Chapter OneSetting Up the EOS Rebel T2i/550D
If you have any experience in photography, then you may already know that the better you know your camera, the greater the chance that you'll be able to react quickly and confidently to photographic opportunities without missing a shot. If you're new to digital SLR cameras, then the T2i/550 may seem intimidating, but, as you'll see, the camera is both easy and fun to master. This chapter is designed to help you learn the EOS Rebel T2i/550 so you know what control to use and when to use it.
In addition, this chapter helps you set up the Rebel to best suit your shooting preferences and to get the best image quality. You'll also learn different ways to review images and protect them from accidental deletion.
Roadmap to the Rebel T2i/550D
If you've been using the Rebel T2i/550D, then you already know that the most frequently used camera controls are located within finger's reach for quick adjustments as you're shooting. Less frequently used functions are accessible from the camera menus. The following sections will familiarize you with the T2i/550D controls and their names - names that are used throughout the book. You can refer back to these figures as you read the book to locate the controls you need.
Front camera controls
On the front of the camera, the controls that you'll use most often are the Lens Release button and the Depth-of-Field Preview button. And, of course, you'll use the lens mount each time you change lenses.
From bottom left to top right, here is a look at the front of the camera:
* Grip/Battery compartment. This is the molded area where your hand grips the camera, and it serves as the battery compartment as well.
* Remote control sensor. This sensor works with the accessory Remote Control RC-6 that can fire the camera's shutter from up to 16.4 feet (five meters) from the camera. The remote includes the options for immediate or a 2-second delay before shutter firing.
* Shutter button. Press this button halfway down to focus on the subject, and then press it completely to make the picture. In addition, when you half-press the Shutter button, the camera sets the aperture and shutter speed based on the current ISO. You'll learn more about focusing and exposure in Chapter 2.
* Reflex mirror. This mirror provides a view of the scene when you're composing the image in the viewfinder, and when you press the Shutter button completely, it flips up and out of the optical path to expose the image sensor to make the picture.
* Lens contacts. These contacts provide communication between the lens and the camera.
* Lens Release button. Press this button to release the lens from the lens mount, and then turn the lens to remove it.
* Depth-of-Field Preview button. Press this button to stop down, or adjust, the lens diaphragm to the current aperture (f-stop) so that you can preview the depth of field in the viewfinder. The larger the area of darkness in the viewfinder, the more extensive the depth of field will be. You can also use this button when shooting in Live View. While you press the Depth-of-Field Preview button, you can't change the aperture.
At the lens's maximum aperture, the Depth-of-Field Preview button cannot be depressed because the camera's diaphragm is fully open. The maximum aperture is the widest lens opening for the lens you're using and it varies by lens.
* Flash button. Pressing this button in P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP shooting modes pops up the built-in flash.
* Built-in microphone. The built-in monoaural microphone records sound when you're shooting movies.
* EF and EF-S lens mount index markers. The lens mount has a red and a white mark for two types of lenses. The white mark on the lens mount is for Canon EF-S lenses that have a white mark on the lens barrel. EF-S lenses are designed for the smaller sensor size of the T2i/550D. The red mark on the lens mount is for Canon EF lenses. EF lenses can be used on any Canon EOS camera. Just set the lens on the lens mount and line up the white or red mark on the lens barrel with the same color mark on the lens mount, and then turn the lens to the right to attach it.
* Built-in flash. The flash provides illumination either as the main light source or as a fill flash. In Basic Zone shooting modes such as Full Auto, Portrait, and so on, the flash fires automatically. In Creative Zone shooting modes including P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP, you have to press the Flash pop-up button to use the built-in flash.
* Red-eye reduction/Self-timer lamp. When you have Red-eye reduction turned on, this lamp lights to help reduce the size of the subject's pupils to minimize the appearance of red-eye in the final image.
Top camera controls
Controls on the top of the camera enable you to use your thumb and index finger on your right hand to control common adjustments quickly. Here is a look at the top of the camera.
* Focal plane mark. This is the point from which the lens' minimum focusing distance is measured. * Hot shoe. You can mount an accessory Speedlite flash unit here to provide communication between the flash and the Rebel.
