Custom modes C1, C2 and C3 are ideal for developing your way of working with a camera and try out new capabilities.

Custom modes might be thought of as the “grown up” scene modes, you can configure them as a copy of an existing creative mode but virtually all of the autofocus, exposure and custom settings can be adjusted independently.

Making use of the independence, I liken the scene modes to a safe environment where you can experiment with how you work with your camera. Software engineers will recognise this as a sandbox or test environment, somewhere to explore and play without too much risk.

Setting up the custom mode

Start by selecting the mode you want to replicate by setting your camera to that mode.

Then register the settings to one of the camera’s custom modes to duplicate the mode you regularly use.

Make sure you enable auto updates on the end of the custom mode screen.

Turn the mode dial to the custom shooting mode you programmed – C1 in this example. Then reconfigure whatever camera settings you want to explore.

In effect the custom mode is the “experimental” mode, but if needed you can simply switch back to the way you normally work by selecting the regular mode.

You may want to try the push-to- pan AF-ON custom controls configuration I wrote about. For this you simply register Tv mode, and then select the custom mode to implement the revised configuration. While you are shooting if you find the changed settings a hinderance rather than helpful you can revert to your standard Tv mode by turning the mode dial, or try another configuration by changing the settings whilst in the custom mode.

I have done this myself, switching my push-to-pan setup to push-to-freeze configuration so I can vary the slower panning speeds, but have the action freezing fast shutter speed when I push the AF-ON button. I just need to train my fingers to operate in reverse too.


Advent Calendar of Tips

This year I’m writing a quick tip each day up until the 25th of December, here’s some of the others I have already posted.


About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag