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Single shooting

that button and the Drive Mode screen will come up on the LCD. Use the Cross Keys to make your selection and press the Set key. Note that Drive Mode selection is not an option in the Basic Zone.

SINGLE SHOT

Just as it says, this function allows only one frame per shutter depression. This is the default setting, and it is perfect for most everything that doesn't move.

CONTINUOUS SHOOTING

You can shoot approximately 3 frames per second, continuously, until either the buffer or the card is full. Many people never consider this mode as a "normal" mode, and I don't know why. Perhaps they feel editing the extra images will be too much work, perhaps it's because they don't attach enough importance to the subject. Whatever the reason, the continuous shooting option should not be overlooked. The additional frames will show subtleties that increase your odds of getting a great image instead of just a good one.

SELF-TIMER

Want to be your own star? Using the first self-timer option gives you 10 seconds to get in front of your own lens and create a masterpiece. With the self-timer selected, push the shutter button. The Self-Timer Lamp will flash and the camera will beep in half-second intervals for the first 8 seconds, steadily for the last 2 seconds.

When 10 seconds is just too long to wait, you may select a two second delay instead. This is especially useful if you're using C.Fn-8, Mirror lockup (see Custom Functions) to take a picture that might be affected by camera shake, such as a time exposure. When your image is composed, depress the shutter once to lock up the mirror and once more to take the picture. You have 2 seconds to get your finger off the camera before it fires.

New to the XS/1000D is the option to self-time a continuous burst of up to 10 frames. To use this feature, select the "C" option and use the vertical Cross Keys to set the desired number of exposures. Press Set. When you depress the shutter, you'll hear the 10-second countdown beeps after which the camera will capture the continuous sequence.

Self-timer:Continuous

Please note that the camera will auto focus as you depress the shutter. If you'll be standing beside a person or an object, you shouldn't have a focus problem. If not, you'll need to disable auto focus and manually prefocus on the spot where you'll be. Those of you using C.Fn-9:1, back-button focus, will also need to prefocus.

EXPOSURE AND METERING

AVAILABLE METERING MODES

The Rebel's internal light meter is the instrument that measures the brightness of the subject and, in all but Manual mode, sets the camera's shutter or aperture to what it sees. The Rebel XS/1000D is capable of metering exposure, via TTL (Through The Lens) full aperture metering, three different ways, each of which is accessed though the Meter Mode button located on the top of the Cross Keys. Whether you select Evaluative, Partial, or Center-Weighted Averaging, you'll get an accurate exposure for any "average" scene.

Understanding, in visual terms, what each mode might do for you is crucial to your development as a digital photographer. After all, what's the use of buying this beautiful technology if you never use anything but Program or Full Auto?

Evaluative Metering is the most general purpose metering system and is the default mode for all of the Basic Zone settings. It is a sophisticated system based on zones of varying selectivity, with the most important zone located around the center focus point. It is considered to be the best mode for most scenes.

If your scene features a subject that is darker or lighter than the background, you may get more successful results by selecting Partial Metering. The area measured by the meter is about 9% of the total frame, in the center. Essentially an oversized spot meter, Partial Metering can be utilized when a dark subject needs to be balanced against a brighter one or vice versa.

Because there were more bright areas than dark, the Evaluative mode slightly underexposed this image.
The Partial mode effectively balanced the bright wall and dark window.

The third method is the Center-Weighted Averaging Meter, which takes the majority of its reading from approximately 25% of the frame, from the center, then averages that portion against what it reads from the rest of the frame. This function is valuable when you are photographing an object or group that is more important than the surroundings but not significantly brighter or darker than those surroundings.

The Center-Weighted Average Meter balanced both the brights and the darks for this image.

AUTO FOCUS

AUTO FOCUS

TECH TIP

If you wish to change the composition of the Image after metering for the important information, you will have to engage the AE (Auto Exposure) Lock before moving the camera, because the Partial Metering function does not correlate with focus points for exposure evaluation. Be aware that focus points are not actually used for metering (in any metering mode) although their selection will indicate to the metering system where to place its importance.