* Mode dial. Turning this dial changes the shooting mode. Just line up the shooting mode you want to use with the white mark beside the dial.
* Power switch. This button switches the camera on and off.
* ISO speed button. Pressing this button displays the ISO speed screen on the LCD so that you can change the ISO setting, which determines the sensor's sensitivity to light. In P (Program AE), Tv (Shutter-Priority), Av (Aperture-Priority), M (Manual), and A-DEP shooting modes, you can select Auto ISO to have the camera automatically determine the ISO from 100 to 6400, or you can set the ISO yourself. In all automatic shooting modes such as Portrait and Landscape, the camera automatically sets the ISO between 100 and 3200. Alternately, you can set the highest ISO setting that the Auto ISO option uses. You can also turn on an additional high ISO setting, equivalent to 12800 by setting Custom Function I-2.
Custom Functions are detailed in Chapter 4.
* Main dial. Turning this dial selects a variety of settings and options. Turn the Main dial to manually select an AF (autofocus) point after pressing the AF-point Selection/Enlarge button; and to set the aperture (f-stop) in Av mode, the shutter speed in Tv and Manual mode, and to shift the exposure program in P mode. Additionally, you can use the Main dial to scroll among the camera menus.
* Shutter button. Pressing the Shutter button halfway sets the focus at the active AF point. Simultaneously the camera determines the aperture (f-stop) and/ or shutter speed based on the current ISO setting. Pressing the Shutter button completely makes the picture. In any mode except Direct Printing, you can also half-press the Shutter button to dismiss the camera menus and image playback.
Rear camera controls
The controls on the back of the Rebel T2i/550D enable you to make quick adjustments while you're shooting. Some of the rear camera controls can be used only in P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP shooting modes. In automatic camera modes such as Portrait, Landscape, and Sports, the camera sets all of the settings for you, so pressing the AV, WB, and Drive mode selection buttons has no effect. But in P, Tv, Av, or M, and A-DEP shooting modes, these buttons function as described in the following list.
If you're shooting and press a button and nothing happens, check the Mode dial to see if you're using an automatic mode such as Portrait or Landscape. If you want to change the white balance, then turn the Mode dial to P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP shooting mode.
Here is a look at the back of the camera.
* Menu button. Press the Menu button to display camera menus on the LCD. To move among menu tabs, turn the Main dial or press the left or right cross keys on the back of the camera. (The cross keys are the keys surrounding the Set button.)
* Display button. Press this button to turn the LCD display and the current camera settings off and on. If you are playing back images, pressing this button one or more times changes the display to show more or less shooting information and to display one or more histograms displayed next to the image preview. * Display off sensor. This sensor detects when you move the camera to your eye and automatically turns off the LCD display.
* Dioptric adjustment knob. Turn this knob to adjust the sharpness for your vision by -3 to +1 diopters. If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for shooting, be sure to wear them as you adjust the Dioptric adjustment knob. To make the adjustment, point the lens to a light-colored surface such as a white wall, and then turn the control until the AF points in the viewfinder are perfectly sharp for your vision.
* Viewfinder. Look through the viewfinder to view and compose the scene. On the Rebel T2i/550D, the viewfinder offers an approximately 95 percent view of the scene. The viewfinder uses a Precision Matte focusing screen that displays then nine autofocus (AF) points.
* Live View/Movie shooting button. Pressing this button enables you to begin shooting in Live View mode, or to shoot movies when the Mode dial is set to Movie shooting mode.
* Aperture/Exposure Compensation button. Press and hold this button and turn the Main dial to set Exposure Compensation in P, Tv, Av, and A-DEP shooting modes. In Manual mode, press and hold this button and turn the Main dial to set the aperture.
* AE lock/FE lock/Index/Reduce button. Pressing the Shutter button halfway, and then pressing this button enables you to lock the exposure on the point in the scene. Then you can focus on another part of the scene. If you're using the built-in flash, pressing this button locks the flash exposure in the same way. During image playback, you can press this button to display multiple images as an index, or to reduce the size of an enlarged LCD image during image playback.
