Ten Special Purpose Features to Explore on a Rainy

Customizing the Set and cross-key functions Changing the focus and exposure locking controls Disabling the autofocus-assist beam Using mirror lockup for shake-free shooting Recording Dust Delete Data Viewing magnified images in instant-review mode Wallpapering your computer monitor with a favorite image Consider this chapter the literary equivalent of the end of one of those late-night infomercial offers the part where the host exclaims, But wait There's more The ten features covered in these...

H

Halos, sharpening, 274-276 hands-free shoots, 50 head room, margin padding, 229 highlights. See also blown highlights curves filter adjustments, 270-274 level adjustments, 267-269 high-speed memory cards, 17 histograms Brightness, 82-83 curve filter adjustments, 270-274 level adjustments, 267-269 RGB histogram, 83-84 Shooting Information display, 81 tonal range display, 82-83 viewing, 82-84 hot shoes, external flash, 129-130 image backups, media types, 204 image captures, 21 image corrections...

Turning Off the Camera Settings Screen

When you turn on your camera, the monitor automatically turns on and displays the Camera Settings screen. At least, it does if you stick with the default setting selected for Custom Function 11, which bears the lengthy name of LCD Display When Power On. You can prevent the monitor from displaying the screen every time you power up the camera if you choose. What's the point Well, the monitor is one of the biggest drains on the camera battery, so limiting it to displaying information only when...

Setting Up for Specific Scenes

For the most part, the settings detailed in the preceding section fall into the set 'em and forget 'em category. That leaves you free to concentrate on a handful of other camera options, such as aperture and shutter speed, that you can manipulate to achieve a specific photographic goal. The next four sections explain which of these additional options typically produce the best results when you're shooting portraits, action shots, landscapes, and close-ups. I offer a few compositional and...

Flash in Advanced Exposure Modes

Sometimes, no amount of fiddling with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO produces a bright enough exposure in which case, you simply have to add more light. The built-in flash on your camera offers the most convenient solution. To engage the flash, just press the Flash button on the side of the camera, highlighted in Figure 5-22. To turn off the flash, just press down on the flash assembly to close it. Figure 5-22 Want flash Just press the Flash button, and you're set to go. Figure 5-22 Want...

F

Faithful style, Picture Styles, 162-163 FE (flash exposure) Lock button, 127 file formats, 53, 62-69, 219-223 File Numbering command, 31 files File Numbering command, 31 monitor profiles, 231 resolution considerations, 61 saving when editing, 280-281 Shooting Information display, 81 fill flash, 121-122, 186-187 Filter and Toning Effect, 163 filters circular polarizing, 190 dust-removal, 291-293 Level Adjustment, 267-269 noise-reduction, 110 RGB Adjustment, 264-267 Tone Curve, 270-274 Unsharp...

Creating Desktop Wallpaper

You can quickly turn an image on your camera memory card into desktop wallpaper a background image that appears on your monitor, behind any icons or program windows. For example, I plastered my Windows desktop with a water lily image, as shown in Figure 11-12. 01 020304050607080910 i 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Figure 11-11 You can prevent the monitor from turning on automatically when you power up the camera. Figure 11-12 You can use a favorite image as your monitor background. Figure 11-12 You can...

Controlling ISO

As explained at the start of this chapter, your camera's ISO setting controls how sensitive the image sensor is to light. At higher ISO values, you need less light to expose an image. Remember the downside to raising ISO however The higher the ISO, the greater the possibility of noisy images. See Figure 5-8 for a reminder of what that defect looks like. In the fully automatic exposure modes, the camera selects an ISO of 100, 200, or 400, depending on the available light. You have no control...

Preparing Pictures for EMail

How many times have you received an e-mail message that looks like the one in Figure 9-8 Some well-meaning friend or relative has sent you a digital photo that is so large that it's impossible to view the whole thing on your monitor. Figure 9-7 Make sure that the pixel count is adequate for the print size. Figure 9-7 Make sure that the pixel count is adequate for the print size. Figure 9-8 The attached image has too many pixels to be viewed without scrolling. Figure 9-8 The attached image has...

Attaching a lens

Your camera can accept two categories of Canon lenses those with a so-called EF-S design and those with a plain old EF design. The EF stands for electro focus the S, for short back focus. And no, you don't really need to remember that little detail but you do need to make sure that if you buy a Canon lens other than the one sold with the camera, it carries either the EF or EF-S specification. (If you want to buy a non-Canon lens, check the lens manufacturer's Web site to find out which lenses...

Downloading images with Canon tools

The software CD that shipped with your Rebel XTi 400D includes several programs for transferring, organizing, and editing your photos. For downloading images, I suggest that you use the tools discussed in the next two sections. Before you try the download steps, however, you may want to visit the Canon Web site and download the latest versions of the software in the suite. Even if you recently bought your camera, the shipping CD may be a little out of date. Just go to www.canon.com and follow...

