise-canceling performed by the digital signal processor.

■ 0: Off. Disables long exposure noise reduction. Use this setting when you want the maximum amount of detail present in your photograph, even though higher noise levels will result. This setting also eliminates the extra time needed to take a picture caused by the noise reduction process. If you plan to use only lower ISO settings (thereby reducing the noise caused by ISO amplification), the noise levels produced by longer exposures may be acceptable. For example, you might be shooting a waterfall at ISO 100 with the camera mounted on a tripod, using a neutral density filter and long exposure to cause the water to blur, as shown in Figure 3.32. To maximize detail in the non-moving portions of your photos, you can switch off long exposure noise reduction.

■ 1: Auto. The EOS 40D examines your photo taken with an exposure of one second or longer, and if long exposure noise is detected, a second, blank exposure is made and compared to the first image. Noise found in the "dark frame" image is subtracted from your original picture, and only the noise-corrected image is saved to your memory card. Because the noise-reduction process

Figure 3.32

When lower ISO settings are used, as in this two-second exposure of a waterfall, long exposure noise reduction might not be needed.

Figure 3.32

When lower ISO settings are used, as in this two-second exposure of a waterfall, long exposure noise reduction might not be needed.

effectively doubles the time required to take a picture, this is a good setting to use when you want to avoid this delay when possible, but still have noise reduction applied when appropriate.

■ 2: On. When this setting is activated, the 40D applies dark frame subtraction to all exposures longer than 1 second. You might want to use this option when you're working with high ISO settings (which will already have noise boosted a bit) and want to make sure that any additional noise from long exposures is eliminated, too. Noise reduction will be applied to some exposures that would not have caused it to kick in using the Auto setting.

C.Fn II-02: Eliminating Noise Caused by Higher ISO Sensitivities

High ISO speed noise reduction. This setting applies noise reduction that is especially useful for pictures taken at high ISO sensitivity settings. The default is 0 (Off), but you can specify 1 (On) to apply additional noise reduction at all ISO settings. At lower ISO values, noise reduction improves the appearance of shadow areas without affecting highlights; at higher ISO settings, noise reduction is applied to the entire photo. Note that when this function is activated, the maximum number of continuous shots that can be taken will decrease significantly, because of the additional processing time for the images.

■ 0: Off. No additional noise reduction will be applied.

■ 1: On. Activates ISO noise reduction. At lower ISO values, noise reduction is applied primarily to shadow areas; at higher ISO settings, noise reduction affects the entire image.

C.Fn II-03: Improving Detail in Highlights

Highlight Tone priority. This setting concentrates the available tones in an image from the middle grays up to the brightest highlights, in effect expanding the dynamic range of the image at the expense of shadow detail. You'd want to activate this option when shooting subjects in which there is lots of important detail in the highlights, and less detail in shadow areas. Highlight tones will be preserved, while shadows will be allowed to go dark more readily. Bright beach or snow scenes, especially those with few shadows (think high noon, when the shadows are smaller) can benefit from using Highlight Tone priority.

■ 0: Off. The EOS 40D's normal dynamic range is applied.

■ 1: On. Highlight areas are given expanded tonal values, while the tones available for shadow areas are reduced. The ISO 3200 (H) setting is disabled, even if ISO Expansion has been activated.

Custom Function III (C.Fn. III): Autofocus/Drive

Here you'll find the important options for controlling how the Canon EOS 40D's autofocus system operates, along with settings for Live View and mirror lockup.

C.Fn III-01: How the Autofocus System Behaves when Autofocus Fails

Lens drive when AF impossible. This setting controls how the 40D's autofocus system handles hard-to-autofocus (or impossible-to-autofocus) situations. Canon's AF system operates on differences in contrast: When a subject displays the greatest amount of contrast, it is deemed to be in sharp focus. When a scene has little inherent contrast (say, a blank wall or the sky) or if there isn't enough illumination to allow determining contrast accurately (in low light levels, or with lenses having maximum apertures of less than f/5.6) a lens may be unable to achieve autofocus. Very long telephoto lenses suffer from this syndrome because their depth-of-field is so shallow that the correct point of focus may zip past during the AF process before the AF system has a chance to register it.

Use this setting to tell the 40D either to keep trying to focus if AF seems to be impossible or to stop seeking focus.

