Your Visual Roadmap


Canon has simplified operation of your EOS R5 or R6 by providing quick access to the most frequently adjusted commands and functions through a clever use of multi-function controls, like the Control Ring found on RF lenses and adapters, as well as the Multi-function (M-Fn), Quick Control (Q) buttons, and two (count ’em) Quick Control Dials (QCD-1 and QCD-2). Canon says it’s implemented this approach because the smaller size of the camera doesn’t lend itself to the daunting number of buttons found on traditional, large digital SLRs. The design has reduced the number of dedicated controls, but still minimizes the need to delve into the sometimes-confusing thicket of conventional menus.

That’s a good thing. After all, while menus are easy to learn, because each entry describes its function in text form, their ironic disadvantage is that they are clumsy to use. Even though a well-designed menu system can lead you to the right commands, they require negotiating through all the various levels with multiple steps.

Your camera’s limited number of controls summon concise icon-based choices you can select with the twirl of a dial and press of a button or two. Best of all, with a customizable Control Ring, M-Fn button, and Quick Control button, you can tailor the camera to work the way you want it to, rather than succumb to the manufacturer’s notion of how it should work.

However, even with the camera’s clean, versatile design, you’ll still need to learn the location, function, and application of all its parts. What you really need is a street-level roadmap that shows where everything is, and how it’s used. But what Canon gives you in the comprehensive PDF user’s manual is akin to a world globe with an overall view and not much information on how to use each component. Check out the Parts Names pages of the full Canon camera manuals, which offer sparse black-and-white line drawings of the camera body that show front, back, two sides, and the top and bottom of the camera. There are more than 80 callouts pointing to various buttons, dials, controls, components, and icons. If you can find the control you want in this cramped layout, you’ll still need to flip back and forth among multiple pages to locate the information about them.

I originated the up-close-and-personal full-color, street-level roadmap (rather than a satellite view) that I use in this book and my previous camera guidebooks. I provide you with many different views and lots of explanation accompanying each zone of the camera, so that by the time you finish this chapter, you’ll have a basic understanding of every control and what it does. I’m not going to delve into menu functions here—you’ll find a discussion of your Set-up, Shooting, and Playback menu options in Chapters 11 through 14. Everything here is devoted to the button pusher and dial twirler in you.

You’ll also find this “roadmap” chapter a good guide to the rest of the book, as well. I’ll try to provide as much detail here about the use of the main controls as I can, but some topics (such as autofocus and exposure) are too complex to address in depth right away. So, I’ll point you to the relevant chapters that discuss things like set-up options, exposure, use of electronic flash, and working with lenses with the occasional cross-reference.


NOTE The bodies of the R5 and R6 are almost identical, so in most cases the illustrations in this book will use images of either one, interchangeably. If there is a significant difference, I’ll provide a view of each camera, or an inset image that makes the difference clear.


NOTE When I ask you to press or tap in this book, I mean you should press and release a button or tap the touch screen (described later). The camera will then give you some time (usually about 6 seconds, depending on the function) to make an adjustment. When I am asking you to keep a button depressed while using another control, I’ll say hold. For many functions, the camera’s exposure meters must be active; just tap the shutter release button lightly to wake them up.

Front View

The front of the camera is the face seen by your subjects as you snap away. For the photographer, though, the front is the surface your fingers curl around as you hold the camera, and there are really only three buttons to press, all within easy reach of the fingers of your left hand, plus the shutter button and Main Dial, which are on the top/front of the hand grip. There are additional controls on the lens itself. Figure 2.1 is a view of the front of the camera with the lens detached.