Using the Cross Keys to Select an Autofocus Point

Through Custom Function 1, introduced in the preceding section, you can assign one of four different functions to the Set button. Or you can instead modify the performance of the cross keys so that you can use them to easily select an autofocus point. To do so, follow the same steps as outlined in the preceding section but choose option 4 in Step 6. Now the cross keys work as follows i After you press the shutter button halfway, you can press the cross keys to change the autofocus point. The...

Adjusting Exposure

Getting exposure just right is one of the trickiest aspects of photography. Fortunately, the Canon browser software gives you three tools for tweaking exposure. The next two sections introduce you to the two most capable of those tools, the Level Adjustment filter and the Tone Curve Adjustment filter. (The latter, by the way, is a professional-grade tool usually found only in expensive programs like Photoshop.) What about the remaining set of exposure tools the Brightness and Contrast sliders...

Enabling Mirror Lockup

One of the components involved in the optical system of an SLR camera is a tiny mirror that moves when you press the shutter button. The small vibration caused by the movement of the mirror can result in slight blurring of the image when you use a very slow shutter speed, shoot with a long telephoto lens, or take extreme close-up shots. To eliminate the possibility, your camera offers a feature called mirror lockup. When you enable this feature, the mirror movement is completed well before the...

Setup Menu

Setup Menu 2, shown in Figure 1-16, offers an additional batch of customization options. But you can adjust and take advantage of only the following three options in all exposure modes (Full Auto, Manual, Portrait, and so on) 1 Language This option determines the language of any text displayed on the camera monitor. Screens in this book display the English language, but I find it entertaining on occasion to hand my camera to a friend after changing the language to, say, Swedish. I'm a real...

Attow for different print proportions

Unlike many digital cameras, your Canon produces images that have an aspect ratio of 3 2. That is, images are 3 units wide by 2 units tall just like a 35mm film negative which means that they translate perfectly to the standard 4-x-6-inch print size. (Most digital cameras produce 4 3 images, which means the pictures must be cropped to fit a 4-x-6-inch piece of paper.) If you want to print your digital original at other standard sizes 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, and so on you need to crop the photo...

Set the Mode dial to Av aperturepriority autoexposure mode and then select the lowest fstop value possible

As Chapter 5 explains, a low f-stop setting opens the aperture, which shortens depth of field, or the range of sharp focus. So dialing in a low f-stop value is the first step in softening your portrait background. (The f-stop range available to you depends on your lens.) Also keep in mind that the farther your subject is from the background, the more background blurring you can achieve. I recommend aperture-priority autoexposure mode when depth of field is a primary concern because you can...

Using Zoom Browser EXlmage BroWser

In addition to the aforementioned software tools, your Canon CD contains two additional programs ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) or ImageBrowser (Mac), plus Digital Photo Professional. In this section, you can find out how to organize your photos using the ZoomBrowser EX ImageBrowser tool. Although you can view thumbnails of your images in Digital Photo Professional, that tool is designed for advanced users, so I don't cover it in this book. The next sections give you the most basic of introductions...

Adding Cleaning Instructions to Images

You've no doubt noticed that your camera displays a message that says Sensor Cleaning every time you turn the camera off. And when you turn the camera on, a little cleaning icon flickers in the lower-right corner of the Camera Settings display. These alerts tell you that the camera is performing a self-maintenance step that is designed to remove from the sensor any dust particles that may have made their way into the camera interior. If you don't see these alerts, open Setup Menu 2 and be sure...

Resolution recommendations

As you can see, resolution is a bit of a sticky wicket. What if you aren't sure how large you want to print your images What if you want to print your photos and share them online Personally, I take the better safe than sorry route, which leads to the following recommendations about whether to choose Large, Medium, or Small when you select a Quality setting 1 Always shoot at a resolution suitable for print. You then can create a low-resolution copy of the image in your photo editor for use...

Selecting a Picture Style

When you set the Mode dial to Full Auto or any of the other fully automatic exposure modes, the camera selects a Picture Style for you. In P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP modes, however, you can specify which of the Picture Styles you want to use. You can access Picture Styles through Shooting Menu 2, as shown on the left in Figure 6-27. Just highlight the Picture Styles option and press Set to display the screenful of options you see on the right in the figure. (You can see only five of the Picture...

Getting Comfortable with Your Lens

One of the biggest differences between a point-and-shoot camera and an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera is the lens. With an SLR, you can swap out lenses to suit different photographic needs, going from an extreme close-up lens to a super-long telephoto, for example. In addition, an SLR lens has a movable focusing ring that gives you the option of focusing manually instead of relying on the camera's autofocus mechanism. Of course, those added capabilities mean that you need a little background...

