Canon 70D Experience
PREVIEW of:
Canon 70D Experience
The Still Photography Guide to Operation
and Image Creation with the
Canon EOS 70D
by
Douglas J. Klostermann
Full Stop. good writing for better photography
1
Canon 70D Experience
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Canon 70D Experience
Copyright 2013 Douglas J. Klostermann - all rights reserved
Cover design and photograph by the author.
Canon 70D Experience - PREVIEW
The Still Photography Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon EOS 70D
by: Douglas J. Klostermann
Version 1.0a
October 2013
Author’s website: www.dojoklo.com
Author’s blog: http://blog.dojoklo.com/
Published by Full Stop Media, LLC
Full Stop. good writing for better photography
Cambridge, Mass. USA
http://www.dojoklo.com/Full_Stop/
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Canon 70D Experience
CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................... 6
1.1 Take Control of Your Camera ................................................................................. 8
1.2 Using This Guide ................................................................................................... 10
1.3 Quick Start for Previous Canon dSLR Users ........................................................ 15
1.4 Getting Started....................................................................................................... 17
2. CAMERA CONTROLS ................................................................................... 19
2.1 EOS 70D Camera Controls ................................................................................... 19
2.2 Quick Control Screen and Touch Screen.............................................................. 33
3. MENU SETTINGS........................................................................................... 38
3.1 Introduction to Setting up the 70D......................................................................... 38
3.2 Shooting Menus..................................................................................................... 40
3.3 Live View Shooting Menus .................................................................................... 59
3.4 Playback Menus .................................................................................................... 65
3.5 Set-up Menus ........................................................................................................ 80
3.6 My Menu ................................................................................................................ 95
3.7 Movie Shooting Mode Menus ................................................................................ 97
4. CUSTOM FUNCTIONS MENUS................................................................... 105
4.1 C.Fn I: Exposure.................................................................................................. 105
4.2 C.Fn II: Autofocus ................................................................................................ 109
4.3 C.Fn III: Operation/Others ................................................................................... 123
4.4 C.Fn III-4: Custom Controls - Advanced ............................................................. 126
5. PLAYBACK and IMAGE FILE FORMATS .................................................. 132
5.1 Image Playback ................................................................................................... 132
5.2 Image File Formats - JPEG vs. RAW.................................................................. 134
5.3 File Sizes and Maximum Burst Rate ................................................................... 136
6. AUTOFOCUSING ......................................................................................... 138
6.1 Using Autofocus .................................................................................................. 138
6.2 Autofocus - AF Point Selection............................................................................ 141
6.3 Autofocus - AF Modes ......................................................................................... 144
6.4 Autofocus - AF Area Selection Modes ................................................................ 151
6.5 AF Points and Composition ................................................................................. 156
6.6 Autofocus Custom Function Settings .................................................................. 159
6.7 Back Button Focusing.......................................................................................... 161
6.8 Live View and Movie Autofocusing...................................................................... 165
7. DRIVE MODES ............................................................................................. 177
8. EXPOSURE Part 1 ....................................................................................... 180
8.1 Intro to Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO ........................................................... 180
8.2 Aperture-Priority AE Mode (Av) and Shutter-Priority AE Mode (Tv) ................... 185
8.3 ISO....................................................................................................................... 192
8.4 Full Stops............................................................................................................. 194
8.5 Manual Exposure Mode (M) ................................................................................ 196
8.6 Basic Zone Shooting Modes ............................................................................... 198
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Canon 70D Experience
9. METERING MODES ..................................................................................... 210
9.1 Evaluative Metering ............................................................................................. 211
9.2 Partial Metering.................................................................................................... 211
9.3 Spot Metering ...................................................................................................... 213
9.4 Center-Weighted Average Metering.................................................................... 215
9.5 Manual Metering .................................................................................................. 218
9.6 Metering Modes and Exposure ........................................................................... 219
10. EXPOSURE Part 2 ..................................................................................... 222
10.1 Exposure Lock ................................................................................................... 222
10.2 Histograms......................................................................................................... 225
10.3 Exposure Compensation ................................................................................... 229
10.4 Auto Exposure Bracketing ................................................................................. 233
10.5 HDR Shooting Mode and Multiple Exposure Mode .......................................... 236
11. ADDITIONAL CAMERA FUNCTIONS ....................................................... 243
11.1 Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone Priority ......................................... 243
11.2 White Balance ................................................................................................... 244
11.3 Picture Styles..................................................................................................... 249
11.4 Ambience Selection and Lighting or Scene Type ............................................. 254