Figure 2.1

The other main components you need to know about are as follows:

  • Shutter release button. Angled on top of the hand grip is the shutter release button. Press this button down halfway to lock exposure and focus (in One-Shot mode and Servo AF modes with non-moving subjects).
  • AF-assist beam/Self-timer/Remote control lamp. This LED flashes when needed to provide additional illumination to facilitate autofocus. This lamp also flashes to indicate that the remote control has connected, and when using the self-timer to mark the countdown until the photo is taken.
  • DC coupler cord hole. This cover, on the inside edge of the hand grip, opens to allow the DC power cable to connect to the camera through the battery compartment.
  • Hand grip. This provides a comfortable hand-hold, and also contains the camera’s battery.
  • Remote control sensor. Accepts infrared signals from the Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Control, used to trigger the shutter and start/stop video capture.
  • Depth-of-field preview button. When pressed, stops the lens down to the aperture that will be used to take the photo, providing a preview of depth-of-field.
  • Lens mount. This sturdy flange accepts a matching bayonet on the rear of each lens or accessory you mount on the camera.
  • Lens release button. Press and hold this button to unlock the lens so you can rotate the lens to remove it from the camera.
  • Lens lock pin. This pin on the lens flange retracts when the release button is held down to unlock the lens.
  • RF lens mount index. Line up this mark with the matching red detent on the barrel of your RF or mount adapter lens to align it as you mount it on the camera.
  • Shutter. The shutter is closed when the camera is powered down, providing some protection for the sensitive sensor, particularly when you are changing lenses. When the camera is turned on, the shutter opens, so you should be careful to power down when swapping optics. The only time you want the shutter to be open when a lens is not attached is when you are manually cleaning the sensor, as described in Chapter 13.
  • Electronic contacts. These contacts connect to matching points on the lens to allow the camera and lens to communicate electronically.
  • Stereo microphone. The R5 has a single microphone on the front of the camera near the AF-assist beam. The R6 has a stereo pair (not shown in Figure 2.1) located on either side of the front of the camera slightly above the lens mount.
  • Remote control terminal (R5 only). The figure shows EOS R5’s three-pin Canon N3-type remote control terminal located under a cover on the front of the camera. You can connect accessories like the RS-80N3 wired remote switch, or TC-80N3 timer remote controller.

You’ll find more controls on the side of the camera, shown in Figure 2.2. In the illustration, you can also see some of the key components of the lens that is mounted on the camera. Note that not all of the lens features are found on all lenses (e.g., there is no zoom ring on non-zoom “prime” lenses).


Figure 2.2

The main elements are as follows:

  • Lens hood bayonet. Canon offers lens hoods designed specifically for each lens; they attach to this grooved mount that rings the front of the lens, in both forward-facing and reversed positions. The hood serves to keep extraneous light, which reduces contrast and causes flare, from entering the lens. You should always use a hood when shooting, as they are your best protection from damage due to collisions and other mishaps. Filters are designed to shatter easily (that’s how filter manufacturers convince you to buy more filters to “save” your lens) and are best reserved for when you want to filter something or are working in wet or dusty environments. (Lens hoods won’t disintegrate into razor sharp shards of glass, either.)
  • Lens hood alignment mark. Line up a matching indicator on your lens hood and rotate the hood to fasten it securely to the front of your lens.
  • Control ring. This brilliant feature can be programmed to change aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation, as I’ll explain in Chapter 14.
  • Focus ring. Rotate this ring to focus manually or fine-tune autofocus.
  • Zoom ring. Turn this ring to zoom in or out.
  • Image stabilizer switch. This switch turns image stabilization on and off. You might want to disable IS when the camera is mounted on a tripod.
  • Autofocus/Manual focus switch. Canon autofocus lenses have a switch to allow changing between automatic focus and manual focus.
  • Terminal covers. The camera’s interface ports and terminals are behind these three rubber covers, which protect them from dust and moisture.

Several terminals/ports are located under the port covers, as shown in the insets for Figure 2.2. They include:

  • Remote control terminal (R6 only). You can plug in an optional RS-80N3 wired remote switch, or TC-80N3 timer remote controller. However, both require the RA-E3 remote controller adapter to convert the accessory’s N3 connector to the R6’s Canon E3-type terminal.
  • PC/X connector (R5 only). Instead of a remote control port, the R5 substitutes a standard PC/X connector for plugging in “dumb” electronic flash units, such as studio flash.
  • USB Type-C digital terminal. This Type-C connector accepts the supplied USB cable, which you can use to transfer photos to your computer. The port can be used with the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 II and GPS Receiver GP-E2.
  • HDMI mini OUT terminal. You’ll need to buy an accessory cable to connect your camera to an HDMI-compatible television, video recorder, or other device, as one to fit this port is not provided with the camera. If you have a high-resolution television, it’s worth the expenditure to be able to view your camera’s output in all its glory. Any Type A (standard) to Type D (micro) HDMI cable will be compatible. Note that your camera’s HDMI output is not compatible with the CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) protocol, which allows devices such as recorders and televisions to control each other.
  • Headphone terminal. Connect headphones or other audio playback gear here. It accepts a 3.5mm stereo mini-plug.
  • External microphone IN terminal. Connect an external stereo microphone with a 3.5mm stereo mini-plug here to bypass the internal stereo microphone pair when recording sound.