Backofthebody controls

Traveling over the top of the camera to its back side, you encounter a smorgasbord of buttons 15, in fact, not including the viewfinder's dioptric adjustment control, discussed earlier in this chapter. Figure 1-7 gives you a look at the entire layout of backside controls. Red-eye Reduction Self-timer Lamp Main dial Red-eye Reduction Self-timer Lamp Main dial Figure 1-6 The tiny pictures on the Mode dial represent special automatic shooting modes. Figure 1-6 The tiny pictures on the Mode dial...

Connecting camera and computer

Vr ii n tfrvllrvur i i> rv r-ifir- i> cit r i i> t r i T rVicin f* ai You need to follow a specific set of steps when connecting the camera to your computer. Otherwise, you can damage the camera or the memory card. Also note that in order for your camera to communicate with the computer, the computer must be running one of the following operating systems Windows Vista 32-bit Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate edition Windows XP Home or Professional edition If you...

Practice Be Patient and Have

To wrap up this preamble, I want to stress that if you initially think that digital photography is too confusing or too technical for you, you're in very good company. Everyone finds this stuff a little mind-boggling at first. So take it slowly, experimenting with just one or two new camera settings or techniques at first. Then, each time you go on a photo outing, make it a point to add one or two more shooting skills to your repertoire. I know that it's hard to believe when you're just...

Rotate the Main dial to select the shutter speed

Refer to Figure 7-7 to locate shutter speed on the Camera Settings display. After you select the shutter speed, the camera selects an aperture (f-stop) to match. What shutter speed you need depends on the speed at which your subject is moving, so some experimentation is needed. But generally speaking, 1 500 second should be plenty for all but the fastest subjects speeding hockey players like my subject, race cars, boats, and so on. For slower subjects, you can even go as low as 1 250 or 1 125...

Removing Red Eye

From my experience, red-eye is not a major problem with the Rebel XTi 400D. Typically, the problem occurs only in very dark lighting, which makes sense When little ambient light is available, the pupils of the subjects' eyes widen, creating more potential for the flash light to cause red-eye reflection. When red-eye does occur, take these steps to fix the problem 1. In the main browser window, double-click the image thumbnail. Again, Chapter 8 shows you how to get your images into the browser...

To set focus in autofocus mode press and hold the shutter button halfway down

When focus is established, the focus indicator in the viewfinder lights, and one or more of the autofocus points turns red, as shown in Figure 6-1. Focus is maintained as long as you continue to hold the shutter button down halfway. (Press the button the rest of the way when you're ready to snap the picture.) A red dot indicates an active autofocus point, which the camera will use to establish focus. You can select a specific autofocus point by following the steps laid out in the next section.

Monitoring Critical Camera Settings

As you advance in your photography and begin to move beyond the automatic exposure modes, you need a way to keep track of what camera settings are currently active. To that end, your camera offers the Camera Settings display, shown in Figure 1-11. The display appears automatically when you turn on the camera and also when you depress the shutter button halfway unless your eye is up to the viewfinder. In that case, the display is automatically turned off, but you can monitor some settings in the...

To cancel white balance correction repeat these steps and just move the grid marker back to the center position

Be sure that values in the Shift area of the display are both set to 0. In other words, your screen should look like what you see on the right in Figure 6-19. Many film-photography enthusiasts place colored filters on their lenses to either warm or cool their images. Portrait photographers, for example, often add a warming filter to give skin tones a healthy, golden glow. You can mimic the effects of such filters by simply fine-tuning your camera's white balance settings as just described....

Creating an InCamera Slide Show

Many photo-editing and cataloging programs offer a tool for creating digital slide shows that can be viewed on a computer or, if copied to a DVD, on a DVD player. You can even add music, special transition effects, and the like to jazz up your presentations. Online photo sharing Read the fine print If you want to share more than a couple of photos, consider posting your images at an online photo-album site instead of attaching them to e-mail messages. Photo-sharing sites such as Shutterfly,...

Pixels and screen display size

Resolution doesn't affect the quality of images viewed on a monitor, television, or other screen device as it does printed photos. What resolution does do is determine the size at which the image appears. This issue is one of the most misunderstood aspects of digital photography, so I explain it thoroughly in Chapter 9. For now, just know that you need way fewer pixels for onscreen photos than you do for printed photos. For example, Figure 3-5 shows a 450-x-300-pixel image that I attached to an...