11.5 Flash .................................................................................................................. 256
11.6 External Flash.................................................................................................... 262
11.7 Wireless Flash ................................................................................................... 267
11.8 Sensor Cleaning ................................................................................................ 277
11.9 Putting it all into Practice ................................................................................... 279
12. THE IMAGE TAKING PROCESS ............................................................... 281
12.1 Still Subjects ...................................................................................................... 281
12.2 Moving Subjects ................................................................................................ 283
13. Wi-Fi FUNCTIONS...................................................................................... 286
14. VIDEO - AN INTRODUCTION .................................................................... 308
14.1 Image Size, Frame Rate, Compression ............................................................ 312
14.2 Video Settings ................................................................................................... 313
14.3 Manual Exposure Settings for Video ................................................................. 322
14.4 Audio.................................................................................................................. 325
15. COMPOSITION........................................................................................... 327
16. LENSES ...................................................................................................... 337
16.1 Lens Notations................................................................................................... 337
16.2 Fixed Maximum Aperture vs. Variable Maximum Aperture Lenses.................. 341
16.3 Which Lens to Buy Next .................................................................................... 342
17. PHOTOGRAPHY ACCESSORIES ............................................................. 351
17.1 Canon 70D Accessories .................................................................................... 351
17.2 Digital SLR Photography Accessories .............................................................. 352
17.3 Digital Photography Books ................................................................................ 356
18. CONCLUSION ............................................................................................ 357
Future Updates to the Text........................................................................................ 358
About the Author........................................................................................................ 359
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Canon 70D Experience
1. INTRODUCTION
The introduction of the Canon EOS 70D brings about an important and long-anticipated
update to its predecessor, the EOS 60D. Nearly all of the camera’s essential
specifications have been significantly improved, including the addition of Canon’s 19
point Viewfinder autofocus system, a 20.2 megapixel sensor, faster 7 frames per
second continuous shooting speed, built-in Wi-Fi, and the in-camera HDR and Multiple
Exposure modes. Perhaps the most dramatic upgrade is the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Live View and movie autofocus system, which is a potentially revolutionary feature
particularly for those shooting dSLR video of moving subjects.
Figure 1 - Detail of the Canon EOS 70D.
The customizable 19 point Viewfinder autofocus system will allow you to focus exactly
where you desire, without having to lock focus and recompose as often as one might
with the older 9 point AF system. And when tracking moving subjects with AI Servo
Autofocus Mode, the 19 AF Points and autofocus-related Custom Functions will allow
you to more successfully retain focus on a subject during sports, action, or wildlife
shooting. The new Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocusing system will enable you to more
quickly and accurately focus and track a moving subject across a large central area of
the frame when working in Live View or shooting video. When combined with one of
Canon’s STM “stepping motor” lenses, this can even be accomplished with considerably
reduced lens operation noise. The increased 7 frames per second (fps) continuous
shooting speed will enable you to capture exactly the right moment, expression, or peak
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Canon 70D Experience
of action. And the Wi-Fi feature will enable you to remotely control the camera with a
smartphone or tablet, remotely shoot and transfer images via your computer, and
wirelessly upload photos directly from the camera to social media sites.
The 70D also includes wireless flash control via the built-in flash, new Silent Shooting
Drive Modes for quieter shooting in sensitive situations, the powerful Digic 5+ processor
allowing in-camera processing and lens corrections features such as Multiple Exposure
and Chromatic Aberration Correction. And now most all of the menus, settings, and
image playback and processing functions can be performed with a highly responsive
Touch Screen, including the ability to touch-focus during Live View and movie shooting.
With its high-resolution, high-quality image sensor, 19 point autofocus system, 7 frames
per second continuous shooting speed, 63-zone exposure metering system, Digic 5+
processor, and high ISO capabilities in low light, the Canon 70D enables photographers
to consistently capture sharp, clean, and well-exposed images. Borrowing from among
the best features of the Canon 6D and 7D, and even some of the exceptional
capabilities of the high-end 5D Mark III, the 70D also boasts a big and bright Viewfinder
with 98% coverage, full HD video, a ruggedly built and weather-sealed body, and
numerous customization options. The 70D is clearly a powerful, advanced tool for digital
photography and is fully capable of capturing professional quality images in most any
situation you wish to use it.
Figure 2 - Detail of 1962 Corvette production model, on display at the Heritage
Museum, Sandwich, Mass. - 70D: Shutter speed 1/100, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 1600.
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Canon 70D Experience
But the 70D is merely a tool. It is up to you to make use of its features and capabilities
to create the images you envision. While the camera’s manual will tell you about the
settings and controls, how to change them, and their intended functions, this guide will
build upon that and explain when and why you may want to use them. Every button,
feature, menu item, and Custom Function setting of the 70D is there for a reason: to
help you capture the images you want. Some of them are more useful to different types
of photographers and shooting situations and you don’t necessarily need to learn and
use them all immediately, but this guide will help to give you the knowledge to
confidently use the ones that turn your Canon 70D into an image capturing tool that
works best for you and the photography situations you work in.
(Note that there are two versions of the Canon 70D: the EOS 70D (W) with built-in WiFi, and the EOS 70D (N) that is available in certain regions and does not include built-in
Wi-Fi. Also be aware that the Wi-Fi should be disabled in locations and situations where
its use is not allowed.)