■ 0: Focus search on. The 40D will keep trying to focus, even if the effort causes the lens to become grossly out of focus. Use this default setting if you'd prefer that the lens keep trying. Sometimes you can point the lens at an object with sufficient contrast at approximately the same distance to let the AF system lock on, then reframe your original subject with the hope that accurate focus will now be achieved.

■ 1: Focus search off. When this option is selected, the camera will stop trying to focus uselessly, allowing you to attempt to manually bring the subject into focus.

C.Fn III-02: Function of the AF Stop Button on Certain Canon Image Stabilized Lenses

Lens AF stop button function. If you have an upper-echelon Canon image-stabilized supertelephoto lens, you might find an interesting button called AF Stop on your lens. (If you don't have such a lens, you can skip this Custom Function entirely.) Normally, the AF Stop button does what its name implies: press the button and autofocus ceases. This can be a useful feature that enables you to lock focus when your fingers are wrapped around the barrel of the lens. However, you can change the behavior of this button using this Custom Function setting, as described next:

■ 0: AF stop. Pressing the AF Stop button on the lens locks the autofocus mechanism.

■ 1: AF start. Pressing the button causes the autofocus mechanism to function only while the AF Stop button is held down.

■ 2: AE lock. Pressing the AF Stop button activates the AE (autoexposure) lock if pressed during metering, making it possible to focus and meter separately.

■ 3: AF point: M ^ Auto/Auto ^ ctr. When the camera is set to manual AF point selection, holding down the AF Stop button switches to automatic AF point selection. You'd want to use this option if you find that you sometimes can't choose AF selection points manually fast enough and want the camera to take over. When the 40D is set to automatic AF point selection, hold down the AF Stop button to switch to the center AF point.

■ 4: ONE SHOT <--> AI SERVO. If the camera is set to One Shot autofocus, holding down the button will switch it temporarily to AI Servo autofocus. This is useful when you want to switch back and forth quickly between the two modes.

■ 5 IS Start. Pressing the AF Stop button activates Image Stabilization only while the button is held down (instead of switching it completely on or off using the stabilizer on/off button on the lens).

C.Fn III-03: Controller Used to Select Autofocus Points Manually

AF point selection method. With this setting, you can customize the controls used to choose an autofocus point manually, perhaps making the selection easier or more intuitive for you, or (as is the default) making this process require the use of two controls so that it can't be done accidentally.

■ 0: Normal. To change the AF point that is active, you must press the AF point selection button (to the immediate right of the * button), then press the multicontroller button in the direction you'd like to move the active AF point.

■ 1: Multi-controller direct. When this option is chosen, you can select the active AF point with the multi-controller button alone. You can switch back to auto point selection by pressing the AF point selection button.

■ 2: Quick Control Dial direct. Choose this option if you'd like to change the AF selection point using the Quick Control Dial alone. When this option is active, you can change exposure compensation by pressing the AF point selection button while spinning the Main Dial.

C.Fn III-04: Whether the Autofocus Points Are Highlighted in the Viewfinder

Superimposed display. The C.Fn-10 Superimposed display function controls whether the AF points are illuminated in the viewfinder when autofocus is locked. Some people find the glowing red brackets distracting.

■ 0: On. One or more focus points glow in red when focus locks.

■ 1: Off. The focus points are not illuminated unless one is selected manually. Some find this option useful when the constant blinking of the AF point in the viewfinder becomes distracting.

C.Fn III-05: Activation of the Autofocus Assist Lamp

AF-assist beam firing. This setting determines when the AF assist lamp is activated to emit a pulse of light that helps provide enough contrast for the EOS 40D to focus on a subject.

■ 0: Emits. The AF assist light is emitted by the camera's built-in flash whenever light levels are too low for accurate focusing using the ambient light.

■ 1: Does not emit. The AF assist illumination is disabled. You might want to use this setting when shooting at concerts, weddings, or darkened locations where the light might prove distracting or discourteous.

■ 2: Only external flash emits. The built-in AF assist light is disabled, but if a Canon EX dedicated flash unit is attached to the camera, its AF assist feature will be used when needed. Because the flash unit's AF assist is more powerful, you'll find this option useful when you're using flash and are photographing objects in dim light that are more than a few feet away from the camera (and thus not likely to be illuminated usefully by the EOS 40D's built-in light source).

C.Fn III-06: AF During Live View Shooting

AF during Live View shooting. Because the EOS 40D uses a sensor in the viewfinder to autofocus, autofocusing is not possible when you're viewing a Live View image on the LCD screen. (The mirror is flipped up, and no image is available in the viewfinder.) This setting allows interrupting the Live View image long enough to allow autofocusing. Simply press the AF-ON button, and release it to return to Live View.