Recapping Basic Picture Settings

Your subject, creative goals, and lighting conditions determine which settings you should use for some picture-taking options, such as aperture and shutter speed. I offer my take on those options throughout this chapter. But for a few basic options, I recommend the same settings for almost every shooting scenario. Table 7-1 lists these options as well as how you access them Figure 7-1 offers a reminder of the buttons that are referenced in the table. Figure 7-1 You can access several critical...

Tv shutterpriority autoexposure In

This mode, you select a shutter speed, and the camera chooses the aperture setting that produces a good exposure. Why Tv Well, shutter speed controls exposure time Tv stands for time value. Figure 5-1 You can control exposure and other picture properties only in P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP modes. Figure 5-1 You can control exposure and other picture properties only in P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP modes.

Introducing the Exposure Trio Aperture Shutter Speed and ISO

Any photograph, whether taken with a film or digital camera, is created by focusing light through a lens onto a light-sensitive recording medium. In a film camera, the film negative serves as that medium in a digital camera, it's the image sensor, which is an array of light-responsive computer chips. Between the lens and the sensor are two barriers, known as the aperture and shutter, which together control how much light makes its way to the sensor. The actual design and arrangement of the...

Understanding exposuresetting side effects

As illustrated by the images in Figure 5-4, you can create the same exposure with different combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. And although the figure shows you only two variations of settings, your choices are pretty much endless you're limited only by the aperture range allowed by the lens and the shutter speeds and ISO settings offered by the camera. f 13, 1 25 second, ISO 200 f 5.6, 1 125 second, ISO 200 f 13, 1 25 second, ISO 200 f 5.6, 1 125 second, ISO 200 Figure 5-4...

Taking Creative Control

Chapters in this part help you unleash the full creative power of your camera by moving into semiautomatic or manual photography modes. 1 Chapter 5, Getting Creative with Exposure and Lighting, covers the all-important topic of exposure, starting with an explanation of three critical exposure controls aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This chapter also discusses your camera's advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP), explains exposure options such as metering mode and exposure...

Disabling the AFAssist Beam

In dim lighting, your camera emits a brief beam of light from the AF (auto-focus)-assist lamp on the front of the camera when you press the shutter button halfway. This flash of light helps the camera see its target better, improving the performance of the autofocusing system. If you're shooting in a situation where the AF-assist beam may be distracting to your subject or to others in the room, you can disable it. Or, if you attach one of the compatible external flash units to the camera, you...

Interpreting the histogram

One of the most difficult photo problems to correct in a photo-editing program is known as blown highlights in some circles and clipped highlights in others. In plain English, both terms mean that highlights the brightest areas of the image are so overexposed that areas that should include a variety of light shades are instead totally white. For example, in a cloud image, pixels that should be light to very light gray become white due to overexposure, resulting in a loss of detail in those...

Sending Pictures to the Computer

You can take two approaches to moving pictures from your camera memory card to your computer 1 Connect the camera directly to the computer. For this option, you need to dig out the USB cable that came in your camera box. Your computer must also have a free USB slot, or port, in techie talk. If you aren't sure what these gadgets look like, Figure 8-1 gives you a look. The little three-pronged icon you see on the plug and between the two ports in Figure 8-1 is the universal symbol for USB. Be...

Press the right or left cross key or rotate the Main dial to highlight the setting you want to use

As you scroll through the list of options, the name of the selected setting appears above the little icon. For some settings, the camera also displays the approximate Kelvin temperature of the light source that the setting matches. (Refer to Figure 6-14 for a look at the Kelvin scale.) If the scene is lit by several light sources, choose the setting that corresponds to the strongest source. The Tungsten Light setting is usually best for regular incandescent household bulbs, by the way. And with...

Focusing and zooming the tens

Like any modern camera, digital or film, yours offers autofocusing capabilities, which you can explore in detail in Chapters 2 and 6. But with some subjects, autofocusing can be slow or impossible, which is why your camera also offers manual focusing. The process is quick and easy You just turn the focusing ring on the lens until your subject comes into focus. To try it out, take these steps 1. Locate the AF MF switch on the side of the lens. Figure 1-3 shows you the switch as it appears on the...

Diagnosing Quality Problems

When I use the term picture quality, I'm not talking about the composition, exposure, or other traditional characteristics of a photograph. Instead, I'm referring to how finely the image is rendered in the digital sense. Figure 3-1 illustrates the concept The first example is a high-quality image, with clear details and smooth color transitions. The other examples show five common digital-image defects. High quality Pixelation JPEG artifacts High quality Pixelation JPEG artifacts Figure 3-1...

Check the pixel count before you print

Resolution, or the number of pixels in your digital image, plays a huge role in how large you can print your photos and still maintain good picture quality. You can get the complete story on resolution in Chapter 3, but here's a quick recap as it relates to printing On your Rebel XTi 400D, you set picture resolution via the Quality option, found on Shooting Menu 1. You must select this option before you capture an image, which means that you need some idea of your ultimate print size before you...