1.1 Take Control of Your Camera
Since the camera is a tool to take the images you want to take, you obviously can’t
always allow the camera to make decisions for you. You have to take control of the
camera to ensure that you capture exactly the images you intend - by autofocusing
precisely where you want, setting the aperture or shutter speed that you want, and
obtaining the exposure you want. While the 70D is an intelligent camera, it cannot read
your mind and your intentions and does not know that you wish to focus on and properly
expose the face of the man on the right side of the frame, while making the other man
and the background appear out of focus, and the subject to be caught still and not be
blurred from his motion, on this bright and sunny day (see Figure 3). You have to tell the
camera to do all of this through the various controls and settings, such as the autofocus
AF Mode (focus on the face on the right), the Exposure Metering Mode (properly
expose for the face and the scene), the Aperture setting (the out-of-focus second man
and background), the Shutter Speed (freeze the motion of the subject), the ISO (bright
day) and the White Balance (sunny day).
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 3 - Parade, Brooklyn, NY - Autofocus, exposure metering mode, aperture,
shutter speed, ISO, and white balance all considered in capturing this image. Shutter
speed 1/320, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 100.
One has to think about all this stuff for every photo? Well, yes, that is what digital SLR
photography is all about! At least if you wish to consistently create the well made,
interesting, and compelling images you envision. And that is why the 70D has all the
buttons, controls, custom functions, and features for you to make use of.
Learning to use and get the most out of a highly advanced digital SLR (dSLR) camera
like the 70D takes time, practice, patience, mistakes, and experimentation. If you have
upgraded from a previous dSLR such as the EOS 60D or one of its predecessors, or
from a Rebel such as the T4i/650D to the 70D, you are in for a treat. Its additional
features and capabilities will more easily help you to capture images and photographs
that you may have been limited in consistently attaining before. Its versatile and
accurate autofocus system coupled with its rapid continuous shooting speed, plus its
exposure metering system and high ISO capabilities will help you capture sharp images
of subjects and moments that previously you may have missed, especially in action and
in lower light situations.
If you are relatively new to dSLR photography and are still in the process of learning all
the controls of a dSLR and the exposure concepts of digital photography, you have
perhaps ventured towards the proverbial deep end of the pool by choosing the
advanced 70D! But don’t worry, this book will help guide you through its features,
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Canon 70D Experience
controls, and capabilities. Be sure to take it slowly and patiently as you learn the
features and concepts that I will explain. With practice and experience you will soon be
shooting with confidence and can begin to take advantage of the camera’s more
advanced functions. Even if you are an intermediate photographer, don’t expect to just
pick up all the new information at once, in one or two readings of a single book. (In fact,
you wouldn’t want to, as the never ending journey of learning and mastering
photography is a big part of what it’s all about!) Try not to become frustrated if you don’t
quite understand something or aren’t always getting the results you desire. Instead
learn the controls, functions, settings, and concepts bit by bit, try them out in real life
shooting situations, and return to this guide, the manual, and other photography books
to address questions and problems you encounter. Continue to learn and to photograph
often and it should all begin to come together, sometimes slowly and sometimes in rapid
spurts of discovery and understanding.
1.2 Using This Guide
There are many different ways to use a dSLR camera and its controls to capture
images, and many diverse situations in which photographers work. I’m going to
concentrate on the techniques that I believe are the most practical, useful, and effective
for the majority of photographers using the 70D. The settings and techniques I discuss
can apply to various types of photography including general photography, action,
portrait, and travel photography. Once you have a firm grasp of the controls, settings,
and basic techniques you will have the tools and knowledge to address different issues,
specialized situations, and challenging scenes, and I encourage you to experiment and
continue to learn.
Since this guide is intended to help you get the most out of your 70D, it will not go into
extensive detail about the automatic features. The Canon 70D is a highly sophisticated
tool that deserves to be used to its full potential, and that involves taking control of the
camera and its functions, which means taking it off Auto+, off Program, off automatically
selected auto-focus points when not required, off Auto ISO. While this may be more
challenging for some users at first, these are the techniques that are necessary to take
full advantage of the capabilities of any dSLR, including the 70D, and will lead you to
having more control and consistency over your image making. Hopefully this will
inevitably lead to better images!
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 4 - Terracotta Figure, Public Library, Cambridge, Mass. - 70D: Shutter speed
1/800, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 200.
This guide is intended to be used with the camera in your hands. That is the best way to
directly follow and understand the controls, functions, and settings as they are being
explained. It is also intended to be used in conjunction with and in addition to the
camera’s manuals, not to completely replace them, so every bit of information in the
Canon EOS 70D Instruction Manual and in the Wi-Fi manuals will not be repeated here.
Among the often brief descriptions and sometimes frustratingly incomplete or disjointed
explanations in the Canon manuals, there is some very valuable information as well as
the basics for buttons, controls, and how to access and change most all the settings.