The Business End

The back panels of the R5 and R6 cameras are virtually identical (see Figure 2.3) and bristle with more than a dozen different controls, buttons, and knobs. That might seem like a lot of components to learn, but you’ll find that the camera has a reasonable number of dedicated controls that make routine adjustments more quickly than a visit to a traditional menu every time you want to change a setting.


Figure 2.3

You can see the controls clustered on the upper edge of the back panel in Figure 2.4. The key buttons and components and their functions are as follows:

  • MENU button. Summons/exits the menu displayed on the LCD screen or electronic viewfinder of the camera. When you’re working with submenus, this button also serves to exit a submenu and return to the main menu.
  • RATE button. This button has two different functions with the R5, and only one with the R6:
  • Rating. With both cameras, the default behavior of this button is to allow you to “rate” images during playback. Pressing multiple times during playback of an image assigns one through five star ratings to that image, or clears all ratings. As I’ll describe in Chapter 13, you can use the RATE Button Function entry of the Playback 4 menu to assign the Protect feature, or opt for the Erase Images behavior, instead.
  • Voice memo (R5 only). An additional microphone option appears next to the RATE button on the R5 (as shown in the figure). This second function is also available during Playback; instead of pressing the button repeatedly to apply a rating (or to Protect or Erase an image if you’ve redefined the button), you must hold down the RATE button for more than two seconds while viewing the image to which you want to add a voice memo. Continue holding down the button while you record an audio memo of up to 30 seconds, using the voice memo microphone on the back of the camera located adjacent to the lower-right corner of the LCD screen. I’ll explain how to play back and record multiple voice memos in Chapter 13.
  • Dioptric adjustment dial. Rotate this dial while looking through the viewfinder to make adjustments for your vision, as described in Chapter 1.
  • Viewfinder eyepiece/eyecup. You can frame your composition by peering into the viewfinder eyepiece. It’s surrounded by a soft rubber eyecup/frame that seals out extraneous light when pressing your eye tightly up to the viewfinder, and it also protects your eyeglass lenses (if worn) from scratching. The R5’s electronic viewfinder has 5.76 million dots, while the R6 has 3.69 million.


Figure 2.4

  • Viewfinder sensor. This sensor recognizes when your eye (or any other object) approaches the viewfinder eyepiece. By default, the camera switches between the two automatically, but you can configure the camera to switch only manually, using the Screen/Viewfinder Display entry in the Set-up 3 menu, as described in Chapter 13.
  • Speaker (R6 only). Sounds generated by your camera are emitted by this speaker on the back of the camera. The R5 has a similar speaker, but it is located on the left side of the top panel.

Right Side Controls

More buttons reside on the right side of the back panel, as shown in Figure 2.5. The key controls and their functions are as follows:

  • Quick Control Dial 1 (QCD-1). Used to select shooting options, such as f/stop or exposure compensation value, or to navigate through menus. It also serves as an alternate controller for some functions set with other controls, such as AF point selection.
  • Quick Control Dial 2 (QCD-2). When meandering through menus, the second QCD dial jumps directly from one major heading to the next, so you can leap from the Shooting menus to the AF menu, and thence on to the Playback, Network, Set-up, and Custom Function menus without visiting each of the tabs in the individual groups. (Rotate the Main Dial located just aft of the shutter button to advance from, say, Shooting 1 to Shooting 2 to Shooting 3, and so forth.) The QCD-2 is also used for other directional functions.

    Note: When advancing from one major menu heading to the next, the QCD-2 always takes you to the menu tab within that heading that you used last. So, rotating the QCD-2 might jump from, say, Set-up 4 to Custom Functions 3 if those are the tabs you worked with most recently.