An installed photo program automatically displays a photodownload

For example, if you installed the Canon software, the EOS Utility window or MemoryCard Utility window may leap to the forefront. Or, if you installed some other program, such as Photoshop Elements, its downloader may pop up instead. On the Mac, the built-in iPhoto software may display its auto downloader. (Apple's Web site, www.apple.com, offers excellent video tutorials on using iPhoto, by the way.) Usually, the downloader that appears is associated with the software that you most...

Automatic scene modes aka Image Zone modes

In Full Auto mode, the camera tries to figure out what type of picture you want to take by assessing what it sees through the lens. If you don't want to rely on the camera to make that judgment, your camera offers six other fully automatic modes that are specifically designed for taking popular categories of pictures. For example, most people prefer portraits that have softly focused backgrounds. So in Portrait mode, the camera selects settings that can produce that type of background. These...

Coping with Special Situations

A few subjects and shooting situations pose some additional challenges not already covered in earlier sections. So to wrap up this chapter, here's a quick list of ideas for tackling a variety of common tough-shot photos 1 Shooting through glass To capture subjects that are behind glass, try putting your lens flat against the glass. Then switch to manual focusing the glass barrier can give the autofocus mechanism fits. Disable your flash to avoid creating any unwanted reflections, too. I used...

Ten Fast Photo Editing Tricks

Using the editing tools in Canon ZoomBrowser and ImageBrowser Correcting exposure and color problems Creating the illusion of sharper focus very photographer produces a clunker image now and then. When it happens to you, don't be too quick to reach for the Erase button on your camera. Many common problems are surprisingly easy to fix using the tools found in most photo editing programs. In fact, you can perform many common retouching tasks using one of the free programs provided with your...

Creating a custom white balance setting

If none of the preset white balance options produces the right amount of color correction, you can create your own custom setting. To use this technique, you need a piece of card stock that's either neutral gray or absolute white not eggshell white, sand white, or any other close-but-not perfect white. (You can buy reference cards made just for this purpose in many camera stores for under 20.) Position the reference card so that it receives the same lighting you'll use for your photo. Then take...

Connect your camera to the computer

See the first part of this chapter for specifics. Safeguarding your digital photo files To make sure that your digital photos enjoy a long, healthy life, follow these storage guidelines I Don't rely on your computer's hard drive for long-term, archival storage. Hard drives occasionally fail, wiping out all files in the process. This warning applies to both internal and external hard drives. I Camera memory cards, flash memory keys, and other portable storage devices are similarly risky. All are...

Full Auto mode

In this mode, represented on the Mode dial by the green rectangle you see in the margin here, the camera selects all settings based on the scene that it detects in front of the lens. Your only job is to lock in focus, using the two-stage autofocus technique I outline at the beginning of the chapter, or by setting the lens to manual mode and using the focus ring on the lens, as explained in Chapter 1. Figure 2-7 You can select from seven fully automatic exposure modes. Figure 2-7 You can select...

Changing the Function of the Set Button

When you're using the advanced exposure modes, pressing the Set button while no menu is active displays the Picture Style options, discussed in Chapter 6. If you don't use those options very often, you can change the function of the button so that pressing it displays the Quality options or the Flash Exposure Compensation options. Doing so enables you to access those settings more quickly than by using the menus. You also can assign the Set button the same function as the Playback button if you...

Using an external flash unit

Canon Built Flash Concentrate

In addition to its built-in flash, your camera has a hot shoe, which is photo-geek terminology for a connection that enables you to add an external flash head like the one shown in Figure 5-29. The figure features the Canon Speedlite 580EX II, which currently retails for right around 350. Although certainly not the cheapest of camera accessories, an external flash may be a worthwhile investment if you do a lot of flash photography, especially portraits. For one thing, an external flash offers...

Selecting an autofocus point

When you shoot in any of the fully automatic exposure modes (Full Auto, Portrait, Landscape, and so on) as well as in A-DEP mode, all nine of your camera's autofocus points are active. That means that the camera's auto-focusing system looks at all the points when trying to establish focus. Typically, the camera sets focus on the point that falls over the object closest to the lens. If that focusing decision doesn't suit your needs, you have two options 1 Set the camera to P, Tv, Av, or M...

Get print and monitor colors in synch

Your photo colors look perfect on your computer monitor. But when you print the picture, the image is too red, or too green, or has some other nasty color tint. This problem, which is probably the most prevalent printing issue, can occur because of any or all of the following factors 1 Your monitor needs to be calibrated. When print colors don't match what you see on your computer monitor, the most likely culprit is actually the monitor, not the printer. If the monitor isn't accurately...