Following what seems to be a new trend, the camera does not come with printed
versions of the full Instruction Manual, the full Wi-Fi Function Instruction Manual, or the
software instruction manuals - only the PDF versions of them which can be found on the
included discs. All of these manuals can also be obtained as a PDF files from the EOS
70D page on the Canon website, under Brochures and Manuals:
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_70d#Bro
churesAndManuals
If you have an iPad or tablet you will find that it is helpful to download all the manuals
onto your device for reading and reference (along with this e-book). As you can see,
there is a lot to make sense of regarding terminology and controls, so I recommend that
you familiarize yourself with the controls and displays of the camera body, as shown on
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Canon 70D Experience
2. CAMERA CONTROLS
As I spoke about earlier, the 70D is an image making tool. It is up to you to make use of
its features and capabilities to create the images you envision, so you can’t typically
allow the camera to make decisions for you. You have to take control of the camera in
order to consistently capture the images you intend - by autofocusing where and how
you want, setting the aperture or shutter speed that you want, and obtaining the
exposure you want. Each of these functions, and more, go into the making of most
every image, whether you choose to control them or not, and each should be
understood in order to get the most out of your 70D and your photography. To help you
accomplish this, the 70D offers numerous external controls and the ability to customize
them for your shooting needs. Many of the controls are designed to be easily accessible
while the camera is held to your eye and in use, so that you can quickly adjust settings
as you work.
2.1 EOS 70D Camera Controls
Have a look at your camera and/ or pages 20-21 of the Canon EOS 70D Instruction
Manual and I’ll go over the controls on your camera that you will be learning about
throughout this guide and using in your shooting. Customizing the various buttons and
controls will be discussed in the Menu Settings and Custom Functions Menus
chapters, particularly in the C.Fn III-4 settings for Custom Controls. The controls will
also be discussed in more detail in conjunction with the functions they perform and
control, throughout this text.
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 10 - View of the top controls of the Canon EOS 70D.
On the top of the camera (see Figures 10 and 11), you will find:
Shutter Button - Obviously, this is what you press to take a photo or series of photos.
Tapping it half-way will do a few things like wake up the camera if it hasn’t been used in
a few minutes and start the exposure metering. Pressing and holding it half-way will
also perform functions like locking exposure and/ or focus or starting focus tracking
(depending on your Shooting Mode, Focus Mode, and custom settings).
AF Area Selection Mode Button - This small button is located between the Shutter
Button and top Main Dial. It has been incorporated from the 7D and 5D Mark III, and is
used to select one of the three Autofocus (AF) Area Selection Modes: Single-Point AF
(Manual selection), Zone AF (Manual selection), or 19-Point Automatic Selection. First
press either this button or the AF Point Selection Button (at the upper-right of the back
of the camera), then press this button repeatedly to click through the various AF Area
Selection Modes as you view them in the Viewfinder. The different modes will be
indicated by the AF Area Selection Mode icons seen in the top of the Viewfinder. This
button is labeled with an icon showing three dots and a triangle below (the significance
of this graphic will be explained in a moment).
Main Dial - Located just behind the Shutter Button, this changes settings like aperture
size in Aperture Priority AE Mode (Av) or shutter speed in Shutter Priority AE Mode
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Canon 70D Experience
(Tv). It is also used in conjunction with other buttons, such as the ISO Speed Setting
Button to adjust the ISO setting, or to jump ahead/ back a user-determined number of
images during image review.
Figure 11 - Detail of the controls on the top of the Canon EOS 70D body.
AF - AF (Autofocus) Mode Selection Button - Press and release this button then turn
either the Main Dial or Quick Control Dial to change the Autofocus (AF) Mode (such as
One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF) while viewing the setting on the top LCD Panel. Notice
that for each of these top buttons, the setting it changes is displayed immediately below
it on the LCD panel.
DRIVE - Drive Mode Selection Button - Press and release this button then turn either
the Main Dial or Quick Control Dial to change the Drive Mode setting (such as Single
Shooting, Continuous Shooting, Self-Timer) while viewing the setting on the top LCD
Panel.
ISO - ISO Speed Setting Button - Press and release this button then turn either the
Main Dial or Quick Control Dial to change the ISO Speed Setting (such as 100, 400,
12,800) while viewing the setting on the top LCD Panel or in the Viewfinder. Note that
this button is concave and has a small bump on it to allow you to identify it with your
fingertip and change the ISO setting while shooting, without your eye leaving the
Viewfinder - though the bump is not as pronounced as it perhaps should be.
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Canon 70D Experience
Metering Timer (Live View)
This is the time that the camera will continue metering for the exposure setting after
metering has begun in Live View, such as after you half press the Shutter Button or
press the AE Lock Button. Set for perhaps 16 sec. or 30 sec. unless you take a longer
time to compose and take your shot (such as maybe a landscape or studio shooter)
then increase it accordingly (see Figure 58).
3.4 Playback Menus
Playback 1 menu
Figure 59 - Playback 1 menu.
Protect Images
This is to prevent the accidental erasing of an image or movie on the memory card
when using the Erase function. However, this is not typically needed, as you should
usually be backing up your image files on your computer and external hard drive and
not dealing with them on an individual basis in your camera. If you do need to use this,
perhaps to protect a great image you don’t wish to accidentally erase, access this menu
item then choose Select Images. Turn the Quick Control Dial to scroll through your
images (and/ or movies), and press the SET Button to protect the desired images.