■ 0: Disable. Live View is continuous, and focus must be achieved manually.

■ 1: Enable. Pressing the AF-ON button flips the mirror back down so the 40D can autofocus. Releasing the AF-ON button returns to Live View.

C.Fn III-07: Whether It Is Possible to Lock Up the Viewing Mirror Prior to an Exposure

Mirror lockup. The Mirror lockup function determines whether the reflex viewing mirror will be flipped up out of the way in advance of taking a picture, thereby eliminating any residual blurring effects caused by the minuscule amount of camera shake that can be produced if (as is the case normally) the mirror is automatically flipped up an instant before the actual exposure. When shooting telephoto pictures with a very long lens, or close-up photography at extreme magnifications, even this tiny amount of vibration can have an impact.

You'll want to make this adjustment immediately prior to needing the mirror lockup function, because once it's been enabled, the mirror always flips up, and picture taking becomes a two-press operation. That is, you press the shutter release once to lock exposure and focus, and to swing the mirror out of the way. Your viewfinder goes blank (of course, the mirror's blocking it). Press the shutter release a second time to actually take the picture. Because the goal of mirror lockup is to produce the sharpest picture possible, and because of the viewfinder blackout, you can see that the camera should be mounted on a tripod prior to taking the picture, and, to avoid accidentally shaking the camera yourself, using an off-camera shutter release mechanism, such as the Canon Remote Switch RS-80N3 or Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3, is a good idea.

■ 0: Disable. Mirror lockup is not possible.

■ 1: Enable. Mirror lockup is activated and will be used for every shot until disabled.

Canon lists some important warnings and techniques related to using mirror lockup in the EOS 40D manual, and I want to emphasize them here and add a few of my own, even if it means a bit of duplication. Better safe than sorry!

■ Don't use ML for sensor cleaning. Though locked up, the mirror will flip down again automatically after 30 seconds, which you don't want to happen while you're poking around the sensor with a brush, swab, or air jet. There's a separate menu item—sensor cleaning—for sensor housekeeping. You can find more about this topic in Chapter 9.

■ Avoid long exposure to extra-bright scenes. The shutter curtain, normally shielded from incoming light by the mirror, is fully exposed to the light being focused on the focal plane by the lens mounted on the 40D. When the mirror is locked up, you certainly don't want to point the camera at the sun, and even beach or snow scenes may be unsafe if the shutter curtain is exposed to their illumination for long periods. (This advice also applies to Live View, of course, because the sensor is similarly exposed while you're previewing the image on the LCD.)

■ ML can't be used in continuous shooting modes. The EOS 40D will use single shot mode for mirror lockup exposures, regardless of the sequence mode you've selected.

■ Use self-timer to eliminate second button press. If you've activated the self-timer, the mirror will flip up when you press the shutter button down all the way, and then the picture will be taken two seconds later. This technique can help reduce camera shake further if you don't have a remote release available and have to use a finger to press the shutter button.

Custom Function IV (C.Fn. IV): Operation/Others

Within this category of Custom Functions you'll find seven options for adjusting the behavior of controllers and buttons, specifying the focusing screen in use and other features.

C.Fn IV-01: What Happens when You Partially Depress the Shutter Release/Press the AE Lock Button

Shutter button/AF-ON button. This setting controls the behavior of the shutter release and the AF-ON button. In the option list below, the first action in the pair represents what happens when you press the shutter release; the second action says what happens when the AF-ON button is pressed. Note that if you (like many) would prefer to have the 40D meter and focus when the shutter button is pressed halfway, this is not the default behavior. You must set this Custom Function to option 4 described below.

■ 0: Metering/AF Start. With this option, pressing the shutter release halfway activates metering, and the AF-ON button starts the autofocus process. Use this default setting when you want to control each of these actions separately.

■ 1: Metering/AF Start—AF Stop. Pressing the shutter release halfway activates metering and the AF-ON button starts autofocus. You can press it again to stop the autofocus process.

■ 2: Metering Start/Metering+AF Start. Use this setting with subjects that stop and start moving unexpectedly. Exposure will be measured when the picture is actually taken (you press the shutter release down all the way), but you can press the AF-ON button to activate or halt the AF process as your subject starts and stops. This option is useful when using the continuous-focus AI Servo AF mode.