Figure 2.5


Reminder: The QCD-2 (Quick Control Dial 2) is commonly referred to as the Rear Dial.

  • AF-ON button. Press this button to activate the autofocus system without needing to partially depress the shutter release. This control, used with other buttons, allows you to lock exposure and focus separately. Lock exposure by pressing the shutter release halfway, or by pressing the AE Lock button; autofocus by pressing the shutter release halfway, or by pressing the AF-ON button. Functions of this button will be explained in more detail in Chapter 5.
  • AE/FE (autoexposure/flash exposure) lock button. In Shooting mode, it locks the exposure or external flash exposure that the camera sets when you partially depress the shutter button. The exposure lock indication (*) appears at lower left in the display. If you want to recalculate exposure with the shutter button still partially depressed, press the * button again. The exposure will be unlocked when you release the shutter button or take the picture. To retain the exposure lock for subsequent photos, keep the * button pressed while shooting.

    When using external flash, pressing the * button fires an extra pre-flash when you partially depress the shutter button that allows the unit to calculate and lock exposure prior to taking the picture.

  • AF point selection button. This button has two functions:
  • AF area mode selection. Press this button once, then press the M-Fn button (described shortly) repeatedly to switch among the available AF area modes, from Face+Tracking, Spot AF, 1-Point AF, Expand Area AF, Expand Area AF (Around), Zone AF, Large Zone (vertical), and Large Zone (horizontal). I’ll describe each of these and when to use them in Chapter 5.
  • AF point movement. Press this button and then you can use the directional controls, such as the Multi-controller, to move the AF point or zone around the frame in all AF area modes except Face+Tracking.
  • Multi-controller joystick. This joystick-like button can be shifted in eight different directions when adjusting focus points, moving a zoomed area, navigating menus, and other functions. It can be pressed to activate or confirm a setting.
  • Voice memo microphone (R5 only). This microphone is positioned to allow you to record one or several voice memos of up to 30 seconds each about a particular image during playback. In Chapter 13, I’ll show you how to adjust the audio quality.
  • Magnify/Reduce button. This button has separate functions for Shooting and Playback modes.
  • Shooting mode. Press this button once to magnify the view by 5X, 10X, and then a third time to return to 1X (full frame) view using any AF method other than Face Detection+Tracking. (See Chapter 5 for information on setting autofocus/exposure point selection.) While the image is magnified, you can move the zoomed area using the Multi-controller.
  • Playback mode. Press this button and release it. Then rotate the QCD-2 to the right to progressively zoom in on a still image. There are 15 different magnification increments from 1X to 10X; you can specify the initial magnification using the Magnificatn (apx) setting in the Playback 4 menu.

    Rotate the QCD-2 to the left to zoom out to full-frame mode and then to 4-, 9-, 36-, and 100-image index views. In any index or magnified view, press SET to see a full-frame view of the currently highlighted image.

  • SET button. When making choices, this button serves as a SET/Enter control to activate or confirm your selection.
  • Card slot cover. Slide toward the back of the camera to open and gain access to the camera’s dual card slots.
  • Quick Control (Q) button. Press this button to produce the Quick Control screen, which gives you access to many features when in Shooting mode. When you’re reviewing images in Playback, a different Quick Control screen pops up that allows you to protect or rate images, change jump method, resize, crop, rotate, or perform other functions. I’ll show you how to work with the two Quick Control screens later in this chapter.
  • Access lamp. When lit or blinking, this lamp indicates that the memory card is being accessed.
  • Erase/Trash button. In Playback mode, this button deletes the currently displayed image.
  • Playback button. Displays the most recent image.
  • INFO button. Changes the type of information displayed in shooting and playback modes. It’s also used within some menu screens to access additional information or options.

Mastering the Touch Screen

Your camera’s versatile LCD display screen—measuring 3.2 inches on the R5 and 3.0 inches with the R6—is articulated so it can be positioned in multiple orientations. It is also touch sensitive for rapid selection of menu and focus options. The articulation feature makes it easy to take pictures in a variety of orientations. Using the touch screen, you can perform many routine operations, including menu navigation/selection functions, by tapping the screen. This section will show you how to best make use of those features.