Press the Menu Button when finished (see Figure 60). Note that you can also use the
[Q] Button during image playback to access Protect Images (see Figure 61-left). To
protect all the images in a folder or on the memory card, access this menu and choose
All images in folder or All images on card. Be aware that formatting the memory card
will still delete protected images. You can also use this menu to Unprotect all the
images in a folder or on the card.
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 60 - Protect Images menu options (left), and choosing an individual image to
Protect after selecting “Select Images” (right). Note that protected images will display
the “key” icon at the top of the image, as shown at right.
Another way to make use of this is to Protect the images you wish to keep on the card,
and then use the Erase Images menu item (just below) and select All images on card.
Your protected images will remain on the card, but all your unwanted images will be
deleted at once. But of course be very careful when using this procedure so as not to
delete any images you wish to keep.
Figure 61 - Press the [Q] Button during image playback to access the Image Playback
Quick Control Screen, where you can select options including Protect Images (left), and
Rotate Image (right).
Rotate Images
This is to rotate an image in-camera. This is rarely needed, but could sometimes be
helpful if you took a shot looking up or down and the camera got the orientation wrong but this is not a difficult fix in the computer. If needed, select this menu item, then use
the Quick Control Dial to scroll through your images, then press SET to rotate 90
degrees at a time. You can also use the [Q] Button during image playback to quickly
access Rotate (see Figure 61-right). If you would like your images to be automatically
rotated in the camera (and computer) for playback, this will be addressed in the Set-up
1 menu item for Auto Rotate.
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Canon 70D Experience
Erase Images
Careful, don't accidentally erase the wrong images off the memory card! This too is
rarely needed if you manage your images once you upload them to your computer,
however it can be useful to choose a couple sequential or non-sequential images that
you select for quick deletion using this menu item. If you wish to make use of it, access
this menu item, choose Select and erase images, then scroll through your images with
the Quick Control Dial and press the SET Button to select the images to be erased (see
Figure 62). When done choosing, press the Erase Button. Or you can use this in
combination with the Protect Images menu item above to first Protect the images you
wish to keep and then erase all unwanted images at once by choosing All images on
card.
Figure 62 - Erase Images menu options (left), and selecting individual images to erase
after choosing the “Select and Erase Images” option (right).
It is often easier to directly use the Erase Button on the camera for deleting single
images during image playback. And you should be using Format card in the Set-up 1
menu to erase all the images on the card when you want to clear it off. More on that in a
bit. Use a large enough memory card or multiple cards so that you don’t need to worry
about deleting images in camera, and instead manage them on your computer after
downloading all the images.
Print Order
If you print images directly from your camera, set this accordingly. The Canon manual
explains it thoroughly on pages 345-358.
Photobook Set-Up
You can use this feature to select images that you wish to copy into a separate,
dedicated folder when you transfer the images to your computer using the included
EOS Utility software (see Figure 63). You can then easily upload or print these images
using online or printer-included software. However, you may find that you can simply
ignore this feature and do your image organizing more easily on your computer with
software such as Adobe Bridge. If you wish to make use of it, select your desired
images using the Quick Control Dial and SET Button. Or as with other functions you can
select all images in a folder or on the card. Note that RAW images and movies cannot
be selected.
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 63 - Photobook Set-Up menu options, to select which images on the memory
card you wish to download into a separate folder for use in a photobook.
Creative Filters
You can apply various filters to your images including Grainy Black and White, Soft
Focus, Fish-Eye Effect, Art Bold Effect, Water Painting Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and
Miniature Effect (see Figures 66, 67, and 68). The process and filters are mostly selfexplanatory, and are described in the Canon manual on pages 335-337. Simply access
this menu and then choose the desired image (see Figure 64-left), press SET to view
the available filters, select a filter using the left and right Multi-Controller or the Touch
Screen, then press the SET Button to adjust the strength of the effect (see Figure 65).
Then press SET followed by OK to save the image as a new file (while retaining the
original image), followed by another OK when the process is complete. Experiment with
them to see if you wish to make use of them. You can also easily access the Creative
Filters by pressing the [Q] Button or Touch Screen [Q] icon during image playback to
access the Image Playback Quick Control Screen, which will then allow you to touch or
select the Creative Filters icon (see Figure 64-right). Note that you will not be able to
make use of the Creative Filters if Wi-Fi is enabled.
Figure 64 - Creative Filters - Left: Access the Creative Filters menu item, then select an
image and press the SET Button or SET icon on the screen to view the Creative Filters,
as then shown below in Figure 65-left. Right: You can also press the [Q] Button or [Q]
icon during image playback to quickly access the Creative Filters.
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 65 - Then select a filter such as Grainy Black and White and press the SET
Button or SET icon, as shown at left, to then access its parameters as shown at right.
Adjust the parameters, such as Contrast shown here, then press the SET Button or SET
icon to save the image (right).
Figure 66 - Canon 70D Creative Filters - Grainy Black and White effect with increased
contrast (left), and the Miniature effect with dramatic depth of field and bolder colors
(right).