■ 3: AE lock/Metering+AF Start. Use the AF-ON button to autofocus and read the exposure. Then, if you want to change the exposure to another portion of the picture, reframe and press the shutter release halfway to lock in exposure. Then, return to your original composition and press the shutter release button all the way to take the picture. This capability, although it sounds confusing, is useful when you want to autofocus on one area of the image, then meter using a different area.

■ 4: Metering+AF start/Disable. When this option is selected, both metering and autofocus are activated by pressing the shutter release. The AF-ON button is disabled.

C.Fn IV-02: Swapping the Functions of the AF-ON and AE Lock Buttons

AF-ON/AE lock button switch. Use this option to exchange the functions of the AF-ON and AE Lock (*) buttons.

■ 0: Disable. The AF-ON button turns on autofocus, and the AE Lock button locks exposure.

■ 1: Enable. Pressing the AF-ON button locks exposure; pressing the * button locks autofocus. This setting swaps the action of the two buttons compared to the 0 option.

C.Fn IV-03: Using the Set Button as a Function Key

SET button when shooting. You already know that the Set button is used to select a choice or option when navigating the menus. However, when you're taking photos, it has no function at all. You can easily remedy that with this setting. This setting allows you to assign one of four different actions to the Set key. Because the button is within easy reach of your right thumb, that makes it quite convenient for accessing a frequently used function. When this Custom Function is set to 0, the Set button has no additional function (except to activate Live View when it is turned on), and options 1 through 4 assign an action to the button during shooting.

■ 0: Default (no function). This is the default during shooting. Nothing happens when you press the Set button while in shooting mode.

■ 1: Change quality. Pressing the Set button produces the Quality menu screen on the color LCD. You can cycle among the various quality options by rotating the Quick Control Dial or using the multi-controller. Press Set again to lock in your choice.

■ 2: Change Picture Style. The Set button summons the Picture Style menu to the back panel LCD. Use the Quick Control Dial or multi-controller to select the Picture Style you want to use and press Set again to activate the style. This option duplicates the action of the Picture Style button under the LCD, but some people find the larger Set button easier to find with their thumb.


One thing to keep in mind when redefining the behavior of controls (including other controls that can be modified within the Custom Functions menus) is that any non-standard customization you do will definitely be confusing to others who use your camera, and may even confuse you if you've forgotten that you've changed a control from its default function.

■ 3: Menu display. Pressing Set produces the 40D's Menu screen on the LCD, with the last menu entry you used highlighted. Press Set again to work with that menu normally, or press the Menu button to cancel and back out of the menus. This setting duplicates the Menu button's function, but some find it easier to locate the Set button with their thumb.

■ 4: Image display. Shows the most recent photo taken in Replay mode, so you can view that image or scroll through the other photos you've taken. Using the Set button for this function may be more convenient than pressing the Display key, because you can find the Set button with your thumb more quickly without looking.

C.Fn IV-04: Reverse Dial Direction when Using Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority

Dial direction during Tv/Av. This setting reverses the result when rotating the Quick Control Dial and Main Dial when using Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority (Tv and Av). That is, rotating the Main Dial to the right will decrease the shutter speed rather than increase it; f/stops will become larger rather than smaller. Use this if you find the default rotation scheme in Tv and Av modes are not to your liking. Activating this option also reverses the dial direction in Manual exposure mode. In other shooting modes, only the Main Dial's direction will be reversed.

■ 0: Normal. The Main Dial and Quick Control Dial change shutter speed and aperture normally.

■ 1: Reverse direction. The dials adjust shutter speed and aperture in the reverse direction when rotated.

C.Fn IV-05: Which Focusing Screen Is Installed

Focusing screen. If you exchange the focus screen provided with your EOS 40D for one of the optional focus screens, you need to tell the camera which screen has been installed to insure proper autofocus and exposure metering. Note that this Custom Function is not one of the values stored in the Camera User Settings on the theory that a camera owner won't be changing focus screens all the time, and will stick with one screen. (Changing screens is a minor pain, anyway; find one you like and stick with it.)

■ 0: EF-A. The Standard Precision Matte focusing screen is installed.

■ 1: EF-D. The Precision Matte focus screen with alignment grid is installed. (See Figure 3.33.)

■ 2: EF-S. The Super Precision Matte focus screen, optimized for lenses with an f/2.8 or larger maximum aperture (the screen itself has a darker texture, and needs the extra illumination) has been installed.

