Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Use Custom Functions To Personalize Your D-SLR
Discover how custom functions can improve the way you produce images
One of the ways you can immediately adapt your camera is by determining how the camera focuses for you. By working with the button that activates focus detection or with the number of sensors used for focus, you have the ability to optimize performance for particular types of shooting, whether that's sports, wildlife, event or portrait photography.
A large number of custom functions control specific focus features, and for good reason. Though these cameras have become adept at providing accurate focus, the way autofocus detection works has become a personal matter.
A wedding photographer requires different qualities of performance than a photographer specializing in sports. Rather than being locked into just one way of shooting, custom functions offer photographers a personal shooting experience, literally at the touch of a button.
New Ways Of Focusing
Ever since autofocus was introduced into cameras, locking focus with pressure on the shutter-release button and recomposing has been a technique that all photographers have become familiar and technically proficient with. Yet many photographers have continued to depend on pressing halfway down on the shutter-release button to lock focus using a single sensor, even though the number of sensors has increased.
You can achieve much greater functionality and performance, however, by combining several custom functions together.
For example, on the Canon EOS-1D series of cameras, you can use Custom Function four to activate AF detection, not using the shutter-release button, but rather the AE lock button. Popular with sports photographers, this technique allows you to “lock” focus by simply removing your finger from the button.
This functionality can be expanded even further by choosing how many AF sensors will be used for focus detection, as well as how individual sensors are chosen during shooting. Different functionality using the AF stop button on certain Canon USM lenses (Custom Function 19) can be enabled so that focus detection happens from pressing the button on the lens body.
Custom Function 13 provides you with the option of reducing the number of sensors used for focus detection, which some photographers prefer when they're manually choosing the active sensor. The fewer number of sensors makes AF selection a speedier proposition. However, the choices also allow you to either continue using the Evaluative Metering system for fast-changing lighting conditions, or use an individual sensor for spot metering in challenging but stable lighting conditions.
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