Flexible View

The articulated screen offers several alternative ways of previewing and reviewing your images in ways that the electronic viewfinder can’t. Here are a few to consider:

  • Selfie mode. Swing the LCD out from the body and rotate it so the screen is pointing in the same direction as the lens. Mount the camera on a tripod, or any temporary resting place, then position yourself (alone or with a group) for a selfie. You can see the image the camera will capture before taking the shot with the self-timer or remote control. The camera can immediately display the photo, so you can review it and change poses before taking another shot, if you like.


Figure 2.6 The articulated screen allows multiple views.

  • Share the fun. Even if you’re not in the picture yourself, you can share the image you’re about to take with your subject when the LCD is in the “selfie” position. (See Figure 2.6, left.) It works best if the camera is on a tripod. Your subject can evaluate the pose, adjust his or her hair, or turn to their “good” side before you shoot. When you move your eye to the viewfinder, the LCD preview will turn off, and you’ll be able to see the image as you take the picture. Vloggers will probably use this mode to monitor their performance when shooting video or streaming using the Canon EOS Webcam Utility.
  • Waist-level view. With the LCD swung out, you can tilt the screen back, giving you a waist-level preview of the picture you’re about to take. That perspective can be especially useful when photographing low-lying subjects without needing to crouch or get down on your hands and knees. It’s also useful for semi-stealth photography because you don’t need to bring the camera up to your eye to compose the image. (See Figure 2.6, right.)
  • Periscope view. The screen can pivot so it is facing completely downward so you can hold the camera over your head and shoot using a periscopic perspective. Great for shooting over crowds, particularly at parades.
  • Screen protection. Swivel the screen so the back of the LCD is facing outward, and you’ve got solid protection—at least from scratches and minor impacts. Even so, I’d avoid whacking the back of the camera. But it’s nice to keep your screen shielded when traveling.

Touch Operation

Of course, for many veteran shooters, some touch-friendly tasks, such as navigating through menus, may be no quicker than the button/dial procedures we are used to, and can even be more awkward for those with large fingers or those who need/want to wear gloves. However, there are several uses for the touch screen that border on outstanding as you become more accustomed to working with the camera’s screen. You can even use it while viewing through the electronic viewfinder!

Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Move focus point while using the EVF. You can touch the screen with one finger and drag to move the AF point or Zone AF frame around as you preview your image through the viewfinder. You just need to activate the Touch & Drag AF feature in the AF 1 menu and choose one of several alternative methods for specifying the active area of the screen and how the point or zone moves. I’ll explain how to use this feature in Chapter 5.
  • Touch focus point/shutter. While viewing the touch screen you can specify the exact focus point (or zone) you want by tapping the screen. The camera can focus at the point you just selected, or even take a picture if you’ve activated the Touch Shutter feature (using an icon located at lower left on the screen). If you’d prefer to drag the point around the screen to the desired location, press the point selection button, and then swipe your finger around the touch screen to move the focus point. (See Chapter 5 for more on this.)
  • Menu navigation. You may find some menu operations are easier to complete using the touch screen, although, as I noted, many of us may prefer using old-school dials and buttons.
  • Text entry. If you’ve ever had to type in copyright information, tried to rename the My Menu tab, or performed any other text-entry operation using the camera’s buttons and dials, you’ll appreciate the ability to just tap on the virtual keyboard to input your data, such as photographer and copyright information. (See Figure 2.7.)
  • Playback. As you’ll see, you can scroll through images rapidly during review, zoom in and out, and perform other functions that are much clumsier with buttons and dials—even if you’ve had years of experience and are adept with the traditional methods.

When you’ve activated the touch screen using the Touch Control entry in the Set-up 4 menu (as described in Chapter 13) you have a large range of capabilities available to you with a simple tap on the screen (represented by the green/red circles shown in Figure 2.8). Here’s a quick overview of the options:

  1. 1. Quick Control menu. Tap the Q icon in the upper right of the screen and the Quick Control menu (which I first showed you in Figure 1.9 in the first chapter) pops up. You can adjust any of the options shown in the left and right columns in Figure 2.8. I’ll show you more Quick Control options at the end of this chapter.