Choosing an Exposure Metering Mode

The metering mode determines which part of the frame the camera analyzes to calculate the proper exposure. Your Canon offers three metering modes, described in the following list and represented in the Camera Settings display by the icons you see in the margins i Evaluative metering The camera analyzes the entire frame and then selects an exposure that's designed to produce a balanced exposure. i Partial metering The camera bases exposure only on the light that falls in the center portion of...

Correcting colors with white balance

Every light source emits a particular color cast. The old-fashioned fluorescent lights found in most public restrooms, for example, put out a bluish-greenish light, which is why our reflections in the mirrors in those restrooms always look so sickly. And if you think that your beloved looks especially attractive by candlelight, you aren't imagining things Candlelight casts a warm, yellow-red glow that is flattering to the skin. Science-y types measure the color of light, officially known as...

Viewing photos in fullscreen mode

Double-clicking a thumbnail in the main browser window displays the image inside the Viewer window. Figure 8-16 shows the Windows version of the Viewer Figure 8-17 shows the Mac alternative. After opening an image in the Viewer window, use these tricks to inspect it more closely Figure 8-16 To display an image in the Viewer window, double-click its thumbnail. Figure 8-16 To display an image in the Viewer window, double-click its thumbnail. Magnify the image. You can zoom in on your image for a...

JPEG The imaging and Web standard

Pronounced jay-peg, this format is the default setting on your Canon, as it is for most digital cameras. JPEG is popular for two main reasons l Web compatibility All Web browsers and e-mail programs can display JPEG files, so you can share them online immediately after you shoot them. l Small files JPEG files are smaller than those produced by the other common format offered by today's digital cameras, known as Camera Raw, or just Raw. And smaller files means that your pictures consume less...

Bracketing Exposures Automatically

One of my favorite exposure features on the Rebel XTi 400D is automatic exposure bracketing, or AEB for short. This feature makes it easy to bracket exposures which simply means to take the same shot using several exposure settings to up the odds that you come away with a perfectly exposed image. When you enable AEB, your first shot is recorded at the current exposure settings the second, with settings that produce a darker image and the third, with settings that produce a brighter image. You...

Decoding the Quality Options

Resolution Canon Menu

As I mentioned in the introduction to this chapter, the Quality control determines both the image resolution and file format of the pictures you shoot. To access the control, press the Menu button and then display Shooting Menu 1, shown on the left in Figure 3-2. Highlight Quality and press the Set button to display the screen you see on the right in the figure. Figure 3-2 You set resolution and file format together via the Quality menu. Figure 3-2 You set resolution and file format together...

Tweaking Color Balance

Chapter 6 explains how to use your camera's white balance and Picture Style controls to manipulate the colors in your pictures. If you can't get the results you want by using those features, you may be able to do the job using the RGB Adjustment filter offered by the Canon browser. In Figure 10-13, for example, I used the filter to tone down the amount of blue in the image and bring out the warm yellow tones of the building instead. Follow these steps to use the filter 1. Open the image in its...

Decoding Viewfinder Data

When the camera is turned on, you can view critical exposure settings and a few other pieces of information in the viewfinder as well as on the Camera Settings display. The viewfinder data changes depending on what action you're currently undertaking. For example, when you press the shutter button halfway, you see the current f-stop aperture setting , shutter speed, and exposure meter, as shown in Figure 1-13. Figure 1-13 You also can view some camera information at the bottom of the...

Bracketing shots with white balance

Chapter 5 introduces you to your camera's automatic exposure bracketing, which enables you to easily record the same image at three different exposure settings. Similarly, you can take advantage of automatic white balance bracketing. With this feature, the camera records the same image three times, using a slightly different white balance setting for each. This feature is especially helpful when you're shooting in varying light sources for example, a mix of fluorescent light, daylight, and...

Custom Function Flash Sync Speed in Av Mode This Custom

Function determines what shutter speeds the camera can select when you use flash in the Av aperture-priority autoexposure mode. At the default setting, which is Auto, the shutter may be set to any speed between 30 seconds and 1 200 second. But you can also limit the camera to a shutter speed of 1 200 second through Custom Function 3. Doing so eliminates the possibility that a slow shutter speed will result in a blurry image due to camera shake, but it can also result in dark backgrounds. See...

Customizing Exposure and Focus Lock Options

By default, pressing your shutter button halfway establishes and locks focus when you work in autofocus mode. When you shoot in the advanced autoexposure modes, you also can lock in the autoexposure settings the camera selected by pressing and holding the AE autoexposure Lock button, labeled in Figure 11-3. You can customize these locking behaviors via a Custom Functions item on Setup Menu 2. Here's how 1. Set the Mode dial to an advanced exposure setting. As with all Custom Functions, you can...