When you look at a potential photo op, the first thing you see is usually the most important element. You've trained your eye to see the important details and to tell you how to compose the image. Let's see how Canon can help you capture that vision, beginning with some of the options you have for focusing (and I want to emphasize "some of the options") because you can create personalized control combinations tailored to your special shooting needs using specific controls and Custom Functions. Canon's wonderful auto focus system is, in my opinion, the top of the line. Designed entirely in-house and refined during the 35 mm EOS era, new algorithms and new chip technologies have increased performance to an auto focus mechanism of unparalleled performance.

Working in conjunction with the super fast Digic III processor, Image Stabilization (in some lenses), Ultrasonic Motors, and the latest in CMOS imaging sensor upgrades, Canon's auto focus mechanics are something for the company to be proud of and for you to exploit as just one more tool to make your photographic life easier.

To be effective, any auto focus system must know where to look. The Rebel's system uses a combination of one high-precision cross-type sensor along with a network of six single-line sensors within the frame for an accurate focusing mechanism. Using Canon's auto focus (AF) technology and certain Custom Functions allows you to tailor your focusing habits to your camera, to your application, and, ultimately, to the success of your images. Canon's AF technology permits you to achieve fine focus by allowing the camera to select the area it believes is dominant (it's usually correct) or critical focus by manually selecting the AF point you wish to use.

You can see the Rebel's AF points when you look into the viewfinder. To access them for selection, press the AF Point Selector button located in the upper right corner of the camera's back (the same button that is also used to enlarge images in Playback mode). Use the Main Dial to rotate through the selections (also visible on the LCD) until you select the individual AF point you wish or, when all the lights are lit, use Automatic Focus Point Selection (AFPS). You will have approximately 5 seconds to rotate the Main Dial, after which AF point selection will turn itself off. After you've made your selection, aim the camera at your subject and hold the shutter button halfway down. In the viewfinder, you'll be able to see how your camera has evaluated the scene and where it has decided to focus.

Should you decide you don't like the AF points the camera chose or if the area you wish to be sharp is outside the AF points, you may move the camera to a better position, push the shutter button halfway to achieve focus, then recompose the image without releasing the shutter button.

Some situations may require shot-to-shot focus in a particular area, perhaps a series of portraits

in which the subject's face is too far off center to effectively utilize the entire focusing matrix. In this circumstance, you can simply use the AF button to select a single focus point that's appropriate to your composition.

AE LOCK

AE Lock works only in the Creative Zone, but not in the Manual mode.

When you need to have a certain portion of your image metered properly yet wish to compose the image for a different area, you can use AE (Auto Exposure) Lock to lock the exposure for the important area in place while you shoot around it. The AE Lock button is located on the back of the camera, on the upper right side. This is the same button you will use for FEL (Flash Exposure Lock) focus. I think it's best to assign a focus point before using this AE Lock, as the reading will be more precise than if you used Automatic Focus Point Selection (AFPS), and I'd suggest the center just because it is a high precision cross-type point. If you use FEL Focus (back-button focus), you must disable this feature before using AE Lock as focus must be achieved through the shutter release.

To use this function, place the focus point (the center, in this case) on the part of the image you wish to be correctly exposed. Press the shutter halfway to achieve focus. Immediately press the AE Lock button and keep it depressed. Recompose the image and shoot. You may recompose and shoot as many pictures as you like with that exposure, as long as you hold down the AE Lock button.

The effect of AE Lock will differ depending on the metering mode. Personally, I prefer the Partial mode, as it's strongly center weighted to begin with. I'd suggest you shoot a number of tests, using each metering mode in sequence, and compare them to see which you prefer. AE Lock is not something you're likely to use every day, so it makes sense to find a matrix you're comfortable with.