Figure 67 - Canon 70D Creative Filters - Fish-Eye effect with dramatic pin-cushion
distortion (left), and Art Bold effect set on high, with saturated colors and higher contrast
(right).
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Canon 70D Experience
4. CUSTOM FUNCTIONS MENUS
4.1 C.Fn I: Exposure
Figure 119 - Custom Functions C.Fn I: Exposure.
I-1: Exposure Level Increments
This is to change the increments of shutter speed, aperture, and exposure
compensation available for you to select, either 1/3-stop increments or 1/2-stop (see
Figure 120). This will apply to the Shooting Modes where you can select your desired
aperture setting and/ or shutter speed, such as Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode, ShutterPriority (Tv) Mode, or Manual (M) Mode. This setting will also apply to the increments
for Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) and Flash Exposure Compensation.
For example, to progress 1 full stop using 1/3-stop increments, you will be able to
select:
Aperture: f/5.6, f/6.3, f/7.1, f/8.0
Shutter speed: 125, 160, 200, 250
With 1/2-stop increments, you can select:
Aperture: f/5.6, f/6.7, f/8.0
Shutter speed: 125, 180, 250
Set this depending on your personal preference and what you are used to using for
these increments. Many photographers prefer the greater precision of 1/3 stops, which
is generally the traditional and standard setting, but you may prefer the simplicity and
ease of 1/2 stops (which may also make “in-your-head” exposure calculations easier).
Shutter speed and aperture will be fully explained in the Exposure Part 1 chapter, and
Exposure Compensation in its own section of the text.
recommend: 1/3-stop
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Figure 120 - Exposure Level Increments options (left), and ISO Speed Setting
Increments (right).
I-2: ISO Speed Setting Increments
This sets the increments for ISO settings, either 1/3-stop or 1-stop (full stop).
For example, to progress 1 full stop using 1/3-stop increments, you will be able to
select:
ISO: 100, 125, 160, 200
With 1-stop increments, you can select:
ISO: 100, 200
Again, the setting depends on your personal preference and what you are used to (see
Figure 120). Many photographers prefer the greater precision of 1/3 stops, which is
generally the standard setting, but you may prefer the simplicity and ease of full stops.
ISO is discussed in the Exposure Part 1 chapter.
recommend: 1/3-stop
I-3: Bracketing Auto Cancel
Bracketing is when you take a series of the same image using different camera settings,
in order to ensure that at least one of the images is correct, or to experiment, or for HDR
purposes. Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) is when the camera automatically changes
the settings and takes this series of shots, according to your user-determined settings.
This menu item sets whether or not Auto Exposure Bracketing or White Balance
Bracketing is canceled when you turn off your camera (see Figure 121). I recommend
that you have this cancellation set for On: Enable, because if you have a shooting
session where you are auto-bracketing, then use your camera the next day, you will
probably have forgotten that it is set on bracketing, and then auto bracketing is going to
occur and most of your shots are going to be improperly exposed. Auto Exposure
Bracketing will be explained later in this text.
recommend: On: Enable
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 121 - Left: Exposure Bracketing Auto Cancel options to cancel Bracketing when
the camera is turned off. Right: Bracketing Sequence options, to determine the order
that Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) and White Balance Bracketing shots are taken.
I-4: Bracketing Sequence
This setting determines the sequence of exposures when using Auto Exposure
Bracketing (AEB) or White Balance Bracketing. (The 70D can bracket either 2, 3, 5, or 7
shots, not just the traditional 3 shots - this number to be set with the next menu item.)
The bracketing sequence setting depends how you like to order your bracketing, and
this may be important to you if you do a lot of HDR work. Setting 0: 0, -, + means the
“correct” exposure is taken first, then the darker exposure(s) (under exposed), then the
lighter exposure(s) (over exposed), with “correct” meaning what the camera thinks is the
proper exposure (see Figure 121). Setting 1: -, 0, + means the order is darker, normal,
lighter. Setting 2: +, 0, - means the order is over exposed (lighter), normal, under
exposed (darker). An HDR shooter and their software may prefer setting 1: -, 0, +. This
also affects the bracketing sequence for white balance (WB) bracketing so determine
what sequence you want if you make use of WB bracketing.
When making use of White Balance Bracketing, the zero (0) in the series indicates the
standard white balance. With White Balance Bracketing you can bracket along either
the Blue/Amber axis or along the Magenta/Green axis, so the negative (-) will indicate
either blue or magenta bias, and the positive (+) will indicate either amber or green bias.
White Balance Bracketing will be explained in the White Balance section.
recommend: User preference. The second setting (1: -, 0, +) is suggested for HDR
shooters if it matches their personal and software workflow.
