Over the days leading up to the 25th of December I’d like to give something to everyone who stops by my blog. These tips cover camera settings, flash, lighting, software and gear. I’ll be providing a pair of tips each day until 25th December.
#43 – Sandisk cards for Canon EOS cameras
My experience with Canon digital cameras goes back right to 1996 and the PowerShot 600, and in those 22 years there’s been one brand of memory cards that have just worked in each Canon camera; Sandisk. I’ve completely standardised on their cards in my cameras, as they always let the cameras achieve the performance they’re designed to have. Canon and Sandisk were one of six founding members of the CompactFlash association that set the design standards for memory cards in the early years, and continues to do so for CF, CFast and XQD cards.
Currently I use Sandisk Extreme cards for my cameras, and the more modern, faster cards make it much more efficient at downloading the files from shoots to my computers. Don’t be a cheapskate and use a good quality card reader on your computers. I have only had one trouble with a Sandisk card, the switch on an SD card wouldn’t unlock. As it was a Sandisk Extreme card it was replaced without question by Sandisk.
So this tip is short, if you’ve got a Canon camera then feed it Sandisk cards (Amazon).
#44 – Using a custom shooting mode for movies
Movie shooting with a DSLR is made simpler if you get the basic camera settings right when you shoot. For me there’s a quick way to ready my camera for movies, and that is to turn the mode dial to the last custom shooting mode, C2 or C3.
Custom shooting modes for DSLR cameras lets you instantly recall a previous camera configuration. I’ll give you some idea of the customisation I use for C3 “aka movie mode”.
I use manual exposure for movies, so I set the camera to manual mode, and then register the settings to C3. Then I enable the auto update of the custom shooting modes and turn the mode dial to C3. From here all the changes are saved and stored only for the C3 mode.
- I set the shutter speed to 1/50s since I shoot at 25fps.
- I set the Picture Style to neutral with a flat profile, or choose Canon Log if the camera supports it.
- Select custom white balance, as I want to have consistent colours in my shots to simplify editing.
- Reconfigure some of the camera buttons and dials. I set the aperture on the main dial, and move ISO to the rear quick control dial, as I don’t need to change shutter speed much, if any. Then I have the depth of field preview button set to pause movie servo AF, the M.Fn button to work as an exposure lock with hold button for when I shoot with auto ISO. I also have the SET button configured for exposure compensation, again for auto ISO work.
- Set the camera to capture small size JPG images as these are only used for custom white balance test shots.
- Finally I’ll activate movie mode and make sure I have the right frame rate and resolution set.