* AF point selection/Magnify button. Press this button to activate the AF points displayed in the viewfinder. As you hold the button and turn the Main dial, you can select one AF point, or you can select all of the AF points to have the camera automatically select the AF point or points used to focus. During image playback, you can press this button to enlarge the image preview to check focus.
* Speaker. Plays the audio recorded when you shoot a movie clip. You can adjust the speaker volume by turning the Main dial.
* Access lamp. Lights when images are being written to the media card. Do not open the media card door or turn off the camera when this lamp is lit.
* Erase button. During image playback, press this button to delete the currently displayed image. Or you can press the left or right cross key to move to another picture to delete.
* Playback button. Press this button to display the last image captured on the LCD. In single-image Playback, the display includes an overlay of shooting information on the preview image. Pressing the Index/Reduce button on the top-right back of the camera during playback displays a grid of 2 ? 2 or 3 ? 3 images that you can scroll through using the Main dial. Press the AF point Selection/Magnify button once or twice to return to single-image display. * Quick Control/Direct print button. Press this button to display the Quick Control screen on the LCD. From the Quick Control screen, you can change exposure and other camera settings. During printing, press this button to transfer all or selected images from the SD card to your computer when the camera is connected to a compatible printer.
* The LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays the camera settings, camera menus, image previews, and the Quick Control Screen.
The four buttons grouped around the Set button are collectively referred to as cross keys. The functionality of the keys or buttons changes depending on whether you're playing back images, navigating camera menus, or changing exposure settings.
During image playback, the left and right cross keys move backward and forward through the images stored on the SD/SDHC/SDXC (media) card. When you navigate through menu options, the up and down cross keys move among options.
Here is a summary of the cross key and Set button functions.
* AF mode button. Press this button to choose one of three autofocus modes: One-shot AF (also known as AI Focus) for still subjects, AI Focus AF for subjects that may start to move or move unpredictably such as children and wildlife, or Al Servo AF for tracking focus of moving subjects.
* Set button. Press this button to confirm changes you make on the camera menus, and to display submenus.
* Picture Style button. Press this button to display the Picture Style screen where you can choose the look of images in terms of contrast, color rendition, saturation, and sharpness. In semiautomatic and manual shooting modes, you can choose Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, or Monochrome Picture styles, and you can customize up to three user-defined styles.
* White Balance button. Press this button to display the White Balance screen where you can choose among seven preset White Balance options, or choose Custom white balance.
* Drive mode button. Press this button to set the Drive mode. You can choose to shoot one picture at a time, to shoot continuously at 3.7 frames per second (fps), or to shoot in one of the Self-timer/Remote control modes. The maximum burst during continuous shooting is approximately 34 Large/Fine JPEG frames or six RAW frames. During image playback, press this button to move to a previous image.
Side camera controls
On the side of the T2i/550D is a set of terminals under a cover and embossed with icons that identify the terminals, which include:
* External microphone IN terminal. This terminal enables the connection of an external stereo microphone that you can use to record sound with videos.
* Remote control terminal. This terminal enables connection of an accessory Remote Switch RS-60E3.
* Audio/video OUT/Digital terminal. The AV Out terminal enables you to connect the camera to a non-high-definition (HD) television set using the AV cable supplied in the camera box to view still images and movies on the TV.
* HDMI mini OUT terminal. This terminal is used to connect the camera to an HD television using the accessory HTC-100 cable to play back still images and movies on the TV.
Depending on the lens you are using, the number and type of controls offered vary. For example, if you are using an Image Stabilized lens, the lens barrel has a switch to turn on Image Stabilization that helps counteract the motion of your hands as you hold the camera and lens. Some lenses offer a switch from autofocus to manual focusing.
Many Canon lenses offer the Focus mode switch that enables you to switch between autofocus or manual focus. Image Stabilization (IS) lenses offer controls to turn stabilization on or off. Lens controls differ by lens.
Depending on the lens, additional controls may include the following:
* Focusing distance range selection switch. This switch determines and limits the range that the lens uses when seeking focus to speed up autofocusing. The focusing distance range options vary by lens.