Traveling over the top of the camera to its back side, you encounter a smorgasbord of buttons — 13, in fact, not including the viewfinder's dioptric adjustment control, discussed earlier in this chapter. Figure 1-8 gives you a look at the layout of backside controls.
Set button and cross keys
Set button and cross keys
.flV Cy Don't let the abundance of buttons intimidate you. Having all of those exter-yJJL nal controls actually makes operating your camera easier. On cameras that ■ foj 1 have only a few external buttons, you have to dig through menus to access the camera features, which is a big pain in the keister. But on your camera, you can access almost every critical shooting setting via the external buttons. That's a convenience you'll come to appreciate after you familiarize yourself with all the camera options.
Also, as you look through this book, you may notice that the margins contain little representations of some buttons to help you locate the one being discussed. So even though I provide the official control names in the following list, don't worry about getting all of those straight right now. The list I provide here is just to get you acquainted with the possibility of what you can accomplish with all of these features.
Do note, however, that many of the buttons have multiple names because they serve multiple purposes depending on whether you're taking pictures, reviewing images, or performing some other function. In this book, I refer to these buttons by the first label you see in the following list just to simplify things. For example, I refer to the AF Point Selection/Enlarge button as the AF Point Selection button. Again, though, the margin icons help you know exactly which button I'm describing.
And here's another tip: If the label or icon for a button is blue, it indicates a function related to viewing, printing, or downloading images. Labels that indicate a shooting-related function are either black or white, depending on whether the camera body is silver or black.
With that preamble out of the way, journey with me now over the camera back, starting at the top-right corner and working westward (well, assuming that your lens is pointing north, anyway):
✓ AF Point Selection/Enlarge button: When you use certain advanced shooting modes, you use this button to specify which of the seven autofocus points you want the camera to use when establishing focus. Chapter 6 tells you more about this feature. But in Playback mode and in Live View mode, you use the button to magnify the image display (thus the plus sign in the button's magnifying glass icon). See Chapter 4 for help with that function.
✓ AE Lock/FE Lock/Index/Reduce button: As you can guess from the official name of this button, it serves many purposes. The first two are related to image capture functions: You use the button to lock in the autoexposure (AE) settings and to lock flash exposure (FE). Chapter 5 details both issues. Additionally, during Live View shooting, the button serves as the autofocus and autoexposure trigger, as explained in Chapter 6.
The button also serves two image-viewing functions: It switches the display to Index mode, enabling you to see multiple image thumbnails at once, and it also reduces the magnification of images when displayed one at a time. Again, Chapter 4 explains all these monitor-related features.
✓ Aperture/Exposure Compensation button: When you work in M (manual) exposure mode, you press this button and rotate the Main dial to choose the aperture setting, better known as the f-stop. In the other advanced exposure modes, you instead use the button and dial to apply exposure compensation, a feature that enables you to adjust the exposure selected by the camera's autoexposure mechanism. Chapter 5 discusses both issues.
✓ White Balance/Print/Share button: Press this button to access the camera's white balance setting, which is a feature you can use to adjust image colors. This button is also involved when you transfer images to your computer or print pictures directly from the camera. See Chapter 6 for details about white balance; check out Chapters 8 and 9 for information about image transfer and printing, respectively.
✓ Set button and cross keys: Figure 1-8 points out the Set button and the four surrounding buttons, known as cross keys. These buttons team up to perform several functions, including choosing options from the camera menus. You use the cross keys to navigate through menus and then press the Set button to select a specific menu setting. (The later section, "Ordering from Camera Menus," has the details.)
In this book, the instruction "Press the left cross key" just means to press the one that sports the left-pointing arrowhead. "Press the up cross key" means to press the one with the up-pointing arrowhead, and so on.
The cross keys and the Set button also have individual responsibilities, as follows:
• Press the Set button to switch to Live View display. You must first enable Live View through Setup Menu 2 and select one of the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP). See the end of Chapter 4 for details about using Live View.
• Press the right cross key to adjust the AF mode. This option controls the camera's autofocus behavior, as outlined in Chapter 6.
• Press the left cross key to change the Drive mode. The Drive mode settings enable you to switch the camera from single-frame shooting to continuous capture or self-timer/remote-control shooting. See Chapter 2 for details.
• Press the down cross key to change the Picture Style. Chapter 6 explains Picture Styles, which you can use to adjust color, contrast, and sharpness of your pictures.
• Press the up cross key to change the exposure metering mode or to use the Jump feature during picture playback. The metering mode determines which area of the frame the camera uses when determining the correct exposure settings. Chapter 5 has details. The Jump feature enables you to "fast forward" through your images during playback; see Chapter 4 for specifics.
You can customize the functions of the Set button; Chapter 11 explains how. But while you're working with this book, stick with the default setup, just described. Otherwise, the instructions I give in the book won't work.
✓ Playback button: Press this button to switch the camera into picture review mode. Chapter 4 details the camera's playback features.
✓ Erase button: Sporting a trash can icon, the universal symbol for delete, this button lets you erase pictures from your memory card. Chapter 4 has specifics. In Live View mode, also covered in Chapter 4, this button is involved in the focusing process.
✓ Menu button: Press this button to access the camera menus. See the next section for details on navigating menus.
✓ DISP button: The Shooting Settings display, covered later in this chapter, appears automatically on the monitor when you first turn on the camera and any time you press the shutter button halfway and then release it. You also can press the DISP button to view the Shooting Settings screen.
But that's just the start of the DISP button's tricks. If the camera menus are displayed, pressing the button takes you to the Camera Functions display, explained in the upcoming section "Monitoring Critical Camera Settings." In Playback mode and Live View mode, pressing the button changes the picture-display style, as outlined in Chapter 4.
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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.