Figure 3.33

The EF-D Precision Matte focus screen has a built-in alignment grid.

Canon Grid Focus Screen

C.Fn IV-06: Activating Data Verification Feature

Add original decision data. The EOS 40D has a special feature that allows determining whether a specific image has been modified using a special Canon Data Verification Kit DVK-E2, which consists of a dedicated SM (secure mobile) card reader-writer and verification software that must be used with a computer to verify an image. The C.Fn-19 Add original decision data function determines whether the information needed to verify an image is included in the image file. Data verification is especially useful for law enforcement, legal, and scientific purposes, but not required for everyday shooting (which is why the feature is turned off by default).

■ 0: Off. Data verification information is not added to the image file.

■ 1: On. Data verification information is included in the image file.

C.Fn IV-07: Simulate Current Exposure in Live View Mode

Live View exposure simulation. Use this setting to activate or disable exposure simulation in Live View mode. By default, Live View presents an image optimized for brightness on the LCD: dark scenes will be pumped up in brightness to make them easier to view, while very bright scenes will be dimmed. This overall average image is the most comfortable for viewing and composing. However, you might prefer to have the LCD show how the scene might appear at the current exposure settings. If you enable exposure simulation, underexposed scenes will seem too dark on the LCD, and overexposed subjects too light, allowing you to make corrections before taking the photo.

If you want to see the simulated exposure only some of the time, pressing the depth-of-field button will display the scene with its relative exposure, regardless of how this Custom Function is set.

■ 0: Disable. The LCD adjusts its brightness to present an optimized image regardless of brightness/dimness of the scene. Press the depth-of-field button, and the 40D will show you the simulated exposure even when this feature is disabled.

■ 1: Enable. The real-time image changes in brightness/darkness to indicate whether the current exposure is correct or not. Simulated exposure does not appear when using flash or when the 40D is set for a bulb exposure.

Clear All Custom Func (C. Fn) Settings

This choice, located at the same level as the Custom Function categories, can be used to clear all camera Custom Functions. Press the Set button, then rotate the Quick Control Dial to choose either Cancel or OK. Press the Set button to confirm. All Custom Functions will be reset to their default 0 values.

My Menu

The Canon EOS 40D has a great new feature that allows you to define your own menu, with just the items listed that you want. Remember that the 40D always returns to the last menu and menu entry accessed when you press the Menu button. So you can set up My Menu to include just the items you want, and jump to those items instantly by pressing the Menu button. Or, you can set your camera so that My Menu appears when the Menu button has been pressed, regardless of what other menu entry you accessed last.

To create your own My Menu, you have to register the menu items you want to include. Just follow these steps:

1. Press the Menu button and use the Main Dial or multi-controller to select the My Menu tab. When you first begin, the personalized menu will be empty except for the My Menu Settings entry. Press the Set button to select it. You'll then see a screen like the one shown in Figure 3.34.

2. Rotate the Quick Control Dial to select Register, then press the Set button.

3. Use the Quick Control Dial to scroll down through the continuous list of menu entries to find one you would like to add. Press Set.

4. Confirm your choice by selecting OK in the next screen and pressing Set again.

5. Continue to select up to six menu entries for My Menu.

6. When you're finished, press the Menu button twice to return to the My Menu screen to see your customized menu, which might look like Figure 3.35.

In addition to registering menu items, you can perform other functions at the My Menu Settings screen:

■ Changing the Order. Choose Sort to reorder the items in My Menu. Select the menu item and press the Set button. Rotate the Quick Command Dial to move the item up and down within the menu list. When you've placed it where you'd like it, press the Menu button to lock in your selection and return to the previous screen.

■ Delete/Delete All Items. Use these to remove an individual menu item or all menu items you've registered in My Menu.

■ Display from My Menu. As I mentioned earlier, the 40D (almost) always shows the last menu item accessed. That's convenient if you used My Menu last, but if you happen to use another menu, then pressing the Menu button will return to that item instead. If you enable the Display from My Menu option, pressing the Menu button will always display My Menu first. You are free to switch to another menu tab if you like, but the next time you press the Menu button, My Menu will come up again. Use this option if you work with My Menu a great deal and make settings with other menu items less frequently.

In the My Menu Settings screen you can add menu items, delete them, and specify whether My Menu always pops up when the Menu button is pressed.

My Menu settings




Delete all items

Display from My Menu


You can add one to six menu entries to My Menu. Two entries are shown.

Red-eye On/Off Format

I My Menu Settings

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