Figure 2.7 The camera’s virtual keyboard makes touch typing easy.


Figure 2.8 Tap any of the boxed icons to change that function’s settings.

  1. 2. Touch shutter. Tap here to turn the touch shutter feature on or off. When active, tapping the screen tells the camera to focus at the point you’ve specified and take a picture.
  2. 3. Adjust shutter speed (or aperture). You can adjust any parameter with a box around it. In the figure, the camera is set for Tv shooting mode (Shutter-priority), so you can tap the box displaying the current shutter speed, then rotate either Quick Control Dial or use the other directional controls (the Multi-controller joystick or Main Dial) to change the shutter speed. In Av (Aperture-priority) mode, you can change the f/stop; in M (Manual) mode, both shutter speed and aperture will have a box around them and can be adjusted.
  3. 4. Exposure compensation. Tap this scale and use the dials/directional controls (or tap the scale itself) to add or subtract from the metered exposure. I’ll explain exposure compensation in more detail in Chapter 4.
  4. 5. ISO sensitivity. Tap the ISO icon and use the dials/directional controls to select a fixed ISO setting or ISO Auto.
  5. 6. Zoom. Tap the magnifying glass immediately above the ISO icon to zoom in on your image.


Throughout this book, I may not explicitly say “tap the screen,” or “use the button,” or “visit the menu” for every single operation. Given the large number of how-to entries in this book, that would require unnecessarily long descriptions and extra verbiage. I’m going to assume that once you master the touch screen using the information in this section, you’ll make your own choice and use whichever method you prefer. I’ll generally stick to using the physical controls that we’re all accustomed to. But, unless I specifically say to use the touch screen or physical controls, assume I mean you can use either one.

Meaningful Gestures

I think that once you become familiar with the speed with which the touch screen allows you to make adjustments, you’ll be reluctant to go back to the “old” way of doing things. The camera’s touch screen is capacitive rather than resistive, making it more like the current generation of smartphones than earlier computer touch-sensitive screens. The difference is that your camera’s LCD responds to the electrical changes that result from contact rather than the force of pressure on the screen itself. That means that the screen can interpret your touches and taps in more complex ways. It “knows” when you’re using two fingers instead of one, and can react to multi-touch actions and gestures, such as swiping (to scroll in any direction), and pinching/spreading of fingers to zoom in and out. Since you probably have been using a smartphone for a while, these actions have become ingrained enough to be considered intuitive. Virtually every main and secondary function or menu operation can be accessed from the touch screen. However, if you want to continue using the buttons and dials, the camera retains that method of operation.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

  • Tap to select. Tap (touch the LCD screen briefly) to select an item, including a menu heading or icon. Any item you can tap will have a frame or box around it. Figure 2.9 shows the taps needed to select a menu tab and specific entry within that menu and then make your adjustments on the screen that appears. On settings screens, tappable items will have a box around them.
  • Drag/swipe to select. Many functions can be selected by touching the screen and then sliding your finger to the right or left until the item you want is highlighted. For example, instead of tapping, you can slide horizontally along the main menu’s tabs to choose any Shooting, Playback, Custom, or My Menu tab. However, you can’t slide vertically to choose an individual menu entry; tap the desired entry instead.
  • Drag/swipe to adjust scales. Screens that contain a sliding scale can be adjusted by dragging. In Figure 2.10, left, the arrows show how you can drag along the scale to adjust LCD screen brightness, and at right, to add/subtract exposure compensation. You can also tap the minus/plus buttons and exit by tapping the SET/OK icon. Even when you are using the touch screen, you can still opt for the Main Dial or QCD-1 to make your changes.


Figure 2.9 Select a menu tab and entry (left) and change settings (right).


Figure 2.10 Use sliding scales or tap icons to make adjustments in screen brightness (left) and exposure compensation (right).


Figure 2.11 In Playback, pinch or spread fingers to magnify or reduce images (top left), and swipe/drag to move/jump among them (bottom left). You can scroll among thumbnails, too (right).