Exploring Picture Styles

In addition to all the focus and color features already covered in this chapter, your Rebel XTi 400D offers Picture Styles. Through Picture Styles, you can further tweak color, saturation, contrast, and image sharpening. Sharpening, in case you're new to the digital meaning of the term, refers to a software process that adjusts contrast in a way that creates the illusion of slightly sharper focus. I explain sharpening fully in Chapter 10, but the important thing to note for now is that...

For outdoor portraits use a flash

Even in bright daylight, a flash adds a beneficial pop of light to subjects' faces, as discussed in Chapter 5 and illustrated here in Figure 7-3. Unfortunately, the camera doesn't let you use flash in Portrait mode if the light is very bright. In the Av exposure mode, just press the Flash button on the side of the camera to enable the flash. Figure 7-3 To properly illuminate the face in outdoor portraits, use fill flash. Figure 7-3 To properly illuminate the face in outdoor portraits, use fill...

Choosing a Color Space sRGB vs Adobe RGB

Normally, your camera captures images using the sRGB color mode, which simply refers to an industry-standard spectrum of colors. The s is for standard, and the RGB is for red-green-blue, which are the primary colors in the digital imaging color world. This color mode was created to help ensure color consistency as an image moves from camera or scanner to monitor and printer the idea was to create a spectrum of colors that all these devices can reproduce. However, the sRGB color spectrum leaves...

Using Autoexposure Lock

Occasionally, you may want to use the exact same exposure settings for a series of shots. For example, suppose that you're shooting several images of a large landscape that you want to join together into a panorama in your photo editor. Unless the lighting is even across the entire landscape, the camera may select different exposure settings for each shot, depending on which part of the scene is currently in the frame. That can lead to weird and noticeable breaks in the brightness and contrast...

Working with Memory Cards

Canon T90 Memory Card

Instead of recording images on film, digital cameras store pictures on memory cards. Some people, in fact, refer to memory cards as digital film, but I hate that term because film and memory cards actually have little in common. Film must be developed before you can view your pictures, a process that involves time and some not-so-nice chemicals. Film can be damaged when exposed to some airport security scanners memory cards are immune to those devices. The cost per picture is also much higher...

Transferring files using Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is the basic file-management system built in to the Microsoft Windows operating software. Don't confuse it with Microsoft Internet Explorer, which is a Web-browsing program. You can use this tool to transfer image files just as you do to copy or move any file from a CD, DVD, or other storage device to your hard drive. If you want to try out this method, first close any automated downloaders that may have popped up when you inserted your memory card or attached your camera to...

Adjusting flash power with flash exposure compensation

When you shoot with your built-in flash, the camera attempts to adjust the flash output as needed to produce a good exposure in the current lighting conditions. On some occasions, you may find that you want a little more or less light than the camera thinks is appropriate. You can adjust the flash output by using a feature called flash compensation. This feature works similarly to exposure compensation, discussed earlier in this chapter. But flash compensation affects the output level of the...

Overriding Autoexposure Results with Exposure Compensation

When you set your camera to the P, Tv, Av, or A-DEP exposure modes, you can enjoy the benefits of autoexposure support but still retain control over the final, overall exposure. If you think that the image the camera produced is too dark or too light, you can use a feature known as exposure compensation, which is sometimes also called EV compensation. The EV stands for exposure value. Whatever you call it, this feature enables you to tell the camera to produce a darker or lighter exposure than...

Checking depth of field

When you look through your viewfinder and press the shutter button halfway, you can get only a partial indication of the depth of field that your current camera settings will produce. You can see the effect of focal length and the camera-to-subject distance, but because the aperture doesn't actually open to your selected f-stop until you take the picture, the viewfinder doesn't show you how that setting will affect depth of field. By using the depth of field preview button on your camera,...

Firmware Notes and Menu

Checking and updating your camera firmware Mapping out all your camera's menus firmware is the internal software that runs your camera. On occasion, the camera manufacturer updates this software, either to fix recently discovered problems or to enable minor new features. You can find out which firmware version your camera is running via Shooting Menu 2, as explained in the next section. Speaking of menus, the second part of this appendix provides a handy summary of all the commands on each of...

Viewing Your Photos on a Television

How Connect Canon 350d

Your Rebel XTi 400D is equipped with a video-out port, which is tucked under the little rubber cover on the left rear side of the camera, as shown in Figure 9-16. That feature means that you can output your pictures for display on a television screen. To take advantage of this option, dig through your camera box until you find the video cable, which has little yellow plug ends like the one you see on the right in Figure 9-16. Then, making sure that the camera is off, use the cable to connect...