I-5: Number of Bracketed Shots
This is to set the number of shots that are taken in an Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB)
sequence or a White Balance (WB) bracketing sequence. The number you choose is
obviously the number of shots that will be taken: 3, 2, 5, or 7 (see Figure 122). General
bracketing is typically 3 shots, but those shooting for HDR work will want to take
advantage of 5 or 7 shots.
recommend: varies by user
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6. AUTOFOCUSING
6.1 Using Autofocus
One of the essential steps in taking a successful and sharp photo is controlling where
the camera autofocuses. During Viewfinder shooting, if you allow the camera to
autofocus by automatically choosing the focus point(s) (such as in Auto+ Shooting
Mode or with One-Shot AF mode and Automatic AF Point Selection) it typically focuses
on the closest object. This may or may not be what you want to focus on, so you should
almost always select where the camera focuses by selecting the desired autofocus AF
Point. Or if the situation or subject does not allow you to quickly or easily focus by
selecting a specific point, you can instead decide to select a larger Zone.
By selecting an AF Point (or Zone), you are telling the camera exactly where to
autofocus (in One-Shot AF mode) or where to look to find a moving subject to start
tracking (when working in AI Servo AF mode). For example, you often want to focus on
a subject’s closest eye, but if you allow the camera to choose the autofocus point itself,
it may select another part of the face, or somewhere else on the body, or even a raised
hand that is nearer to the camera than the face, to focus most sharply on. If you are
capturing an image of a bird in a tree the camera has no idea you want the autofocus
system to zero in on the bird so that it is in sharp focus, and not the branches or leaves
near it or perhaps even some leaves closer to you and nowhere near the intended
subject.
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Figure 151 (previous page) - Inca Llama Effigies - Combine precise autofocusing with
shallow depth of field to call attention to the desired subject - here, the front figurine,
and below (Figure 152) the rear figurine. Shutter speed 1/40, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1600.
Figure 152 - Inca Llama Effigies - Combine precise autofocusing with shallow depth of
field to call attention to the desired subject - above (Figure 151) the front figurine, and
here the rear figurine. Shutter speed 1/40, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1600.
The autofocus system of a dSLR plays a large role in allowing you to capture exactly
the shot you intend. In the Creative Zone Shooting Modes (P, Av, Tv, M, and Bulb-B)
you can, and should, take control of the autofocus system. The Viewfinder autofocus
system is comprised of the autofocus related controls (see Figure 154), the autofocus
AF Modes (also called the AF Operation), the autofocus AF Area Selection Modes, the
autofocus AF Points, and the autofocus related menu and Custom Function items
described at the beginning of this text which customize how the AF system works. (Live
View autofocusing is slightly different, and will be covered later in this chapter.) You will
select an AF Mode typically based on if the subject is still (or perhaps only moving
slightly or relatively slowly), or if you wish to continuously track and retain focus on a
moving subject. And you will choose an AF Area Selection Mode based on how large of
an area you want the camera to look at to find or track your intended subject - in other
words how many AF Points will be active when attempting to focus on the subject. This
can range from a single AF Point to a wider Zone to all the AF Points available in the
Viewfinder. You can set the AF Modes and AF Area Selection Modes in a variety of
combinations based on what and how you are shooting. Be sure to read the Menu
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Canon 70D Experience
Settings and the Custom Functions Menus chapters first to make sure your camera is
properly set up to always display your active AF Point(s), and various other
recommended AF settings.
Viewfinder autofocus works by looking for contrast so you should try to focus (locate the
active AF Point as seen in the Viewfinder as in Figure 153) on a texture or a detail with
a pronounced line or some amount of contrast between light and dark. The camera may
not be able to focus on a large area of consistent color - such as an all-white wall or
clear blue sky, or even a uniformly colored and lit shirt - or on a subject that is too dark.
It can be disrupted by regular patterns or confused when looking through close objects
to objects farther away, such as looking through a fence. And it sometimes fails to work
well in dim light, though the center AF Point is slightly more responsive than the outer
AF Points in low light situations (down to -0.5 EV for the center point vs. 0 EV for the
outer points). Also, the AF-Assist Beam Firing of Custom Function C.Fn II-5 can assist
in this low light situation if you are using the built-in flash or an optional Speedlite. All of
the 19 AF Points are the accurate cross-type points, so you should feel comfortable
making use of any of them. (A cross-type AF Point detects contrast in both the
horizontal and vertical directions, as opposed to AF Points which are only sensitive to
contrast in one of these directions.) The center AF Point of the 70D performs with
additional sensitivity when using most Canon lenses with an f/2.8 or wider maximum
aperture. Note that with certain older Canon lenses, many of the outer AF Points will not
act as cross-type points. See page 108 of the Canon manual for this list of lenses.
I will use the term “recompose” a few times throughout the text. By this I mean moving
the camera after you have locked the focus or exposure such as with a half-press of the
Shutter Button, but before you fully press the Shutter Button and take the picture. This
means that what you see in the Viewfinder changes from when you do those first
actions to when you take the picture; you have re-composed the view you see in the
Viewfinder (see Figure 153) This will be further explained in the AF Points and
Composition section of this chapter. And remember, when photographing people
generally try to focus somewhere on the face, ideally on the nearest eye, then
recompose the framing of your image if necessary.