The effect of AE Lock will differ depending on the metering mode. Personally, I prefer the Partial mode, as it's strongly center weighted to begin with. I'd suggest you shoot a number of tests, using each metering mode in sequence, and compare them to see which you prefer. AE Lock is not something you're likely to use every day, so it makes sense to find a matrix you're comfortable with.

Once the value was determined, the shutter was held halfway and the AE Lock button engaged while the image was recomposed. If the photographer had not used the AE Lock button, the meter would have read the darker center and overexposed the dandelion.

AUTO FOCUS MODES

To use any auto focus mode, you must set the Focus Mode switch of the lens to AF (you can always focus manually when this switch is set to M). You cannot switch between modes if the camera is set to Full Auto, although you can switch between One Shot, AI Servo, and AI Focus when in Program mode. You can also change your focus points, something you cannot do when you're in Full Auto or any other Basic Zone.

Three auto focus modes are available on the Rebel, accessed by pushing the AF button on the right side of the Cross Keys. Make your selection based on what you are shooting, and press the Set key to enable it.

ONE-SHOT AF

Of the auto focus modes available on Canon gear, One-Shot AF is most suitable for any subject standing still. With Automatic Focus Point Selection, the AF point(s) that the camera uses to determine focus will flash briefly in the viewfinder, giving you an opportunity to judge whether or not the critical focus area was selected. A Focus Confirmation light will be displayed in the viewfinder at the right end of the info bar.

If focus cannot be achieved, the Focus Confirmation light will blink rapidly and you will not hear the confirming beep. This can sometimes happen even if you're working within the focusing limits of the lens. Areas of flat or minimal detail, like a blank wall, or reflective surfaces like mirrors or windows may send the auto focus mechanism into a sort of sub-electronic dilemma, racking the lens through a complete focusing cycle that finds nothing to lock on to. It can be frustrating when it happens, but it won't hurt anything. Practice with the camera will minimize these episodes.

With One-Shot AF and Evaluative metering, and with Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority selected, the aperture or shutter speed are

set at the same time that focus is achieved and will be locked as long as the shutter button is depressed halfway. This allows you to recompose the shot, if necessary, without changing the light meter reading, a useful tool if you'd like to zoom in on an important detail, meter it, then zoom out for the actual exposure.

AI SERVO AF

AF mode

AI Servo AF

ONE SHOT Al FOCUS Al SERVO

There's no question that Canon's auto focus is blazing fast and deadly accurate. It's always been one of Canon's better features, and as such it is always under improvement. It seems that each new model works faster (and under progressively lower light levels, too).

After selecting Al Servo from the Auto Focus options button, start by holding the shutter button halfway down to get the first focus point on your subject, then simply continue to hold the shutter button in the same position, halfway down, for all the exposures in your series. If you let up on the shutter button, you will have to reacquire a starting auto focus point before the AI Servo will kick in again. Note that neither focus confirmation lights nor beepers will be visible or audible in this mode.

Canon has also built in what the company calls Predictive AF, a function within the AI Servo that allows the camera to analyze the movement of objects if they approach or retreat the camera at a constant rate. If you manually select an AF point, the camera will track the subject and will predict and confirm that focus point immediately before making the exposure. If your AF point selection is automatic,

the camera will use the center AF point to begin but continue to track the subject as long as it is covered by at least one other AF point within the focusing ellipse. In this case, any active AF point will not light up. Trust it. It works.

AI FOCUS

AI Focus is a nifty little feature that combines the best of One-Shot Focus and AI Servo.

When AI Focus is selected, you can shoot as you would with subjects that are not moving, or moving minimally, essentially One-Shot focusing. Should the subject begin to move with more energy, the camera will automatically shift into AI Servo mode, tracking and predicting the next point of focus. This feature works just as well if the photographer moves toward the subject.

Using AI Focus does not require you to hold the shutter button halfway down during the sequence, it will reacquire focus frame to frame, much more rapidly than if you were using One-Shot Focus.