Manipulating Depth of Field

Getting familiar with the concept of depth of field is one of the biggest steps you can take to becoming a more artful photographer. I introduce you to depth of field in Chapters 2 and 5, but here's a quick recap just to hammer home the lesson Depth of field refers to the distance over which objects in a photograph appear sharply focused. i With a shallow, or small, depth of field, only your subject and objects very close to it appear sharp. Objects at a distance from the subject appear blurry....

Viewing the RGB histogram

By visiting the Playback menu and selecting the Histogram option, as shown in Figure 4-12, you can change the histogram from its default mode, Brightness Display, to RGB Display. In this mode, the histogram appears similar to the one you see in Figure 4-13. To make sense of the RGB histogram, you first need to know that digital images are called RGB images because they are created out of three primary colors of light red, green, and blue. Figure 4-12 Change the histogram mode via The RGB...

Aperture setting fstop

Aperture is one of three exposure settings, all explained fully in Chapter 5. Depth of field increases as you stop down the aperture by choosing a higher f-stop number . For shallow depth of field, open the aperture by choosing a lower f-stop number . Figure 6-9 offers an example. Notice that the trees in the background are much more softly focused in the f 5.6 example than in the f 11 version. I snapped both images using the same focal length and camera-to-subject distance, so aperture is the...

Adjusting the Viewfinder Focus

Perched on the top right edge of the viewfinder is a tiny black knob, officially called the dioptric adjustment control. I labeled the knob in Figure 1-4. With this control, you can adjust the magnification of the viewfinder to mesh with your eyesight. If you don't take this step, scenes that appear out-of-focus through the viewfinder may actually be sharply focused through the lens, and vice versa. Here's how to make the necessary adjustment 1. Remove the lens cap from the front of the lens....

Changing the AF autofocus mode

Your camera offers three different autofocusing schemes, which you select through a control called AF mode. The three choices work like so 1 One-Shot In this mode, which is geared to shooting stationary subjects, the camera locks focus when you depress the shutter button halfway. Focus remains locked as long as you hold the shutter button at that halfway position. 1 AI Servo In this mode, the camera adjusts focus continually as needed from the time you press the shutter button halfway to the...

Considering Resolution Large Medium or Small

To decide upon a Quality setting, the first decision you need to make is how many pixels you want your image to contain. Pixels are the little square tiles from which all digital images are made the word pixel is short for picture element. You can see some pixels close up in the right image in Figure 3-4, which shows a greatly magnified view of the eye area of the left image. The number of pixels in an image is referred to as resolution. Your Canon offers you three resolution levels, which are...

Using Memory Card Utility for cardtocomputer transfers

Transferring images from a memory card reader involves a different Canon tool, MemoryCard Utility. To try it out, put your card in your card reader. If all the planets are aligned meaning that the Canon software was the last photo software you installed, and some other program doesn't try to handle the job for you the MemoryCard Utility window shown in Figure 8-13 appears automatically when you put your memory card into the card reader. The figure shows the Windows version of the window the Mac...

Release the Exposure Compensation button after you select the value you want to use

How the camera arrives at the brighter or darker image you request depends on the exposure mode In Av aperture-priority mode, the camera adjusts the shutter speed but leaves your selected f-stop in force. Be sure to check the resulting shutter speed to make sure that it isn't so slow that camera shake or blur from moving objects is problematic. In Tv shutter-priority mode, the opposite occurs The camera opens or stops down the aperture, leaving your selected shutter speed alone. In P programmed...

Adjusting Color Saturation

Saturation refers to the intensity and purity of color. A fully saturated color contains no black, white, or gray. In other words, saturated colors are deep, rich, and bold. I find that the colors produced by the Rebel XTi 400D are already pretty highly saturated, but on occasion, an image can benefit from a little saturation bump in the digital darkroom. Figure 10-9 offers an example. I was drawn to this scene by the mix of colors, and the original photo, shown on the left in the figure,...

Changing the Drive Mode

Drive Mode Canon

Your camera offers three Drive mode settings, which work as follows l Single This setting, which is the default for all of the fully automatic modes except Portrait and Sports, records a single image each time you press the shutter button. In other words, this is normal-photography mode. I Continuous Sometimes known as burst mode, this setting records a continuous series of images as long as you hold down the shutter button. On the Rebel XTi 400D, you can capture as many as three shots per...

Using ADEP mode

In addition to the four advanced exposure modes found on most digital SLR cameras, your Rebel XTi 400D offers a fifth mode called A-DEP, as shown in Figure 6-12. The initials stand for automatic depth of field. This mode is designed to assist you in producing photos that have a depth of field sufficient to keep all objects in the frame in sharp focus. The camera accomplishes this by analyzing the lens-to-subject distance for all those objects and then selecting the aperture that results in the...