  • Pinch/spread to reduce/enlarge. During playback, you can use two fingers to “pinch” the screen to reduce/shrink the image, from, say, single-image to index view. Tap on a thumbnail to view it full size. Spread those two fingers apart to enlarge an image, to zoom in from, say, a nine-image index array to the four-image display, then to single image. If you continue spreading, you can magnify the image up to about 10X. Tap the return icon to resume single-image display. (See the arrows in the top half of Figure 2.11, left.)
  • Drag/swipe to scroll among single images. In Playback single-image mode, as you review your images, you can drag your finger left and right to advance from one image to another, much as you might do with a smartphone or tablet computer. Use one finger to scroll one image at a time, and two to jump using the image jump method you’ve chosen in the Playback 2 menu, as described in Chapter 13. The arrows at the bottom of Figure 2.11, left, represent this function.
  • Drag to scroll among thumbnails. When viewing thumbnails, you can drag through the thumbnail screen to quickly move among sets of index images, as represented in Figure 2.11, right.
  • Fine-tune touch features. As I’ll explain in Chapter 9, you can enable or disable touch operation and change sensitivity from Standard to Sensitive in the Set-up 3 menu under the Touch Control entry. The click sound the touch feature makes can be turned on or off using the Beep setting in the Set-up 2 menu.
  • Avoid “protective” sheets, moisture, and sharp implements. The LCD uses capacitive technology to sense your touch, rather than pressure sensitivity. LCD protectors or moisture can interfere with the touch functions, and styluses or sharp objects (such as pens) won’t produce the desired results. I have, in fact, used “skins” on my camera’s LCD with good results (even though the screen is quite rugged and really doesn’t need protection from scratches), but there is no guarantee that all such protectors will work for you.

As I noted, the choice of whether to use the traditional buttons or touch screen is up to you. I’ve found that with some screens, the controls are too close together to be easily manipulated with my wide fingers. The touch screen can be especially dangerous when working with some functions, such as card formatting. In displays where the icons are large and few in number, such as the screen used to adjust LCD brightness, touch controls work just fine. Easiest of all is touch operation during Playback. It’s a no-brainer to swipe your finger from side to side to scroll among images and pinch/spread to zoom out and in.

Going Topside

The top surface of the camera has its own set of frequently accessed controls. The key controls, and two additional lens control features, are shown in Figure 2.12. The R6 is seen at left in the figure; the R5 (seen at right) has the exact same controls, except it has an LCD panel and LCD panel illuminator button, and the Mode Dial functions are summoned with the MODE button instead of the R6’s physical Mode Dial.

  • Zoom scale. Shows the current zoom focal length. (Only available on zoom lenses!)
  • Zoom lock. When the zoom has been set to its widest position, you can flip this switch to keep the zoom locked there. This avoids possible “zoom creep” when the lens is pointed downward.
  • Shutter release button. Partially depress this button to lock in exposure and focus. Press all the way to take the picture. Tapping the shutter release button when the camera has turned off the auto-exposure and autofocus mechanisms reactivates both. When a review image is displayed on the back-panel color LCD, tapping this button removes the image from the display and reactivates the autoexposure and autofocus mechanisms.


Figure 2.12

  • M-Fn button. This multi-function button is used in two different ways:
  • Dial functions. By default, if you press this button alone, a pop-up horizontal list of functions with two rows appears, as seen in Figure 2.13. The bottom row displays a list of available functions. White balance is highlighted in the figure, but you can cycle among the others by pressing the M-Fn button repeatedly or by rotating the QCD-1. The default functions include ISO, Drive Mode, AF Operation, White Balance, Flash Exposure Compensation.

    Once a function is highlighted you can rotate the Main Dial to adjust the settings for that function. The options appear in the top row. If you’d rather have different functions appear here, you can add or subtract others, as I’ll describe in Chapter 15.

  • Autofocus area selection mode. Press the AF point selection button on the upper-right corner of the back of the camera (as described in Chapter 5). You can assign dozens of different functions to this control using the Custom Controls feature, as described in Chapter 15.


Figure 2.13 Dial functions appear when the M-Fn button is pressed.