At first glance, it would appear that AI Focus is the way to go. After all, an auto focus program that will track both moving and nonmov-ing subjects should be pretty cool, right? If there is a problem with AI Focus it would be that the camera has to make some complicated decisions in an extremely short period of time. I'm here to tell you, at least for this technological moment, that doing so is a tough job. Personally, I've seen this function succeed and fail, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that both the subject and I were moving. AI Focus can sometimes mistake a slow-moving subject for stationery or, because it has many decisions to make, can miss a fast-moving object.

Test this for yourself. I'm sure that with just a little practice you'll know a whole lot more about how Canon's AF system works.

I've noticed in lower light situations, such as when a subject is lit by a relatively dim softbox in a studio, and when using the shutter button to focus, it will take a bit longer for the lens to achieve focus. There is a Custom Function (C.Fn-9), "Shutter/AE Lock Button," that uses the AE-Lock button (also known as Thumb Focus, Rear Button Focus, or FEL (Focus Exposure Lock) Focus, to act as the AF activator.

Wedding photographers, sports photographers, and photojournal-ists love Option 1, AE Lock/AF, because they can focus, and change focus, using a thumb. When an index finger is only used to make the exposure, it means that focus can be achieved, held, or changed without waiting for the shutter button to find it. If focus is made with the thumb, the actual exposure will be made faster than if the shutter button AF mechanism had to be activated before making the exposure. Also, when AI Servo is engaged, focus is continuous, as is the ability of the shutter button to shoot, which means you could change the plane of focus during a burst or suspend AI Servo while waiting for your subject to clear a visual obstacle, reacquiring focus when you can and starting a new sequence. It may take a little practice, but once your thumb and forefinger learn to work together you'll appreciate the fractions of seconds this technique adds to your timing skills.

As with most Custom Functions, there is more than one way to use it. Option 2 is terrific for sports photographers or anyone who may pre-focus on a spot and wait for the action to get there. Option 2 will start the AF function on the shutter button but let the photographer suspend that command by pressing the AE Lock (rear button), effectively locking focus on the predetermined point. I think you will find this option is most useful when exposure is set manually, as subjects entering the frame may skew the exposure value when either Av or Tv is set.

When Option 3 and Rear Button Focus is selected and you're using Av or Tv for exposure, there is no Auto Exposure lock, so if you're following a moving subject through changing light conditions, the camera will adjust automatically to the changing light.

MANUAL FOCUS POINT SELECTION (MFPS)

You may find it helpful to select a focus point manually. This is a useful function if you have many shots where the primary focus point will fall in a specific area, such as with a series of head and shoulder

portraits. In such a case, you will not want the focus point to be influenced by body parts or props; you'll want to keep primary focus on the subject. Whether you're shooting vertically or horizontally, you can select the proper focus point by pushing the AF button and selecting the correct focus point using the Main Dial as previously noted. As long as your primary focus area falls under this focus point, your subject will be in focus.

WHITE BALANCE AND COLOR SPACE

COLOR TEMPERATURE

Although light may look white to your eyes, the camera may not see it as white. White light is a mixture of all colors and varies in its mix from situation to situation. Our brains automatically neutralize the mix, and we see white as white almost all the time. Unfortunately, no camera is able to do that 100% of the time, and we must set the camera so it can correctly interpret the intrinsic color of any scene as neutral.

Technically, color temperature is expressed in degrees Kelvin (usually noted simply as "K") and is based on the color of light emitted by a heated bar of pure iron. Daylight, as measured at high noon, is averaged at 5200 K in the Canon system. This means that images made with a Canon that has been preset to Daylight will interpret whatever you shoot as though 5200 K was correct and neutral for that scene. Images made with the Daylight setting but shot under warmer light (less than 5200 K) will have a red/yellow (warm) color cast, whereas images made in light with a higher color temperature will carry a bluish (cool) cast. Using a preset adds a predetermined amount of color to balance your "guesstimated" color temperature to daylight, 5200 K.

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Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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