Figure 153 - Simulated view of Canon 70D Viewfinder - The image on the left shows
what is seen in the Viewfinder as one is using the selected AF Point to lock focus on the
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Canon 70D Experience
subject. The image on the right shows what is seen in the Viewfinder as the image is
recomposed to the desired framing for taking the shot.
6.2 Autofocus - AF Point Selection
As I go over the Autofocus Modes in the next section, I will talk about manually selecting
your desired AF Point. This is done to tell the camera exactly which AF Point to use for
autofocusing, and is generally recommended so that you have full control over where
the camera focuses. Alternately, you can make use of Automatic Selection of the AF
Point where the camera decides which of the 19 AF Points to use, but then you will
have little control over where the camera focuses. However, automatic AF Point
selection is required in certain subject-tracking situations, as will be described below.
Figure 154 - Autofocus related controls of the Canon EOS 70D.
To choose between manual and automatic AF Point selection, press the rear AF Point
Selection Button or the top AF Area Selection Mode Button, then press the top AF Area
Selection Mode Button a couple times. When the autofocus brackets are visible in the
Viewfinder and the far-right AF Area Selection Mode icon is indicated in the Viewfinder,
you are using 19-Point Automatic Selection AF (see Figure 155-right). This is also the
mode used by the camera in the Auto+, Creative Auto, and Scene modes. When either
of the other icons are selected in the Viewfinder, you are using one of the manual AF
Point selection modes, either Single-Point AF (left icon) or Zone AF (middle icon) (see
Figure 155-left). For now set this on Single-Point AF, the left icon.
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Canon 70D Experience
Figure 155 - Single-Point AF Manual Selection (left) and 19-Point Automatic Selection
AF area modes (right), as indicated in the Viewfinder by the AF Area Selection Mode
icons and the configuration of AF Points or brackets.
When making use of manual Single-Point AF or manual Zone AF selection, with the
default camera settings, you first press the rear AF Point Selection Button (at the upperright of the rear of the camera) and then use the Multi-Controller to select your desired
AF Point or Zone (see Figure 154). If you set the C.Fn III-4: Custom Controls menu item
to have the Multi-Controller perform AF Point Direct Selection, you can instead use the
Multi-Controller directly to select the AF Point without pressing the AF Point Selection
Button first. However, you will need to press the AF Point Selection Button before
pressing the SET Button to quickly choose the center AF Point.
To see how manual autofocus point selection works, turn the Mode Dial to Av, and
make sure the switch on your lens it set to AF. Set your Autofocus Mode to One-Shot
using either the [Q] Button and Quick Control Screen, or more simply press the AF
Button (AF Mode Selection Button in the line of Buttons at the LCD Panel) on the top of
the camera then turn the Main Dial or Quick Control Dial as you view the setting on the
top LCD Panel. Next press the top AF Area Selection Mode Button or rear AF Point
Selection Button, then repeatedly press the top AF Area Selection Mode Button (near
the Shutter Button) until you see the left AF Area Selection Mode icon selected and a
single large AF Point among the smaller AF Points in the Viewfinder, as shown in Figure
155-left. You can also use the Quick Control screen to change this setting by selecting
the AF Area Selection Mode icon.

Tap the Shutter Button with a half-press to wake up the camera.

To select your own desired AF Point, while looking through the Viewfinder use
your thumb on the Multi-Controller to select the focus point that is nearest to
where you want to focus. Press the Multi-Controller up, down, side-to-side, or
diagonal. If you did not set the Custom Control for AF Point Direct Selection, you
will need to press the AF Point Selection Button first before using the MultiController to move the AF Point.

Place that AF Point over your intended subject or detail (see Figure 156).
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Canon 70D Experience

Press and hold the Shutter Button halfway down and see that point blink (if
Custom Function C.Fn II-12: VF Display Illumination is set for Enable). The
Focus Confirmation Light should light up in your Viewfinder, and the camera will
beep if you have that enabled. You have locked the focus.

Keeping the Shutter Button pressed halfway to keep the focus distance locked,
recompose if necessary, and take the shot by fully pressing the Shutter Button.
Figure 156 - Cambridge Carnival - Cambridge, Mass. - Simulated view of 70D
Viewfinder, using a manually selected AF Point to focus on the subject’s eye (manually
selected far-right Focus Point shown here in red over the subject’s eye). Shutter speed
1/1000, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 400.
If the Focus Confirmation Light does not light up and the camera does not take the
photo, the camera may not be finding enough contrast to focus on, you may be too
close to your subject for the lens to focus, or the lighting may be too dim for the AF
system to work properly. Try using the center AF Point, which performs slightly better in
low light, and is a more sensitive cross-type point with certain lenses (having an f/2.8 or
wider maximum aperture). Or you may be in AI Servo AF mode, which does not lock
focus in this manner because it is tracking a moving subject. Note that the area that the
camera evaluates for focus is slightly larger than the actual active AF Point squares you
see in the Viewfinder. In rare situations when autofocusing fails, you can also resort to
manual focusing by switching your lens to MF and using the lens focusing ring. Or you
can autofocus on an object at the same distance from the camera as the subject, and
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Canon 70D Experience
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