  • Main Dial. This dial is used to make many shooting settings. When settings come in pairs (such as shutter speed/aperture in Manual shooting mode), the Main Dial is used for one (for example, shutter speed), while the QCD-1 is used for the other (aperture). When an image is on the screen during playback, this dial also specifies the leaps that skip a particular number of images during playback of the shots you’ve already taken. Jumps can be 1 image, 10 images, 100 images, jump by date, or jump by screen (that is, by screens of thumbnails when using Index mode), date, or folder. (Jump method is selected in the Playback 2 menu, as described in Chapter 13.) This dial is also used to move among tabs when the MENU button has been pressed and is used within some menus (in conjunction with the QCD-1) to change pairs of settings.
  • Movie shooting button. Press to start capturing video; press again to stop. You can redefine this button to perform any of 40 other functions if you like.
  • Multi Function lock button. Pressing this button can be set to lock certain controls to prevent them from being changed accidentally. Press again to unlock those controls. You can choose to lock any or all of the following: Main Dial, QCD-1, M-Fn button, control ring, or touch screen panel. Choose which of these to lock using the Multi Function Lock entry in the Set-up 6 menu.
  • Accessory shoe. Slide an electronic flash into this multi-purpose accessory shoe when you need an external Speedlite. A dedicated flash unit, like those from Canon, can use the multiple contact points shown to communicate exposure, zoom setting, white balance information, and other data between the flash and the camera. There’s more on using electronic flash in Chapters 9 and 10.
  • Sensor focal plane mark. Precision macro and scientific photography sometimes requires knowing exactly where the focal plane of the sensor is. The symbol on the side of the pentaprism marks that plane.
  • Strap mount. A neck strap fastens to this mount, with a matching mount on the other side of the camera.
  • Power switch. Rotate to turn the camera on or off.
  • Speaker (R5 only) (Not shown). The set of holes in the left shoulder of the camera represents the R5’s counterpart to the speaker found on the rear panel of the R6 and described earlier.
  • LCD panel/LCD panel illuminator button (R5 only). The panel displays shooting information, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, battery status, and so forth. Give the LCD illuminator button a long press to backlight the panel for about six seconds for easy viewing in darker environments. A short press will change the information shown on the panel. The data available includes: multi-function lock, shooting mode, battery level, WFT battery level, exposure/flash exposure compensation, Bluetooth function Wi-Fi/Wired status, shutter speed, aperture, exposure level, bracketing information, ISO speed, and highlight tone priority indicator. (See the LCD panel at right in Figure 2.12.)
  • MODE button (R5 only). Hold down the MODE button and use either QCD or the directional controls to cycle among the available exposure modes and to choose one of the camera user settings (C1, C2, or C3). Press INFO to toggle between still photography and movie modes.
  • Mode Dial (R6 only). Rotate to select one of the available exposure modes and to choose one of the camera user settings.

Underneath Your Camera

There’s not a lot going on with the bottom panel of your camera. Here, you’ll find, as shown in Figure 2.14:

  • Tripod socket. Secures the camera to a tripod and is also used to lock on the optional BG-R10 battery grip.
  • Accessory positioning holes. Fit matching studs on the BG-R10 grip, which provides more juice to run your camera to take more exposures with a single charge. It also adds a vertically oriented shutter release, Main Dial, AE lock/FE lock, and AF point selection controls for easier vertical shooting.


Figure 2.14

  • Battery compartment cover/cover lock/door/release. Slide the cover lock latch toward the center of the camera to open the battery compartment cover and access the LP-E6NH battery, or to insert the BG-R10 battery grip. Retract the battery release tab, the white button shown at left in Figure 2.15, to remove the battery.

    To mount the grip, when the battery door latch is open, push down on the small black battery compartment door release lever that projects from the hinge (also shown at left in Figure 2.15). That will let you remove the battery door, as seen at right in the figure.

    Then remove the battery that’s in the camera, and slide the grip into the battery cavity, aligning the pin on the grip with the small hole on the other side of the tripod socket. Tighten the grip’s tripod socket screw to lock the grip onto the bottom of your camera.

  • Electronic contacts. Contacts on the grip will mate with the electronic contacts shown at right in Figure 2.15. The assembled camera/grip is shown in Figure 2.16.


Figure 2.15


Figure 2.16

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