Live View mode and flash on your EOS DSLR

When Live View mode was first introduced on Canon EOS DSLR cameras some photographers were confused. Surely holding a camera at arms length so you can see the LCD screen would create camera shake. The reality is that Live View has enabled different kinds of photography to be possible or at least made less arduous.

I’ve found that Live View mode is something I’m using from time to time, however I recently had a bought of head scratching when using the EOS 60D and Live View with some simple radio triggers. Cameras like the EOS 7D, EOS 5D Mark II & EOS 60D have the option to reduce the noise of the shutter mechanism via the Silent shooting option in the Live View settings. If the function exists then the three options are Mode 1, Mode 2 and Disable.

In the EOS 60D manual the descriptions of the modes are as follows.

Mode 1: “The shooting operation noise is quieter than with normal shooting. Continuous shooting is also possible. High-speed continuous shooting will be approx. 5 fps.”

Mode 2: “When you press the shutter button completely, only one shot will be taken. While you keep holding down the shutter button, the camera operation will be suspended. Then when you return to the shutter button’s halfway position, the camera operation will resume. The shooting noise is thereby minimized. Even if continuous shooting is set, only a single shot can be taken in this mode.”

Disable: “If you use a TS-E lens to make vertical shift movements or use an Extension Tube, be sure to set this to [Disable]. Setting it to [Mode 1] or [Mode 2] will result in incorrect or irregular exposures. When you press the shutter button completely, the shutter will sound like it took two shots. However, only one shot will be taken.”

Disable silent shooting if you use simple radio triggers for flash

Disable silent shooting in LV mode for flash

Disable silent LV shoot mode with simple flash and radio triggers

There is also a caution that if you use flash the Disable option will be selected even is the menu is set to Mode 1 or Mode 2, however if the flash is not a Canon dedicated flash it won’t fire unless you have manually selected Disable from the menu. If you are using a Canon flash, even with several off camera Speedlites, the camera will switch to Disable automatically. The problem is that simple radio triggers, even Pocket Wizard Plus II’s, are not seen as dedicated and so the camera won’t trigger the flash in Live View mode. The reason I found this with the EOS 60D was that I was using the vari-angle LCD to allow me to position the camera on the floor when shooting a model, I wanted a different viewpoint for my picture and putting the camera at ground level suited my needs. However it did cause a little confusion when the radio triggered flash wouldn’t fire in Live View, since the default was Mode 1 silent shooting. Switching the shooting mode to Disable solved the problems.