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 Style settings on the first screen; scroll down using the cross keys to view the others.)

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Figure 6-27: You can access Picture Styles options via Shooting Menu 2.

For an even quicker option, though, just press the Set button while no menus are displayed. In that case, you see the screen shown in Figure 6-28. Here, all the available Picture Styles are visible.

Either way, highlight the style you want to use by pressing the cross keys or rotating the Main dial and then press Set again. The selected Picture Style is applied until you change the setting again.

Here's a description of each Picture Style option:

i Standard: The default setting, this option captures the image normally — that is, using the characteristics that Canon offers as suitable for the majority of subjects.

i Portrait: This mode reduces sharpening slightly from the amount that's applied in Standard mode, with the goal of keeping skin texture soft. Color saturation, on the other hand, is slightly increased.

The Canon manual recommends this setting for portraits of women and children — presuming, I guess, that men prefer not to be rendered with slightly soft skin. But I suggest that it's appropriate for portraits regardless of gender or age.

If you shoot in the Portrait exposure mode, the camera automatically applies this Picture Style for you.

t Landscape: In a nod to traditions of landscape photography, this Picture Style emphasizes greens and blues and amps up color saturation and sharpness, resulting in bolder images.

The camera automatically applies this Picture Style if you set the Mode dial to the Landscape exposure mode.

t Neutral: This setting reduces saturation and contrast slightly compared to how the camera renders images when the Standard option is selected.

t Faithful: The Faithful style is designed to render colors as closely as possible to how your eye perceives them.

t Monochrome: This setting produces, er, black-and-white photos. Only in the digital world, they're called grayscale images because a true black-and-white image contains only black and white, with no shades of gray. Note that when this Picture Style is selected, the initials B/W appear on the Camera Settings display.

If you set the Quality option on Shooting Menu 1 to Raw (or Raw + Large/Fine), the camera displays your image on the monitor in black and white during playback. But during the Raw converter process, you can either choose to go with your grayscale version or view and save a full-color version. Or, even better, you can process and save the image once as a grayscale photo and then process and save it again as a color image.

If you don't capture the image in the Raw format, you can't access the original image colors later.

t User Defined 1, 2, and 3: These options enables you to create and save three of your own Picture Styles. I cover this feature in the last section of the chapter.

Figure 6-29 shows you how the camera rendered the same scene in each of the six preset Picture Styles. As you can see, Landscape has the most noticeable impact. To my taste, in fact, Landscape colors are a little over the top, but that's strictly a personal preference.

If you don't like any of the Picture Styles, you can use the options discussed in the next section to tweak them.

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Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.

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